Saturday, April 29, 2006
At 2.10 p.m. this afternoon, we heard the cuckoo, loud and clear, in Weardale near Stanhope. Spring is definitely here!
There were masses of primroses in the woodland, and a few violets on the banks.
Our path took us up by Stanhope Beck, up onto the moorland, past the seat placed in memory of W.O. Colin Wall, R.M.P., killed in Basra in 2003, and down the Crawleyside incline. There were grouse and lapwings, skylarks, and plenty of those SBBs.
We had our picnic above the valley, looking down over Stanhope, with the sculpted shapes of the old quarries just below us. (Dear readers, you shall be spared the sight of our little group having a nice lie-down after lunch!)
Further along, we followed Shittlehope Burn, where the banks were covered in wild garlic - just smell it!
Returning to the road, we took in an extra loop on part of the Weardale Way, which passes through an extremely tidy and well-manicured caravan park. In 1984, Hell was full of rats - in mine, it could well be full of caravan parks like this.
Again, dear readers, you shall be spared the sight of middle-aged backsides lined up putting their rucksacks back into the car, preparatory to repairing to the tea-shop.
This walk was a repeat of one we did in the winter of 2003, when it was my birthday walk. This time, a belated Happy Birthday to Peanut Yorkie, who will have his own version of the event.