Shadow Of The Wall

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Diary - 4


Expedition Diary at a glance 4

28 October: Day 17

Preparing ponies proves difficult due to exceptionally boggy ground. Exit gate from campsite field is secured with barbed wire; cut thumb. Ford stream; water only about 25 centimetres deep.

Narrow, enclosed laneway is waterlogged for next mile; going is slow – ponies are knee-deep in mud. Carefully negotiate fallen storm tree. Roamer’s pack becomes entangled in barbed wire. He panics and damages pack. Two trapped, frightened cows confront us in laneway. Luckily, as we approach exit gate, can enter side field so that cows can escape.

Noisy ponies insist on grazing close to tent at Newtown Farm all night, preventing much sleep.

29 October: Day 18

Sunrise of gold and orange is wonderful. Downpour, severe bog and aggressive cattle predicted between Newtown and Bleatarn. New ruck-sac, spare socks and gloves posted to farm are welcome. Extra plasters and hand-cream may help protect hands, which are painfully sore due to a dozen small cuts on fingers.

Cattle are inquisitive but pose little problem; cameraman is with me. Predicted rain is occasional shower. Ground’s firm – Roman way follows highest route. Wicket gate at Laversdale bridle path forces removal of both packs. Farmer from Cumrenton arrives to help repack.

High wind at Bleatarn Campsite blows tent over hedge and into path of startled sheep. Secure tent with tethering stake. Short, torrential showers persist all night.

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