Thursday 23rd February
As has become the norm lately Pete and I were heading north for some hammock time in the piney woods, rather than waste a days holiday driving up we made a plan to head off at night and crash out in the van at the destination. The journey was fairly uneventful, the road works on A1 are starting to get shorter at long last, a twelve mile detour near Darlington meant we lost that time though. The A68 through Northumberland felt very bleak in the darkness but I think we only counted a handful of other cars on the stretch.
I’m not sure what time we reached the car park but it was gone 02:00 for sure, we had a quick brew and some munchies and got our heads down for a few hours until daylight. Pete opted to empty some gear from the van and get his Exped mat down in the back, I curled up on the front seat and surprisingly got a decent kip.
Friday 24th February
Sleeping in a car is never great but I had managed to sleep straight through until the daylight started to appear, another car had parked nearby and the sound of closing doors was enough to get me up. I made good use of the amenities to hand (composting bog in the car park)and then gave Pete a shout, I needed coffee and porridge.
Slowly getting the kit unloaded
And we’re off into the piney woods
Hand railing a river all the way up the glen until we reached a ford
Just after the ford we branched right and into an area which Pete had described as a lost world, the heather was banked above head height so it would be a while before we reached the good bits.
Stopping for a brew break next to a small stream
Finding a few trees to sling the hammocks to wasn’t a problem, finding safe pitches without 100ft dead pines leaning over was another matter. We tried one pitch on a corner just where the valley narrows, after ten minutes of fighting the wind with the tarp I spat the dummy and declared we should move while we still had some daylight. We found a great patch in a secluded area right next to the river, nicely sheltered from the winds swinging around from the west.
We spent the night eating and drinking coffee, with a few slurps of rum to keep the chill off. Pete had packed his hobo stove so we had something to keep us busy, dry firewood was easy to get and plenty of Scots pine meant it was bright and hot.
Saturday 25th February
Despite messing about with borrowed cord the night before I’d managed to get the hammock setup nicely on the two Scots pines next to the water. I was up before Pete and was on my second brew before he appeared, he’d slept like a log too he said.
My new camo Superfly looking pretty **** sexy
Looking north from the camp site
Looking south from the camp site
Some pics from around camp