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  • nikolausdraycottar

5 days wild camping the Northumbrian coast..no guitar.


I’ve just come back from the Northumbrian coast . Not aching as I thought I would but refreshed and invigorated . Had a very pleasant time walking up a stunning coast in beautiful weather with great company. I hadn’t seen a university friend for a good while so we had plenty to catch up on . He’s a documentary film maker always up to something exciting , so guffaws abounded.

I thought there was an outside chance it wouldn‘t happen due looking at the weather reports , having recently been let down by friends who baled in the face of discomfort I was dreading the worst. Luckily my friend was made of sterner stuff and carried through we did. We carried everything on our backs so I was hoping our bodies were up to it , although having kept myself fit over lockdown I hadn’t done sustained weight carrying. So we took it extremely easy the first couple of days both agreeing early injury was our main threat. Early on the hike dunes were a a constant feature before the famous Northumbrian countryside became dominant. They proved a comfortable place to stay and reasonably sheltered . Not using camp sites added an element of adventure to trip and switches you on to a higher degree. Also I feel you get much closer to the landscape you’re travelling through because you are wholely reliant on it for shelter and comfort. If you can just walk into a warm shower and bed in the evening you can be far more reckless in what you choose to do and I feel doesn’t harmonise you with the surrounding landscape. You notice what early settlers would have used for building material. The flat stones that heavily feature on the Northumbrian beaches are the obvious choices , both rugged and beautiful. We met some great Geordie fishermen and Northumbrians on the way calm and friendly , they came across close to nature, happy to talk about their fishing practices after the Pilar crabs that are abundant on the incoming tide. We cooked by fire for a couple of nights and were too mobile to run into any real problems. No guitar gave my brain a break from music but it didn’t mean it didn’t come up with several ideas I’ll definitely pursue further. The rested field started sprouting after a couple of days . I felt very fit after five days and it’s given me renewed confidence for weight bearing self sufficient expeditions. You definitely work harder during the day but you go to bed early pleasantly tired and are up early looking forward to the day. It’s nice to be happy to get out of bed in the morning once more. That had disappeared during the third lockdown. It feels great to be back on it and rearing to go.


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