…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menoffagainorrhoea; Road Trip - the last drip

On the morning of my departure day from my visit with Aitch in Northumbria, it dawned quite bright, if still quite cool. It was decided to make the most of it and seek a geocache right nearby. We set off by foot from the cottage, away from the road and through some farmland. We were headed for the man-made wooded area up behind. On the way we passed these folks;

It was great to be hands-on with the horsey; she clearly enjoyed the little bit of luvin too... as we continued down the lane the group ahead looked very interesting. Can you see why?

Yup. The lady with the hat had her two on-leash; a Red Setter and a Bracco Italiano. (Yeeah it was a new one on me too...)

The Weims were running wild on the fresh-growing crop in the field ... and picking at something stinky!

On we walked till we hit the info board. Choppington Woods were created some forty-ish years back when the old coal mines shut down.  The clues sent us leftwards through slightly boggy, but still very enjoyable and relatively flat land... (y'know this is gonna get 'interesting' donchya?!)

Study that map. You can see the red arrow (near the centre)? That's not where we are at the moment. Cast your eyes up to the left a bit and see where the yellow road comes in at the top? That's where we just passed the dogs and peeps. The DOTTED line moving around the perimeter towards that red arrow (and black block)... that's the path we took. It may or may not have been the official one...

It looked like this.

After half an hour of quite enjoyable walking (the bird life was loud and full-throated, if somewhat elusive to the eye), we emerged at the red arrow. Not that there was actually an arrow. There WAS a black block though...

Homage to the now defunct mining industry. Aitch told me there are fifty such trucks dotted about the countryside thereabouts. We had seen one up at Amble.

The clue we had come in search of, however, was not present. An info board, not this one about the coal, was needed. We decided to follow the established path (the yellow line on the map) back round towards where we started. See where the 'y' junction is? We veered off to the left along another DOTTED perimeter line. The next picture really does NOT tell you how very 'interesting' this got!!!

It was pretty much a horses-and-trail-bikes-only kinda track. I was wearing a pair of crocs. At one point that black stuff suckered one of the crocs off and my socked foot landed full square into the next bit of mire. Well, you are saying, walk on the sides! Oh yes, brilliant idea - 'cept it was every bit as soft and sucky AND the triffids brambles were alive and latchy to my very latchable knitwear. At one point, Aitch grabbed the tails of my cardigan and tied them up round my neck for me. My walking stick was more a hindrance than a help as it kept measuring the depths of that gloop.... by which time the pair of us were huffing and giggling like schoolgirls again and it all didn't matter.

Finally we broke out of the rough (there was no discernible path at all for  much of the way, but couldn't use the Fudge as too busy keeping upright) and with a bit of a scramble up a hill, managed onto high, dry ground. This was the 'farewell and thanks for the memories shot'...

Now we were walking along that part of the map which has the DOUBLE DOTTED line on the top perimeter, heading towards that left-most red arrow. Finally, the main road was spotted before us...

At the roadside was another of those coal-trucks. The tracker was determined that we were right over the geocache. After nearly ten minutes, a car drew up and parked behind us. The fellow letting his Cocker Spaniel out for a walk got an eyeful of two fat ladies with their bumbs in the air.

YAMster can't be called as shy. "You a geocacher?" asks I. The fellow looked bemused but came across and asked questions - then thumped down on his belly and crawled about fiddling underneath the coal-truck... something Aitch and I were never gonna be doing. ... (Well maybe, but then we'd never get up again.) Lo! Up he came with canister in paw hand. His dog was quite sure it involved treats, but afraid not. Not of the doggy kind anyway.

Having signed off on the sheet, we headed back via the main road to the cottage. Full circle. Nearly five miles and up to our knees in mud. It felt good. (Oh, and that info board we were seeking? Never found it.)

After lunch and a hugs and goodbyes, I pointed the Little Ren Northwards again. Three hours later I was drinking tea with the father in Edinburgh.  It had been a very grand road trip indeed.


  1. a great place for a walk except for the muddy patches :)

  2. OMD OMD LOVE the OFFAGAIN thingy... hehehehhe

    OH MY.... that was quite the Geo Adventure... Soggy and Stickerie and full of grand pictures and memories... SO happy that the gent was able to lend a Paw or two... to help you Find the PRIZE and get all signed in.
    Did the socks survive the dunk in the muck?

    1. Hari Om
      Hehehe, welllll... they'll not be quite the same again - that was some really sucky stuff and even though the socks were black, they have been left with a bit of 'haze' ... Yxx

  3. But that looks like a simply splendid footpath through the woods.
    OK so you got a wee bit of mud on the paws.
    What's the problem?
    Toodle pip!

    1. Hari OM
      Actually, I quite agree Bertie lad... it was just that it was quite unexpected - but hey, that's the nature of adventure! Yxx

  4. That was a great adventure for sure! Five miles in crocs? Wow, that is some tough hiking!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

    1. Hari OM
      Have worn them for years and they are actually pretty solid - for most terrain. It was the knee-deep gunk that was the trouble... but then it would have been trouble even if I'd had the full bovver and gaiters on!!! Yxx

  5. Hello, a pretty walk. I love the horse and the cute dogs. Five miles in the mud, does not sound like fun though. Have a happy weekend!

  6. I would have loved being there with you. It sounds like an absolute fun walk, despite the muddy foot (photo??).


Inquiry and debate are encouraged.
For personal contact, please use the email box on the Wild YAM/Contact page.
Irrelevant, abusive and spam comments will be removed.