A short day today – just as well, after last night’s beer and wine and Radio 3; that Wagner must have given me a fuzzy head – with our destination Kielder and its hostel just 20 grey, damp but easy miles up the road.
Kielder – originally built for workers constructing the reservoir, Britain’s most voluminous, in the 1970s – is a candidate for England’s most remote village. If you ask your short pint to be topped up as I did, and get rebuffed, for example, you have a long drive to complain to someone about it.
Anyway, we had lunch at the Castle tea room, looked round said castle, and went for a spin on the well-surfaced gravel roads round the reservoir. You can see red squirrels, ospreys and deer here. Unless you come with me, in which case they’ll all hide, as they did today.
A new petrol station has saved locals the irritation of driving twenty miles to fill up. We toasted it with a bottle of Chilean red in the hostel. You could tell we weren’t locals because we kept topping each other’s glasses up to full measures.
Miles today: 20
Miles since Newcastle: 68