A Penny Wine
By Bikes Moron & Wild One

Or

Pennine Way

By Kim Osborne & Dil Owen

Introduction

Our aim was to walk the 270 mile journey in 17 days with walks ranging from 10 miles to 23 miles depending on the accommodation. The initial plan was that 3 of us would do the first weeks walk - Dil, his friend Danny and myself - and then Danny would drop out leaving Dil and myself to complete the walk.

It was imperative to get in some training walks prior to the start of this long distance walk, although training around the Fens is of little help when hill walking. With just 3 weeks to go all we have managed to do is a six mile walk back from Chatteris, a couple of five mile walks and lots of shorter walks (mainly to the pubs). None of these were undertaken with a full backpack (or for that matter even an empty one). That said I felt that it would not present too much of a problem to either of us, although the first few days may prove difficult as we got used to our loads.

All the accommodation had been booked. I used the YHA booking service for the Youth Hostels which seems to have worked very efficiently. There were six overnight stops that would not be at Youth Hostels. Two overnight stops would be at Dil's brother George's House in Reeth, two at Bed and Breakfast Accommodation, one at a Hotel (with a brewery on site); our second night was to be in a Mountain Rescue Hut on the Cheviot Hills as the B & B accommodation off route was fully booked.

The next thing to organise was how to get to the start. Our initial plan was to get a train to Berwick-on-Tweed, then a bus from there to Kelso and then a further bus from Kelso to Kirk Yetholm. We then thought about hiring a car and having it picked up from Kirk Yetholm. Both of these options would have cost over 100 between the three of us. When Dil's brother paid him a visit shortly before we were due to leave he offered to drive us the final leg into Scotland if we could drive up to his house in North Yorkshire. Then he would be driving Dil's car to Otley, where we were attending a folk festival after the walk was completed. This being the cheapest option, it was the one we eventually settled on.

With ten days to go we had managed to get in a 13 mile Trek around our local area. As the area is almost flat it was hardly a strain on our stamina. To accustom myself to the climb ahead I sat and watched a TV program about Mallory and Irvings disastrous quest to climb Everest, I felt no better afterwards! A final shopping trip - the weekend before we were due to go - to pick up the last few items of clothing and waterproofs.

Late news that our third man had unexpectedly dropped out at the last minute. Dil phoned round and cancelled his YHA bookings.

With only a day to go I had my Backpack packed and it feels quite heavy. I don't really want to put an awful lot else in there. I thought it might be worthwhile listing the final contents of my backpack, so here it is:

3 T shirts
3 pairs Socks
3 pairs of underpants
1 pair of trousers (zip off leg)
1 spare pair of shoes
1 Warm top
1 Heavy Fleece
1 Warm hat
1 pair of gloves
1 Waterproof jacket
1 Waterproof over trousers
1 pair binoculars
1 Digital camera (+ accessories)
1 torch
1 cellphone
1 cellphone charger
pen and paper
money
10 Cereal bars
pen knife
9 maps
cheque book
list of accommodation
reading book
small (stainless steel) flask

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