ON TO ALNWICK
As we were so very late finishing last night I just parked up in the lower carpark. Next morning the satellite internet again came into its own, with no signal on either of the phones and nothing on the mifi. But with the dish raised and locked on at least we were in touch with the outside world and I could check up on where I was going next.
I was headed to Alnwick to view the Castle and the very modern gardens there. It meant retracing our route for part of the way, but as it was past Kielder Water, I think the largest man made lake in Europe, and very beautiful that was no hardship, and I often find that travelling a road in the reverse order is almost like travelling a completely new road - the views are so different when seen from the opposite direction.
Northumberland is a truly beautiful county and relaxing as well - so many of the roads have little traffic. We followed along past shallow rivers, flowing over darkly stony beds, overhung with trees in their autumn tints. Lovely villages which seemed hardly touched by time. Ancient arched bridges and straight Roman roadways. The higher crests of the hills giving stunning views in all directions.
I have learnt it is hardly worth trying to reproduce such far reaching views with photographs, its almost like trying to take a photo from an aeroplane window, the view is there and mind boggling, but it does not translate to a two dimensional image, as least not with my little camera and point and snap skills.
Higher and higher we climbed and eventually there in the middle of a wide expanse of open moorland I spotted a flat, wide, and deserted layby. Having stopped for a coffee and put up the satellite dish again it seemed a perfect spot to break the journey ready to continue on to Alnwick the next day. So we spent a very happy and almost totally silent night, with just the very occasional vehicle. Phoebe was even able to indulge in her favourite game of pooing in the very middle of the road, with no anxious calling back from me. Then it was my turn to play chicken in getting it up. Dog servant or what!