Still going

Fter my total crash yesterday SO was very concerned and together we checked out all options and diversions on the next leg. In the end I told SO that I thought that the leg was less intense, plus I kinda knew what to spect now, plus it would end in rolling country side countryside, plus  I was not going to to have a bunch of mountains get the better of me So we went on track.

On our way to the highest point of the walk we met some Dutch cyclists, that had decided to take the walk up to that point as an intermission. It was a fun conversation really. As we got to the highest point I needed to clean my glasses. So while I prepared to rummage through my backpack SO picked up a key One we immediately recognized as a bike key. What to do next? SO decided to do the most decent thing he could do and walked back to the carp ark where we knew the cyclists were parked. I stayed up the hill with the backpacks. Needless to say that SO made a friend for life.

While this was happening we were passed by some walkers we knew fro the various places we’d been staying. On this walk you tend to see the same people over and over again and this couple has been near us for the most part of our journey.

Without much ado we continued our walk, again over high topped hills, down steep slopes, and up other step ones. But this time at least I knew what to expect and I carried on. We met a young woman heading the other way with her very small dog. By that stage we were still on a ridge but really staying up. She still had to go the difficult stretch. She felt she’d do alright as just behind her was also up and down. SOand I had a giggle, she had no idea what was coming. As it turns out she did. In fact we had two more hills to go. Not as high as the previous ones, but steep!!!! Seriously at one stage I wondered if I was looking into so,e kind of abyss instead of a hill side All of a sudden the hill just stopped and there was a gap only. After a good breath in breath out the drops turned out to be doable, if time and care was taken. In one case because they put steps against it.very scary stuff

But the views were wonderful, magical and breathtakingly beautiful. We liked those a lot but we were still very happy when we came to  the last third of this stage, which was much more friend.y and with some meadows reminiscent of scenes from Sens and Sensibility. Wonderfully lush, green rolling for the hillside. It was not long until we got to gills and and though we were near the end of our day trip, it took us a while to get there. First we had a chat with the earlier mentioned couple to see if we would stay each other’s shadow for a day more. Then my NZ bandana was spotted by a kiwi. So we ended up chatting with her. on we want to meet a mother and her two sons. On the steps to one of the ruins we talked about the route, how the companies get the mileage for walks always wrong. Then sHetells us with motherly pride that they Re walking the walk with the youngest. He is doing it for charity. We of course donated some money as really what he is doing is no mean feat and we like to encourage that.

Our farm B&B is on the track and is actually very nice, we are staying in a barn conversion. Love those The owners also w. The local pub and we were drive. There by the owner for a lovely meal. Here we met another couple we’d met before on the track and after talking with two of us getting sore necks we ended up sharing a table and talking the whole evening.  We even exchanged mail addresses.  Isn’t is amazing how on such an individual holiday these clusters of people still develop?  All in all it was a good day.

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Crashed

we knew today was going to be a reasonably long walk. We had not comsidered how off the map distances quoted by our trip company would be. Nor ha d we considered that the up and down hilly bit meant to the top and back to the absolute bottom over not easy paths.

We took off from the museum where we stamped our passport. So we skipped a few km going through the village, no big deal.after two not very steep hills I decked to give I and have  a puf from my asthma disk. I hardly use it anymore, but clearly going uphill is A struggle for my lungs. After that I was much better. At first the trip was lovely, not as many climbing obstacles as the day before, still a fair few more user friendly gates.

SO and I had a lovely lunch in the grass with a nice view over Northumberland. The day was very very sunny and we used our sunscreen a lot.. Still up on the ridge there was enough wind to keep us from overheating. After about 18 km we were at Housesteads a Roman fort, where we sat for a few minutes. It was insanely busy with walkers there until we realized it was a Sumday so lots of families on an outing. After about half an hour we set out again.

For the fort we had to go to Once Brewed, past the Steep Rigg Crag, now that is an ominous name and believe me it is well deserved. From the fort onward the hills become less friendly, higher and with it the lower parts der. Not only that gone were the rolling slopes, only to be replaced by steep inclines. Some of them were  okish, others scared me quite frankly. I really had to channel the inner goat to do that. 

My goat however is not well trained and free another downhill that was more of a difficult descent I collapsed. I. Front of me there was another large very scary looking hill and I was tired. My legs were killing me and after SO lovingly listening to my sobs we decided to take an alternative approach to Once Brewed. We want to the main road, circumnavigating some cows with calves in the process. The. We followed the B road, there was no verge, but we managed. On our right hand side we saw what was being asked of us, and I for one was happy not to have to walk that bit.

Our B&B was on the main road and as such easy to find. We had a meal in the only pub there and it was interesting. Let’s just say that it was very very classic English fare, which met all prejudices around roast beef in a pub imaginable. We slept well, after all we had crahed

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Too far

in the morning we walked back to the path and up to Heddon. Was a steep little hill that but I got at the top barely out of breath. clearly I am getting into a better shape!

After we’d found out that the local cash machine would only give money to British bank customers we headed further toward Chollerford. Now the path here pretty much follows the current B road between Newcastle and Carlisle. this is a major plus as it means that there is a bus, but on the negative side there is the traffic noise.

We had to cross the road a few times and pretty much were all the time just a wall away from the road. as a side note the Great Glen too follows the road, but is a bit more away from the road than this stretch, though the GGW also has stretches effectively on road. But we ha d a pleasant enough walk without the rain that had been forecast. It was overcast, so it was a little humid, but not that hot. We made good speed, but including the climb up to Heddon proved to be a miscalculation on my part.

You see we were.booked in in a B&B where the land lady would cook for us too. So the least we could do was to be there at a reasonable time. however by the time we got our stamp at the Robin Hood Inn it was past noon. We decided we’d have lunch there as an opposing walker had said it was very nice there. He was right it was nice, but as we were aware of our time constraints we headed out reasonably quickly.

Just as well that we had lunch there as the next pub (always open according to our Wylam landlord) was closed. We had a break there and soldiered on.. By the time that it was 18.15 we knew we needed another 30-45 minutes to Chollerton, even when cheating and following the road stright into the village. So after a brief conversation SO called the B&B. As it turns out they had decided not to cook a guest meal that day and offered to pick us up and drop us at a pub in town. We gladly accepted and soon our knight in shining red car arrived and drove us to the pub, where we had Fish and Chips. it is the type of meal you can have after walking 29 km.

The B&B was in a little hamlet away from the track and so remote that it was dark very dark. Even SO who likes likes a dark room felt that it was a little too dark! we slept well.

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Newcastle outward bound

Day two started with a hearty traditional English cooked breakfast Simply put it is the perfect stuff to Walk a long walk on. We did set out a little earlier than anticipated, but we liked it that way.

This time we went Dow the steep hill we’d climbed yesterday and decided yes it was indeed a rather steep hill, though not very high. back on the banks of the river Tyne we headed eastward and started walking.

Now the initial part was not that amazing, lots of nice river views and all, but mostly housing and offices on the other side. Sort of the compulsory views in the city.we then got to a very busy and increasingly noisy road we had to follow. Thankfully the path the mover up a hill and thought it continues to follow the noisy road you are a bit further from the worst of it. Alas that path was closed for maintenance and we had to continue Along the main road. By that stage a half decent conversation was not possible, nor a decent one for that matter

We were ever so grateful when the diversion was over and we finally were on a more quite path. We met two men there one with small dog coming from the other side and we had a chat. they told us where we could find some food. This was great news as we did not have packed lunches. We thanked them profusely and went our merry way. to the pub we went. pub was still a bit further down, but it was good. no wifi there though and according to SO some dodgy black stuff masquerading as coffee, but with a good meal and some down time

Fro thereof it was another 6 km and we were way ahead of decent arrival time, so we stayed T the pubs for about and hour and a half. The last stretch was at least a bit more scenic and we slowly started to fall into a decent holiday feeling. It should be noted that nearly all wLking patches Re shared with cyclists and there are many of those here. At times it is not an easy coexistence.

Our B&B is of an older generation. In many ways, but the hosts are beyond nice and so hospitable that you’d want to take them home with you. they drove us to their best restaurant and also picked us up. The kindness is overwhelming. The same. An be said for the restaurant. It was amazing food. We loved it! It is called Winships and is worth a visit. I had one of the best food memories return with the Sticky toffee pudding. It took me right back to the time I lived in the UK and worked in the  hospital labs.  The hospital kitchen made the best sticky toffee pudding and I had a number of those as my lunch back the . tonight I was back I that hospital if only for a moment. pure bliss

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We off againĀ 

 The walking holiday last year had been such a great thing to do that we’d decided to do it again but obviously a different walk.. We’ take on the mighty Hadian and his wall. So we flew into Newcastle today.

From the airport there is a Metro service into the city. After a little ” we don’t know”where we are ” sightseeing we found our nice trendy hotel. we dropped off or luggage and went straight to the ever so aptly named Walls end. there we scored ourselves some sorely needed food as our stomachs, still on Dutch time, decided that it was way after lunch time and it was negatively influencing our moods Read I was getting just a very little bit bitchy.

In the shadow of the museum we had our much needed lunch and after buying our Hadrian’s Wall passport we were off. From there back to our hotel was just 10 km, but it meant a shorter walk tomorrow as that one was listed at 24km. We walked across the old industrial remnants but also the new developments which show how much is changing in Newcastle. Also it seems Newcastle has found the way around Brussels, lots of EU funded projects. We loved the look of the Millenium bridge and the general feel of the quayside developments The inner. It’s is nice even if it comes with the odd steep hill. The latter I am actually walking without getting out of breath.

The holiday has started mr Hadrian we are heading west 

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Overview – Last month or so

Hi there,

Over the last five weeks our lives have been a bit of a rush of things beyond our control. Just under five weeks ago SOs mother (MIL) was taken to hospital. In itself we were not that concerned intitially She suffers from some health issues and has been there fairly regularly over the last few years, usually out within 24-48 hours and the last year had been hospital free. Continue reading

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More walking

Summer, it started with weatehr closely resembling autumn to ge honest, but today the weather is turning. About 20 deg C, occasional sun and no rain. Time to go walking! Continue reading

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Another trip but a lot closer

Another business trip barely a week after returning from the previous one. Continue reading

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Birds

On Sunday SO and I decided to go for dinner at a local cafe. Continue reading

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How to get over a bad jetlag?

My jet lag was bad. Not mincing my words about it, it was the worst one so far. Continue reading

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