Monday, May 04, 2009

Day 7 of Hadrians Wall Walk

Yesterday was Day 7 of our Coast to Coast walk.

The main bus that drives along the Hadrian's Wall route (AD 122) only goes to Newcastle once a day, so we tried to time it so that we can take another bus to where we had left off last month (can't believe it's been a month) and with enough time (3 hours) to walk 5 miles.

We got to Heddon-on-the-Wall at around 3:00.

We walked across town (it's a small town) to Military Road. Military Road was actually built on top of Hadrian's Wall, thanks to politicians and road makers of the 1700s. Not too long into the walk we saw sheep and little lambs! Yes, I am a city girl.

A little further down and the path cut through sheep pastures!

Jessamy, in predictable fiber-hoarder behavior, snatched some wool that had been lying by the path.

Then we came upon a sign on a gate saying "Vindobala". I had done my homework and new that there was once a fort on these very premises, right beside where the wall would have been. The fort can no longer be seen, as its stones were later "reused". I was going to take a picture of the sign for "Vindobala". But first I took a picture of this sheep eating grass on it's knees.

My first reaction was "wow, laziness is amazing". So I took the picture. And then I thought, "what if its knees are injured, and I'm just being insensitive and ignorant". I almost deleted the picture. And then the camera ran out of batteries. The "backup" batteries in the case were also dead. "I need a new system" was Jessamy's reaction. As we walked through Vindobala the kneeling sheep stood up and Booed at us until we left the field. I didn't know sheep could Booo.

We continued walking and about ten minutes later we came across a great view. Jessamy thought it was worthy of another go at the camera. And she managed to get this picture before it turned off for good.

The rest of the trip was, well, stressful. When we arrived at a town called Harlow Hill (not surpisingly the town is situated on a hill) Jessamy insisted that she knew the name, and that, despite the fact that I had done all of the research and planning this far on this trip, and that she had not actually looked at any of the maps of this leg of the journey, and even though, by her own calculations, we had only traveled about 3 miles as opposed to the five that would take us to our destination, she had come to the conclusion that we were in fact completely lost. That we had, during the course of our walk thus far, walked past our destination. I think her basis for this freaking out was because we had been walking for a longer amount of time than 5 miles should take. As I had no idea where we could have gone wrong, we decided to keep going. The next mile was extremely stressful. We finally saw a sign post for East Wallhouses, the town where Robin Hood Inn was located, a pub/inn where we would catch our bus. The sign stated it was a mile from East Wallhouses, it was then around 5:15 and we were to catch our bus, the last and only one of the day, at 5:55. So we walked really, really fast. When we arrived, there was no bus signage. And, Jessamy had made me doubt if I had written the time down correctly. So, I went into the pub and asked. I was told by someone, possibly the owner, that the bus was scheduled to have started running in April, but she hadn't seen any drive past. She went to look for a route timestable for me as mine was at home in PDF format on the computer. But, she couldn't find any. The bus, of course, came. I'm of course trying to understand what went horribly wrong on this trip, and how I can prevent it from happening. Should Jessamy know, whether she wants to or not, as much about our walking routes as I do, should I print out everything I can (wasting paper of course), should we just print out a list of the towns we'll pass, or should I just trust myself and ignore Jessamy when she's dooms-daying? We shall see what drama next week will bring.


  1. Suzanne4:40 AM

    I can see how that could have been stressful. Sounds like you planned for it as thoroughly as possible, though. It's definitely difficult to have someone second-guess your decisions. There aren't a lot of choices - you either plan the trip yourself and be confident in your abilities, or you let Jessamy plan it (which she's not about to do, because it's way too much work given her schedule), or you plan it together. I encourage the first approach, because it sounds like you're doing a great job of it and you enjoy it. I'm certainly enjoying the results!

  2. Ten years ago I walked along the Santiago de Compostela pilgrims path in Spain; I enjoyed the walk away from traffic and pollution, and there are every now and then indications of the path (a shell, which is the symbol of St Santiago, or Saint Jacques, in French (same name as the scallops). So I never got lost! I discovered another dimension ...

  3. Thanks Suzanne. Today's trip was much better!

  4. I hadn't really appreciated getting away from the "traffic and pollution" until this walk. That sounds like it was a wonderful walk Laura, sounds like it would have been hard not to feel like you were in another dimension.