Well, it's just as well I keep travel journals as this series of posts has taken way too long. I am sorry. So much has been happening here and it's all been quite stressful and I end up sleeping a lot more than I'd like. So, let's get that journal out and finish this! I walked all those bloomin' miles and I want to share the accomplishment.
was a sight seeing day and after the Hell of the day before it was so much appreciated. We visited Vindolanda
and Hexham. Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and acted like tourists for a change :)
But then we were back on the Path by Day 6
and what a day it was - Glorious! We hopped on a bus and got back to roughly where we left off on Day 4 - Housesteads
. It's a really impressive place and worth a good looking at but we had done that a few years ago so this time the only thing that mattered was the passport stamp. These only start in May and you are meant to have an official path passport but, so what, we had missed lots in the past and this one went on the map and in my journal etc.
From here (chilliest place in England!) the walking is lovely and it's not too hard. We even had a temple to sit in and have our lunch break; the Temple of Mithras
(a pretty odd Roam cult) which was unusual. The altars are copies as there is no protection here and the real ones are in a nearby museum. Then came THE BEST BIT of the whole walk in my opinion - Black Carts to Walwick. The views were great, we got into the best walking stride yet and the sun burst out of the sky.
Another passport stamp at Chester's Fort
and then onto a pub! Yay! From here the day was over and we merrily waited for an Eco Cab to take us to our next hotel - there was no way I was walking on those fast country roads without footpaths for a couple of miles, way too dangerous.
We were once again at a hotel bang on the line of the trail AND it had it's own passport stamping post. This made the day start with a smile, that was until we saw the marker for a recently deceased walker who had died here; as I said, the roads were busy and without footpaths.
We had many miles to dander in beautiful fields and around farms, saw more Roman stuff (getting boring now, haha) and unusual species of sheep. There was a long section beside a main road on footpaths which was wick but we came to a pub at the end of it and had sandwiches and a wee beer :) In this town was the last of the best wall remains so we detoured and appreciated them then moved on. We ended up in a strange place with loads of security cameras which we later found out was the 'Close House Agricultural Science Field Station' and surrounding land.
After that we ended up on the truly beautiful Wylan Waggon Trail and saw the river Tyne for the first time. As we moved closer to Newcastle it became busier here and the Path changed it's name to the Hadrian's Way and the Tyne Riverside Park with many children playing and people out with their dogs. We bedded down just off this park and all the pain relief was needed to get me through the rest of the evening.
Oh my, good golly, crikey and such. This was the day we thought wouldn't come, haha. The sun was strong and not a cloud was to be seen in the blue sky as we walked triumphantly in our trail shoes (instead of boots) into the town of Newcastle along the riverside and all those famous bridges. What a day and what an assault of the senses - it was so noisy and goodness there were so many people.
We cheated and I don't even care, we walked to our Hotel and dumped our backpacks. We couldn't be annoyed with them anymore and there is something about almost reaching your goal that both exhausts you and spurs you on to get it done!
With the bags gone we tackled the Metro system and went out to Segedunum Fort
and the end of the trail; the glorious finish line and the conclusion of our adventure. It was done, we got our photos taken, looked at the museum and bought t-shirts. The day was so extremely hot though that we soon tired of the very idea of being hikers anymore and so, back to the Metro, back to the Hotel and to celebrate and to sleep. Ah, sweet air conditioned sleep.
P.S. Newcastle?! You are drunk!
Love and hugs