The organisation on this trip has been poor. The task was delegated to Geordie Boy and he has fallen well short of expectations. The first two days through relatively boring countryside totalled 24 miles. The last three days which include the charming and picturesque parts of Newcastle, such as Byker, Walker and Wallsend. Also the inspiring mile after mile of derelict dockland and quayside. We are averaging 6 miles a day for these!!
However the central section with its magnificent countryside, magnificent wall with the wonders of Vindolanda and Housesteads were squeezed into 2 days. The first day 18 miles and the second 17!!!!
The day started at Haltwhistle. This was a couple of miles from the trail and Peter the owner kindly gave us a lift to the start – if not the day would have been nearly 20 miles.
It is 6 miles along the wall from Haltwhistle to Housesteads, and it is magnificent and tough. It is a series of severe undulations. Enjoyable and tiring, walking and climbing. Because the section is just up and down you are not covering much ground. It took us 4 tough hours to cover the 5 miles to Housesteads.
Lots of people on the walk, three school kids were doing the trip for charity in 84 hours, one mile per hour. A tough target but they were doing well. Without a moments hesitation I had given them a tenner. A gesture which is so alien to me and a cause of great concern. I feel better now that Peter has agreed to share the generosity. Also met a bubbly Australian lady, the blonde.
When we got to Housesteads – the visitor centre and café is half a mile away. That is all you need when you have had a tough morning and still have about 12 miles to go. Did give the opportunity for Geordie Boy to play at being a Roman Soldier.
After another long climb out of Housesteads, the walking gets easier. The wall starts to disappear again, the land is lower and a return to farmers fields and sheep.
The end of day destination being The Hadrian’s Wall pub in Wall. It offers everything a weary walker needs, bath, beer, food and wi-fi.
All day we had been passing and being passed by 4 medical students from Newcastle University, and they turned up at the pub. Good luck to you all.