Day 47 - Reaching Hadrian's Wall
Trip Start Jun 12, 2010
147Trip End Nov 18, 2010
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Where I stayed
Twice Brewed Inn
So, we want to start today with a few comments back to our commenters:
Mary & Lance have booked a cottage for us on the Welsh border to try to support Lance's contention that Wales knocks the whatsits off Scotland. Well we are happy to try to keep our minds open, but Keith did his Uni in Cardiff and it rained every day and he is very sceptical that it could be better than Scotland which does seem to be a very special place inhabited by good people to spend time with
Haiku, who the hell are you??!!
Eddie, we will try to keep the blog going so you may need to learn housework or find harder sudokus to distract you.
Wendy & Chris, enjoy your sunny foreign trip, but make sure you have your walking feet ready for a Buxton tramp.
One last thank you for all the happy birthday messages and Sue Doll please pass belated best wishes to Leon and Ben.
David, it is good to get your comment and Keith can only say that although the midge are receding the bites he now endures are nastier and more vicious than ever. Any chance of you whisking Jan off her feet and the two of you joining us for a week or two??
Heather, we hope Peter is continuing to make a great recovery in Narooma and is beginning to look at flights over here for you to join us
Annie, how wonderful the Japanese idea sounds and print making over there would be a very special experience.
Okay now on with the blog.........................
This morning we went down for our customary 8am breakfast feeling a bit disappointed by our disturbed sleep in the decrepit old bed we have now endured for two nights. Sitting at breakfast for the second morning here, we realise this would send us insane if we had to do it each morning. Ken, our very well intentioned host, reads out every item on the printed menu that we now know by heart. As usual he explains it is a four course breakfast, with fruit juice the first course. Then he brings our small bowl with an official measure of museli with a half serve of yoghurt - no one is going to exceed the serve quotas here! Today we at least spice things up a little, by having he and Joy include some roasted black pudding which we bought at the local butcher for John, with the scrambled eggs
The weather is once again quite lovely as we set out from the village along a delightful riverside path besides the North Tyne river. We wonder whether St Cuthbert's influence can hold the rain back again today. Passing over yet another charming old brick bridge, we begin to climb across open land and the inevitable gentle rises, heading up to the local landmark of the radio relay station tower. We are reasonably fresh after our rest day yesterday, but somehow Keith feels his body might have gone down too far into switch off mode and is cautious of what the day will bring. Going on up over Shitlington Crag and down through a field where the muck has been spread thickly everywhere, we head to Shitlington Hall and begin to wonder who died the namimg of this area.
Suddenly though, all more mundane thoughts disappear as we are conscious of just the most splendid view off to our east. In the vicinity of Redesmouth and Countersspark Wood there is the type of scene which immediately brings a deep peace and inner joy
Gradually we clock up the kilometers and cover large tracks of open landscape before our feet cry rest and our tummies need sustenance. We've been walking for 2 hours, so we find a lovely little quiet spot near Lowstead House with the sounds of a distant waterfall in the background and we sit down for morning tea of scone and banana. Fortified once again from this 20 mins break, we then hit a snag as we search for a bridge to cross the Warks Burn.
THIS BLOODY COMPUTER HAS LOST THE REST.....................ARGHHHHH!! Will have to sleep on it and come back later..........................zzzzzzzzz
Okay let's try again with Debby now refreshed at the keyboard.............
With morning tea behind us we strode down into some attractive waterside country knowing we had to choose the right time to make the big descent down to the river, Warks Burn. The path was unsigned and overgrown and needless to say we foraged our way down at the wrong spot and finally turned on the trusty Sat Nav to get us back on the straight and narrow. Once over this pretty little bridge in the woodland we then pressed on through more open country which was now becoming boggy. Once we hit the forestry area we found ourselves trudging through worse bogs and now we began to experience wet feet and socks showing that familiar brown tide mark half way up the ankle. We know this will only lead to one thing, smelly brown feet and socks when we finally take our shoes off tonight. What could make matters even more uncomfortable? Yep. you've guessed, rain. St Cuthbert obviously does not approve of our switching off his track and so we get a drenching. Once we are all in wet weather gear with a wet tee-shirt underneath, the rain begins to slow and after half an hour it's over for the day, but we stay sweaty inside the waterproofs for another half hour to be absolutely sure it's safe to expose ourselves again.
Tumbling out of the thick forestry plantation we find ourselves on Haughton Common, which is a remote stretch of open land not at all like those civilised enclosures called Commons that we find around the cities
After lunch with full stomachs and bodies which have gone down a few degrees in temperature, the weary limbs come full into focus. For the first half hour, walking is something of a trial. Eventually a rythmn is established but unless something spectacular happens the walking can be tedious and we feel we are simply ticking off kilometres. This afternoon we start off with this feeling, back through more bogging forest tracks and then pushing on through open land again. However, we know there is something big coming at us like a steam train. Its Hadrians Wall and we finally breach this wonderful barrier at Rapishaw Gap. The excitement of reaching one of the world's great landmarks is somewhat offset by the fact that we have now joined the 'tourist traffic' which appears to be a constant part of life along the Emperor's great edifice
We will be seeing more of the wall tomorrow and today our weary limbs seek rest and sustenance. Our single objective now is to find the Twice Brewed Inn at Once Brewed. They are good here in England with their names and we know you will be curious as to how these names originated. Well, in 1710 General Wade found the local ale on this staging post between Carlisle and Newcastle so weak he advised that it should be brewed again. And of course the name was born. Once Brewed, the name of the village is so called because the village's only building, a Youth Hostel, was opened by their patron Lady Trevelyan who remarked that she hoped her cup of tea would only be brewed once and not twice like the General's ale. As you can see not a lot happens up here.
We find the Twice Brewed Inn and stagger up to our rooms to have a quick shower before carrying our tired limbs back downstairs to the bar. We find they have a fine selection, not one or two but six, real ales, and Keith's favourite malt, Lagavulin. We all have a Lagavulin which we feel is richly deserved - and it's only half the price that Colin and Keith paid in John O'Groats at that crummy Seaview Hotel. As a chaser with his meal, Keith was determined to have a pint of "Delicious Debby" but a taste proved it was a very poor imitation of the real thing, so he resorted to the Mighty Midge - very respectable. Dinner, like so many pub servings, is a disappointment.