Walked from: Wall
Walked to: Heddon-on-the-Wall
Date: 31 August
Distance: 15 miles
Stayed: Houghton North Farm
Weather: Overcast, cool
I was SO happy to wake up this morning and know I only had to walk 15 miles today. Another guest at breakfast was walking the wall in the other direction (it seems almost everyone walks east to west. It’s just me who likes to be ‘different’) and told me how hard today’s walk was. I exercised terrific restraint and didn’t laugh in his face, because I’d already checked out the walk ahead and knew it was he who was in trouble, not I. Mind you, he was also planning on walking the section I did yesterday in two days: an entirely rational and sane decision which I would counsel anyone else to do. If they can get more than five days off work at very short notice and/or aren’t doing a crazy endurance walk in the aid of a very good cause that is (see http://www.magicaltaxitour.com)
Fair to say, I took my fairly gentle 15 miler pretty easy today, because, after walking 42 miles in two days, I was A. Bit. Tired. So easy that when I stopped for a break mid-morning I ended up sitting in a field full of sheep for nearly an hour reading a Terry Pratchett novel on my phone. Bearing in mind that I spent almost the entire day walking alongside the Military Road, or in adjacent Roman-era ditches, with barely a glimpse of anything wall-like in sight, I think I deserved a good read. I also deserved the amazing scotch egg I had at the Robin Hood Inn at East Wallhouses. And I definitely deserved the wine gums I ate in a deconsecrated church doorway whilst sheltering from a rain shower in Harlow Hill too.
I do feel a little guilty about one thing though – I walked right past St Oswolds Church, where the St Oswolds Way finishes. Just couldn’t summon the energy to walk the two minutes across the field to stick my head in to a destination people spend 97 miles walking to. Shame on me. Still, surely Lindisfarn is the more obvious destination to end at?
One more day of walking to go – and tomorrow’s walk involves walking through Byker in Newcastle, where I’m sure my walking attire will allow me to blend in seamlessly with my surrounding. Oh lord, I’ve got the Byker Grove theme tune stuck in my head now. Byker, Byker, Byker Grove…
Photos: View from near St Oswold’s Hill Head / apparently these flowers are called Rosebay Willowherb – beautiful and everywhere on the walk / Random / Random / yet another Roman-era ditch / Random