Every Roman mile along Hadrian's Wall, there was a milecastle. Our walk gradually came to be measured by which milecastles we were between even though no traces of the one's at either end exist and, in some cases, their location is purely speculative. Still we saw quite a few in the middle.
( Under the Cut )
( Under the Cut )
24 miles. My feet ache terribly however, thanks to the advice of the wonderful fififolle and a small souvenir shop in the Northumberland National Park, they are at least encased in Compseed Plasters. B. was initially deeply sceptical about these, but since one has remained glued to the ball of my foot all day today, he has come around.
No wall to be seen, though there were occasional earthworks, but once we had crossed the M6 and reached Carlisle (which B. keeps referring to as Cardiff), the walk was mostly dominated by the Solway Firth, including the little faux Roman hut at the end of the walk in which you could get the final stamp in your "passport".
18 miles. B's knee started playing up on the downhill and we were worried around Birdoswald that he was going to have to bail - however Ibuprofen and gentler country seemed to, if not sort it out, at least make tomorrow look feasible.
We've had mostly good weather but there was a moment this afternoon with clear blue skies to our left and dark rain clouds to our right where we were having conversations that started "if we're lucky...". We weren't lucky.
24 miles tomorrow, so I can't promise a post since I'm not sure when we will get to Bowness and there will be priorities like acquiring food (which, by the sound of things, could be tricky in Bowness on Solway on a Sunday evening).
11 miles + a 3.5 mile detour to Vindolanda. The feet are much better, though our legs are becoming increasingly stiff. In the above B. can be seen admiring the latrines at Housesteads (particularly impressed by the rainwater sluicing mechanism) and approaching Sycamore Gap star (or so the Internet informs us) of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves though neither of us recalls the film clearly enough to be certain - I'm certainly not certain it starred in the infamous Dover to Nottingham via Hadrian's Wall scene.
18 miles. Rained in the morning. We discovered the above stretch of visible Vallum (EDIT: Or possibly the defensive ditch to the north judging by the position of the Military Road in that picture) just as the sun came out - hence B's umbrella. Sunny in the afternoon. Staying at an extremely nice B&B near the Mithraeum at Carrawbrough.
Blisters improved but I still hobble whenever I start walking after a rest.
17 miles today, some nice bits but an awful lot of urban cycleway through the suburbs of Newcastle, which is nice enough for a while but becomes a bit dull after six or seven miles. I have also acquired blisters which is a bit of a blow and made particularly annoying by the fact that I've had these boots for years and not had trouble before. I blame my new socks.
Staying in a Guest House at Whitley Bay which appears to be mostly under construction (Whitley Bay, not the Guest House). Spanish City (of Dire Straits, Tunnel of Love fame) seems to be mostly gone but it looks like regeneration is in progress. We had a nice locally brewed beer before dinner in an excellent restaurant.
Tomorrow we get the Metro to Wallsend and then the walking starts...