The 84-mile hike across England was completed on September 2, with a walk to Bowness-on-Solway.
The hike began with a full rainbow across the rolling green countryside.
With a lightly cloudy sky, the hills across the River Eden were my only glimpse of Scotland on the trip.
Walking along the River Eden, which is now a tidal marsh with the tide being out.
Curlews, sandpipers, gulls chripping, dipping, fishing.
Bursts of sunshine with one quick downpour.
It was over quickly, only 7 miles today.
Then on the train to London at 12:30 pm, arriving at 4:30 pm.
The last four days in London:
Evensong at St. Paul’s by a boy’s and men’s choir.
‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ at the new Shakespeare Globe Theater.
Kew Gardens, a huge botantical garden.
Walking by Buckingham Palace.
Tour of the Tower of London.
Today I am on the plane to Biarritz, France. Then catch a train to St. Jean de Pied Pont.
Tomorrow I walk over the French Pyreenes into Spain, 16 miles with 1,600 feet elevation, carrying a pack with ultra light camping gear. I am so looking forward to the 500-mile walk to Santiago, called the El Camino.
Friday, August 29, 2008
We have two nights at a B&B in Haltwhistle, an old market town smack dab in the middle of Britian. I loved the hostess’s tea set and having tea and breakfast in her glass alcove overlooking her marvelous garden.
Took the bus from Haltwhistle to Vindolanda, a Roman Fort which has a museum and a cafe where we had lunch. The only writing of a Roman woman was found preserved here under layers of mud. It is an invitation to her birthday party, addressed to another woman.
We took the bus 2 miles to Once Brewed, a tiny village, walked up to the Roman wall and turned east to walk along the wall 4 miles to Housesteads, another excavated Roman Fort on the wall itself. The base of the fort and some towers have been excavated. The top stones were robbed to build farmhuoses and villages in the 1600’s. The Wall took 7 years to build in 122AD, was occupied by Roman forces until about 350AD, then local forces took it over and finally left the country in the hand of robbers for several hundred years. There was no law and Scotland and England quarreled over the area.
Finally King Edward I lead the battle against Robert the Bruce a Scot, in 1306. Although King Edward died in the marsh we walked by, it was the beginning of victory for England. And order in this area. Eventually, by 1600, a few farmers filled in the largely uninhabitated countryside. It is still mostly farmers and not heavily populated.
My favorites today
The Roman excavations and artifacts in the museum.
Views over the open countryside
Blooming heather on the hills.
Croft reproduction (medieval cottage for seasonal work in the country)
Vicki finally found Kendall Mint Cake at a gift shop. One of our favorite treats on our previous Coast to Coast hike in 2004.
Sunday, August 25. Morning train ride on Sunday from London to Newcastle.
*Church spires sprouting out of small villages
*Swans in streams
*Green fields bordered by hedges
*Jersey and honey-colored milk cow herds
*Two nuclear power plants
Check in at 1 pm at a Victorian Townhouse. Charming Youth Hostel.
Take metro to South Shields, walk to the Arbeia Fort, built by the Romans to guard the entry from the North Sea up the Tyne River.
*Partially restored fort with the commanding officer’s home, barracks for the calvary and horse stables.
*Artifacts excavated from the site, including pre-historic arrowheads, through bronze age to the Roman occupation.
Walked to the pedestrian ferry for a trip across the Tyne River.
*Two ocean liners were on the river, one was the ‘King of Scandanavia’.
*A big river and once had a huge shipyard.
Walked to the metro, went dinner and bed.
Monday, August 26
Metro ride to Wallsend.
*Segendum Fort, built by Roman Emperer Hadrian in 122AD.
*Museum of artifacts recovered. Pot chards, small lead god of Mercury, bones from garbage, stone tools to grind grain.
*Original stones of the fort are visible, forming the fort, barracks, officer’s home, hospital.
A tail wind from Seattle to London made the 10 hour flight only 9 1/2 hours. We left Seattle at 11 pm on Friday, arrived at Heathrow at 4;30 pm and by 7 pm I was eating tomato soup with roasted red pepper, a roll, then chicken breast, new potatoes, salad and a Belgium beer, Stella Artois for only 7.95 at the youth hostel. Delicious. Then strolled the charming neighborhood around King’s Cross neighborhood.
Vicki, my travel companion, and I are ready to get the 9:30 train from King’s Cross to Newcastle, arriving at 12;25 pm.
Feel not too bad after the transatlantic flight, a good night’s rest and a hearty breakfast.
Here is my plan
Take train to Seattle August 19, 2008. Visit children and grandchildren.
Friday, August 22, Fly from Seattle (leave 10:55 pm) to London (arrive 5:30 pm), with Vicki, my companion and client for the England walk on Hadrian’s Wall Path.
Hike Hadrian’s Wall Path, 84 miles
August 24. Train from London to Newcastle Upon Tyne.
August 25. Day in Newcastle to visit the Museum of Antiquities to see artifacts and history of Roman Emperor’s Wall, built to keep out the barbarians to the north.
August 26. Walk Newcastle to Heddon, 15 urban miles through Newcastle
August 27. Walk Heddon to St. Oswald, 12 miles into the rolling countryside.
August 28. From St. Oswald to Once Brewed, 15 miles, plus an hour to walk into Haltwhistle.
August 29. Rest in Haltwhistle, a market town smack in the middle of Britian.
August 30. An hour walk back to Once Brewed, then 11 miles to Gilsland.
August 31. Walk 7 miles to Walton.
September 1. Walk to Carlisle, 11 miles.
September 2. Carlisle to Bowness On Solway, 15 flat miles to the Irish Sea.
September 3. Train to London.
September 4-7 Visit London. High Tea at the Ritz on 9/4.
September 8. Vicki flies back to Eugene. I fly to Barritz, France.
Solo 500-mile hike the Pilgrim’s Path Way of St. James on the French Way
500 miles from the French border to Santiago, Spain. I am taking ultra-light camping gear, and carrying all my stuff in a day pack.
September 8. I fly to Barritz, France. Train ride one hour to St. Jean Pied de Pont.
September 9. Start hiking to Santiago, about 15 mile per day for 35 days.
October 14, Fly from Santiago, Spain to London, England.
October 15. Fly from London to Seattle.
October 19. Train from Seattle to Eugene, arriving at 1:55 pm in Eugene.
I do hope to update you along the trail where there are cafes and libraries with Internet access.