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Friday, 19 August 2016

Footsteps In Sound: Volume 2 (Stage 4, Day 5)



Hadrian's Wall Path: Day 5
To Walton
August 2016
Day 4 was my rest day; however, I spent most of the day feeling tired and a little rough. The walk from Chollerford to Once Brewed, coupled with a crap night's sleep, took it out of me. Our hotel room was behind a dance club that kicked out the jams late in to the night. We moved rooms around midnight but the damage was done and we all suffered a crap night's sleep. We managed to have an amazing day in Alston (thank you Kathy) and I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of Jean Michel Jarre's 'Equinoxe' LP for a couple of quid, but I still wasn't feeling 100%. To be honest, I was being a bit macho on day 3, walking pretty fast and ignoring the bad weather until it was too late (I.E. I was drenched before I put my waterproofs on). So today (day 5) I've more food, warmer clothing and an extra hour scheduled to complete the walk. Let's chuffing hike! 

By 12 noon, the wind, rain and grumpy walkers that plagued me on day 3 have gone. There is a gently breeze, the sun is shinning and the people are friendly. I've spent two hours following the Wall over the moors, dodging cow sh*t whilst humming Dam the River by Alice in chains (a song that will never live up to its amazing opening riff). After a quick coffee at Walltown Quarry, I'm back on the path. 5 minutes later it's absolutely pi**ing it down. Arrrrrr! Thankfully, the rain only lasts for about an hour. 

Hadrian's Wall
Having spent 3 full days here it seems pretty obvious that most tourists head straight for the area around Housesteads Fort when visiting Hadrian's Wall. For my money, the best remains are to be found near the village of Gilsland, west of Walton Quarry. There's an impressively high section of the Wall, complete with bridge abutments near the river Irthing and, to top it off, Birdoswald Fort. It's simply stunning. 

Wild flowers on the
Wall
After several more hours of amazing hiking I'm met by the staggering remains of Hadrian's Wall at Hare Hill, the last visible section of the wall for the rest of the walk. However, my enthusiasm is somewhat crushed by the news that some dude rebuilt this part of the Wall in the 19th century. What was he thinking? Anyway, one stone bares the initials 'PP', suggesting that soldiers under the command of Primus Pilus worked here. Now that's mind blowing, but not as good as finding a SNES in a wall (see day 2). 

I reach Walton at 4:15pm hoping for a pint at The Centurion Inn, but sadly its closed down (or so a local tells me). Still, what an absolutely amazing day!!

Hare Hill

P.S. I can not wait to hit the path again tomorrow, I'm having the time of my life. Each day the environment changes, be it Newcastle  to the suburbs or farm land to the moors. The Wall goes from being an intermittent presence to a constant companion. I'd say Hadrian's Wall Path is second only to the Coast to Coast (so far, at least).  

Thank you for reading.

RW

See you tomorrow for the final two posts (stage 5 & 6)
The Painted Ones is available as a free download from Soundcloud.

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