Wall to Twice Brewed - July 13
Wall to Twice Brewed, 12 miles
Can’t be 100% sure, since he didn’t have his face paint on, but pretty sure I saw the asocial mime guy checking out of my hotel while I was at breakfast. Didn’t come across him on the trail, though. Lots of people out today now that we’re into the sections where there are forts and long stretches of the wall. Walked a ways with a guy from Baltimore who was on his first ever trip to Europe. Said he ran a manufacturing company and could never take time off. Was on trail with his late 20’s son and daughter. He was probably in his 50’s and was limping and dripping sweat, so guess I’m doing OK.
Another day of seven hours, but lots of time for photos and wandering about. Stopped at Housesteads Fort for a tour. Highlight of day was the small Procolita Fort. As I was going into the temple with an alter of the goddess Mithra standing at the end, a young man suddenly dropped to a knee in front of his girlfriend and pulled out an engagement ring. I took pride in being the first to congratulate them.
Also took pride in always being the person overtaking other walkers and having no one pass me. Still trying to fight old age. The B&B Saughy Rigg is in middle of a field a mile from the trail. There were 14 other suitcases down by reception awaiting their walking owners, so guess they do a good business.
Saughy Rigg Farm, Kath and Brad Dowle, Twice Brewed, Haltwhistle, Northumberland NE49 9PT, Telephone 01434 344120 (en suite)
Today was almost an entire uphill walk. Nothing very steep, except for a few sections, but just an unremitting slope. Many beautiful views and temperature was around 70, so all good.
One of the pleasures of every hiking day is the transition from the boot and feet and shoulders and pack straps arguing with each other at the start as the various things scrunch and pinch and squeeze and then suddenly realizing that all is well and that you are just sailing along the trail and that everything feels like it has become one with the universe.
Into my routine now of allocating clothes across the days. Didn’t need a full two weeks of regular clothes, so wearing off trail stuff two days each – will find laundry if I notice people avoiding me. Only have three sets of wick socks/hiking socks, so have to wear and wash to get through the seven walking days. Have four shorts and five shirts and four wick underwear, so have to do some washing days there too.
I’ve given up on buying the trail meals prepared by the hotels. I’m used to having peanuts, some dried fruit, and water for a day of hiking. The lunches they pack are full meals. Had Coronation chicken on a roll one day that had enough meat in it (and some mysterious yellow sauce that I probably don’t want to know much more about) to load me down for the rest of the afternoon – plus chips, candy, cookies, and a can of soda.
Today marked third of seven hiking days, but mile 42 day with 42 to go – yahoo!
And, even better, had the best meal of the trip for dinner here at Saughy Rigg. Chicken breast in wine sauce with carrots, baby corn, greens, and boiled potatoes. Blended vegetable soup for first course and a fudge cake with ice cream for dessert. Had a Viper Ale before dinner and a Wolf Ale (“A beer with a Bite”) after. What an amazing selection of beers they have at each bar! Oh, for the record, it’s raining.
Forgot to note what a great set-up for dinner. Wonderfully friendly hostess takes your order and shows you to a lounge with oversize leather chairs where you have a beer and hang out until they call you to dinner in a glassed terrace with an open view of the farmland around the hotel. Then, after dinner, back to the lounge.
Hotels very generous in providing lunches