Written April 6, 2023, at the Robin Hood Inn, Northumberland, England.

One more day down, just two to go!

I caught a cab in the rain at our hotel in Hexham for transport 5 miles up the road to where I would resume my Hadrian’s Wall walk. By the time we reached the destination the rain has stopped. It would not resume until shortly after I arrived at our next destination, the Robin Hood Inn. Luck, a good Guardian Angel, or just the fickle climate of this region? I’m ok with any or all answers.

I don’t think I was prepared for a day with virtually no “Hadrian’s Wall“. My first two days on the trail revealed only signs of the Wall, and it seems that I have returned to that aspect of the walk, just now on the east end. Still, there was much beauty to appreciate.

8 miles and there was only one small section of the wall visible, and that thanks to the 1801 intervention of William Hutton.

Nevertheless, there were many signs of the wall throughout the day. There were obvious sections of the Vallum (ditch),

mounds that hinted at the unexcavated milecastles beneath,

and the Military Road which has carried that name and followed the track first laid out by the Romans nearly 2000 years ago.

Pasture friends were ever present.

There was more two legged activity along the trail.

Was this Big Foot?

No, just a family from Utah with a teenager who decided to spend his day walking the muddy (and sheep sh*t covered) path barefoot. Parasites anyone?

A small ancient church beckoned a detour.

It’s “clock” predates the fiction of daylight savings time.

There was a “Camino moment“. As a young lady and her dog passed heading in the opposite direction we exchanged afternoon greetings. However, she stopped and inquired more specifically of my day, my starting point, and my destination. In turn she offered but she was walking segments of Hadrian’s Wall. A few moments later she mentioned her plan to walk the Camino in August, from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostella. Of course, that led to me revealing that I had walked 3 Caminos, the most recent of which was last year.

Katy (her name) and I the briefly discussed that topic held in common as I presented her with one of my “retirement cards” that includes contact information and my website. “You’re from Kansas City?!? I did a foreign medical study program there at the University of Kansas Medical Center!” She had questions, I had some answers. We made a connection that some might call coincidence, and others call something more.

Christine and I are comfortably lodged in a classic English countryside Inn, the Robin Hood.

It stands solitary on the Old Military Road, Hadrian’s Wall walk literally crossing the parking lot.

It’s Thursday night and the Inn hosts a special steak dinner. Two 10oz steaks with sides plus a bottle of wine for £40. Luck or a good Guardian Angel… I’m still ok with any or all answers.

Peace Everyone. Pete

P.S. Last year I underwent an MRI on my right knee. It disclosed a torn meniscus and some mobile fragments. I was scheduled for arthroscopic surgery last October. However, my hike on the Portuguese Camino was a success and in consultation with the surgeon we decided, “if it isn’t a problem don’t fix it until it is.” Over the last few days my right knee has been “whispering to me”. Today it “spoke” a bit louder and at the end of the day was a bit swollen.

I’m going to continue on tomorrow and Saturday, body willing.

18 thoughts on “Hiking Along Hadrian’s Wall, Day Eight

  1. Hallo Pete, wie schön, dass du einen Camino Moment hattest. Ich glaube, dass jeder Weg Herzen öffnet und dann solche Begegnungen möglich macht. Gute Besserung für dein Knie, Tina

  2. Mind over body me thinks. Hey, that is a really cool necklace Christine is wearing. And last, is that red stain on your knife wine? If it is, there has to be a story.
    Shoulders back, chest out, forward .. . Cheers!

    • What you are seeing as Christine‘s necklace may actually be some cross stitching on her sweater. The necklace itself is very tiny. The red stain on the knife is a question. I suspect it’s just a reflection.

  3. I love the little church. Although I admire the big beautiful churches; I connect with the small ones. And I always like animals. Can you imagine people regularly walking through farms here? Surprising the connection to KU Med Center! Good luck with the knee. I had the same problem. Strange and painful how it shows up suddenly. Very hard to ignore.

  4. Another morning hiking with you as I drink my coffee, a perfect start to a beautiful day here. Sorry about the knee recurrence. As I’ve aged I have found I can still do most of the things I’ve done in the past, it just takes twice as long to complete and must be followed by time for recovery. I think of the line in “Outlaw Josey Wales” when the Indian says he was told by the President to “Endeavor To Persevere”. Hopefully, time on the Long Boat will cure what ails you.
    That supper looked amazing.

    • The knee held up pretty well today. Slightly swollen and a little bit stiff after 8+ miles but better than yesterday. I’m doing my best just take it easy and not press. Christine has a saying, “listen to your body”. Good advice for me to follow… Sometimes I actually do.

  5. Nice to see two sets of walkers in one of your pictures. I always like to know there are other folks about. Hope the knee maintains enough walkability to see you through. How many days do you anticipate your walk will be?

    • Hi Connie. Tomorrow is the 10th and last day of the walk. Actually, I’m going to cut it short and stop at the hotel, completing the last four or 5 miles while we are staying in Newcastle.

  6. Ah Pete – I am getting to my computer much later than normal as I had a crazy day. But I have never had a crazy enough day that I would have thought slogging through pasture trails or those on the Camino barefoot, a stellar idea! Good grief that young man will need a two day foot soak! YUCK! I digress… The knee talking .. yes – mine has been doing the same. I pay attention to my foot fall and make sure my toes are pointed ahead – if not – the “tweak” reminds me. I am certainly playing Russian roulette and will have to put my Ortho guy on speed dial – but for today – I can make it 24 hours. Ice and Vitamin I (Ibuprofen) are our friends. Oh – and re your lovely new friend Katy – here is an expression I have only heard in the past few months; “coincidence is just God remaining anonymous”. Happy Easter my friend … hugs your lovely bride for me. I will pray that your knee will carry you for just a few more miles, and then – some more!

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