Written April 7, 2023, at the Keelman’s Lodge, Newcastle upon Tyne.
This was a Good Friday morning, both literally and figuratively. Partly sunny. Cold, but not too cold.
The path was straight, but still required attention. Damp, but not too damp. The walk followed the Old Military Road which was busy, but not too busy.
My knee had some residual tenderness, but it was tolerable. My destination lay eight miles distant, far but not too far. Everything seemed defined by moderation. No stress…
…until an hour down the path I received a text message from Christine, NO TAXI! I paused on the trail and began remote problem-solving with her. A flurry of texts and a few calls to the taxi company revealed that they had dispatched to the wrong location and since she was “not there” they determined it was a “no-show“. They dispatched a second time, again to the wrong location! Finally, on the third attempt they got it right. I continued on the walk… stressed, but not too stressed.
I now appreciate why Hadrian’s Wall tour companies focus their itineraries on the center of The Walk. That’s where the “meat” is. As I have found, the beginning and end days offer less in the way of a unique experience other than putting one foot in front of the other thousands of times.
Christine is listening as I pen this and has cautioned me not to be negative. Negative is is not my intention, I’m just becoming more reflective of my experience in light of the imminent conclusion.
There were a only a few signs of “The Wall“ today.
More prominent were the signs of encroaching urban civilization.
For the first time there were the sights and sounds of air traffic as planes passed overhead and entered landing patterns into Newcastle.
The trail approached and then crossed over a busy expressway.
I entered the city limits, sadly leaving pasture trails behind in favor of suburban tarmac.
Tomorrow could be the last day if I choose to walk all 12 miles to Wallsend. Instead, I may stop at our hotel which is located near the trail on the banks of the River Tyne. Christine has indicated a willingness to walk the final 4 miles with me during our stay in Newcastle. That would be a nice finale to this extraordinary experience.
Peace Everyone. Pete
P.S. We are staying the night at the Keelman’s Lodge.
It is a charming bed and breakfast that shares a park-like setting with the Big Lamp Brewery.
Over the last 2 weeks this is the 10th mattress that I have slept on. Some are firm, and some are soft. Some, as Goldilocks once said, are “just right”.