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.

Barely discernible portions of The Wall beneath the Old Military Road.
Beneath this meadow are the remains of a large Roman fortification.

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”.

6 thoughts on “Hiking Along Hadrian’s Wall, Day Nine

  1. Liz Stevens says:

    Good Morning Pete (and Mz. Christine) … it always seems that to achieve great beauty in walking we must endure some not so thrilling bits. Cities – as you know, offer a wealth of things that we might need in our walk – salve for sore feet, meds for a headache, a wider choice of food, a place to wash AND dry our clothing – all paid for with peace, serenity and quiet contemplation. Glad to hear that your knee is behaving, that all is pretty “okay” … not too high, not too low just comfortably in the middle. For me – the day before we end our sauntering is always bittersweet – YES it is over and OH NO it is over! Mattresses – We have nothing booked other than our day of arrival, and day before our departure – so I too may be fitting into Goldilocks shoes!! Thank heavens you have another adventure to look forward to…. Canal Boat Captain! Hugs to all

  2. Thanks for the pictures. Any part of the trip; start or finish, would be a treat for me. You have had so many experiences, Christine is right- think positive. I certainly wouldn’t try the whole walk. You have amazing determination.

  3. Thank you ever-so-much for this wonderful adventure Pete. Your words and pictures have been a daily treat and opened me up to something I never knew of in a land I’ll never see but, yet I feel a part of your experience. You are a true story teller and an artistic photographer. I’m privileged to call you friend. Upon your return, maybe post-surgery, Sue and I will host a dinner with the old crew and renew and rejoice.
    In the meantime, rest up the river awaits and I’m excited to be getting on the the boat with you and Christine.

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