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    • Day 2

      Day 2 - HADRIANS WALL

      August 3, 2023 in England ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      The one with sunshine, entertaining teachers and a trail angel.

      📌 Location: Heddon on The Wall to Cholllerford
      🥾 Distance: 16.5 miles
      ☀️ Weather: Perfect walking weather. Cool breeze, no rain and even a sprinkling of sunshine!
      ⛑️ Health: All good. One blister on the group. Tired but happy customers.
      🏨 Hotel: Our lovely host, Paula was just delightful. She made us all breakfast and chatted and looked after us like a mother hen. I slept like a log and the beds were super comfy and everywhere was spotless. I couldn’t recommend Houghton North Farm enough (group bookings only).

      We saw the weather and sighed. Thunderstorms, heavy winds and simply miserable…. But, they were wrong! It turned out o be perfect hiking weather. We’ve had such a good day with lots of stops and laughs. A long day but so worth it!


      🍌 8 o’clock - We start the day with an awesome breakfast of fruit, cereal, fresh coffee and egg & bacon baps. We had the place to ourselves and it was a real home from home.

      📸 8:30 am - Walkers briefing and we’re off. First stop is a slice of the wall in Heddon. Obligatory photos taken and then our walk for the day commences.

      🤕 9:29 am - We meet Debby& Anne again from yesterday and Debby has terrible blisters. Lou to the rescue with blister treatment. Debby also has issues with her hips. I can instantly see that her pack is way too heavy and from experience I know that she is going to struggle unless she can lower her pack weight. Her friend Anne, just raises her eyebrows and moans about how slow Debby is. Um… I wonder how long they have known each other?

      ☀️ 9:39 am - The sun is shining!! It’s gorgeous out here and that’s all thanks to Viv because she got dive bombed by a seagull yesterday that popped all over her!! There was enough seagull poop to warrant luck on the trail for at least four days! Thanks for taking one for the team Viv!

      ☕️ 11.30am - We are seven miles in and we reach Robin Hood Pub. Here we all stop for a cuppa, collect a stamp in our passports and make the most of the facilities. We were well looked after by the owners who delivered hot drinks in record time.

      📷 1321 pm - We are approaching a rather special section of the trail which I know has amazing views. I explain to the group of five ladies that we need to take some photos here as it’s stunning. Lynne turns to Viv and whispered (although I could hear her) the letters “SMP”. Viv looked confused and said “what?”. Lynne nudged her “you know… SMP!”. There was some sort of secret code going on so I left them discussing SMP as we reached a high point on the trail. Lynne then looked at me and said “Ju, we need an SMP!”. I was none the wiser until she explained that an SMP was a Standard Mountain Pose. Ah! So they all posed for pointy view point photos which was great. I’m sure we will have many more SMP moments on this trip!

      🥪 13:50 - Yey! 11.4 miles in and we have reached the Errington Arms (an old pub which is now a very nice cafe). It’s very busy but all 10 of us are here for a well deserved break. Food and drinks are ordered. I’m sitting outside and for the first time ever I discover I have hikers rash. It’s not itchy but it doesn’t look pretty. I remove my waterproof socks and let my feet air. Hopefully this will help.

      ⛑️ We wave to Debby & Ann (the people we saw this morning). Ann is marching ahead and Debby is limping like a wounded soldier. They didn’t stop for a break. They also didn’t stop at Robin Hoods Inn either. I hope they are taking breaks elsewhere in the trail.

      💬 There is a fair amount of road walking today but there is also some stunning scenery, forest trails and slices of the wall to keep us occupied. Not to forget the humorous and riveting conversations that us ladies have!

      👩‍⚕️ 16.25 - After numerous fields and stiles to cross (ladder stiles are fun!), we reach a big slice of Hadrians Wall. Here we say hi to a bunch of teachers from all over the world. The history teacher takes one look at Rachaels shorts and asks if she was a football player! She says “no, try again”. He then looks at her calf length compression socks that have hearts and other medical symbols on them and he says “I know! You are all nurses”. Ironically, Rachael is actually a teacher as well which made everyone laugh. We take a photo together and then carry on our merry way.

      A group of four (Andrea, Rachael, Viv & Lynne) take the road to walk to Wall in the search of Roman penis’s that have been carved into the wall. Needless to say they couldn’t find them! 😂

      🏨 16.35 - We made it to The George Hotel. It’s a rather tired looking hotel, but it does have a spa and a swimming pool!

      👼 5.10pm - In walk Debby and Ann. They both look very fed up. Debby can hardly walk. They had missed their bus to Hexham and the next bus is not until 7.50pm! They have accommodation in Hexham so they need to be there tonight but Debby is not capable of walking another 5 miles today. As Debby and I chat in reception, Ann goes into the bar to order something alcoholic. “We’ve not had one break all day.” She says, looking extremely upset. A kind lady who worked at the hotel overheard our conversation and said “I can take you both to Hexham, can you be ready in 10 mins?”. Debby looked so happy. “Are you for real?” She asked. “ I’ve just finished my shift and I live that way” she replied “it’s not a problem”. How cool is that? There are more good people in this world than bad!!

      🍕 Tonight we are all doing our own thing. So I’m currently chilled out in my room after having a long soak in the bath. I’m eating hot pizza and enjoying a glass of wine with a good book… after writing up this blog!

      Thanks for listening to my rambles.

      See you all tomorrow.
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