Hadrian’s Wall – Day Five – a change of pace…

Just in case you were wondering, Day Four ended like this…

The kitchen/rec room.

(c) Tina Price-Johnson 16.9.11

That’s right… In a fecking cowshed…

Our Hero thought he knew what was coming (thanks to the phone call  he had received from his beloved (Lone) Support Angel back past the Roman Bridge)  but this was way beyond anything his puny imagination could have conjured…

Oh well, nothing else for it, let’s just get all of our belonging up the stairs, get showered and make the most of it…

On the long, damp, cramped, aching journey from the “Salli” Inn to our digs Our Side-kick (The Matador – please note… this refer’s to his physique, his easy companionability and charm with the ladies and his no-nonsense approach towards the bovine population and not in any way to suggest that he is a serial torturer and slayer of bulls for the “entertainment” of tourists and  “It’s our culture innit?!” diehards) had, through the gloom and lack of street-lighting, seen a sign for a chip shop… After teasing our taste buds discussing the possible choices available to us, it is decided The Matador and (Lone) Support Angel are to brave the hazards of the night once more and procure our supper (leaving our hero to wash his aching mess of a body and liberally imbibe and apply pain-killing pharmaceuticals in the hope of being able to move on the morrow)…

Despite driving (practically) back to our pick up point, the chip shop remains elusive and so our weary hunter gatherers return empty-handed… Only to be told by our hostess that the shop in question closes at 8.30 pm (if she had thought to mention this at 8.25 when our intrepid duo had first set out, our collective disappointment [and Orlando’s fuel consumption] would have been a lot less)

BTW if you are wondering who Orlando is, a full explanation can be found here

Despite the cold, smell, flies, lack of chips and absence of Triv, an evening of high hilarity is enjoyed by all (followed by a night of freezing, buzzing, pain-filled sleep enjoyed by none)

Our Hero and Side-kick awake to the scents of another Full English (thanks to (Lone) Support Angel rising early and cooking in an effort to get warm) and the days plans are made…  One of which is the cancelling of another night in the Bunk House and returning to Our Side-kick’s abode with its reward of warmth and comfortable beds… And so, the car is reloaded with everything we can possibly fit into it and we are away… The Matador has decided that it is a matter of pride and completeness that he should finish the walk, while Our Hero and his fantastically amazing (Lone) Support Angel spend the day together exploring Carlisle… In what appears to Our Hero as an added penance Our Side-kick announces that he wishes to add the distance from Bowness-on-Solway to Carlisle onto his already tortuous journey back to Newtown.

In an almost perfect incidence of serendipity Our Side-kick is joined on the first leg of this trek by the three self made men of the middling sort that had been our overnight companions on our first day of The Wall… Leaving Our Side-kick to Shanks’ Pony the Old Marrieds leave with an almost unseemly haste (perhaps in the hope of getting away before The Matador comes to his senses) and head to Carlisle (and Costa’s)…

The Wardens Keep and entrance to the Castle.

(c) Tina Price-Johnson 17.9.11

Despite the use of a walking cane Our Hero still finds mobility something of a pain-filled fraction of what was achievable before The Wall but he is now with his lady-love and that in itself is enough to buoy his spirits…

The Leisurely exploration of Carlisle Castle and it’s environs is just what Our Hero needs to revive his aching muscles (despite spiral stairways and descents into the dungeons)…

To be surrounded by another period of our long and tumultuous history (this time the Jacobite Uprising and Carlisle’s role in it) is both enthralling and uplifting and Our History Mad Couple are content to wander the walls and halls with cameras ready and hands entwined…

Rightful place as ruler in the Wardens Keep Hall.

(c) Tina Price-Johnson 19.9.11

While their thoughts do turn occasionally the trials and tribulations of their walking companion, they are happy in each others company and this trip begins again to feel like a holiday…

After purchasing a brace of bottles filled with the heavenly mana that is mead our love-birds repair to Costa’s for the much-anticipated Cinnamon Capacinno and Hazelnut/Caramel Latte that had haunted dreams since arriving at the first bunk house…

Refuelled with caffeine and cake Our Hero assures (Lone) Support Angel that she shall see some of The Wall and so they embark on their own mini road trip to Birdoswald Fort…

Hadrians Wall 17.9.11 084

(c) Tina Price-Johnson 17.9.11

Hadrians Wall 17.9.11 085

(c) Tina Price-Johnson 17.9.11

Hadrians Wall 17.9.11 086

(c) Tina Price-Johnson 17.9.11

Birdoswald and The Wall are every thing that (Lone) Support Angel had been expecting, both from her own imagination and the tales of bravery and derring-do brought back by Our Heroes…

It’s all there; the history, the worked stone, the mud, the penis carvings, the cow-shit, the story of The Wall (again) and the Gift Shop… Again Our Loving Couple (yes, I know that some of you find these constant Public Displays of Affection just a wee bit bile rising but you know what, My Blog My Rules so nyer!! :P) slowly meander among the exhibits and remnants of our Roman (Former) Overlords (probably driving the other visitors mad with their jokes and photos :D)… (Lone) Support Angel experiences a real bog for the first time (having mistaking the slightly damp ground of Vindolanda earlier in the week for same) though – despite putting on her new pink walking boots specially – not attempting to cross it… The weather is making a concession for a change and allowing us to play along the wall like the overgrown kids we are before ripping open the clouds and dumping about three billions of tonnes of H2O onto us just as we climb back into the car… It’s been a rewarding and charming day…

Tina atop Hadrian's Wall.

(c) Tina Price-Johnson 17.9.11

All that is left now is to make our way back to The Salvation (Salutation actually) Inn and await the arrival of our weary, foot-sore but proud companion… We arrive to a typical local’s welcome – no, not the Slaughtered Lamb variety – and soon settle in to while away the hours we know Our Side-kick will be…

As tradition (and bodily need) demand, we treat ourselves to a meal, unfortunately not in the restaurant side of the Inn not having known to book in advance at what proved to be an extremely popular Inn… If you ever get a chance get yourselves to The Salutation Inn in Irthington for one of the best meals you will ever experience (but please don’t tell everyone as we want to be able to get a seat when we go back :D)… And as our taste buds are caressed with flavours both familiar and exotic our wet, muddy, cheerful, angry, proud, exhausted, exuberant and bedraggled Side-kick struts limpingly into the bar looking for warm, dry clothes and a pint.

The best meal I have EVER had, at the Salutation Inn, Irthington (our final night, to be spent at Dom's house).

(c) Tina Price-Johnson 17.9.11

It’s been a hard week. Muscles and tendons are overworked and tired. Emotions have been stretched almost beyond breaking point. Memories have been made and in some cases scabbed over already… Our Hero and his companions have (sort of) fulfilled a life-long ambition but now they are ready to return to the real world… well they will be after a night at Dom’s with it’s real beds and small ginger feline… and another day off on Monday to recover fully…

Ok, there you go… That’s it. I hope you have enjoyed these selected recollections of Our Super Trio’s trip along The Wall. Oh IBITS how cheesy did that sound?! Ok, whatever… We did The Wall, one did further, one did it back and forth in a car and one… well let’s just say… Next Time it’s Offa’s Dyke (but with a bit more prep ;})

As always if you would like to see Our Side-kick’s memories of the event’s related for your delectation then go: here.

Actually, before you go I would just like to say a HUGE thank you to Dom and Tina for joining and supporting me in this mad venture… I really could not have done it without you both… With all its ups and downs (in more ways than one) and its laughter and pain, I had a fantastic time… so Thank You again

P.S. I meant it about Offa’s Dyke you know… Take Note Entertainment Officer and Co-Pilot 😀


9 comments on “Hadrian’s Wall – Day Five – a change of pace…

  1. hahaha deck the pain of the last night made me completely forget about the Chipper sign I’d seen.

    I am glad you had such a lovely relaxing day whilst I walked beside the river styx in the depths of Hades! Sorry no I meant the river Eden in Carlisle!

  2. I am speechless in my awe and wonderment at your epic battle through another realm which is oft known to us townies as ‘the sticks’ Amazing, and thank you so much for sharing it with us!

  3. Pingback: Hadrian’s Wall – 6th Night – Bowness-on-Solway to Salutation Inn, Irthington « RED BARON'S WORDS

  4. MY WALKING BOOTS ARE NOT PINK! They are smoky grey with pink laceholes and flecks in the laces. It’s all I could get! THEY ARE NOT PINK!!!!

    I love you too. X

  5. Offa’s Dyke is one to consider and plan, and there are more pubs in the surrounding area with glorious food and drinks 🙂 Lovely little epic to read, now to catch up with the other sides of this little triangular story x

  6. Yeah but Offa’s dyke’s in fecking Wales, aren’t they more savage than the Scots, and all druid an’ shit?! More importantly isn’t it about 10000 miles?!

    And thank you Sir for coming up with the idea in the addled haze within which we were all too cheery to realise what a damn fool idea it truly was. The consequential pain will last me well into my 40s. Mitigated only by the knowledge of the ricin I slipped into your breakfast. Next time if you open your mouth you’ll get my boot in it!

    Dulce et decorum est pro amici mori!

    [ps I couldn’t help but notice that whilst you corrected the animal slaughter nature of the Matador no addendum to the Pink pants was given, this is a moderately discomforting oversight!]

    [pps Tina, they’re pink, you’re such a girly girl!]

  7. Sounds fantastic. Am jealous, though think would prefer role of supporter than one of walker, am FAR too lazy. And I believe Si, bet they ARE pink 🙂

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