Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hadrian's Wall Path - Gilsland to Once Brewed

13 km


This 4th day of walking was a real stunner! The weather was sunny, hot and beautiful and the scenery was unbelievable. We nearly ran out of water and here is where we wished for an honesty box along the way. The many other walkers and we congregated for rests and picnic lunches at the few wooded areas we encountered. Even a large bush that threw some shade was a welcome relief.


We arrived at this lovely spot early in the day.



We looked down the lane at this farm and decided the trail must go uphill the other way. We were quite a way up when we decided we hadn't seen a white acorn sign confirming that we were going the right way and turned around. We'd just turned around when we met a Dutch woman coming up the same way and advised her that she might be going the wrong way but she decided to continue upwards. We were right. The trail went down this lane and leftwards over a bridge. She caught up with us shortly afterwards.




How many stiles did we heave ourselves and our packs and water over anyway! It was entirely worth it for the amazing views.


There were some interesting tree habitats.




I couldn't stop taking photos.



Look for and follow the white acorn eastwards.


I took this photo as a nod to Don who was golfing in Scotland.


We crossed a railway track. All RR tracks in the UK are busy. Major way to get from here to there. 



There was some tarmac walking.


At some points on this hot day, we were feeling insubstantial ;)


Looking at the way ahead:




Marching along with the Wall



I'd never heard of whin sill before this walk so I had to look it up when I got home: 

Whin Sill is the term used to describe the unusual Northumberland geologic volcanic rock formation or layer that is found in the uplifted crags along which Hadrian's Wall was built. It dates from 295 million years ago when molten lava flowed across bedrock, cooled and then through the millennia was eroded by wind and water into the sharp ridges we see today. "Whin" is a local word for "black" and "sill" is used to describe a horizontal rock slab.

Then there's whin sill grass. Even the sheep leave it alone. The new discovery centre, to be named "The Sill", which is being built at Once Brewed will have a whin sill grass roof.



Walltown Crags


More crags in the distance








Yes....up that way.....




Breathtaking view on a fabulous day




Shortly after taking this photo and wondering about these windows in the wall, a sheep darted with her lamb through here. Question answered!



Sheep are everywhere.


Gorse is everywhere too!



Cawfields Quarry, one of the many sources for Hadrian's Wall rocks.



Going up



The top....or one of the tops. A surveying marker for triangulation.


Yikes! my right boot bit the dust today. It had been leaking and today the sole parted from the upper and had to be jerry-rigged together in order to finish the day's walk. This worked surprisingly well - a velcro armband and an extra boot lace. We were able to finish another 2 - 3 hours of walking and at Twice Brewed, our accommodation for the next two nights I "borrowed" some duct tape from the hotel to lash them together and they then lasted through another 3 and a half days of walking plus a day in Iceland the next week. 


I was a bit afraid that I would trip on this flap hanging down.


A bit better look


Hole in the heel too.


This is the boots after repair. I did both of them so they would look the same and also because I did not trust that the left boot would stay intact.


Lessons Learned:

1. Bring a pair of boots that is between 6 and 12 months old, no younger, no older.

2. Add a roll of duct tape to list of emergency supplies to carry in backpack. If I don't need it, somebody else might. 

This was Day 4