Monday, 8 August 2011

Day 36- Stonehaugh to Haltwhistle

Woke up this morning completely and utterly midged, it was that bad I couldn't even pack my bag outside of the tent as I was being completely eaten alive, so we retreated to the amenities block to pack and got grass everywhere! We were the only people staying in the campsite aswell so there was no question who to point the blame at! We finally had the super noodles for breakfast which we were denied at Kirk Yetholm, becks couldn't believe we had carried them all this way without eating them!
Luckily we remembered we had the toilet key, and as we paid a £2 deposit, we wanted to make sure we got it back as £2 is £2! The campsite owner who we thought was strange last night was still strange today but generous and gave us a donation towards the Children's Hospice, so we were back on the road which would get us on to the glorious Pennine Way, i don't even think a kilometer was covered until i was surrounded in an army of flies! The path veered off on to what looked like a muddy, overgrown path, and of course, that was exactly what it was, I don't know why we expected anything less of the Pennine Way, it was absolutely hideous amd had to take off our rucksacks to crawl under trees which had fallen on to the path, we were then led to what can only be described as a mud pool, however, someone had very kindly placed a couple of round sinking logs in the middle of the pool, I do not have brilliant balance at the enst of times, never mind with a rucksack with the risk of getting sludged, so things were taken slowly, Becks mountain goated through and i just got........stuck. At one point i had gathered an audience as people were waiting the other side to cross over but they either got fed up waiting or realized that they had poorer balance than me decided to go off-piste and ventured in to the woods to get across, myself and Becks realised this option would not have worked for as we couldn't seem to veer more than 2m off the path without ending up somewhere we really shouldn't be!
We then made some quick progress and could see a gap in the crags above us which according to Paddy Dillons Pennine Way guide book, Hadrians wall was just behind it, no offence to Paddy, but please start writing guide books for the few who walk north to south, reading backwards was proving difficult, we got to the top of the crags and met Hadrians wall where a couple were feeding a baby, dragging a baby up seemed like really hard work, then i thought, my bag weighs about 5 or 6 babies! So far the weather has been on our side but looking behind us it looked like we were narrowly avoiding a soaking. Overall not amazingly impressed with Hadrians wall, i was interested in the history but didn't really understand that if they wanted to keep the Scots out of Eng;and, then surely if they got as far as the wall they have already managed to invade England? So the wall did look like any other drystone wall, Becks wanted a picture with it and i said you could have a picture with nay drystone wall and call it Hadrians Wall and no one would ever know! She later papped me sitting next to it with a 'Ha, i've got a picture of you and the wall'!

We spent a couple of hours walking along the wall but thanks to Chris and Vin we managed to cut off a section so instead of heading to Greenhead we went south to Haltwhistle, although the section we did do along the wall was crazy, very up and down, some scrambling, defiantly not suited for someone with a full rucksack! We met a guy on top of the wall who was selling drinks and sweets to raise money for mainstream Inca Trail, we brought some wine gums as we knew what it felt like to stand all day fundraising! I was impressed with all of the reading paraphernalia en-route, plenty to keep me going, we were led out on to a carpark which used to be an old quarry with toilets so in expedition style, they were used and abused, when we were sat in the carpark legfarging i said to Beck, 'Look, it looks like that hill has been cut in half!' She was like dum dum, you just told me it used to be a quarry! 
Haltwhistle wasn't too much of a mission away but we were tired, we expected it to be a small town but when we got there it turned out to be the center of Britain! We couldn't quite work out distances but we did cheesy poses by the signposts and felt proud to have been at the top, middle, and heading to the bottom! I am suprised it took 36 days, but today was the day we were asked if we were hobos. We knew it was coming, just not sure when. We were walking down the street when 4 or 5 boys aged about 12 started asking us what we were doing, they didnt believe us when we said we had walked from JOG, so one asked 'are you hobos?' his friend nudged him and said you can't ask them that, thats really rude! So we had to explain that yes we did have lovely houses with masses of soft furnishings in them, and we were kind of walking towards them.
My feet felt a tad trench footy so i swapped and donned on the flip flops for the last 2 miles of walking to the campsite, the extra 2 miles today, meant 2miles les tomorrow! It was another camping and caravaning site which gave us a bad vibe, but it turned out to be quaint plus it was a fiver each, we thought we would be camped with the rest of the tents, but no, we were led out of the site, past the barrier which allows the cars though to a green called 'squirrel square' which was well midge. 

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