Saturday, February 22, 2014

A little bit of me time!

Woke up feeling frustrated at my seeming lack of ability and time recently to be able to get out and about to walk or to take pictures. Its due to my time being pulled in all directions to satisfy the needs of everyone else! However a quick texty conversation with MartinTheHills an appropriate metaphorical kick up the backside reminded me how accessible the best walking country in the UK is for me, and that I didn't actually need to commit all day for a walk. The kids would survive without me being on their back for getting homework done. A quick, 10 minute drive up the road is all it takes for me to be on the Hadrians's Wall path, one of the UK's best known National Trails. 
Photo taken in August 2013 from Highshield Crag looking east.
So I packed up a limited amount of kit, a map, a dog biscuit or four, my Nordic Poles should I feel the need for a "burn" and my favorite hat. I bundled Welly into the Pootmobile and off we went.  Sunny but blustery and a little bit of a rain drizzle threat, but it felt good knowing that I was going to get a blast of fresh, Northumbrian air.

I fairly quickly decided that I wanted to walk around the Brocolitia Fort area as I have not visited that part yet and wondered what sort of archeological monument it was. So I parked the car in a layby, climbed over a stile and onto the route there. Welly managed this stile fine as it was a stone one with nice broad steps.
 We headed west into a very strong head wind and into some very boggy fields. Then I wished I had paid more attention to my kit and put my gators on!

Fortunately there were no sheep initially which meant Welly didn't need to be on a lead, so off he trundled, eating as much sheep poo as he could stomach and scratching up mole hills looking for the elusive creature that  makes them! Ears flapping, he was undeterred by the wind!

We had some challenging stiles to get over which were definitely not constructed to aid dog walkers (but this is sheep country so I forgive). I tried to show him how to cross the stiles by patting the steps, but he clearly felt that I should lift him over in places. Refusing to do this, generally he got over in a panic that I might leave him behind. And when there's gravy bones in my pocket this was definitely not a position he wished to be in.

Welly got the hang of the ladder stiles eventually.

This area is not the most dramatic part of the Wall to walk, and my mission was not to indulge in photography. It was purely to get a blast of air and get the old legs back into shape for the forthcoming Challenge Walks that I have been commissioned to photograph for a second year. 

If you are walking the Hadrian's Wall National trail from the west though, this pretty level section will probably be a welcome relief after the ascents and descents of the Steel Rigg and Houseteads area. Its interest is the massive landworks the Romans built - huge ditches to protect their border - it is incredible that they moved so much earth and stone! It certainly thwarted Welly and I from getting back to the car, as we were stuck on the wrong side of them after going off trail for a little peak!

I didn't Nordic Walk in the end either.... camera round neck, dog on lead, and far to many bogs to trudge through to contemplate getting in the zone!


1 comment:

  1. Glad you got out, nice pics too. Yes there's some excellent exhillarating short walks available on your doorstep, the higher bits will be less boggy yet will still offer plenty sheep poo for welly :-)