Hadrian's Wall Path - Day 3 - 13 miles
While yesterday was peaceful and picturesque, today was challenging and exhilarating.
We pitched a tent last night in a field in the small town of Chollerford, a bit chilly but happy to be camping again. We woke up around eight to discover we were the last campers there, everyone else having already packed and started their day. Quickly, we stowed our gear and headed down the Path, anticipating the adventures to come. We had most looked forward to this day, trekking through the Northumberland National Park, and it did not disappoint.
Heading into the hills above Chollerford, we found ourselves, within an hour, making our way up-country towards the wall and Northumberland. From around mile 3 or 4, the remainder of the day was spent on the crags of northern England, tracing the Roman wall west through outlandish and wild country. Over hills and through copses of pine and elm, you get a sense of what it must have been like here all those years ago, manning your post on the wall, just waiting for tartan clad Scot barbarians to materialize out of the woods and fog to the north, bringing savagery and terror and death with every step. And how must it have felt to be a Scot facing a cliffside topped by a twelve foot wall and highly trained stoic Romans?
As we struggled up and down the progressively more challenging hills, the feeling of how it must have to been to live here then really sank in, even while we took in the jaw dropping landscapes all around us. We've been to many spectacular places around the world and this is certainly amidst the top.
Walking down into the village of Once Brewed a bit south of the Wall, we've struck up our tent and with a belly full of chicken curry and beer and a feeling of accomplishment, we're off to bed.
See you tomorrow, travelers.