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welcome to The Good(ish) Traveler! here we document travel, food,  weird airbnbs and more food. 

Hadrian's Wall Path - Day 5 - 20 miles

Hadrian's Wall Path - Day 5 - 20 miles

Yes you read that correctly. Twenty miles.

 My poor feet featuring San Miguel. At this point in the hike I had about 3 blisters per foot. Sadly that's something that I've continually dealt with during long hikes. However, that's MUCH better than last summer when I had about 8 per foot plus heat rashes and everything else in between. Last summer I lost three toenails and this summer I think it'll just be two so...progress! I'm hoping to get it figured out before our next hike in Wales. I'm thinking maybe switching from vaseline on the feet to goldbond and also getting more breathable hiking socks.

My poor feet featuring San Miguel. At this point in the hike I had about 3 blisters per foot. Sadly that's something that I've continually dealt with during long hikes. However, that's MUCH better than last summer when I had about 8 per foot plus heat rashes and everything else in between. Last summer I lost three toenails and this summer I think it'll just be two so...progress! I'm hoping to get it figured out before our next hike in Wales. I'm thinking maybe switching from vaseline on the feet to goldbond and also getting more breathable hiking socks.

Yesterday evening was spent at the Slack House Farm, about a mile and a half north of Gilsland and Birdoswald, but well worth the trek for the seclusion, the spectacular views, the host, Dianne's excellent cooking, and the delightfully friendly farm cat. After 2 days of very technical hiking in Northumberland, we were in need of a large hearty meal, and Dianne's cottage pie was the ticket. Our bellies full of mashed potatoes, beef, and banoffee pudding, we found sleep pretty easily. 

 The super useful Buff. You can see that mine is a National Park series. I mostly use it to keep the sun off my neck but I also use it to push my hair back, use as a face cover to protect myself from bugs and dust and about one thousand other things. Get yourself a Buff! 

The super useful Buff. You can see that mine is a National Park series. I mostly use it to keep the sun off my neck but I also use it to push my hair back, use as a face cover to protect myself from bugs and dust and about one thousand other things. Get yourself a Buff! 

Which brought us to today. We knew today was going to be a day to be weathered, a test of mental endurance if not so much physical, being that we are officially out of Northumberland National Park and, thus, off the crags onto more manageable but still hilly ground, and it proved to be just that.

 When you're hiking, big freezer bags are a must! Ziploc bags are great for handling your food, your passport any trail passport, things you don't want to lose, etc. During the Camino I kept a bag in my pocket at all times that held my credential, passport, earplugs (so important. I would cry if I lost them!) and my rock. When hiking, you tend to hoard food; fruits, breads, candies. Food means energy and energy means you can keep going. When you're going up a pretty difficult hill and it's hot and you've been trudging for 18 miles, a little chocolate is a real morale booster. 

When you're hiking, big freezer bags are a must! Ziploc bags are great for handling your food, your passport any trail passport, things you don't want to lose, etc. During the Camino I kept a bag in my pocket at all times that held my credential, passport, earplugs (so important. I would cry if I lost them!) and my rock. When hiking, you tend to hoard food; fruits, breads, candies. Food means energy and energy means you can keep going. When you're going up a pretty difficult hill and it's hot and you've been trudging for 18 miles, a little chocolate is a real morale booster. 

The uncharacteristic heat was going to be our enemy so we set out early feeling adequately prepared by a large and well made Cumberland English breakfast. Brief tangent: black pudding is good. Don't let the description of its ingredients put you off, it's delicious. 

 The famous black pudding. It was actually the most tasty thing on the plate but the texture and the thought of it kept throwing me off. Justin ended up eating the whole thing but sadly, I left about half. I couldn't get past it. The huge breakfast gave us loads of energy for the day. While hiking you try to give yourself as much energy as possible because you can actually feel when the calories are gone. This breakfast lasted about 4 hours and then it was gone, gone, gone. 

The famous black pudding. It was actually the most tasty thing on the plate but the texture and the thought of it kept throwing me off. Justin ended up eating the whole thing but sadly, I left about half. I couldn't get past it. The huge breakfast gave us loads of energy for the day. While hiking you try to give yourself as much energy as possible because you can actually feel when the calories are gone. This breakfast lasted about 4 hours and then it was gone, gone, gone. 

Days like today are the Hiker's Paradox; one of those experiences you find yourself gritting your teeth through in the moment, but yet smiling about in the evening. It's a weird thing. I didn't take a lot of pictures today, my mind focused on the task at hand, but as we crossed into Cumbria shortly after Birdoswald, believe that the views were just as storybook as ever.  Rolling hilltop fields, dotted with trees, sheep, and cattle, the Path meandering through them in sometimes surprising ways.

 More cows. Giving them their space. 

More cows. Giving them their space. 

More times than we can count, we've been surprised on this trek how often the trail will simply wind itself right through someone's back yard or alongside a driveway, almost like it forgets for a second that it's this epic official national trail and then suddenly remembers and deviates back off into the fields. It definitely keeps you on your toes.

 My hiking clothes. Fjallraven trekking tights, Columbia omni-freeze shirts, Brooks Caldera trail runners, Darn Tough hiking socks, Fox River sock liners and the Osprey Kyte 46. 

My hiking clothes. Fjallraven trekking tights, Columbia omni-freeze shirts, Brooks Caldera trail runners, Darn Tough hiking socks, Fox River sock liners and the Osprey Kyte 46. 

 We dragged ourselves into Carlisle, our first proper city since Newcastle, hurting but feeling accomplished, hunted down the stamp location at the Sands Centre (a community wellness facility, think the YMCA with a theatre tacked on), and could go no further for the day. We took a cab to our Airbnb on the other side of town, mustered enough energy to walk a half mile to dinner (a VERY good Indian place call JayRaj), staggered back and passed out. 

 Tomorrow, our final day, promises to be a much lighter and enjoyable walk, as we plan to leave our packs since we will be bussing back here for another evening after completing the Path tomorrow.

 Safe travels. 

Hadrian's Wall Path - Day 6 - 14 miles

Hadrian's Wall Path - Day 6 - 14 miles

Hadrian's Wall Path - Day 4 - 12 miles

Hadrian's Wall Path - Day 4 - 12 miles