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People of Dublin

If you have all day, I could list hundreds of colourful characters and famous people who have links with Dublin; some born in the city, some borne there on the winds of change and fortune.

Same pic from my previous post…

But of course you don’t have all day 😉 so I’ll stick with the few I encountered during my latest visit.

As mentioned in my previous post, we have the lovely Molly Malone, who by all accounts sold cockles and mussels during the day, and other wares by night!! Hence the nickname ‘The Tart with the Cart’, which I think is a bit unfair really…😂😂 Here are the lyrics of the song telling the story of Molly…

In Dublin’s fair city
Where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone.
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”
Alive, alive, oh
Alive, alive, oh
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh”

She was a fishmonger
And sure ’twas no wonder
For so were her father and mother before
And they both wheeled their barrows
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh

Alive, alive, oh
Alive, alive, oh
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh

She died of a fever
And no one could save her
And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone
But her ghost wheels her barrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh

Alive, alive, oh
Alive, alive, oh
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh

Alive, alive, oh
Alive, alive, oh
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh.

Molly Malone – was she good or bad?? The song tells the fictional tale of a fishwife who plied her trade on the streets of Dublin and died young, of a fever. In the late 20th century, a legend grew up that there was a historical Molly, who lived in the 17th century. She is typically represented as a hawker by day and part-time prostitute by night. In contrast, she has also been portrayed as one of the few chaste female street hawkers of her day.

Then we have the louche Oscar Wilde – a very bad boy indeed, who was a tart at night and famous author by day; nicknamed: the ‘Queer with the Leer’. 🤔🤔 Unfortunately I didn’t get a pic of him this time, but he can be found lounging on a rock in St Stephen’s Green.

We also have the ‘Prick with the Stick’ which refers to none other than James Joyce, mentioned in the previous post as having frequented the King’s Inn.

Statue of James Joyce. Taken in 2008 – not at all too sure what is going on there with the pink outfit...🤔🤔 James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist, short story writer, poet and literary critic. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde movement and is regarded as one of the most influential and important writers of the 20th century. Joyce’s novel Ulysses (1922) is a landmark in which the episodes of Homer’s Odyssey are paralleled in a variety of literary styles, most famously stream of consciousness. Other well-known works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914) and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). His other writings include three books of poetry, a play, letters and occasional journalism.

The variety of people, from all walks of life, is a long story…

Religion….

Catherine McAuley was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1778. In 1824 she used her inheritance from an Irish couple she had served for twenty years to build a large House of Mercy where she and other lay women would shelter homeless women, reach out to the sick and dying and educate poor girls. The House on Baggot Street opened in 1827. To give these efforts greater stability, Catherine and her co-workers founded a new religious congregation. On 12 December 1831, she and two others professed their vows as the first Sisters of Mercy. Before her death on 11 November 1841, Catherine founded convents and works of mercy throughout Ireland and England.

Literary giants…. of course James Joyce and Oscar Wilde fall into this category too, but I’ll leave them where they are with their respectively notorious histories…

Abraham Stoker (8 November 1847 – 20 April 1912) was an Irish author, best known today for his 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula. During his lifetime, he was better known as the personal assistant of actor Sir Henry Irving and business manager of the Lyceum Theatre, which Irving owned.
George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950), known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman (1902), Pygmalion (1912) and Saint Joan (1923). With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Josephine Edna O’Brien DBE (born 15 December 1930) is an Irish novelist, memoirist, playwright, poet and short-story writer. Philip Roth described her as “the most gifted woman now writing in English”, while a former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, cited her as “one of the great creative writers of her generation”. Her first novel, The Country Girls (1960), is often credited with breaking silence on sexual matters and social issues during a repressive period in Ireland following World War II. The book was banned, burned and denounced from the pulpit.

Political….

James Larkin (28 January 1874 – 30 January 1947), sometimes known as Jim Larkin or Big Jim, was an Irish republican, socialist and trade union leader. James Larkin was actually born in Liverpool but of Irish parents; he was raised in poverty and received little formal education.  He was one of the founders of the Irish Labour Party along with James Connolly and William O’Brien, and later the founder of the Irish Worker League (a communist party which was recognised by the Comintern as the Irish section of the world communist movement) and linked to the 1916 Easter Uprising.

Music…

Luke Kelly (17 November 1940 – 30 January 1984) was an Irish singer, folk musician and actor from Dublin, Ireland. Born into a working-class household in Dublin city, Kelly moved to England in his late teens and by his early 20s had become involved in a folk music revival. Returning to Dublin in the 1960s, he is noted as a founding member of the band The Dubliners in 1962. Becoming known for his distinctive singing style, and sometimes political messages, the Irish Post and other commentators have regarded Kelly as one of Ireland’s greatest folk singers.
Philip Parris Lynott (20 August 1949 – 4 January 1986) was an Irish singer, musician, and songwriter. His most commercially successful group was Thin Lizzy, of which he was a founding member, the principal songwriter, lead vocalist and bassist. He was known for his imaginative lyrical contributions including working class tales and numerous characters drawn from personal influences and Celtic culture. Lynott was born in the West Midlands of England, but grew up in Dublin with his grandparents. He remained close to his mother, Philomena, throughout his life.
William Rory Gallagher (2 March 1948 – 14 June 1995) was an Irish blues and rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, and producer. Born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, and brought up in Cork, Gallagher formed the band Taste in the late 1960s and recorded solo albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
A random story?
Streets of Dublin – Millennium Child, across from Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin
My name is Daniel Tighe. I am 12 years old.  In May 1847, the worst year of the Great Irish Famine, I walked this path from Strokestown to Dublin heading for a ship and in hope of a new life in North America. Follow in the footsteps of my story which is marked by over 30 pairs of Bronze Shoes along the National Famine Way – now a 165 km accredited trail. 

A few famous people who visited Dublin

Luciano Pavarotti
Vanessa Redgrave
Rupert Everett

So there you have it. A few of the many many famous and infamous people who have ties to Dublin.

In my next post I’ll share some of the lengthy history of Dublin

Dublin is one of my favourite places to visit. Its quirky, and colourful albeit dirty and home to one of my least favourite aspects of street life; the Dublin oyster 🤮

But I love the street art and the humour – the Irish are adept at poking fun at themselves, and that is a very attractive trait.

Dublin’s ability to poke fun at itself

Amongst others, you’ve got; Molly Malone – The Tart with the Cart. The Hats with the Bags. The Stilleto in the Ghetto, the Queer with the Leer, the Ace with the Base.

Promoting the Tart with the Cart
The Hags with the bags
The Stilleto in the Ghetto
The Ace with the Base

I captured these scenes while in Ireland for my sister’s 50th birthday 🎂 🥳 ; a fun and unexpected trip.

Street art

Whether you look up, sideways or down, you’ll be bound to find something somewhere…

Just a random bird 🐦
A snail 🐌
A bull 🐂
An elephant 🐘
A location to be avoided me thinks!!
Temple Bar – preparing for Christmas in October 🤪🤪
Famous figures- James Joyce
The King’s Inn – where James Joyce frequented
Accommodation and traditional Irish music are not a good combination for a peaceful night’s sleep 😴
How to stand out in a crowd!!! Can’t imagine what shade of yellow this is described as
Pink and Blue will never do…
Yup. We got it! It’s….Korky’s
Down a side alley, The Icon Walk in Bedford Lane, is this gorgeous confection of coloured glass (or plastic)

You may think that Dublin is dull and grey, but you would be mistaken.

And amongst the garish, a more sedate type of street art.

We actually stayed in Temple Bar, which as it turned out wasn’t too noisy, but then I’d never seen it so underpopulated…it’s usually heaving, day and night. I guess Covid-19 is still keeping patrons at bay.

In the thick of it…Temple Bar looking rather empty

I’ll share another post in a few days, featuring some of Dublin/Ireland’s people and history ..

Visiting Ireland

Last month a few of us converged on Dublin, Ireland for my sister’s 50th birthday. She and her hubby flew over from South Africa and my daughter, son-in-law, grandson and I flew over from the UK.

Ireland selfie 😊😊

I love Ireland and enjoy visiting as often as possible…this was my 9th visit.

We had supper the first night at Eddie Rockets; the same place where I made the momentous decision to NOT return to South Africa, but to stay in Ireland for another 2 months till my visa expired, then fly across to the UK to obtain the necessary information to apply for my ancestral visa. (And here I am, 20 years later – my 20 year anniversary coincided with my sister’s birthday, so a meal at Eddie Rockets was a must!)

The food as always, was delicious 😋

We had a few days of exploring and reminiscing and visited a couple of lovely places; Glendalough being one

Lower Lake, Glendalough
In the distance you can see the Round Tower in the Monastic City complex.

The lakes, formed by glaciers, in the Glendalough Valley are located in the Wicklow Mountains National Park. Besides the lakes and wonderful walks, including The Wicklow Way, there’s the world famous Monastic Site with Round Tower and chapel where St Kevin reputedly spent some time.

Glendalough is home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. This early Christian monastic settlement was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and from this developed the “Monastic City”. Most of the buildings that survive today date from the 10th through 12th centuries. Despite attacks by Vikings over the years, Glendalough thrived as one of Ireland’s great ecclesiastical foundations and schools of learning until the Normans destroyed the monastery in 1214 A.D. and the dioceses of Glendalough and Dublin were united. For more information here’s the link https://visitwicklow.ie/listing/glendalough-monastic-city/

A screen shot of the complex off Google maps
Round Tower
Glendalough Cathedral
St Kevin’s Church

Being back at Glendalogh has inspired me to walk around the lakes, and then head over to walk the Ring of Kerry. I’ve already walked the virtual route via the Conqueror challenges and now I’d love to walk it in real time.

On our way back to Dublin we drove over to the east Coast and stopped off at Bray for a stroll along the Promenade and beach, then dinner.

Love a long promenade
Family time on the beach at Bray

We visited St Stephen’s Green where my grandson did a fairly good imitation of a sculpture 😁😁 Just in the opposite direction!

We visited Christ Church Cathedral where my grandson wanted to try out all the chairs, and he and I stood on medieval tiles

Still tiny little feet 🥰💙

Christ Church Cathedral, originally a Viking Church, is almost 1,000 years old. It was founded circa 1028, is Dublin’s oldest working structure, and is the spiritual heart of Dublin. It is also one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions and a place of pilgrimage through the centuries.

Then Marsh’s Library where they had a fantastic exhibition about elephants

Such an interesting history

Marsh’s Library was founded in the early 18th century by Archbishop Narcissus Marsh (1638-1713). Designed by Sir William Robinson (d. 1712) the Surveyor General of Ireland, it is one of the very few 18th century buildings left in Dublin that is still being used for its original purpose.

On my sister’s birthday we enjoyed a walk along the Grand Canal near Phoenix Park while visiting with their friends.

As with UK canals, you can see some beautiful canalboats either moored or in transit.

It’s a lovely way to travel and I invariably have canalboat lifestyle envy…

The Grand Canal stretches for 131km, with 43 locks, five of which are double locks, from Dublin to the River Shannon in County Offaly…would definitely be worth a walk. The Grand Canal (Irish: An Chanáil Mhór) is the southernmost of a pair of canals that connect Dublin, in the east of Ireland, with the River Shannon in the west, via Tullamore and a number of other villages and towns, the two canals nearly encircling Dublin’s inner city. Its sister canal on the Northside of Dublin is the Royal Canal. The last working cargo barge passed through the Grand Canal in 1960. Ref Wikipedia

Loved this sculpture
One of the many bridges along the canal

We also visited Howth, and a brief visit to the castle ruins, then a walk along the coast. A stunning day, the route took us through magical forests and up some precipitous paths, the sun added a welcome warmth.

Remnants of Howth Castle

Since 1180 the St Lawrence family were the feudal lords of Howth. The original family castle, a timber structure, was sited on the edge of Howth village, on Tower Hill, overlooking Balscadden Bay. In some form, Howth Castle has stood on its present site for over 750 years. The great English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1911 restyled a 14th-century castle built here, overlooking Ireland’s Eye and the north Dublin coastline.

The estate previously included much of coastal northern Dublin, including the lands of Kilbarrack, Raheny and parts of Clontarf, but these were gradually sold off from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century. Ref Wikipedia

A magical walk through a forest
We’re going this way…or is it that way?
Oh how I love steps 🚶‍♀️ 😁

In all a wonderful visit and much swapping of stories. Its quite hard being so far away from the people you love and life invariably gets in the way of communication.

And then it was the final day and a last walk around Dublin

My little sister…50! Wow 💖💖 – I used to change her nappies ☺☺
Happy Birthday 🎂 🥳 🎉

Clapham Common

I’m working near to Clapham Common for the next 12 days. I never knew it was so pretty.

Long Pond – formed after gravel pits were abandoned. Model yachts gave been sailed here since the mid-19th century
The autumn colours this year are quite splendid
Holy Trinity Church

This is going to be a relatively easy booking, but quite boring with nothing much to do. I may just get to start and finish (hopefully) my September blogs – it will all depend on whether or not my laptop is still operational.

From Wikipedia: At over 85 hectares in size, Clapham Common is one of London’s largest, and oldest, public open spaces, situated between Clapham, Battersea and Balham.

Clapham Common is mentioned as far back as 1086 in the famous ‘Domesday Book’, and it was originally ‘common land’ for the Manors of Battersea and Clapham. ‘Commoners’ – tenants of the Lords of the Manors, could graze their livestock, collect firewood or dig for clay and other minerals on the site“.

Whoop whoop, another Domesday Book place.

Lots of space for walking, and I’m planning on finishing the Ring Road Iceland by Wednesday next week 🤞🤞🤞 and starting the Romantic Road, Germany virtual challenge.

Tomorrow I shall go walkabout and look out for interesting architecture.

I’ve taken to getting up at 6am after my last booking where I was required to be on duty by 7am. I’m not an early morning person, but it’s been quite useful for getting my kms in.

I reset my 2021 goal to 3200kms from 2600kms at the end of September in a moment of sheer insanity.

Walking for 2021

I reached my original goal a few days ago, 7 weeks ahead of schedule.

So now I’m walking my feet off to reach my new goal by 31st December.

The benefit, besides keeping walking fit, is that occasionally I see a stunning sunrise

Ramsgate Harbour
Ramsgate beach

Not all mornings are as glorious, but when they are, it’s a real treat

Post Hike Blues

Post Hike Blues!!! Who knew?? I didn’t think this was a real thing, but after reading a facebook post on one of the long-distance walking pages, it appears that it is indeed a ‘real’ thing and not just me being nuts LOL

I had it bad this time. I have been so down and so ‘blue’ the last 2 weeks and it’s been a real struggle to keep my head above water so to speak. Not helped by the fact that a couple of days after getting back from my marathon excursion, I found that the booking I was due to start a week later, had been cancelled. The client’s family had decided to keep the current carer on for the immediate future. Major panic!! That was a £700 booking. The agency were and have been unable to find another. So my already blue mood dipped into the red…

But I was comforted to know that having the blues post hike was something other people also experienced. I guess if you’ve been walking for 21 days and experiencing the freedom that comes with that; reaching and discovering new and exciting places as well as just being free of any real time-constraints, or responsibility, coming back into the insanity of ‘civilisation’ can be a huge adjustment.

I spoke to my daughter about it, and although I had forgotten, she assured me that I did indeed have the blues after my other walks….only this time, I think it was exacerbated by the loss of income, the panic of not getting a replacement booking and having to draw down from my savings to pay my rent etc.

But on the bright side, I fly to Ireland today to meet up with my sister and her hubby for her 50th birthday celebrations. Although this seems contrary to the previous paragraph, the flight and accommodation were planned and paid for (in full) before I lost the work booking. Fortunately I had come in £189 below budget from my NCP and HWW walks, and so that has covered the costs. I also received my new TMC which I had forgotten about and found that I have 189 euro in the account left over from my 2017 Camino. Quite a serendipitous co-incidence in the numbers there! I also found 84 euros in cash in my travel purse from 2017!!! LOL So Ireland is covered…thankfully, coz I really do not need that added financial stress.

Once I realised that what I was feeling was a real thing, I did some research and found a couple of really interesting articles “You have to acknowledge what your body just went through and will go through post-trail. If you’re a thru hiker, you just spent all day, every day backpacking! Burning calories, releasing endorphins, building muscles, nurturing your brain by being out in nature and having new, challenging experiences every day… and then?” And then you get back to the humdrum of life….which is what you do when you’re not walking!! read more here https://www.youradventurecoach.com/post-trail-depression/

I remember reaching the outskirts of Carlisle on the 17th September and crossing the M6. The traffic was horrendous…literally bumper to bumper for as far as my eyes could see. It filled me with a sense of panic and stress….I could not bear to face that. Thankfully I don’t own a car!!!

Traffic on the M6

But just the thought of the noise levels which were already increasing, and my whole being just wanted to turn around and head back to the fields and lanes, the quiet and peace. I would even have been happy to climb those dastardly ridges of Hadrian’s Wall Way once again – just to find the quiet.

Follow the acorn

So what did I do, once I realised it was a real thing…..? I started planning the next trail. LOL Yes, I bought a couple of notebooks, pulled out my Cicerone Guide Book and started planning for the South Downs Way for April/May 2022.

Walking the South Downs Way

I also pushed up my Conqueror Challenges km target for 2021 from 2600 kms to 3200 kms.

2,000 miles boots on
87 days and counting

Nothing like a bit of pressure then!!! So I’m out most days walking, walking, walking….my daily target 10.8kms. Some days I get in a little more, others a little less. But it gets me out my room and into the fresh air. And I do love walking.

I’ve also put dates into my diary to do another 4 stages of the Thames Path and the last stage of the north section of the Saxon Shore Way. I have however, postponed my next few stages of the England Coast Path till 2022, only because the days are shorter now and the path requires cliff walking and long distances. So I’ll save those for March 2022 when the days start getting longer. I thought as well that since the SDW is a 10 day hike at most; Winchester to Eastbourne, I will probably add on another few days and continue up the coast from Eastbourne to Rye – which is where I will have ended off my current stages, and easily done in 2 days of walking. This of course is finances dependent….but it’s part of the plan. And apparently if you state your intentions to the Universe, then it delivers….so, here’s to that then!

The Universe – delivering a rainbow 🌈

In this article the writer talks about feeling sad. About how we expect to feel exhilarated and excited to finish, but in fact we sometimes find that we are sad at the thought of the journey ending and returning to ‘real life’, and I can so identify with that. I remember reaching the 10km marker on the Camino in 2017 and sitting there for hours just crying…I didn’t want it to end. I know only too well the expectation of feeling exhilarated when I reached The Banks at Bowness-on-Solway at the end of Hadrian’s Wall….but I didn’t. I just felt flat 😑😑….so to fix that, I phoned my daughter! Seeing her on video and speaking to her cheered me up enormously and her humour soon restored mine. We laughed and joked and she took a photo of me via the phone…and yes, I was really looking forward to seeing her and my little family again. I had missed them all.

Crazy lady via WhatsApp video 😁😁

Oh, and I’ve also been binge watching Homeland from the very beginning. I missed a lot of episodes due to work, so I’m enjoying filling in the blanks.

Have you experienced post-hike blues? I’d love to hear more about how you deal with them! What tools do you use to overcome the flatness…? If you haven’t experienced post-hike blues, I’d also like to hear about that…what is different, do you think?

I love that I now understand that what I feel is not just me being silly, but that enough people feel that way for articles to be written about the subject.

Sorry I’ve been so tardy about writing up my walks, but I simply did not have the head space 🤪🤪 but I’ll get onto it soon.

Midway through my walk along Hadrian’s Wall I got a message from my brother-in-law to say that he was treating my sister to a trip to Ireland for her 50th birthday 🎂 🥳 Hoorah! And would I be able to join them? Would I just!!! ☺☺

This is a significant birthday and definitely needs to be celebrated in outstanding fashion.

25 x 2!!

It’s kind of a circle too; it will be 20 years since I flew to Ireland from South Africa to celebrate her 30th birthday …. a journey that changed the course of my life and ultimately my daughter’s life too.

Now they’re flying over from South Africa and I’m flying from the UK.

Isn’t it interesting, the many twists and turns of life, and how an action you take one day/month/year can have unexpected consequences.

I’m delighted and really excited to see them again – it’s been 5 years since I was last in SA, and with Covid-19 I had no plans to travel there for the foreseeable future…mostly because SA is still on the UK’s ‘red list’ and I would have had to quarantine for 2 weeks on my return at an extortionate cost in a hotel room.

But it seems that Ireland has less draconian and inwardlooking rules than the UK and you can visit as long as you’re vaccinated.

So it was with much excitement that I booked my flight to Ireland and on 7th October we will be meeting in Dublin, along with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson to celebrate my sister’s 50th and tag on the 20th anniversary 😀 of my new life in the northern hemisphere. Although 50 beats 20 any day 😁😁

It’s with much excitement that I’m counting the days. ☺ 🗓

Hello 👋👋 I’m back. And it done. Yes, I reached Banks at Fort Maia (aka Bowness on Solway) at 15:14 yesterday 21.09.21 😀

Banks at Fort Maia

The first thing I did was phone my daughter and sob 😄😄 We had a lovely long chat and she did a photo of me at the hut via WhatsApp video. Technology eh!!

Crazy lady via WhatsApp video 😁😁 it looks like I’m holding the hut up!! 🤪🤪

So I guess this post is jumping the gun a wee bit since I haven’t really posted much about my journey since 1st September when I started my journey at the Scottish border near Berwick Upon Tweed…but I really wanted to share this with you now, and later I’ll jump back in time and update you on my adventures.

In summary it’s been an amazing experience. Hard at times with days when I hit a wall of exhaustion, but other days that were a sheer joy.

Oh the things I have seen and the places I have been….every day a new door to open on vistas and adventure. And have I had some amazing adventures….but all will be told in time.

Meanwhile, here I am at Banks at the end of the 84 miles National Trail of Hadrian’sWay, and finally I can legitimately wear my cap 😁😁 ‘I’ve Walked Hadrians Wall’.

😃😃

I have to give a shout out to Gemini, my walking poles.  Without them I would not have been able to complete the walk. They saved me from stumbling (many times), helped me haul myself up inclines, and steadied me going down vertiginous descents. They kept my balance on rough paths and helped me jump over muddy puddles. They are invaluable and I am so grateful for their constant presence…they are like an extension of my body now, and we’ve been walking together for 5 years. Unlike me, they’ve had 3 sets of new feet and still going strong.

I’ll get onto my laptop soon and catch up….from the Scottish Border near Berwick Upon Tweed on the east coast of Northumberland, to the west coast of Cumbria; Bowness on Solway – 421 kms (263 miles) North to South along the Northumberland Coast Path and East to West along Hadrian’s Way.

Done and dusted (except for 12kms between Craster Harbour and Alnwick…but more about that later 😄😄

Day 17 and Day 8

Yes, unbelievably it’s Day 17 of my walking adventure and Day 8 of my jaunt along Hadrian’s Wall, so I thought I’d pop in and give a quick update.

I had hoped to update you on a daily basis as mentioned before, but oh my gosh, the most I could manage was to eat (not even every night), shower, repack Pepe, and then bed. And repeat.

As per the title, I’m now starting Day 17 of my adventure, and Day 8 of my walk across country from North Shields; Segedunum Fort to Bowness-On-Solway, along Hadrian’s Wall. What an experience it has been. I’ve taken hundreds of photos and will share some of them in due course when I get the time, and energy to write ✍ 😁😁….so….here I am

Relaxing in bed in Brampton, watching a stunning sunrise and thinking back over the last 16 days.. it’s been a truly epic journey.

When I first planned on adding the Northumberland Coast Path to my Hadrian’s Wall adventure, I never for one minute doubted I’d be able to do it. But I also had no idea of what lay ahead. If I had, I might not have been quite so confident. But now that I’m near the end, and with the easy stretches ahead, I’m astounded I managed to get this far, and certainly amazed I’m still standing…well at the moment I’m lying down 😁😁😁

But, geez, I never imagined I would do quite as much walking as what I have. It’s been epic. Every day has brought its own joy, and pain, and laughter, and lots of “OMG that’s amazing” moments; reaching the border with Scotland, the dolphins off Farne Islands, seeing that bridge in Berwick Upon Tweed, traversing the bloody Blythe River estuary 🤪🤪, visiting St Mary’s Lighthouse, the wonderful beaches of Northumberland, the many castles – all different and unique in their own way, reaching Tynemouth, the bridges of Newcastle, visiting Arbeia Roman Fort, discovering the first section of the Wall at Heddon on the Wall, seeing the ascent and then descent as I climbed the first ridge on Hadrian’s Wall (I truly do not know how I did all those), seeing the tree at Sycamore Gap from the top of the ridge and suddenly realising what it was 😄😄, exploring the forts and carrying my backpack for 32kms on what was the hottest day of my whole journey…unreal.

I just wish I hadn’t been so tired at the end of each day, I’d have liked to write down the daily experiences…but it was all I could do just to upload some photos before crashing. I’m looking forward to calculating my distances. But one of the best aspects of this journey has been the many, many lovely people I have met along the way, especially on Hadrian’s Way…truly epic.

Hi everyone, I’m still alive. Just such long days and soooo tired I just couldn’t face anything except bed.

But I wanted to pop in and say that all is well, I’m having a thoroughly good time. This country is amazing and I will have to share it all when I am not totally exhausted.

However I have to share today’s adventure which was totally unexpected…after I had visited Bamburgh Castle and Seahouses, I went back to Belford…

And then I set off along the next stage of the Northumberland Coast Path, from Belford to Fenwick… and enroute I ended up on a completely different adventure… All went well up until that pic with the gate…a sign that was meant to be there wasn’t and after a good 90 minutes of walking, and walking and wondering when I was going to see the next signpost, I ended up at a farm. I spotted a gentleman working on some machinery, so meandered over and said “excuse me, I’m so sorry to bother you  but am I on the Northumberland Coast Path?”….the answer was short and to the point “no”. Oh geez. Anyway after much discussion, he offered to drive me back to the gate where I was meant to turn off….and a teeny tiny plea from me “I don’t suppose you’d consider taking me all the way to Fenwick..only the last bus is at 6.45 ,and if I walk back, I’m going to miss it”. So blow me down if he didn’t actually drive me all the way!! It was quite thrilling actually, racing along the tracks at 60 kms per hour in a farm cart of sorts, scattering deer, and rabbits and pheasants as we went in my defence, he said that a signboard wasn’t where it was meant to be. So he took me all the way to the bus stop and we got there 5 minutes before my bus was due. The map shows where I ended up. In Holborn, and I should have been in Fenwick…which was miles away. When he dropped me off, I said “you Sir, are a true gentleman” to which he replied “I’ve been called many things, but never a gentleman “.

He also said I wasn’t the first, and probably wouldn’t be the last!! Clearly he’s had people ending up at his farm before!

Where I ended up…Holburn. where I was meant to be…Fenwick

Other than that, I’ve been to Lindisfarne (yesterday) absolutely fantastic. Didn’t get lost walking back 😂😂😂

And today I visited Bamburgh Castle – stunning place!! And the seaside town of Seahouses…so cute!!

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