Monday, November 9, 2015

Thursday - Once Brewed to Gilsland ONLY 9 MILES!

Oh how Annie and I looked forward to this day - only 9 miles! And there was so much to see! Roman ruins, castle ruins, amazing views! Unfortunately we got off to a late start as we had to wait for everyone to be ready to be transported back to where we left off on the trail. BUT we explored to our heart's content and still had time for lovely tea and cake at Meg's tearoom in Gilsland.

Also of note - we reached the highest point of the walk climbing over Winshields rugged crags!
Oh, and by the way, I've been getting my photos mixed up due to taking photos with both my phone and my camera so bear with me.

According to my map we walked over the Windshields Crags which contained the highest elevation of the hike,  past a turret, a milecastle, past Great Chesters Fort, another milecastle and a couple more turrets, across to Thirlwall Castle, past the village of Longbyre and into Gilsland.

This is the only photo of Saughy Rigg Farm B&B that I took as when we arrived the evening before it was getting dark. It's morning and we are waiting for our ride back to the trail so we can pick up where we left off yesterday.

We didn't get charged too much for our dinner of soup and buns and the owner gave us each a banana (after a good breakfast) to have as a snack along the way. We have done remarkably well scrounging for free food to eat for snacks and lunch!!

First we had to climb...
 and climb...

...the weather was once again quite changeable...

...and of course we shared the trail with some friendly sheep!

Sometimes it was sunny...

...and sometimes the sky was very threatening!

 I'm not sure if we knew when we hit the highest point...

...but it wasn't as scary as yesterday's climb...

 It was sunny/cloudy/rainy/cold/mild depending on the elevation though I did make a note that after we reached today's B&B (Brookside Villa) the skies opened up and it rained quite heavily. The weather gods were kinder to us today.

Looking back from whence we came.

a turret...

 My favourite photo of the whole trip! (looking back)

 We started to descend...

 ...and reached a parking lot which had washrooms!!  :)

 This is a photo of a spiral in the parking lot; we encountered many spirals on this journey - Annie rescued many snails, we went through a seemed like we ecountered spiral shapes every day in some form or another.

**In terms of spirituality, the spiral symbol can represent the path leading from outer consciousness (materialism, external awareness, ego, outward perception) to the inner soul (enlightenment, unseen essence, nirvana, cosmic awareness). Movements between the inner (intuitive, intangible) world and the outer (matter, manifested) world are mapped by the spiraling of archetypal rings; marking the evolution of humankind on both an individual and collective scale.  (To find out more follow the link below)

Both Annie and I were open to what we would encounter on this journey. I have been living a very "external" life until now and am now trying to find ME - I've always been drawn to the spiral shape and think the fact that we encountered so many spirals along the way is very significant.

 ...back on the trail - there were some familiar faces along the way - we didn't always see them every day but perhaps in a pub or in a restaurant or on the trail we would pass someone we had met up with before...the couple with the 2 dogs, the 2 Swedish ladies, the group of 6 Canadians, a group of 4 twenty somethings, Jamie (older than me but much faster!!) and another older fellow who stopped outside every pub :)

 ...ah.... a sunny moment! was a relief to walk on flat ground through the trees...

 ...well, briefly flat that is...

....hah, just kidding!! Lots of hills yet to come, just not quite as high.

...looking back - you can see the larger hills we climbed in the distance.


...finding a spot out of the wind to eat our lunch. Watch out for the stinging nettles though! (I had an encounter with stinging nettle yesterday and it took several days for the stinging to go away - I did that last year too!! Sheesh!

An older local couple walked by us as we ate our lunch and I could hear the "tut tutting" I assume because we were sitting on an historic rock!

 ...looking back...

We took a little detour and walked through Hadrian's Wall Peace Labyrinth :)

It was a beautiful spot...

 ...with a bench at its centre.

...back to the trail, a few more miles to go...

I love this sort of pastoral setting... can't get enough of it! ...

 ...which led us to Thirlwall Castle, built in the 12th c. Some of the stones were "borrowed" from Hadrian's wall! It started to fall apart in the 17th c. Lucky for us we got a few sunny breaks while exploring the ruins.

 Stopping for a bridge selfie!

 Oh dear, looks like we'd better get on our way!

A good photo of the "vallum" or earthen rampart built perhaps as a military defense.

Looking back on Thirling Castle.
 ...ready for my closeup!

Finding our way into Gilsland.

We had an excellent tea with cake at the local teashop and then walked another km to the B&B.(which distance seemed like nothing at all!)

It looks like either some people stopped their journey here and left their boots behind or perhaps they purchased another pair; either way the garden at Brookside Villa put them to use in the garden.

If he knows the answer he's not telling!

The room was REALLY nice and we stayed here two nights because our destination tomorrow didn't have accommodations so our Brookside Villa hosts came and picked us up at the end of tomorrow's hike. It was nice to be able to leave out stuff out for a second day.

The food was excellent, there was a well stocked courtesy bar and even slippers were provided!
Only 3 days left!!

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