Friday, July 11th – 12 miles to Once Brewed
This morning, my boot was KILLING my ankle. Kathie diagnosed the problem as an inflamed tendon. Moleskin – no matter how I cut or applied it – did nothing to alleviate the pain. The only thing to do was wear my sneakers. My brand spanking new, bright white, $95 Mizuno sneakers. Yikes! It’s muddy (read “poopy”) out there! Nothing else to be done though, so we set off. Pretty shortly, I’d plunged both feet into cold water, which was actually kind of refreshing!
Lots of mud, climbing up and down hills and over stone walls, spectacular views of crags, lochs (spelled "loughs"), moor, pastureland, ruins and Hadrian’s Wall (finally!), etc.
Mithraic temple and fake altar stone (the original is in a museum in Newcastle)
The white dots are sheep!
Lunch in a pasture. The extra person is Craig, the snickerer from the evening before. In spite of his snickering, he turned out to be a nice guy!
Housesteads Fort up ahead
Bromlee Lough and Kennel Crags
Toward the end of the day, Kathie and I missed a sign and took a little detour on the “military road”, Kathie called it. (Actually, the military road was about a quarter of a mile south of the path we were on, but “military road” sounds more glamorous when you’re stupid enough to miss a path sign.) Our detour was much easier going than the up and down of the trail, but we missed some of the best views on the trail.
Kathie started singing, which was very unusual. I don’t remember ever hearing her sing before - ever. So I began singing too. We paused, however, somewhere between “The Happy Wanderer” and “Yellow Submarine” or “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” – when we noticed that we could again see Joan, Hisako, and Tetsu hiking along the trail up to the right of where we were walking. It looked like Joan was on her hands and knees trying to scale a crag. Boy, was I glad we’d gotten lost. The three of them and Craig abandoned the trail and descended to our path through the moor. We slogged the rest of the way downhill and through a stream to get to the road to Once Brewed.
Sycamore Gap, the Robin Hood Tree, and three of our buddies
Before going to our B&B, the Vallum Lodge Hotel, though, we stopped for dinner at the Twice Brewed Inn. (The Twice Brewed Inn is just across the street and up a little way from Once Brewed. Don’t know what was brewed in either place - most likely beer. Funny town names in England.) When we finally arrived at our B&B, the hostess (Ann Lock) took our shoes/boots to dry in the kitchen and washed our socks for us. What an angel! Of course, my sneakers were filthy, soaked, and unrecognizable by now...but my ankle - and I - were both happy.