30 May 2011

Hadrian's Wall Path: Day 2, continued

One of the top things about the Hadrian's Wall Path is that the people along the way are certainly friendly and because ostensibly we all speak English, it's really easy to communicate.

Mum and this miniature horse near Crosby-on-Eden

The walk from Carlisle was generally uneventful.  We passed some of the vallum on the west end of the fortifications where there was no wall, but only earthen fortifications.  Mostly we just tromped through a lot of sheep and cow poo.  At one point, we really could've gotten ourselves into trouble because we walked too close to a nursing cow with calf.  But as far as the Wall is concerned, you really don't see the it until the third day, no matter if you're walking west to east or east to west.

When we arrived to our B&B in Lanercost, Mum got a bit lost, because I dropped out of view for about a minute, and she'd made it halfway up the hill to Naworth Castle.  It really freaked me out, because it was really very windy and I knew she wouldn't be able to hear when/if I called out to her.  Anyway, I went up every other nearby road except the one she took, of course.  Finally she came back down and the B&B owner Gillian found her.  Once we settled in, I accepted Gillian's offer of tea, and her husband David came in to say that he'd just invited two other friends in for tea, who were walking across the bridge over the River Irthing.

By talking with these four locals, I learned a lot about the local issues -- for example, Hadrian's Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but to what extent?  Is it just the wall, how far around the wall, etc?  The farming subsidies are also a huge local issue, because of course everyone wants the pretty landscape and local, organic food, but also to have it cheap.  So the way they described it was that farmers whose fields we were walking through were being paid to manage the landscape.  Whether that's true or not, I certainly don't know, but it's an interesting way to describe farm subsidies.  It was during this conversation that I learned about Sarah Outen, who is going around the world by her own power -- she was the friend of one of the gentlemen's sister from Oxford.  Because it also became clear that the local Lanercost Priory was quite important, we arranged to visit it the next morning.

That night, we had dinner at The Belted Will Inn -- half rack of ribs for both of us, with some cider for me.  They were out of their local Cumbria sausage Scotch Eggs, and I was really disappointed because I love Scotch Eggs.  The B&B took us there, and the owner of the Inn drove us back to the B&B.  We passed Naworth Castle, which is a quite valuable estate, still making money from the land and tenant farmers.  Philip Howard is a cousin of the Howards who have Castle Howard in Yorkshire, which is where the Brideshead Revisited movies were filmed.  Apparently Naworth Castle is partly modernized but mostly it's a right proper castle, with suits of armor and everything.

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