Where we stayed was at least a mile off of the trail and since we’d been to Chesters fort the afternoon before, our first half hour or so of the day was going over ground we’d covered before. No, that isn’t that far, but every step counts!
Today was the beginning of the crags. It was also the beginning of lots of mist and rain. Though what helped make the aches and pains more bearable was the sight of lots of intact wall sections. The wall would stretch into the distance, across the hills, and it was both beautiful and daunting to see it climb and fall. Definitely satisfying to look back and see what you’d just walked, but a bit disheartening to see how much was left. And no matter how up and down the countryside was, there was plenty of evidence that sheep had been romping around the area with no problems.
This was also the day that I was glad I had my waterproof pants, warm layers and a hat. It got chilly with the wind and the rain, and it started shortly after the clip above.
We passed by Housesteads Roman Fort and noticed to older women with walking sticks clutching cups of tea and consulting a map. Turned out these women were staying at the same spot we were both that night and the next. Yep, we were on the same pace as two women in their 60’s or 70’s. Brilliant.
Near the end of the walk that day, we passed by Sycamore Gap. If you skip to about minute 3 of the youtube clip below, you’ll see the same spot where I was! Except you’re not supposed to walk on the wall there…
Just before our finish for the day were the “Cat Stairs” a very well named spot. It was very narrow, so much so that I had to squeeze through, turned sideways, I don’t know what you would do if you couldn’t get through, as it was down a fairly steep incline. Or at least I thought it was pretty tough, until some random people who had parked at the parking lot not far away came bounding up the stairs by twos. Sigh. It was the same feeling like being passed by runners. Who is running along these trails in the rain?! A bit disheartening.
We stayed the night at a farm off the trail by a few miles; thankfully we were given a ride by the owner. Again, we followed our nightly habit of peeling off clothes, taking painkillers, doctoring feet, showering, watching Britain’s Got Talent and going to bed, gearing up for day 5. We were officially halfway finished.