Getting to Hadrian’s Wall

From Robin Hood’s Bay to Military Road West of Chollerford in Northumberland:  Carraw B and B
9:15 AM to 3:40 PM
208 km by bus and taxi
Friday, June 10, 2016

Travelling by bus is exhausting! We repacked our two bags as we both carried everything today. No Sherpavan. We made arrangements with Walkersbags to carry our supply bag for the next two days. They were more reasonable than Sherpavan.

We had a good breakfast to start us off. I love the places that provide yogourt and a mixed bowl of fresh fruit. Clare of Lee-Side gets top marks for the best fruit bowl mix of our stay. Clare also does moist fluffy scrambled eggs almost as well as Brian makes. His secret is that he adds cheese.

FYI the winner of the Northern Traverse race stayed at this B and B. He showed up on their doorstep without a reservation. Eoin Keith of Ireland finished in 51:38:15. He was the only Irishman. There was one American. All six women finished. For more about this crazy race: northerntraverse.com

What would be a car ride of three hours was a bus ride with changes and wait time in Middlesborough and Newcastle of five and a half hours. This got us to Hexham, a busy little hub, where there was a detour for bridge construction that threw an extra wrinkle in our next bus stage. After discussing how to get the local AD122 bus to our two different B and Bs with a man at the bus station, our heads were swimming. It once again looked like rain. Brian asked a taxi driver how much it would cost to take us. He quoted us twelve pounds. After he dropped Eliane off, the meter was already at twenty pounds. He turned it off and drove us the extra three kilometres. It was money well spent. I think we would still be getting here by bus.

Carraw B and B is right on Hadrian’s Wall. It is a very old stone building that has been very nicely renovated and modernized on the inside. They also have a new stone house built in the old style with extra rooms, nine rooms in all.

We arrived twenty minutes too early at the B and B. Leah had gone to get her children from school. Two women and a man arrived in two cars after us; so, all of us were waiting when Leah arrived. We were glad it was not raining. The first half of our bus ride was in the rain. Two of our three buses were double deckers. We had the front seats at the top, but our big windows drizzled with rain. I suggest the company install windshield wipers. Today we would not have seen far as it was rather foggy and rainy. The good news is that we were not walking in it. Our third bus was a single layer. The driver had the heat cranked up to maximum. A toddler screamed for the first half of the trip. He was probably too hot. I could feel his pain.

We had time in the large city of Newcastle (900 000) to take a photo outside Eldon Square of the war memorial and buy a piece of pizza. It was greasy. Eliane chose more wisely and had a roasted chicken bun.

We started this morning with a wonderful hot bubble bath. Even though we did not break into a sweat today we each felt grungy from our bus travel; so, we had a shower. Then at 6:30 PM the two ladies who arrived after us offered to take us with them to supper some miles down the road as there are no eateries here on this part of Hadrian’s Wall. Nothing but green fields do I see…and more fog. We could have had supper at the B and B if we had ordered at least twenty-four hours in advance. We missed that in the fine print at the bottom of the website.

We do have a comfortable room. Too bad about the sloped exposed wood beam supported by stone just inside our room’s door. Brian already banged his head on the wood and stone. We have had a mug of hot chocolate and a homemade shortbread cookie. We will be fine.

The two ladies from Northern Ireland dove us eight kilometres east of here to Humshaugh to the Crown Inn. Two of us thought we would have the salmon offering but it was crossed off the blackboard as we decided. Brian had a burger with onion rings, fries and a salad. Mildred had fish and chips while two of us ordered the goat cheese, tomato and pine nut tart with salad and fries. I am sure the menu board said “tart” but two tarts arrived, each covered with a half inch layer of goat cheese, half a plate of thick cut fries and half a plate of very good mixed salad. I had to force myself to finish both tarts. They were too good to waste. I ate most of the salad but I did not do the fries justice.

We were glad to hear from Eliane that her host drove all their guests into another town for dinner. No one will starve tonight!

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A different kind of sheep

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The other guest house at Carraw

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Brian tried the local brews including nettle beer.

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War memorial in Newcastle

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