Slept in until 7:45 but was down to breakfast for my scheduled time at 8. There were two ladies there who were just finishing the Hadrian's Wall walk by trekking to Bowness on Solway today about 15 miles away. Another couple had just arrived from Holland and were driving to Scotland to spend 3 weeks on various islands.
Norman said I could get a load of laundry done so I dropped off a bag before heading to the town centre. I had left an email for the Ship Inn Hotel in Alonby to see if I could arrive a day early. The plaza is full with people today. Here is a picture comparing last night and today. It is sunny and 16 around 11:00.
|Plaza Friday NIght 7 pm|
|Sat. Morning 11 am|
I went to the Book Case a used book store on 4 floors. It was chalked full of books, records and CDs. I spent 30-45 minutes moseying through the floors and looking at prints from a variety of locations around Carlisle and Hadrian's Wall that covered nearly every inch of wall space going up a circular stairway.
Then I walked across the road away from the castle and down to a busy part of town I had not seen. Lots of traffic and large malls so not really a place for me. However I did see a sign for the Devonshire Walk and wanted to learn more about that. So I walked back to the train station and bought my ticket to Maryport on the 2:10 tomorrow. Mark will pick me up when I get there.
Back to LH and had my positive response for the Ship's Hotel. It almost seems as I am their only guest as they have been very flexible with accommodating me. Oh well it is a pub. I'll be staying there for at least 7 days and likely more and an really looking forward to being able to take my clothes out of the suitcase. I hope they have that capability. I brewed up a up of tea (which I have been doing far more than I would at home) and had some cheese and scones. I finished up my Blog for yesterday and am up to date. I left for the Devonshire Walk at 3:00 and it looked like it was threatening rain. It took me a while to find it but eventually I was on it and heading to a section of the Hadrian's Wall walk towards Bowness. The next stop was at Grinsdale 2.5 miles away so I thought that would be a reasonable trip out and back and get me home well before dark. I met quite a few people on the way all coming the other direction and ending up in Carlisle. The walk took me along a river, through some light woods and over some fields with cattle in them. I had left at 4:10 and arrived in Grinsdale at 5:00 so that was what I considered reasonable at a 20 minute to the mile pace.
Grinsdale is a small farming community and there weren't any amenities so after looking around for a few minutes I set out on my return trip to Carlisle at 5:10.
Along the way I stopped for about 10 minutes to eat some cheese and biscuits and consume my last ale, the Wainwright Golden which was delicious although I was so thirsty that anything might have tasted good.
Here are a couple of pictures of views along the way including a sycamore tree (at last) and an approved pathway
I realized that I had probably set a pretty aggressive pace going out and my legs were a little tired on the return route so I wasn't able to travel at quite the same pace. I arrived back at 5:14 so after a 10 minute stop it rook me 54 minutes. This walk has basically proven to me that while I could certainly do a walk of 80 miles over a reasonable period, I prefer the concept of having a home base and doing side trips from there.
My legs were getting sore so I was really pleased to see the Boardroom Pub just as I entered Castle Street. This was the last real ale pub in the town centre that I had yet to visit. I was disappointed that they did not serve food on Saturday night (go figure) and the full pint of Cumberland Ale that I bought wasn't terrific. Not bad though not great. The King's Head had stopped serving food at 5 so I headed for home determined to find a good fish and chip shop. Here is where Norman proved his worth again as he recommended Fontana's a take away about a 10 minute walk down past the Spar grocery where I stopped to pick up 3 more ales on the way.
When I got to Fontana's the sight of the crowd would have made Dad very happy as it would have proved his adage of eating where the people are. There must have been 20-25 people ahead of me and it took me nearly 20 minutes to get served. While waiting I struck up a conversation with a chap from York who used to live in Ottery St. Mary a place we had stayed for 3 weeks in 2004. Never a shortage of connections when you take the time to talk to people.
I ordered a one piece fish and chips which they packed in a box. I walked straight home and Norman greeted me and sat me in the dining room where I prepared to tuck in accompanied by a bottle of Headless Peg. There was enough food there to easily feed two people but I did it justice.
|Fish and chips and a Headless Peg|
I had neglected to mention that there were two cocker spaniels at the Guest Home. Their names were Jack and George. I was up to my room by 9:00 and continued to watch a couple of segments of a Miss Marple marathon series. I had noted about the threatening rain today but I walked all day in a short sleeved shirt without a jacket. Temperature probably got up to 16 and was cloudy with sunny periods. I was off to bed about 11.