Local celebrity!

Well, I thought life would settle down once the walk was over and done and I would be able to rest my paws and potter around the garden but it hasn’t been like that at all!

I have, I understand, become something of a local celebrity.

Mom went into one of the local schools to do an assembly and I went wither because her theme was achievement and she had been asked to talk about the Wall walk.

When I walked into the hall on my lead all of the children started whispering ‘it’s Patrick!’ Mom was surprised and so was I – how did they know my name?

It all became clear as we were given a Star award for our achievement and I was fuessed and petted by the nursery children. Mom and I then went on a tour of the classrooms where the children asked my many questions about my walk, about my food, about my paws and all sorts of other things as well.

When we got to class 3/4 we found out that they had been reading my blog and had used it to plot routes, write their own diary, plan where we were on a map and add up our mileage! No wonder they all knew my name – and that was just the start of it.

Since then we have done a talk to a house group, to This ‘n’ That and to a Ladies Fellowship group – each time I have been applauded and fussed and fed rather nice biscuits!

Mom tells me we have two more ladies groups and a larger group left – better get some reat – all these public appearances are rather tiring but Mom tells me that we are approaching the £600 mark in donations, sponsorship and Gift Aid so I shall keep going!!


School Assembly

Today I went into Bryn Collen School to ‘do’ assembly with Mom. We talked about the challenge of Hadrian’s Wall and told some funny stories about things we had done including my fall from the rucksack and the Roman Soldier.
They gave me a Star Award certificate for my achievement and £25 for the fund raising – diolch Ysgol Bryn Collen!
As the reception class left assembly they all had chance to stroke my newly bathed fur and I then went to Years 1 & 2 and answered their questions and was petted and fussed.
From there we went to Year 3 & 4 who had followed this blog on their i-pads. They asked more questions and fussed me all over again until I had had enough.
Mom was very proud of how well behaved I was.
On the way back to the car we met years 5 & 6 coming back from the library and Mom offered to take me into school again especially for them.
I was just surprised by how many of the people knew my name – I have a new fan club – wow!!

Day Twelve

First of all a picture of my new friend:


this is Tish and, with Meg and Ruby (who were too shy to have their picture taken), she made me very welcome at Wallsend.

Unfortunately she came into our room to share my tea – which I didn’t mind (because I had already eaten it!!!), and then disgraced herself. Lyn was very patient with her. Just as well really because I reciprocated the next morning – sorry Mom.

We met many people who had finished the Wall when we went to the Kings Head for our evening meal and Mom shared he gammon very extensively with me last night so we both slept rather well – I shall rephrase that, I slept well and Mom fitted herself around me as best she could.

I didn’t want to eat breakfast – which pleased Tish and she got a couple of my treats for sitting for her photo. Mom ate well and then we packed the car, paid for some eggs and headed homeward.

We managed the journey in about 4 hours and Mom hadn’t actually realised how far up the country we were!!

Got home mid afternoon and were greeted by a fairly enthusiastic Pippin and then I went into the back garden to shout that I was home.

Now I have sniffed around, scented the air and am ready to spend a few days sleeping, dozing and dreaming of my wonderful ‘big adventure’.

Thanks to all those who hosted us, made us welcome, fed us and sent us on our way.
Thanks to those who have promised us sponsorship – pay up!
And, finally, thanks to all of you who have followed our progress – Mom hasn’t quite finished this blog yet as she has some creative writing to add plus some details of our mileage – so watch this space!!

Day Eleven

Slept well and even though I licked Mom on the nose to wake her at about 0400 we both rolled over and slept again until 0630.

Breakfasted and then spent some time sorting out the boot of the car which has been our travelling wardrobe and storage amongst other things.

Having sorted things to her satisfaction Mom and I then set off to wander around Carlisle a bit. Interesting mix of old, older and modern.

Mom was fascinated by the hand painting work on the railway bridge and stood taking the photo and muttering things about patchwork patterns!!

3 Carlisle railway bridge

We wander on round via the Cathedral Close and into the town square:

6 Carlisle Cathedral

Once we had pottered enough – and pavements are hard on paws – we went back to the car and made our way towards Bowness on Solway.

We parked up near Burgh on Sands for lunch and a brief wander – I found another lot of bovine following – this time a herd of heifers who were very interested in me – all that oozing Yorkie charm!!!!

11 Another bovine fan!

From where we sat we could see across the Eden estuary to Scotland to the left:

9 Solway coast to Scotland

and to the right we could see the Lake District:

12 Lake District in the distance

The sunshine was warm and we both got quite drowsy in the car. I even dozed off on the back seat after I had begged part of Mom’s lunch from her.

Lunch and early open eyed doze done it was on in to Bowness where Mom decided we should pose a couple of photographs. She set me up at the Banks and just as she took the shot I queried whether she had actually got that last stamp in quite the right place!

15 Did you get that last stamp on right

Then she told me to get down and said that it was time to walk on, I was alarmed we were facing back towards Segedunum in Newcastle surely she wasn’t seriously considering a return journey!!!!!

16 What do you mean - Segedunum is this way!!

No wonder I look anxious!

But, dear reader and fellow traveller, be reassured we are not returning by paw but rather made our way on to Wallsend Guest House where we had a warm welcome, coffee for Mom, fussing for me (apologies for rejecting the treats they just aren’t quite my thing – it’s nothing personal Lyn!) and were shown to a charming bedroom with a rather excitable trio in the form of Meg, Ruby and Tish) waiting to meet and greet later on. I saw one of the cats who sniffed from a distance and then took refuge on a a sofa back.
It needn’t fear – I know how to treat cats well – after all I have one at home!

For now though a comfy spot and some serious snoozing before a pub meal tonight at the Kings Arms – yum – wonder what’s on the menu? (Mom says I’ve eaten 4 1/2 trays of food since yesterday morning plus ham sandwich (today) plus egg mayonnaise sandwich (yesterday) and shouldn’t be considering food with such relish.)

In my mind 70+ miles is a long way for a small dog and I need to build up my energy to be feted and celebrated when I get home and show of my first certificate of success handed out by Wallsend in recognition of my doggy endeavour!!!!

Day Ten

We started the day badly as I had demanded most of the bed overnight and not left Mom space to stretch or turn. At 4am I had wanted out which Mom allowed by putting my lead directly onto my collar – something I hate – and then standing on the doorstep while I ventured a little further. When we came back in we had a negotiation session and I curled up rather than sprawling and we both slept until 7am.

Mom woke still very tired and sore from yesterday and not in the mood to walk anywhere – she wanted to go back to bed and sleep.

Replenished with food we set off towards port Carlisle and picked up our walking activities there.

To reach the village we had to cross the flood marshes and Mom pointed out scary signs likes these:

7 On the way to Bowness - perhaps not the happiest news

8 On the way to Bowness - even more daunting

We could see Port Carlisle ahead of us on the point above the river Eden:

3 On the way to Bowness - Port Carlisle on the point

We parked and started walking and finally:

9 On the way to Bowness - guess where

We walked until we found the Banks on the Promenade:

12 We shed a few tears here

It was a bitter sweet event. We stamped the passports and then sat on the bench for a while. We looked north towards Scotland clearly visible across the estuary:

16 Views northward

Admired the mosaic floor decoration:

13 The floor of the start or finish

Cuddled and cried a little. This was a moment we never thought that we would achieve and we feel that there are many who felt the same but by sheer dogged (excuse the pun) determination and hard work we have reached the end of Hadrians Wall.

We might not have walked every single one of the 84 miles but Mom calculates that we have done well into the 70’s by walking every day (except Sunday), getting lost, doing the hard climbs, managing circular walks and doing bus out walk back.

It has not all been sweetness and light and I know that I have annoyed Mom at times by being demanding and whingy but by and large we have come through it with no blisters, no scarred paws, quite a lot of aches, stories to share and wonderful memories of the places we have been.

Having sat for a bit we went on our way to complete another circular walk. Off into the countryside from Bowness round to Port Carlisle again.

11 Bowness Methodist Mission Chapel

For the Methodist historians amongst you this building was so tiny it probably only held about 12 at the most – it has now been extended and is a private home.

For art lovers try the stained glass from Bowness Parish Church entrance:

21 Stained glass in entrance

As we went on our way I found more followers – this lot escorted all the way up a lane next to their field:

23 Curious about Patrick

Later in the walk another group of about 15 escorted us across their field – I was glad Mom was carrying me then!!

We saw gentle sights as well:

26 Resting butterfly

And realised that Autumn has come while we have been here.

Wandering back to Port Carlisle eventually – we went the wrong way and found ourselves half way to Burgh by Sands before we realised and turned back making this a really loooooong long circular walk (about 9 1/2 miles!!!!!) – we talked about the fact that every story has two sides to it and, if you visit the Banks and Promenade at Bowness you will see that the other end of the Hadrians Wall shelter / stamping place says this:

19 If you set off from here

One day left which we might well fritter away but watch this space!

And greetings to our Dutch friends from the Repeater Station – glad you got home okay and thank you for your kind remarks and wishes.

Day Nine

Mom was very pleased with me overnight. I woke her up just before midnight and she thought that I was asking to go out – I simply lay down on the carpet and watched her.
When she tried to get out of bed and stand up she realised why I had woken her up – she was having a bad low blood sugar episode and needed to eat. After she had eaten something we both waited and when I felt that she was okay I asked to go out – well done me!!

After breakfast for both of us we headed back towards Gilsland to do a circular walk.

As we drove kept noticing this Wall thingy – we are now getting to the point of seeing it everywhere and Mom remains amazed by the fact that it appears just by the side of the road!!

1 The Wall at Banks

3 The Wall

We visited Banks Tower on the way through.

5 The Wall Banks Tower

Then parked up in Gisland and started walking. We wandered along the route of the River Irthing and saw some fine views.

3 Wall views

We got a bit lost and ended up walking further than we expected. On the road towards Birdoswald we spotted this trailer – al the way from Corwen – just 10 miles from home!! What a small world.

Even here!!!!

Driving on towards our next start point for a short walk we spotted yet more Wall at the side of the road:

7 The Wall just at the side of the road!

We dropped by Lanercost Priory and guess what you can see in the entrance arch?

2 Lanercost Priory - note the familiar blocks

Finally a very warm welcome awaited us at the Townhouse – our home for the next 2 nights.

Day Eight

Up and off this morning – see the explanation from yesterday.

Mom’s aches feeling better today so walking is back on the agenda at some point.

Made our way to the Roman Army Museum which Mom said was brilliant with interactive stuff and both 3D and regular films to watch. I wanted to go and be interactive and maybe even make an oath to serve the Roman Empire but they said no dogs – so be it!! (I shall stay a charming ambassador for all things canine, human and faith related.

Dropped bank through Greenbank where we stopped for a coffee and a scone – well, Mom did while I watched from the car! She wanyed to plan the rest of the day you see. She said the scone – home made and still warm with home made plum jam – was yummy and I was greatly admired by the young ladies in charge of the Greenbank café, their friend and a little boy called Arthur.

From there we tried to catch the AD122 bus to Steel Rigg but missed so we drove to Cawfields Quarry to walk Cawfield Crags.

6 Cawfields Quarry

By now it was really sunny and warm so Mom chose to wear a t shirt and no hoodie. I remained with my usual sartorial elegance in gold and black.

We met new friends along the way:

4 Cawfields new friend

And unexpected acquaintances!

5 Cawfields now theres something you couldn't predict

Our Roman soldier friend was walking the Wall east to west to raise funds for MacMillan so we swapped fund raising tales and parted – he was striding out much faster than us.

We started to climb:

9 Cawfields Quarry from above

And soon hit our friend The Wall once again:

Wall at Steel Rigg

It really was a hot day and so we stopped for water:

Paws for refreshment

Mom took loads more pictures of the views from up here on Cawfield Crags:

1 Wall views

3 Wall views

2 Wall views

The last one is amazing when you realise that the rowan tree was 30 feet + high and crows were floating on thermals BELOW us!! Yes, we are that high up!

Lunch next when I managed to scam most of Mom’s tuna butty out of her but you couldn’t have asked for better dining facilities.

Lunchtime 1

In this picture you can see the Vallum – a defensive earth ditch cut below the Wall to slow down any attackers or invaders:

The Vallum 1

Finally we got to Cawfields turret and the Caw Gap.

Cawfields Turret

Mom decided we should climb to the Trig point which we duly did but the camera batteries played up and died so no photos are available of this momentous event (sadly as it was a long haul!!)

Eventually we returned to Caw Gap and took the National Trail (on lower lying farm land) back to Cawsfield Quarry.

Mom wouldn’t let me get into the car until I had had my paws washed – something to do with the fact that I had marched four pawed through two cow pats and a bog without stopping -meanie!

Paws clean and sweet smelling we had more to drink and then collapsed in the car to drive to Vallum Barn for the night:

Vallum Barn Bedroom

We were made very welcome and Mom is thrilled to have a ground floor room – no stairs for either of us! Yippee!!!!

Day Seven.

Today is Sunday and Mom has had a bad night. Her left shoulder and right ribs are aching like mad after I fell out of the rucksack yesterday. I am feeling no ill effects so Mom has decided that I must have fallen asleep once on her back and then leaned back into the zips of the pocket until they undid and out I fell leaving Mom sore and slightly bruised where the waist strap crossed her right ribs. Ooops!

In the light of such things we have decided not to walk as such today but rather to have a pottering day.

1 Vindolanda

Mom determined that this would include a trip to Vindolanda which meant I would have to spend time guarding the car while she browsed.

After almost 3 hours she came back saying that she had thoroughly enjoyed herself and hoped that her miles (almost 2) would count towards our walking – I said it should even if I hadn’t covered the distance myself.

6 Vindolanda

We had spent so long at Vindolanda that we had lunch in the car and then set off towards Gilsland where we found that the sign on the door at Brookfield reminded us that the stated time for arrival was 4pm so we sat in the car and read until 1615.

We went to Haltwhistle Methodist Church Harvest praise at 1800 where they made us both welcome – I enjoyed snoozing and snoring in the pew and being generally admired.

After church we grabbed some tea and then went back to our room – least said soonest mended but perhaps suffice to say that mom packed the car – including me – before her breakfast and we left as soon as we could do.

Having said that I slept right through the night for the first time and I ate 2 trays of food – again for the first time on this trip.

Day Six

Just to prove that the Old Repeater Station is remote:

Old Repeater Station - You see - middle of nowhere

But Les has done some nice touches:

Old Repeater Station fountain

Breakfast was great – a toasted bacon butty just what Mom fancied and then we were off —- to catch the ‘bus to Once Brewed. Les let us leave the car at the Old repeater Station so that we could walk back to it.

Thank you Tracey for the kind donation – hope you’ve managed to access this blog.

Climbed up from Once Brewed towards Steel Rigg and set off to the right – this was the challenge day!

2 Wall Milecastle near Once Brewed

By the time Mom took this photo we were already well above it!

We plodded on – up and down, up and down, up and down again and again and again. Sometimes just slopes but most of them with stones set into earth to help you stagger to the top or the bottom depending on which way you were going!!

12 Wall steep climb again

The views were phenomenal:

Views 6

Views 1

We got to follow some rather familiar stone work very closely too! (Mom says that now she knows what the Hadrians Wall stonework looks like she keeps seeing it everywhere! I think she’s suffering from altitude problems!)

4 Wall bricks

You aren’t supposed to walk ON the actual Wall at all but Mom chanced it with my small paws in an endeavour to get a ‘looking noble’ pose:

Patrick on the Wall

More like looking tired with ear flop happening!!

More Milecastles than you could throw a stick at (if you had the energy after all those climbs and descents!):

5 Wall Milecastle 39 from above

Then – oh deepest joys of deepest joys – WE MADE IT!!!!!!!!!

8 Wall Solitary Sycamore

The solitary sycamore of ‘Robin hood Prince of Thieves’ fame – and guess who we met coming the other way? yes, our 4 Dutch friends!!

We carried on along the crags and above the Lough:

1 Crags

1 Crag Lough

We wandered through a Scots Pine copse where the smell of pine resin was really strong – lovely!

Finally things started to get a little gentler towards Housesteads and I got the ride in the rucksack I had been asking for for some time. Snuggly on Mom’s back all was well for about 1/4 mile when I feel asleep, leaned away from Mom, undid the zips and fell unceremoniously to the ground in a kind of ‘collapsed baby deer’ pose! (Think Bambi on ice)

Mom was startled, I was still only half awake but we pulled ourselves together and continued.

At Housesteads we had our lunch but I simply fell asleep next to Mom on the bench. Two men roared with laughter when she was trying to feed the fast asleep me bits of cheese!

Finally we made it back to the Old Repeater Station to offers of tea or coffee and a welcome loo stop for Mom. then in the car to get some batteries for the camera and on to Saughey Rigg for the night.

By the time we landed Mom was aching all over but especially her left shoulder and right ribs that wrenched rather badly when I fell out of the rucksack.

Saughey Rigg bedroom

We unloaded into the bedroom and Mom came down to a pot of coffee with cake and fresh figs in the lounge. I joined her but more for the soft sofa that she found it hard to get p from. We both staggered upstairs and dozed until dinner which was scrumptious. I was allowed in the dining room and Mom finger fed me bits of her chicken – yummy.

Hot shower before bed for Mom to try and help the aches in her calves and the pain in her shoulder and ribs. (She was walking as if her ‘horse had been shot from underneath her’ at this stage!!!!)

Day Five

Thought you might like to see the bed I was offered at Linden House:

Small dog - big bed

I did giggle but realised it would give me room to stretch but I would only be happy if Mom joined me – we compromised – I joined her!

Here’s Linden House – and a big Patrick Yorkie “hello – with perked ears and a waggy tail” to the folk there whom I know are following this blog! Sorry I didn’t take your treats but I felt really welcome and special and thank you too for the kind donation

Linden House Hamshaugh

And here’s where Mom got given the whale!

The Crown Hamshaugh

We left Linden House intending to do a circular walk from the book but quickly realised that if we did the one we were looking at we would come back round past Linden House and the Crown – so Mom did a quick re think, we adjusted our directions a little and avoided the mess.

Chesters Bridge Hamshaugh

When we got back t the car, which we had parked at Chesters, we set off to see Housesteads Fort.

Wow! It’s big and, what is more, I was allowed in too so Mom and I wandered Roman remains for a few hours.

Latrines at Housesteads

And saw where Hadrians Wall actually came into the Fort rather than the fort being built right over the Wall:

Hadrians Wall meets Housesteads

The views from Housesteads were fantastic! Mom took loads of pictures and then bought postcards too so watch out when we get home – don’t ask her what it was like unless you have time to spare!!

View from Housesteads

After a long wander and look around we headed to the Old Repeater Station via a rather defunct Temple site and a none visible small fort – not worth bothering with here.

The Repeater station used to be a part of the telephone exchange network boosting the signals en route across the area. Les has now done it up into his home and a Youth Hostel / B&B.

Repeater Station bedroom

The view from the bathroom window in particular was lovely:

Repeater station bathroom view

We shared the accommodation with 4 Dutch men who were walking part of the Wall. They were very friendly especially the one who had lived in Llangollen for a while – what a small world!!

Our evening meal was home cooked and Mom said it was very nice but didn’t feel it polite to give me her plate – I don’t think anyone would have minded!

We slept well but I did get Mom up in the night and she stood watching the Space Shuttle while I sniffed in the garden.