Just got back from three days in Paris, taking in the sights and generally doing the family holiday thing – as far as that goes nowadays – the kids have mostly grown up so it was only the youngest daughter that actually came away with us – oh yes and her friend and our grandson! So all in all the car was as full as it ever used to be on the family holiday.
France is a great place to drive – you don’t realise how awful the roads and the other drivers are in the UK until you get onto a French road. Even the fast motorways are mostly only two lanes, but the traffic is better disciplined and there’s no trucks to speak of, which all adds up to a much better experience. Take, for example, the trip back home…. Its 504 miles door to door from Paris to Cheshire.
160 miles from Paris to Calais took 2 hours 10 mins; average speed of just under 80 mph
344 miles from Folkestone to Cheshire took 9 hours 45 mins; average speed of about 35 mph!!
It took us 7 hours to get from the Channel Tunnel to Watford.
Anyway, that left me in no fit state at all for a walk on Saturday (today) and the weather looks bloody awful for tomorrow, so I think I’ll sack that one as well. Which leaves me time to do some Hadrian’s Wall planning. I’ve decided to walk it in 5 days, including a weekend, so I’ll only need three days holiday from work. I’m going to backpack it as well. Until now I wasn’t so sure, but I reckon I need the experience and it can’t still be raining in September can it? The last couple of years we’ve had a good September, so fingers crossed for three in a row.
The walk is all mapped out in Memory Map now and I’ll start printing off the route in the next few days. I’ll be using A5 strip maps like I did for the WHW as they seemed to work well. When its fine they fit into a top pocket or leg pocket in my walking pants and when its raining they fit into my little A5 waterproof document wallet.
My itinerary is looking something like this:
Day 0: Arrive Bowness, walk 2 miles to Port Carlisle and camp
Day 1: Port Carlisle to Crosby-on-Eden and camp
Day 2: Crosby-on-Eden to Greenhead and camp or YHA
Day 3: Greenhead to either Chollerford or Wall and camp
Day 4: Chollerford or Wall to Heddon-on-the-Wall and B&B or Bunkhouse
Day 5: Heddon-on-the-Wall to Wallsend and train home.
One or two long-ish days in there, but its mainly flat so hopefully that will help. There’s not much opportunity to wild camp as far as I can tell. It’s not a remote walk on the whole, so I’ll settle for established camp sites and that way I can at least remain fit for human association after a couple of days.