Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008
We are walking! After traveling, sightseeing and visiting the Roman Fort Museum in Newcastle we left Wallsend at 9:45 am.
Heading down a dismantled railway, now a path bordered with wildflowers, hawthorne, holly and blackberries, Vicki and I walked through an industrial area, including
the Swan Hunter, an old and current shipbuilder,
old coal shafts,
past part of Hadrian's Roman Wall,
a scrap metal yard
a Riverfront park along the Tyne River.

Through St. Peter's Marina lined with boats and exclusive apartments.
Under seven bridges, one upon the Roman foundations of 122AD, and the latest is the Millineum Bridge, completed in 2002.

Past the Castle Garth, medieval shops, new glass buildings,
an office park where we had a sandwich at a deli.
All this along the River Tyne.

Then through a park with football fields, cricket pitch, playground and we are in the country by 2:30 pm.

Still along the Tyne River, now bordered by small patch-work green fields with dairy cows, sheep, black and white horses.

About mile 14 we turn up from the river, through a golf course.
Here I take out my new trekking poles to head up to Hedden-on-the-Wall and our

The last mile and a half were through a green forest on a mossy, soft path.
Arriving at North Bank Farm at 5:30 pm, we are greeted by several small dogs, three children and our hostess, Pam.

She makes us tea, her mother-in-law comes in to join her talking and joking with us.
Pam offers to drive us to the White Swan for dinner, about a 7-minute walk away. Probably because she took pity on our tired faces.

After showering, washing out my day's laundry, Pam loads us in her pickup. On the way there we stop to admire the neighbor's 10-day old colt, a black and white pony named Maggie May.
Telling us her story, Pam married her husband in 1991, and has lived at the farm ever since. They run about 200-head of cattle, a few sheep, started the B&B in 2003, and has not had a decent vacation since marrying. It's hard to get away from a farm. Her husband's family has owned it for six generations. The buildings are local stone and it is totally charming with lots of flowers, kids, the grandmother and small dogs everywhere.

White Swan Carvery dinner. (or why I walk and travel)
Sliced roast beef with gravy and Yorkshire pudding, several well-cooked vegetables, a Strawberry Eaton Mess (fresh strawberry mixed with chopped meragine, mixed with whipped cream, all smothering vanilla ice cream), a cup of tea. Now life is good and we amble back to the farm.

I loved the walk through Newcastle and into the country side. From the back of the White Swan we could see the lights on the bridges over Newcastle, the sixth largest city in England.

Onward, Tyler

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