Here I am at the starting point of our marathon walk along the Hadrian Wall trail. It’s around 11am on Monday 11th June 2012. After the 3.5 hours drive to Bowness I’m set for the off with my companion, John Games – and boy,  are we excited !!

Whether on country lanes & paths; beside beautiful rivers; over lush meadows (with their occupants); through wooded copses; meandering through delightful villages; viewing Roman remains (especially Housesteads); crossing challenging crags; even skirting the industrial & housing estates of Carlisle & Newcastle – this journey was quite entrancing – with nothing of ‘sameness’ at any one stage. Here’s a little pictorial sample, just click on the thumbnails to enlarge:

By far the most challenging was the 3rd day, when we took the best part of 9 hours to cover the incredible crags between The Banks and Housesteads. Having such formidable names as: Walltown Crags, Cawfield Crags, Windshield Crags, and Steel Rigg they pushed me to the limit, physically, but rewarded me with their simply astonishing vistas.

Along the trail we met fascinating people – fellow walkers, villagers, wonderful B&B hosts (among them Jackie & David at Grindon, and Paula at Houghton). What an inspiration, for example, to meet 96-yrs old Doris, walking for the Centre Point charity. And how encouraging that my friend, John Kitwood, drove from Brigg especially to have a meal & drink on the 5th night. Met by our families at Wallsend after the 90-mile trek, I was incredibly elated by the sense of achievement at having taken on this challenge of my lifetime. And here’s a copy of my ‘summer passport’ stamped at the various stages across the walk…

Raising support for orphans in the care of Fresh-Hope Ministries was the motivation for the walk, but there have been so many incredible spin-offs too, not least on the health & fitness front.

So, a very special THANK YOU once again to all who have felt able to support in any way – by messaging, but especially by giving to help the African orphans.

There is still opportunity to donate to the work of Fresh-Hope through their website – the link will remain available for another week or so at: www.fresh-hope.org/walk

Now I’d be so grateful to see the target met, with more than £1300 either received or pledged, at going to press.

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