I am planning to run /walk /crawl again, this time from John O'Groats down 'South' to St Albans .......... not sure how far i will get but its one heck of a journey!

Saturday, 12 June 2010



I spent all night dreaming about my lost USB lead (what a waste of a sleep!!) but when i called the B & B we stayed at yesterday, i had left it in the room! How careless! I cant do without it now as everything i have packed these days is all classified as 'essential' so i will need to replace it in Newcastle later! The breakfast was fine for our purposes today but out of the last 3 days, our best has definitely been Lornebank!

We stood at the bus stop 15 mins early along with quite a gathering crowd and by the time the bus came it was already virtually full with only standing room for 8!! Luck was on our side however as we got on as the 6th and 7th people and had to leave 4 others on the pavement with other prospect of any bus arriving again now til Monday on this route to Newcastle!!!!  That is how remotely i am travelling!

We therefore stood for the whole one hour bus journey to Newcastle just grateful to have a place on public transport as Immanuel had  a midday train to catch to London ....AND YES, how tempted am i yet again to get on it with him, back to my children and my little home ..... but yet again, if it werent for my next companion coming on Monday, i may well have done just that!!!  It seemed wierd being back in a shopping centre with so many people all around having spent the last 3 weeks with mainly sheep and hills for company! The civilisation and busy-ness of everyone is funny to watch after travelling at such a slow pace ..... i have missed it though!

I mooched around Eldon Square shopping centre, not able to buy anything more than my USB lead so just window shopping and passing all the excited footie fans already gathering for tonights big match!  My bus on to Rowlands Gill left every 15 minutes so after picking up my munchies for dinner later from M & S and having my regulation Starbucks, i picked up my bus to my B & B for the day.

I was supposed to have been staying in Hexham / Corbridge area tonight but had left this booking until only a few days ago and today is Hexham races so everywhere is chocca block! I have therefore been very fortunate to find a little spare room at Burn View in Rowlands Gill, which Andy & Helen agreed to let me have more as a favour than anything i think as i must have sounded so desperate when i called!!  I wasnt up to staying in busy Newcastle for a whole night so was relieved when Andy kindly mentioned the 'little back room' and took it straight away! (AND I MUST TELL YOU THAT THIS IS SUCH A FIND!  Their hospitatility can rival any large chain hotel with their friendly personal customer service, fabulous breakfasts with the largest freshest blueberries and raspberries i have seen so far on my travels!  And having stayed at quite a few B and B's now, i think i am becoming qualified at these ratings! And i will definitely be back!)
Its a bit lonely being by myself again but i guess i can start my 2nd book now which i havent even begun since having so much company!  After 3 hours in Starbucks eeking out 2 Aventi Mocha Frappacino lights, i caught the bus to Rowlands Gill arriving just as Helen was calling to check if i was still coming!

My little room is lovely and perfect for what i needed and as i said before, the hospitality was so friendly that i almost thought i had arrived home!  I changed into my running gear as i thought i should try a short jog and Helen directed me straight across the lane onto the Aquaduct and the Derwent walk which is route 14 on the cycle maps i think and part of the Coast to Coast route..... (called the C2C to those in the know!)

Well i set off just after 5pm and 2 hours 4 mins later i was back, having completed my FIRST EVER HALF MARATHON distance!! I could hardly believe that my fitness has improved this much in 3 weeks as it is exactly 21 days since i began my journey and it took me over 5 hours to walk my 15 miles that very first day and today i covered over 13 miles in 2 hours! (without my pack i must admit!) Still, i think the caffeine in the 2 Starbucks were my secret weapon but nevertheless i felt a huge sense of achievement as i climbed the stairs to my little room to collapse into the bath after stretching out (for 5 minutes!)

The route i took was so lovely, it was the perfect path, right on the doorstep, a gentle gradient on the outbound route which helped me reach home as it seemed like downhill all the way back! The shade of the trees and the company of the dog walkers and cyclists all added to the enjoyment of the run and whilst i dont think i would still ever consider embarking on a full marathon, for the first time ever, i think that maybe a half marathon may be something i could actually finish now!

I have requested breakfast at 9.30am so hope that the Sunday lie in will be welcome - it'll be just my luck not to be able to sleep!! Maybe i will get up and do my run again .... and then again, maybe i wont!

PS Good luck England (vs USA) sorry i am not watching but i am a) too tired b) not really into football and c) have no TV in my room so would have to go downstairs in my PJ's and i dont think anyone would really like to bump into me in those ce soir!
(I believe it is 1-1 at half time so when i wake up i will get an update!)

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