May 9, 2012
After breakfast, our host Alan drove us to the museum at Vindolanda, which is close to where he had picked us up yesterday at Twice Brewed. We arrived just as it opened at 10 am, and after some discussion we bought a discounted dual ticket which also got us into the Roman Army Museum.
Vindolanda is a large, mostly outdoor, museum which is still an active archeological dig. As we entered the site we could see about a dozen volunteers digging in the mud and examining it for artifacts. When they found one, the supervisor would come over and put it into a plastic bag to be examined and processed later. Next to that was the area which had already been excavated, the Roman fort along with the town which was built outside the fort. Once again we were all impressed by how the Romans had lived.
Besides that, there was an indoor museum which displayed some of the artifacts which had been found on the site. We were told that excavation had been going on for 40 years and that there was scope for another 200 years, so what we saw was only a small fraction of the total. There were numerous leather shoes, jewellery, pottery, buttons, tools, locks, keys, weapons, coins, and basically any item which would have been used by the Romans. By the time we had finished looking at all that it was noon, so rather than setting out on our walk back to Greenhead we decided to have lunch at the museum cafeteria. We just had tea and shared a baked potato meal.
After leaving the museum, the first step was to walk back along the road to the Steel Rigg car park, where we had finished yesterday. Luckily for us the Hadrian’s Wall bus came by, so we hopped on and rode the 2 km back to the Once Brewed corner. From there it wasn’t very far up the hill to Steel Rigg.
This afternoon was a leisurely walk back to Greenhead carrying only day packs. The weather was lovely, so we only carried the minimum of rain gear. From Steel Rigg our route continued on the ups and downs of the various crags on which Hadrian had his wall built. We rambled along enjoying the views, stopping every so often to sit and have tea. We finally arrived back at Holmhead B&B at about 5 pm, and then went down to the pub again for dinner. Tonight they only had one serving of the Barnsley lamb chops left, so since we had had that last night, we declined it and let Neil have that.
By the time we got back to the B&B it had started to rain; bedtime was 10 pm as usual.