May 11, 2012
We woke up to rain again, so after breakfast we donned our rain gear again. The first part of the walk took us through a lovely forest carpeted with bluebells, but we were soon out of that and back into the fields and hedgerows. Once again parts of the wall would show up, but not nearly as frequently. And since the local stone was sandstone, which weathers badly, some of the remaining sections had been buried to preserve them.
The weather was not nearly as wet as yesterday, with on-again and off-again showers, and every so often we could see our shadows. Richard had mentioned The Stag as a possible lunch spot, so we met up with Neil and Christine there for tea and breakfast sausages. Apart from that the route passed quickly and uneventfully. The river Eden was running fast and muddy because of all the rain, and when we got to the pedestrian bridge crossing it, the adjacent golf course was a giant water hazard with a sign saying “Course Closed”.
By 2:30 pm we were at our B&B in Carlisle. Cambro House was really lovely, and it had the first reliably warm showers for several days. We had decided to have a change from pub food, so we arranged to meet at a Greek restaurant named Alexandros at 6:30. Christine wanted to finish her book, Neil wanted to see the cathedral, and we headed for the city centre to wander around. We thought the weather had improved, based on blue sky with only a few clouds, but before long a big black cloud appeared and started to dump rain on us.
The first order of business was to find the Sands Sports Centre to get the Hadrian’s Wall passport stamped. Just as we arrived there we met Dave and Diane arriving from the path. We chatted with them for a while and invited them to join us for dinner. Then we went to find the cathedral. The street system kept trying to lead us away from it, but eventually we managed to get there. The cathedral was very large, even though a big section had been knocked off in the 17th century, and it was in a complex with many other buildings. Most of the interior was closed because they were preparing for a service, but the choir was practicing so we got to listen to them for a while.
It was still too early for dinner, so we headed back to the B&B for a while. Then the four of us walked over to Alexandros. At first we didn’t think they would have room for a party of six because the room looked very full, but it turned out that there was another separate dining area in the back which we luckily had to ourselves. The dinner was very good (you can’t go wrong by choosing a Greek restaurant) and we all had a good time.