Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day Three: Monk's Hill to Walton (Outside)

Today's journey took us close to the last city we would see before we hit Wylam and Newcastle: Carlisle. Today was May 19: Pentecost!  The birthday of the Church!  So we wore red yarn around our arms to commemorate the birthday of the Church.  Eucharist was celebrated around an RV park picnic table, and by 10 or so we were off and walking again: still wet fields of sheep and cow feces, but we were walking.

When we hit Carlisle, there was a run of people to get last minute supplies of rain pants and ponchos just in case the weather turned bad again.  We got most if not all of our stuff dry from the previous wet and soggy day of walking.  Spirits were good.  Today's walk would take us a little further along the trail.  We met more people who were walking east to west while we were walking west to east (going with the wind upon our backs).  Yesterday we walked into St. Michael's, a church that was built on top of Roman ruins.  Today we saw Carlisle Cathedral from afar, along with the above pic of the castle-like buildings of justice.

The effects of pilgrimage--the physical--were starting to erupt as blisters and sore legs and ankles suddenly emerged. I also discovered that quite a few people liked to drink a pint or two, becoming aficianados of bitter ales. But the spiritual and historical sides were starting to emerge.

And we saw our first "bit" of Hadrian's wall itself. Within the next day, it would become a common spot.  Gary explained the system of the wall, and the ditch and the earthen ramparts. It was all coming into view.

Tonight we ate at a lovely manor house, owned by a couple who had lived in the manor house for two or three generations.  We camped on the front lawn, while some camped into the "barracks," which was a dry room with a fireplace. The owner was a bit homophobic, expressing his dismay of the Anglican church welcoming marriage equality.  I just let him talk, and his ignorance showed his true colors.

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