On the Roman Wall
I was now approaching Crag Lough, which signalled that my trip along the wall was coming to an end and as I marched along at a fair pace, I met a couple walking in the opposite direction whereupon the male half of the pair greeted me with a 'Hola, que tal?'. His surprise, and particularly that of his partner, who burst out laughing when I responded with 'Muy bien gracias, y tu?', was total. Presumably, I was the only walker that morning to reply to him in his own language. I forged onto Hotbank Crags, the last climb along the wall before descending to Rapishaw Gap, where I crossed the wall and left it as the Pennine Way now headed for Wark Forest. I stopped in the gap between the wall and the forest to look back at the Whin Sill, the escarpment of dolerite that the wall sits on top of and tried to imagine what it must have been like for the Roman soldiers garrisoned here in the wild outpost and even more pertinent, for the tribes approaching from the north. I followed a wide track along the boundary of the forest for a short distance before leaving it for a narrow, grassy and boggy path into the woods. This was a completely new experience along the Pennine Way, as so far, the way had only briefly courted any woodland.
Approaching Shitlington Crags