As the walrus is renowned for saying, The Time has Come, however unlike the walrus I’ve moved on from speaking of many things, I’ve settled on those that are important and taken some action.
What am I rabbiting on about?
As I mentioned in a blog post at the beginning of the year, I had plans to do a big trip in 2018 and was working towards achieving that goal. The plan has changed slightly because, well, that’s what plans are for but the good news is that the trip is on, the itinerary 80% fixed, flights booked and paid for and much of the accommodation organised.
I’m so excited and I really have to share, so here’s what I’ll be doing. The adventure begins when myself and a friend fly out of Perth on 7th May heading for Edinburgh. I’ve never flown into Edinburgh before, it’s always been Heathrow when I’ve visited the UK so that’ll be something different to start with.
After three nights meandering around Edinburgh it’s on to my weekend retreat in a wonderful Scottish country house near Kinloch Rannoch which I’ve already told you about while Kim amuses herself in the nearby village. As she put it she’s not into downward dogging on the top of a Scottish hill.
From there it’s a train ride to Newcastle upon Tyne where we’ll begin the walk along Hadrian’s Wall, all 135kms of it, after which we’ll be hiring a car in Glasgow for a drive up the west coast. We’ll be stopping near Fort William for a couple of nights and the plan, if the weather gods cooperate, is to summit Ben Nevis before continuing our drive to Inverness for a flight to the Orkney Islands.
The walk along Hadrian’s Wall is exactly the same length as the Cape to Cape track here in Western Australia, but we’re taking our time over it, we don’t want to be rushed, we want to be able to stop and take in the amazing scenery in this part of the world and breath in the history. I gained my doctorate in Ancient History and my particular focus was on Roman Britain so there was a time a few years ago when I did a lot of research and learned so much about the Romans in this part of the world and the construction of this famous wall. I’ve visited parts of it before but to walk the whole length of it is a bit of a dream for a Roman historian.
Now I’m excited by the whole trip but after Hadrian’s Wall, the Orkneys come second in the ‘oh my god, I’m going where’ stakes. I’ve never been before, I’ve watched the Coast T.V. series and various other shows that document this wild place and I must admit to being glued to them and thinking … one day!
And now we’ve got five days on these wild and windswept islands, walking and exploring and probably trying not to get blown off a cliff in their notorious winds. Note to self here: make sure I have some very warm clothing to keep out those killer winds.
It’s then another flight back to Edinburgh, at which point I’ll be saying goodbye to Kim, my travel buddy (you know, the one who did my last Everest trek with me) and spending another two weeks in England visiting friends and hopefully fitting in another walk or two before zipping over to Paris, because that’s what you can do from England, for a week in that alluring city.
Arc de Triomphe on my 2007 visit
I’ll be bringing you regular updates in the next few months on my plans and giving you a bit of a look at where I’m going and what I’m doing so tag along and get excited with me.