The very first thing we did today after eating a Hearty Breakfast, was climb up a REALLY BIG HILL to the highest point of the walk. The air is so fresh and pure here, that this species of lichen grows on the wall. it is the ONLY PLACE in the UK where this lichen grows. You are just fascinated by this, aren't you? I can tell.
This is one of the only bits of the wall that hasn't been restored. It's still in pretty good nick given it was built 2000 years ago. Incidentally, I have come to the conclusion that the Romans were TOTALLY NUTS. This wall is ENORMOUS! It goes forever and it was much higher back then and of course they had to DIG ALL THOSE STONES up and CUT THEM TO SIZE before even beginning to built it. And then there would have to be SQUILLIONS of soldiers to man all those turrets and milecastles. I mean SERIOUSLY. The Romans needed a HOBBY. And surely with all that effort and manpower they just could have CONQUERED Scotland. Or taken up knitting.
My favourite thing about England can be summed up with the following hypothetical conversation:
ENGLAND: So, Lili. How are you enjoying yourself?
LILI: Yeah, okay. I mean the spectacular views are very nice, and the Roman ruins are very interesting, but...
ENGLAND: What? What?
LILI: I'm just getting a bit BORED of spectacular views and roman ruins. I've been looking at them for three days straight.
ENGLAND: Uh huh, uh huh. Dude, I totally see where you're coming from.
LILI: You do?
ENGLAND: Sure. Can I maybe interest you in a fourteenth century ruined medieval castle?
Let me talk for a while about stiles. Stiles are romantic. They come in a variety of types (stone, wooden). They cross different kinds of walls. Here I am crossing a typical stile on a farm.
Stiles are FUN. Until you have climbed over 71 of them (they're marked on the map and I just counted). 71 is a lot of stiles. Here is how I felt when I looked at the map and realised that this was the LAST STILE:
But we are FINISHED! Tomorrow we catch a taxi back to our car which we left at the beginning. I expect it will be a depressingly short trip*, even though 42 kilometres seems like a VERY long way to walk. Especially since none of it was on flat ground (and did I mention there were 71 stiles?).
*it was. 25 minutes. i nearly cried.