Well for us, we have had a busy one, a really busy one and it had nothing to do with plants (for a change) "Team Allwoods" took on an epic challenge of walking the whole of Hadrian's Wall in just a weekend!
It all started in the Autumn of 2019 when Emma & Sarah had the bright idea, they wanted a challenge for 2020 and they decided that they would like to trek Hadrian's Wall, it is an area they have never been and so plans were made to take on this epic course and a date was set for June 2020 and the training began.
But where do you start training to walk 84+ miles? Luckily we live and work on the edge of the South Downs Way so are rather spoilt for beautiful walks and trails of various degrees of ability and distance - though the weather over the winter was rather horrendous with plenty of mud & rain making it rather hard if not impossible to walk, then Covid-19 struck, everyone was in lockdown and no travel was allowed so the anticipated event was put on hold, training also stopped as we were having to follow government guidelines on the lockdown and social distancing rules. Work started to get very, very busy with our mail order, so anything to do with this challenge had to be put on hold.
By mid/end June everything seemed to be in our favour, hotels were re-opening & travel permitted so we set the date of 23rd to 27th July as "The Weekend", training recommenced for a few weeks and plans put in place to enable us to go and undertake this epic challenge.
It was agreed we would travel the route East to West, there were several reasons why we decided this but the main one was so on our journey home we could detour through the Lake District as Sarah had never seen it. So bags were packed, car loaded and David our chauffer and much needed pit crew was prepped with a map, lots of snacks and other essentials to help aid us on our challenge.
Thursday 23rd July 2020. We left early for our journey North, the sun was
shining down on us and it was a balmy 18C. The roads were incredibly quite with very little delays - most unusual for a weekday morning on the M25! But as we travelled further North the temperature dropped to 13C!!! and the rain came in.
We arrived at Wallsend by early afternoon, the official start area was closed due to renovations (maybe we should have checked that!). But we were not deterred and it was decided we would make a start as we had arrived so early in the day so we donned our coats, shoes and rucksacks and started our walk at 2.15pm. The walking was good, and we set a good steady pace, 16.51 miles soon sped by and we called it a day, went back to the hotel for dinner and a good nights rest.
Friday 24th, the sun was shining and we had a good start, feeling fresh and alive and eager to go! We had lots of interesting scenery and plenty of history to keep us from speeding along at the start, though we had rather underestimated the "undulations" and rough terrain we had to navigate over the further west we travelled, the more bumpy it got and by the end of the day our legs were feeling it and we were pretty tired but we had managed to cover an impressive 31.08miles that day!
Saturday 25th, we were both still feeling a little jaded and sore from our trek
yesterday and the continual hills we were stomping over were taking their toll and by 3.15pm we had only managed 12miles - panic set in and we gave each other a stern talking to, we knew we had to get a good 20-25miles in today to ensure we could complete the challenge we had set ourselves, this pep talk obviously worked because by 9.30pm we had managed to stomp out 26.74miles!!
Sunday 26th - The end is in site, gone are the hills, gone are any remains of the wall and a lot of the history of it, now we are just walking, covering the distance, the terrain was flat, quite boring and that suited our tired legs just fine, we had a head wind and the occasional light drizzle, the view across to Scotland was lovely and clear at times and the overall mood was one of weary excitement as we neared completion. We arrived at the finish at just after 2pm after walking 16.32miles this morning - WE HAVE DONE IT!!!!
In the space of 1 weekend we have walked - yes walked the entire Hadrian's Wall Path, dealt with route detours along the way and done a whopping 90+ miles in just 23 hours of walking time. We've relived history, the beauty and hardship of the land and seen some amazing sights.
As team building events go this one was rather fun.... challenging but fun!
Now we are back in the greenhouse where we belong.
Thanks for reading