Getting to Newcastle

Tuesday 5th May 2009
The Drive from Suffolk to Newcastle

Excitement prevailed for all of us; it transpires that none of us got any sleep the night before. The anticipation of this walk had been born out of the dusty volumes in the classrooms of the 50’s and early 60’s.

We all arrived at Jenny’s house within minutes of each other, with great big grins and loads of bags, boots, sticks and food. You would have thought that we were going on an expedition to the North Pole or some other equally remote place.

The car was loaded and then we realised that I had left the ‘Esky’ (a small cool box) at my house in Norfolk. So we had to hot foot it back to collect it, and then Brenda M realised that she had left her walking stick at home. Fortunately, I collect walking sticks.... don’t know why, perhaps in preparation of my old(er) age.

We eventually got on the road at 10.15am. We hadn’t decided on a setting off time, which is a wonderful way to embark on a trip - relaxed.

To say that we laughed for the most of the journey would be an understatement, mascara running down our faces and the laughter lines getting deeper, we stopped for a comfort break and refreshments at a motorway service area. I’m sure that most folk around us thought that we had either just been released from somewhere or that we were on something!!

As we neared Newcastle we became a little more serious, as none of us had ever been to this lovely city and we needed to concentrate on where we were going. We went through the Tyne Toll Tunnel, got a little lost and then found our hotel. Hadrian Lodge hotel.

The receptionists were friendly, but not helpful, we struggled to get the key in the lock on the door from reception; bags, sticks, a very strong spring on the door and four women end up in a heap. More giggles.

We had an ok meal at the hotel and went back to our rooms to relax, and prepare for the next days walking.

Jenny and Brenda M shared a room and I shared with Brenda B who snored the whole night long. I woke up at 3.20 am, 5.15am and 6.30am and decided it was time to get up. When I looked over at Brenda she had most of my gear either on or around her bed, I had been throwing things to stop her snoring..... that didn’t work.