I leave the end of the Hadrian’s Wall path and go to the tiny town of Bowness on Solway. I have about an hour before I can check into my final guesthouse, so I enter the only pub in town.
“Just finished walking the wall mate?”
There are a few other patrons inside, some locals, others are walkers or tourists. None pay me any attention. I slide into a comfortable booth and relish quietly about my experience.
I’ve walked 118.4 miles so far. Never in my life would I have imagined completing such a feat. I feel more alive and in the moment than ever before. An old picture of a section of Hadrian’s Wall hangs on the wall in front of me. I look upon it with the fondness of a long lost lover.
I leave and check into my final guesthouse, located just around the corner from the pub. I can’t even recall the name of the place, only the nice lady and her friendly dogs that follow me everywhere. It’s a welcome companionship.
I head back to the King’s Arm pub for dinner. This place is now full of locals, talking loudly in friendly revelry. I will miss the small village pub atmosphere that has been such an integral part of this experience.
I sleep well, and rise to another glorious sunrise. I have a taxi coming to get me in a few hours, and so I use this time to head back the the ocean for a final moment of reflection.
I feel different, in a profound but almost indescribable way. The revelations about myself in this stage of life, the acceptance and forgiveness of coming to terms with past life events that have haunted me and held me down, and the powerful physical feeling my body is emanating all are combining together on this final morning.
Seabirds sing as the tide slowly starts coming in again. I look at the time and head back to catch my taxi so that I can start the journey back to Edinburgh.
I also realize I need to leave before the ocean floods the roads again.
Goodbye Emperor Hadrian and your impressive Wall.