OK, at the halfway point, here’s a look back at where we’d been. Do realise that what is different about this walk is that it has been a continuous 15 miles. We pick up where we left off the day before. So this picture gives you an idea of the scale. Those three bumpy hills in the distance . . . well, we’ve walked all the way from there since yesterday morning!



And here’s the hill in front of us. What we were annoyed about in taking pictures is that there is just no way to convey to you exactly how BIG these hills are! They look little in pictures. Not so, walking up them! In fact, this one was steep enough we needed to ‘scramble’ part of the way – i.e. use hands as well as feet.



The good part of doing that was that it put us very close to the ground and on the way up, I found a very tiny piece of Roman pottery.




It’s worth the climb though, as the views are so spectacular.




And once up on top, the walking was easy.



Even so, we stopped for a rest.



And Kat and Lubey decided to have a little rest on the wall itself (probably highly frowned upon by the National Trust and World Heritage organizations, so I, as official owner of this site and organiser of this walk swear I did NOT approve of this!)



Mind you, the rest didn’t last long. Kat and Susan got into a handstand contest, which Susan very quickly won. (Excuse the small departure from family viewing in this scene!)



Realising the potential for exposure, they discreetly turned around. Susan won again!



After that little interlude, it was off again.




We came to a grid marker, just made for taking a nice group photo.




And here is the very lovely family who happened upon us trying to take a group photo and offered to take one of all of us together – not realizing that they were going to get to take about twelve photos on six cameras and a phone! So, whoever you are, thank you very much!



In the distance is our destination. We are aiming for that clump of trees, which is the Steel Rigg car park where our trusty sheepdogs, Carline and Maggy, will be waiting.



And down we go (over yet another stile!)



There in the distance, our sheep dogs are waiting!



And finally we arrive – at yet another stile. Note how Carla has perfected stile climbing. And how Kat has perfected map-opening!



Now it is decision time. Yesterday we started at the wrong point and inadvertently added an extra 1.5 miles to our walk – which is why it felt so long to all of us yesterday. Those who went up over the hills along the path walked a total of 7.1 miles yesterday and those of us who took the low road and really got lost walked 7.3! This meant we could stop today’s walk at the Steel Rigg car park and achieve our 15 miles. This was a good idea, as the more arduous part of the walk – although also the most beautiful – is along Steel Rigg to Housesteads, a further 3 miles. As it was coming at the end of a 15 mile walk, this was pushing it a bit for some of us. So we had the choice of stopping here or of doing the extra three miles. So we had a big discussion – in the middle of the road!



And here is a picture of the remaining part of the walk. Over those first hills but also over that hill in the far distance – THAT is where Housesteads is!



In the end, the brave (young!) ones - Susan, Hannah, Carla, Kat (and Lubey) - decided to forge ahead. First we had to re-secure Lubey, who was riding rather precariously by one foot. (And yes, you will notice Lubey has developed a runny nose by this point as well. Too many windy hills.)



And off they went .




And off the sensible ones went in the car to Housesteads to have sandwiches and much-appreciated cups of tea!



(Courtesy of Susan) Here is a little look at the extra three miles. It starts out looking fairly easy:



But then there's that 'bit of a climb' they tell you about when mentioning Steel Rigg:



Past a well=preserved Roman mile fort:



And at last everyone reaches Housesteads and is pausing to figure out where we might be.



We at the tea shop get a mobile phone call to tell us they have just arrived at Housesteads fort (which is up on the hill), so Carline and I went to guide them in, as "Housteads Fort" (where they were) and "Housesteads" (where we were) are not exactly the same place. There they are, little green specks just between the buildings on the left and the ruins of the fort.



Unfortunately, my shepherding efforts had a rather unexpected effect and all the sheep on the hillside also started heading for us!



And then at last, the four who made 18 miles and brought the 2007 NSPCC Sheep Walk to its official close.