Saturday, May 27

Walltown Crags

Last weekend we went for a walk around Walltown Crags. This is a very picturesque part of Hadrians Wall/Northumberland National Park, about 3 miles from my house. Now, when I say walk, I dont mean walk, in my case I really mean roll. As it happened I spied that they had laid out 'wheelchair accessible' walks, so with my usual enthusiasm I persauded my husband that we should try them out.
I should have initially felt some alarm at the state of the car park which wasnt great and was rather an obstacle course for me, but hey this was the car park , and it would improve just once we were round the corner....wouldnt it? Er No. I was wrong, very very wrong. The paths were ok size wise, and although some quite steep parts in places, should have been ok with a brief push from my dearly beloved. The trouble was, no one thought that it was a bad idea to surface a wheelchair walk with....GRAVEL. Yep. Gravel. Pushing though gravel is about as easy as......well, pushing through gravel! Its really really hard on the arms. So I slipped and slided and ground to abrupt halts all over the place. But the only way was forward as the say. For the second part of the walk we left the gravel behind us as the path continued with flagstones. These were not well maintained, and in order to give it a whole rustic feel, there were several inches between each one. This is fine for feet but with wheels its a whole new story. Either I would get completly stuck by my front wheels and have to be rescued by my husband, or Id be pulled up short and catapulted about 20 metres forward landing in a muddy heap! Neither really boded well. So it was with great care I tackedled these stone. Roll, flip, Roll, flip, Roll, flip. I did this about 50 times, flipping my front wheels up over the gap and onto the next stone. Its bloody difficult I can tell you as Im not that strong. So by the end of our wheelchair walk I felt as if my arms were being ripped fom my shoulders, but Id managed it. Not sure if I will do it again though. And of course thanks to the person who thought gravel was a good idea, you really did your homework didnt you?!

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