Arrival in Newcastle-upon-Tyne
It may not come as a surprise, but the first thing I thought and talked about in Britain was – the weather. And it may also not come as a surprise that it wasn’t good at all. It was cold, windy and rainy despite the excellent forecast from the day before. That’s why the images from my arrival in Newcastle are all pretty dull and grey. In some respect, it set an appropriately bleak mood for the shipbuilder’s town of old. The images I got (especially after monochrome processing look precisely like one would expect images from a predominantly industrial to look.
But there were also interesting subjects. A cruise ship was laying in the harbor, preparing for its departure. We passed it by pretty closely and much too quickly for me to think about some interesting frame. So I just shot away and hoped I could get something good out of it in post-processing.
I had booked the trip through Contours, a travel agency that is specialized in walking holidays in the UK. All I had to do was tell them the travel time and the number of days I wanted to walk, and they booked accommodation accordingly. And it gets even better: They also offer a luggage transport service that would take my bag from one accommodation to the next for me. All I had to carry was my backpack for the day. Very neat.
Border controls, however, proceeded painfully slow and this was quite a problem. The people at Contours had told me that I had to drop off my luggage by 10.30 AM at the Dorset Arms Hotel in Wallsend, Newcastle. However, I due to the border controls, I only just left the ferry terminal at 10 AM. Fortunately, a row of taxis was waiting outside, and I just took one. When I arrived at the Dorset Arms Hotel at about 10.15, the friendly landlord informed me that the luggage transport had just departed 5 minutes earlier. Great. One quick phone call with Contours and the matter was resolved for me so that I could finally begin my walk. And this was the last organizational problem I encountered.
The next chapter in this travel report will be all about the first leg of my hike: 25.8km (16 miles) from the Dorset Arms Hotel to the little town of Wylam.