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J310 - Sunday, August 22: Blucher - Chollerford

73.28km  – 10H00’
Altitude : 67m

What differences we find in England:
•    Driving on the left
•    The Pound instead of the Euro
•    1 hour time difference between here and France, the Netherlands and Belgium…(we gain one hour in this direction but will lose it on September 6)
•    The electrical outlets: and all our adapters that went to Normandy in our RV!
•    No more bike paths: a real change for Serge but it will help him adapt before returning to France.
•    The return of hills

We get a late start and Serge does not want to have a short sage, even if he is obliged to adapt his mileage, like yesterday, to less than 77km, which he does with heavy heart.  We decide to let Serge start in the western suburb of Newcastle.
The route is dangerous and the traffic rather heavy in these beautiful, wind swept moors.  Serge tries to take the 177 km hiking path of “Hadrian’s Wall,” which was begun in AD 122 and of which there are still remains.  But the course is difficult, thanks to a multitude of gates to be opened and small stairs to go up or down and because Serge does not have legs made for running on paths which are grassy, stony or muddy, all of which hurt his Achilles tendon.
At km 25 we decide to find him a flat track (the terrain is hilly) and to leave on a reconnaissance for tomorrow.  At km 35 Serge sets off with Daniel, while René and I set off to look for the best itinerary for tomorrow’s run.  Serge spends his time going up and down on steep hills between one valley and another, which stretch as far as the eye can see.  After 4 hours of reconnaissance, there is no miracle for the itinerary; it will be a succession of ups and downs.  We discuss the matter to see what we can best do to give Serge comfort on the road.  Fatigue is such that more than ever he needs to be able to run without having to worry about things, and we have to optimize time, which is not going to be the case with these ferry crossings (there are still 3 to come), the time Serge has spent on the telephone these part days for interviews and finally because I do not feel in tip top shape to ensure the daily logistics.  Probably you will have noticed that I continue to do my best with the energy I have left and an empty head.
Daniel and René are also feeling the effect of the fatigue which grips Serge and me.  Serge runs to run, to add kilometres, more motivated than ever but robbed of pleasure due to fatigue, pain, fever and a slight case of the flu for the past 2 days.  You can’t be serene under such conditions; however, you have to hold to the course and the final goal, which is what we will do tomorrow!
As Serge says, the most important thing is: “The last three days are not a complete loss; I knew it would be difficult to get good mileage and I was afraid that my goal would fly away. What a relief!”

Town : Chollerford (Angleterre)

GPS : N 55.01’82.7° W 002.07’60.5°