- Paperback: 268 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1.1 edition (25 Feb. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1507886780
- ISBN-13: 978-1507886786
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
Hadrian's Wall Path - Walking into History: Full-Color Version: Volume 2 (Woman on Her Way) Paperback – 25 Feb 2015
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About the Author
Jane V. Blanchard is the author of the Woman on Her Way series. She explores countries by foot and by bike, and than writes about the adventure for her reader's escape and entertainment.
She retired in 2011 to walk 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago in Spain—her first long walk.
In her first book, Women of the Way: Embracing the Camino, Jane mingles her personal story with conversations she had with modern-day female pilgrims who also trekked the Camino. In Hadrian's Wall Path: Walking into History, Jane shares her discoveries along the 84-mile path across northern England.
Jane was born in Hartford, Connecticut. Upon graduation from college, she worked as a travel guide in Madrid, Spain, and cried at her first bullfight. In 1975, she and her husband Dennis lived in a tent in Winchendon, Massachusetts, for six months (until December) while they built a log cabin. After two years of living off-the-grid, they lived a self-sufficient lifestyle on a five-acre “gentleman's” farm.
Before moving to Sarasota, Florida, she lived in Hampstead, New Hampshire for twenty-four years, where she raised two children, was a soccer and Odyssey of the Mind coach, and received the New Hampshire Excellence in Education Volunteer of the Year Award in 1996. She enjoyed hiking and biking, and climbed twenty of the forty 4,000-foot mountains in New England.
In her fifties, Jane started mountain biking and racing. In 2002, she placed second in the Eastern Fat Tire Association Senior Division. “Even though I was not the fastest competitor, I did attend and complete the majority of that year's races. Just like with the turtle and the hare, slow and consistent wins over fast but sporadic.”
In Sarasota, Jane became involve with several national and local organizations bent on helping women, and hosted a weekly radio show on WSLR, Woman Matters, for two-and-a-half years.
When she married in 1974, her husband Dennis and she joked about creating a lifetime of memories to chat about when sitting in their rockers in old age. Now in her mid 60s, Jane is still creating memories, experiencing life as fully as possible, and looking forward to a long future. “I have to live long enough to write about all my adventures,” she says.
In addition to having adventures, writing and publishing, Jane enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
The work is packed full of details about the Wall, its construction in the early centuries A.D.(Common Era), and the countryside in which it is located, today. The book is true to its title, for as Jane admits she previously thought history was a dull series of dates and facts, she brings alive both the 85 miles of the contemporary hike and, especially, the time of Hadrian's Wall construction. She describes both the scope of the building project, with its walls, numerous towers and forts, and the overall security needs of the Roman frontier defenses. Her comments about the amount of space for soldiers, options for their relaxation, and challenges of "Northern" weather for troops of men from Southern climates of the Roman empire, emphasized her awareness of the loneliness of men sent to these military outposts.
This work really breathes from the thoughtful reflections of the author--she melds insights on the hiking experience, the impressive and varied terrain, and the life of real people, now and long ago. Not a hiker myself, I appreciated Jane's insights into making reservations, using travel resources, and practical clothing tips for the climate. Throughout, Jane's experience enriches this work, as she also pulls in some comparisons to her previous hike on the Camino across northern Spain. I loved her honesty about "mistakes" they made in travel, or difficulties in recognizing elements of the Wall, in parts where little remains visible of the original construction. I chuckled whenever she mentioned areas where subsequent inhabitants "repurposed" (re-used)materials of the Wall, after the Roman garrisons withdrew. Jane's varied vocabulary and the structure of the book both work to lighten would could be a monotonous narrative, ie. Day 1 "we walked to.." Day 2 "we went to..." etc.
Jane weaves historical information, travel narrative and personal musings in an entertaining blend. She notes particular lodgings, eateries, and pubs, along with some of the wonderfully helpful people they encountered. Although I AM attracted to historical settings, I had no interest in architectural detail, yet I was drawn in. As Jane unfolds the story of this couple's travel together, I think many readers will enjoy the view of these two people coupling their individual personalities in a joint venture, revealing their honest "real" selves; the reader will gain instructive insights, learn about a world and glimpse real people of the past. And like me, it might make make you entertain the thought of doing this hike too.