Generally I am planning my return while still in the air over the Atlantic.
I know the road back.
And I mean that quite literally.
The Roman fort of Vindolanda sits on the Stanegate road built in the first century to run east west across the barbaric province of Brittania. My walk to the site each day is literally in the footsteps of the Romans, the current country lane either being the original route or within a few feet of it. Note the ruler straight layout, which suggests a Legionary engineer laid it out rather than some bare footed peasant driving balky cattle:
With my best impression of a hard marching Roman soldier I determined that it was 938 paces between the two stones. Case closed.
Or is it?
Much depends on whose pace was the standard. Some studies suggest that the typical legionary soldier was five foot six inches tall. In my walking boots I run about five foot nine. Allowing for this difference the corrected distance was 980 paces. Getting close now.
Perhaps some additional allowance needs to be made for it being a down hill stretch.
Or perhaps I was more eager to see my destination than a footsore soldier doing a twenty year hitch.
If we give a ten pace correction for each factor I think the pub table debate can be brought to a successful resolution.
Vindolanda is where it has always been.
The road is where it has always been.
And the milestones along the way still read true.