Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Day 11 Blakey Ridge to Egton Bridge 10 miles

We woke to beautiful blue skies and sunshine again and after sorting the bags headed down for breakfast at about 7:30am, we had planned to eat a little later this morning as it was quite a short day to Egton Bridge, however I think the warm sunshine and constant noise from the grouse outside meant we woke fairly early.
I ordered bacon on toast for a change whilst Sarah stuck to cereal and toast. After breakfast we packed up and headed downstairs to check out, as we did we met Astrix and Martin having their breakfast, after briefly chatting to them and saying, (what we thought) was our goodbyes due to them supposedly not walking as far today we hit the trial for around 8:30am.
The weather was perfect as we left the Lion Inn, the sun was shining, sun cream on, lovely warm conditions, and we felt good as we headed over Blakey moor. Streams of Saturday traffic was heading past, cyclists, classic cars and bikes, and cars packed with beach equipment no doubt heading for Whitby we thought, thankfully not where we were heading.
We soon arrived at the Fat Betty marker and had a couple of quick photos, as we pressed on we were walking a little slower than usual, it was an unusual feeling really, with the North Sea now visible in the distance we were almost ambling along, not actually wanting this day to end as that would mean the last normal day was over, with tomorrow being the final stretch in to Robin Hoods bay.
We stopped to take a few photos again as we passed Great Fry Up Dale, the weather was fantastic, but also very hot. We stopped on Glaisdale Rigg and fired up the stove for a coffee and hot chocolate, along with some really nice rice crispy cakes we’d picked up a couple of days back.
After a nice and lengthy break we headed along the spine of Glaisdale Rigg towards Glaisdale, whilst walking along the top another little family of grouse chicks crossed our path, as well as a small lizard, which was something we’d not seen before and demonstrated how hot and dry the weather now was.
As we dropped into Glaisdale we decided we’d look for a pub for an extended lunch, I dug out my Coast to Coast guide book which indicated the Arncliffe Arms was not far away, so we headed there. Again it was nice to get out of the hot sun for a while, so we sat inside and had a bowel of homemade tomato soup with a roll and shared a huge bowel of chips, chips round this way are really nice incidentally, so any chance we had we ordered them!
After lunch we had a really nice walk towards Egton Bridge, ambling along after a picture with Beggars Bridge in Glaisdale and a pleasant walk through the woods we arrived in Egton Bridge at around 14:00. With ample time in the bag we enjoyed a nice pint of Theakstons ale in the bar at the Horseshoe Inn which was our accommodation for the night. The Horseshoe Inn is a lovely village pub, and clearly an angler’s pub with fish caught in the river Esk proudly hung on boards from years gone by, some pretty monstrous examples it has to be said.
After our drink we headed up to the room to freshen up, I was hoping we’d have a TV so I could watch some of the FA cup final Arsenal v Hull, which we did. What we didn’t have however was a bathroom door, very was a case of “going round the corner” to use the toilet or shower...
Otherwise a nice room and place, after getting freshened up I watched most of the final in our room which was 1-2 to Hull in the 70th minute, by now we were both hungry so we decided we’d go down for dinner and keep a check on the football on the internet.
After enjoying our meal the suspense got the better of me and I and went to the room to watch the end of the match, which ended with an Arsenal win. After the game we went back downstairs to for a drink.  After a nice relaxing evening and briefly chatting to a couple of other walkers we’d met from America that day we headed to our room to watch TV and to turn in for the night.
As we relaxed watching TV I was reading my Wainwright book and making some notes (these notes in fact). I read a passage called “concluding notes” at the back of the book, if you’ve not read his book it is strongly advised, reading it day by day as you walk C2C gives the biggest impact. As I read this section which draws the Coast to Coast to a close I felt a bit emotional that our walk was almost over, Wainwright has a way with words, and describes the feeling perfectly, that whilst many long distance walks are finished with relief, the Coast to Coast is finished with regret and I couldn’t believe how fast the last 11 days had passed, both of us were feeling a little sad our C2C 2014 was one day away from completion.......
We already missed this walk and we still had 16.5 miles to do. Anyway, tomorrow is a great day’s walk, and we still had that to look forward too!

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