The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Day 13 - Barnetby to Brantingham

Saturday 23 April (0650-1600)
Distance: 24.5 miles
Weather: wall-to-wall sunshine, v hazy, no wind, ridiculously warm
Number of people encountered on west walkway of Humber Bridge: 75 (yes, I did count them)

With a day of indeterminate length ahead of me I thought that I may as well get an early start. Theoretically that would also allow me to enjoy the cool of the morning, but it was a coolness that was short-lived. Before eight o'clock I was in short sleeves and obviously in for a hot one.

The morning was much like yesterday afternoon: lots of pretty yellow, but otherwise unremarkable farmland. A good handful of miles in the surroundings changed and as I popped over a rise the land fell away below me, presumably to the River Humber below, but I couldn't see it due to the haze. I also felt sure that I would ordinarily be able to see the Humber Bridge from there, but without being able even to see the river just below me I stood no chance of making out any part of the bridge, a few miles downstream.

My first glimpse of the bridge was from about a mile and a half away, and soon afterwards I was climbing the steps to the west walkway (I recalled that Mick had taken the east walkway, so I thought I'd take the west). I got onto the bridge smack on noon, and during the next 30 minutes, until I left the bridge at the other end, I encountered 75 people (in contrast, three weeks ago Mick met only 1 other person). It seems that if you want to take your family out for a walk in the Humber area on a sunny Saturday then the bridge is the place to go.

Seeing people eating ice creams as I left the bridge I deduced that there was an ice cream vendor nearby. A few minutes later I had gone marginally out of my way but was sitting with an ice cream and a cold can of pop. Bliss!

Having told Mick, during my break, that I was going to aim to reach South Cave and that I would be there in 3.5 to 4 hours time, I thought I'd better get back on my feet and onto the Wolds Way I went.

All was going well until I met a dual carriageway that, according to my map, didn't exist (although it took me a little while to realise anything was amiss, as I was expecting to meet such a road so I didn't immediately notice that this was a different (and very new) one). That was the start of my decline. The heat of the day was taking its toll such that I was struggling to even remember my own name and having to put my brain into gear to work out where I was and what this non-existent road* was doing there was not a welcome intrusion. Having got myself to where I needed to be (turned out I hadn't gone off course, I was just confused by the new road), I put my brain into gear again just enough to look at the map and decide that the sensible thing to do was to finish the day a mile and a half sooner, at Brantingham. The decision to stop was made easier by the fact that Mick had phoned to say he had arrived in South Cave, and I didn't want to make him wait too long (that was my excuse anyway).

At exactly four o'clock I found Mick loitering in a pub car park, and dragged him inside for a glass of cold pop. I'd run out of water (which had been horribly tepid for most of the day) just before I'd reached the village, so that pop barely touched the sides.

Stats for the day: 24.5 miles; 7 hrs 10 moving; 1 hour 45 stationary.

(*we've had quite a few 'that's not what it says on this map' moments on this trip. Things change over the years. Time to update my digital maps, methinks.)

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  1. My Memory maps keep doing the same to me....but it is quite expensive to update. I have a birthday soon so maybe my wife will read this ?
    By the way St Georges day was not yesterday (23 April as usual) because you cannot celebrate a Saint at Easter so St Georges Day this year is 2 May (after the 8 days of Easter)
    Looking forward to reading about the rest of your journey.
    Bill W

  2. Well, you learn something new every day! I had no idea that St Georges Day was a moveable thing. I've amended the post accordingly. Funnily enough, I only realised the date when I saw a flag of St George flying.