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]

Thursday 7 April 2011

Day 19 - Osmotherley to Ellerton-on-Swale

Thurs 7 April (0735-1530)
Distance: 18 miles (Tot: 328)
Weather: vaguely drizzly start then fluffy clouds clearing to wall-to-wall sunshine
Number of tree creepers seen creeping up a tree: 1

Well, that wasn't too shoddy a day either, you know. It started as they usually do with us lowering the top section of the front door, and putting a brew on. Proving that green tents make very good hides, it was as we sat there, tea in hand, that just a few feet in front of us we watched a tree creeper doing what they do best. An excellent way to start the day, even if the weather wasn't quite playing ball.

The drizzle was light enough that we didn't feel that even waterproof jackets were called for, and off we set: up, up, up. We knew that it wasn't going to be a lumpy day, though. After having a good view of the flatness that we knew was to come, down, down we went.

Danby Wiske was 11.5 miles through the day, and by the time we got there only a few fluffy clouds remained. We had been hoping that the pub in the village would be open, but finding it shut until 6pm we opted for elevenses on the green outside. A couple of minutes later the pub door opened and the landlord came over, explaining that as of Saturday the pub would be open all day (the Coast to Coast 'season' (i.e. when the baggage transfer service runs) started last Monday, apparently), but that we were welcome to use the toilets or fill up our water. Minutes later we were supping a lovely pot of tea.

Our stay was then prolonged as, just as we were about to leave, a group of 7 lads (from Wellbeck College) arrived and we got chatting. They couldn't comprehend the length of our journey. Equally, we took our hats off at the speed of theirs - they're doing the C2C averaging 28 miles a day (partially because they're mad, partially for charity).

Nearly an hour after we sat down, off we went again.

An hour later and I hadn't recognised a single thing about our surroundings, and I was thinking that we must have gone a different way to our Coast to Coast route in 2008. Then we met a chap with a C2C guide book in his hand and I wondered whether it was just that cropped farmland is pretty generic (the rape is bursting into flower around here, BTW) and thus not memorable. Finally there was something I remembered: a small sign on a bridge between two fields saying that local farmers had paid for the bridge to be renovated, along with the local hunt.

We've now left the C2C route. Tomorrow we head north again. In the meantime, we are pitched on a campsite at Ellerton (which doesn't accept tents anymore but has allowed us to stay as we look 'responsible') right next to the lake. The site isn't anything to write home about, but the location isn't bad at all.

(Karen/Alan - the question is: how did anyone ever come to realise the St John's Wood/mackerel fact?!
Martin - not ahead of schedule. In fact, currently a day adrift. It's just that we're working to the (unwritten) schedule that I came up with a matter of days before we left. It was omitting the Scarborough loop, in favour of ground we've not before walked, that did it. We'll fall further behind on Saturday as we've just decided to rejig the next few days, so we won't now be reaching Stanhope on until Sunday morning.)

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  1. Like today's photo. Glad your feet are allowing you to continue.

  2. You need to thank me for the "OK" weather you had on Tuesday. I was on Dartmoor and it rained for 14 hours. My reputation as a rain magnet has been enhanced. Mind you, it was beutifully sunny on Weds and Thurs. I have the sunburn to prove it.