I was hopeful that today would bring us out of our funk, and it did in several ways! We hiked the 13 miles in under 6 hours. It was a fun day with a range of events/incidents that kept us amused.
Once we crossed the A19, which was at about two-thirds of the hike, we noted a change in vibe which contributed to lifting our spirits. The day had started well with a great early breakfast from the White Swan. We had marched along happily for nearly two miles when the White Swan’s owner pulled up on his cool e-moped. We wondered what we had left behind or done wrong, but he had very graciously come to tell us we were going the wrong way! We had missed the turn off of the Northallerton road. It was an indication of how carefree we were feeling that morning, and I fear we would not have noticed the error until we reached the town. After taking a road to get back on the right route, we experienced a fun mixture of roads, flora, and fauna. Our “detour” only added about a mile. I knew that we crossed the main north-south railway line at some point, and had seen other’s photos of walking across tracks, so was happy to take a bridge over the busy mainline, and enjoy strolling over a very quiet branch line. The kids were fascinated by taking photos on the tracks… Meanwhile, I was already worried about playing frogger over the busy road ahead!
On the face of it, the hike to the A19 was very similar to yesterday, but our spirits were higher. I’m not sure why. The roads were a bit quieter, the paths less overgrown, the farm animals a bit friendlier. I think a part of it was also that the hills in the distance finally arrived! Since Richmond, we’d been able to see the North Yorkshire Moors in the distance, but yesterday, they kept in the distance which I think was subconsciously depressing. Today, we were finally getting there!
Unfortunately, Tracy’s shoes did not treat her well. She reverted to her original trainers which have thin soles offering insufficient cushion and made her feet very painful. After about three miles, her foot caught some unevenness, leading to a complete face plant! Yep, her nose was on the ground, in the grass on the verge. Fortunately, the injury was limited to a scratched knee, and perhaps a bit of dented pride, and she was back on her feet and marching in no time. I must admit that Dean’s pointing out every hole for the next 3 miles was charmingly amusing. I wanted Dean to stage a reenactment for the video. While he refused, he never would have performed as well as Tracy! Even with this amazing bounce back, the foot pain was too much after 9 miles when we arrived at the A19 services and they opted for a taxi for the final few miles. (For anyone else who calls a taxi from here, make sure you specify “northbound services”!)
We had a refreshing lunch and rest at the A19 services (large gas station) which prepared ourselves for having to get across 4 lanes of busy traffic. Fortunately, an island in the middle assisted with our game of frogger, and there were sufficiently large gaps between groups of passing cars. What we had not expected was the immediate change in vibe. The residences changed from commercial farmhouses to cottages. We soon came to The Joiner’s Cafe, which reminded us of the lakes, both with their choice of human food and their welcome of four-legged friends, with polaroids of all such visitors adorning the walls. We had some coffee, and would have enjoyed their lunch if we had not just eaten. After passing through quaint Ingleby Arncliffe and starting to climb the hill, we found Diane’s Famous Flapjack Stand, and were treated with meeting Diane who was in her front garden. She has been making these treats for coasters for 16 years! After a good chat, we needed to put our heads down and get up the hill, with another honesty box about half way up. The vegetation changed to gorse and the familiar foxglove, and then the view opened up and we could see the Pennines in the distance, knowing that is where we had come from! The footpath signs changed to “North York Moors National Park,” and we passed signs saying 50-miles, and then 48-miles, to Robin Hood’s Bay. And we felt a breeze!! It made walking up the hill a pleasure, followed by the finale of walking into the very cute town of Osmotherley. Dean had already checked us in and delivered luggage to our rooms, so we could immediately relax and cool off. After a suitable amount of chilling out, we had a fine dinner and discussed some options for the Townsends tomorrow. It will be another hot day, but we will be in the hills, the views will be fabulous, and we should see the North Sea for the first time! While one theme at dinner was “only 4 days to go,” I am already sad that it is so few 😞. And to round off the day, I was able to fly my drone to photograph a lovely sunset.
Check out today’s short overview video at: https://www.relive.cc/view/vQvxnoQrk96
This page is linked to from my England’s Coast to Coast home page.
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