Tuesday, 18 December 2012

My Advent Calendar - Day 18

December 18th

Welcome to Day 18 of my Advent Calendar, where I am reliving my Coast to Coast adventure!

Day 11

~ Onto the moors, A good path, Lots of ‘up and down’, We camp on a farm and are ignored ~

We got our first solid breakfast for days, which gave us a good boost ahead of our first morning on the moors. This was our final section, we were only just over 30 miles from the coast (as the crow flies) but we were wary. We knew we could conquer the hills, but we were unsure as to what the surface of the moors would be.
            For starters though we climbed up through some woods on a wide track. The sun was up and by the time we emerged at the top we were very warm. There were plenty of other people around, but we were surprised when we came across a large and noisy group of women, all over forty, and most over sixty. We stopped too and let them go on ahead taking their chatter with them.
            When we carried on we were pleased to see signs for the Cleveland Way, which meant a good path, and it was. Nicely laid stones, and well managed earth made walking very easy and pleasant. The hills rolled on into the distance and so we set about getting over them. These were the first real hills in several days and they brought back happy memories of the Lake District. We felt fresh again and even the clouds that blew in later on didn’t bother us.
            Occasionally we saw people we knew; Mr and Mrs ‘we have two different guide books’ were still going strong, as were the two men ‘doing the walk in 12 days’. Our favourite moment, however, was seeing our old friend from Shap: ‘Martin Wainwright is useless’. If you’ve only just found this Advent Calendar, Martin has written one of the guide books on the Coast to Coast path, and happened to be the one that Hannah and I had chosen. This man and his friend, were also using him, but having rather more trouble having got lost on the fifth day. We hadn’t seen them for some time, but they passed us as we were resting in the early afternoon, said hello and then told us how they’d got lost again. To be fair they didn’t mention the guide book this time, but how they got lost is a mystery. The Cleveland Way is well signposted, the path is clear and the direction obvious. Hannah and I laughed for some time after they’d gone.
            We also met four ladies, the most talkative of whom was called Carol. Apparently they’d been discussing how old we were, and when we told them their guesses weren’t far off they shook their heads sadly, saying, ‘that makes us fifty years older.’ They were on the final stage of their Coast to Coast walk, which they’d been on for over a year. Not continuously of course; they’d started and stopped several times. They had interesting stories about people they’d met too, including a mole catcher and we enjoyed listening to them, but after a while we moved on ahead.
            After yet another up and back down we neared the farm where we would be camping. The trouble was, how to get to it. The map showed a couple of paths, but having tried one and got stuck we had to turn back. A bit further along we found a better way and eventually strolled up to the small farmhouse. No one seemed to be around so we set up our tent and got out some cooking equipment. Later Hannah did find someone to pay, but that was all we saw of them. They were looking after sheep, and walkers were of little interest I suppose.

Traffic on the Cleveland Way.

Up onto the moors.

Looking North East, with Roseberry Topping in the distance.

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