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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Day 4: South Otterington to Hawnby

Our meal last night was delicious but breakfast was not of the same high standard. You could either have cereal (little choice) or a cooked breakfast but you couldn't have both which is unusual. We were given one round of toast on the plate with our cooked food but it had been pre buttered. No option was given for more tea or toast. So when the packed lunches came along I wasn't surprised they too were plastered with butter. Never mind I still had a few bits left from previous days' lunches.
The taxi was late picking us up from outside the pub to return us to South Otterington. Whilst waiting we were aware of two police cars one on either side of the pub where we were waiting and then a third arrived and parked in front of the pub in the middle of the road effectively stopping any traffic from passing. All three had their blue lights flashing. I might expect to see that in London but not in a tiny village. Our taxi then arrived and the police let us go past. Never did find out what the occasion was but it was an exciting start to the day.
 The walk began along a road and over a rail bridge at Otterington. This is a main rail line carrying the fast inter city trains.

Looking at the railway line emphasised even more just how slow I was walking this morning as the blister on my scar tissue was very painful. It took some time for my foot to settle or rather to become numb to the pain so I could pick up my walking pace. Another 15 miles to cover today. Paul has tried to even out the walking so that it is only on the last day that we will have to walk 17 miles.

We began the walk on minor roads until we were through the pretty village of Thornton Le Moor.

We could see the Cleveland hills in the distance and knew we would have to cross them today.

Despite the torrential rain we woke up to, it was bright and breezy now and we were making reasonable progress. These horses were very friendly or perhaps hoping we had a little treat for them.

I wondered what was in the field ahead. It looked as though it was covered in plastic.

As I got close to the field I realised it was the dew still on the grass catching the sunlight.

Wild garlic just bursting into flower.
Some very picturesque scenery today.

This horse took a liking to Steve.

I think this was the A19 we had to cross but no problem as there was a bridge.

Those hills are getting closer.
I'm lagging behind again!

The skies are looking ominously dark.

We could see the rain falling heavily in the distance but we remained dry.

Hoping to get to the top of the Clevelands before lunch.

Baa baa black sheep

Starting to climb up now.

A rather narrow bridge

Finally we reached the top and rewarded ourselves with a rest and lunch break.  I was glad I still had some fruit and cereal bars from yesterday as I just couldn't  face the sandwiches we had been given that morning.

Blue skies once again.

At least I'm not at the back. 'Come on Tim, Hurry Up!'

Having reached the top we had joined another long distance path -  the Cleveland Way
Yes that really is our leader way ahead of us.

I stopped to talk to a couple of men repairing a dry stone wall. A very skilled job but the waller was a bit camera shy. The other worker was very amused when I told him we were walking Eastwards across England as we were walking on the Cleveland Way which is a North-South pathway. Not sure he believed me when I said we would be turning off the pathway shortly.
The next path was a nightmare as it was covered in loose stones. Their instability is a real nuisance and it is easy to go over on your ankle.

Our map reading had been going really well on this trip but after a couple of miles on this difficult path surface we decided to alter our route slightly by cutting across a couple of fields and joining a different path. I think we were getting just far too cocky about our map reading. We should have known better

This didn't quite go to plan as we hadn't anticipated private, fenced off land barring our way. To be fair it wasn't shown on the Ordnance Survey map as being private. It was too far to turn back and we were getting tired by now so we had to skirt around the private land which seemed to go on for ever to find a path that would take us down off the moors.

Steve and Tim just checking that we could legally go through this gate. Although by now I couldn't have cared less whether it was legal or not I just wanted to get down into the valley and onto the road.

Once we found our way down it was just a case of following the path down to the road which would take us into the village of Hawnby.

The worst part was probably the last half mile which was uphill!

At last I could see the sign for the pub where we were staying. We were disappointed to find there was no-one to greet us and that the pub wasn't open for another couple of hours. However we could get into our rooms and there were tea/coffee making facilities there. The moment I had been dreading approached when I removed my boots and socks. I have always had complete faith in blister plasters which have never failed me in the past. But when I looked, my heel was in a terrible mess as the open blisters were much too big for the plasters so this was going to be a big problem for me. We still had 47 miles to go with another 3 days of walking. I was worried I wouldn't be able to walk at a reasonable pace to keep up the mileage. We shared the contents of our first aid kits and thanks to Jim's wife who had packed a number of large sterile adhesive dressings I felt able to continue.
By now everyone was suffering from blisters which we could only surmise had something to do with the road and uneven surfaces as last year we had no such problems.
Forget the pain look at the view from the room.


  1. Such wonderful scenery and the field with the dew did look as if it was covered in a giant sheet of plastic. I'm wincing when you talk about the blisters. I know just how they feel! Glad you were able to go on.

  2. Wow---I admire you for your long-distance walking... Don't think I could EVER walk that far at one time... We have so many mountains and hills here --so hiking just 3-4 miles is a task for me... I'm PROUD of you. You are in great shape physically.

    Sorry about the problems with food and blisters ---but I will say that you walked in some absolutely gorgeous areas. WOW... Loved seeing all of your photos.


  3. Sparkling day!

    ( '>

    ALOHA from Honolulu,

  4. It is a great view from your room. I was going to suggest something like strawberries growing under the plastic. Hard to believe it was only dew. As you suggest, maybe not enough preparatory walking was undertaken. I noticed after our holiday last year where we did quite a bit of walking, much of it on cobblestones, my feet were much tougher for a while.

  5. Oh such pretty countryside! Too bad about your blisters.

  6. Oh, I would have been lagging behind all the way. I usually do whenever I am on a walk/hike. Whether they are easy or not. There is just so much to see and take photos of!

    I hope the blisters will be better for your next stage. They can be real annoying and get you in a real bad mood. At least they do for me!

  7. Oh those blisters are bad to walk with. It spoils the joy of walking so much. Another closed pub again. Where are those people running the business?

  8. Those sky shots were to die for. Lovely countryside. (blisters aside)

  9. Such wonderful pictures for such a painful day. I do hope you are able to continue. I know what a problem blisters can be. It takes all the fun out of it. But the countryside is really lovely. :-)

  10. Beautiful scenery, but I'm not sure even that last pic could make me forget the pain. Hurts to even think about it. I'm such a wimp.

  11. I am already tired when I read the km or miles you have walked ! Nothing for me I am far too lazy ! The landscapes are beautiful, the blisters less !

  12. Shame about your sore feet. I don't know how you could continue. Very pretty tough walk today.


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