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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!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Last day: :Levisham to Robin Hood's Bay

The moment I had been dreading had arrived as I tried to put my boots on this morning. I had tried to protect my heel as much as possible but no amount of dressings could ease  the pain of putting my right foot into my boot. At first I thought it wouldn't go in but I finally managed to ease it into the boot. When I stood up the pain was excruciating, far worse than I imagined. I couldn't put my foot on the ground and was hopping about. It seemed that after walking 83 miles this week the last 17 would not be possible but I couldn't bear the thought of coming so far and not completing the challenge. After a few deep breaths I managed to begin walking in a strange crab-like crawl. Looking over at Tina she was also suffering with blisters on both her feet so the two of us urged each other on. After all it was only a 17 mile walk today.We knew from the past few days that once we had walked  a few miles the pain would ease as the numbness set in.

Steve decided to try and distract us from the pain by a display of legs for the final day. Last year the weather was much warmer and Steve entertained us with his wacky dress sense but he's a lot more conservative this time. Still we couldn't help but smile at those knobbly knees

Our last morning group photo of the trip. These daily photos would take an age as Paul and I would set up the timers and then get into place. Inevitably either one camera wouldn't go off or we were too slow to get into position. Today I didn't even try, I just asked Paul to set my camera off so I wouldn't have to move.

Our walk continues over the North Yorkshire Moors and today we had the choice of walking around or going across the Hole of Horcum. This is a spectacular feature of the National Park. It is a natural amphitheatre of more than half a mile across and four hundred feet deep. We decided to walk around it and to remain walking on a level surface. Jim set off at a good pace which Tina and myself knew we couldn't follow but we also knew they would wait for us at crucial points en route.

Views of the Hole of Horcum

Tina and I were delighted to get to this signpost as it meant  we had walked 3 miles and what was even more remarkable was that we had achieved a speed of 2.4 mph.
We didn't know what the large pyramid shaped building in the distance was but the map told us it was RAF Fylingdales Radar station. As we had to walk past the station it was in our sights for a long time.

There are a number of stone crosses on the moors. This one is known as Malo cross and as far as I can find out, it dates back to around 1610 and was  erected as a boundary marker. At the top of the cross are the initials K with R E underneath (Sir Richard Egerton, Knight). Below that is the mark of the stone mason

As we got closer we could see RAF Fylingdales  more clearly. It became operational in 1963 as one of 3 radar sites in the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, the other  two being in Alaska and Greenland. Its mission statement states: 'To provide an uninterrupted ballistic missile warning and space surveillance service'

An exciting moment as we reached a sign post to Robin Hood's Bay- our final destination.

Our first sight of the sea!

You would think that now we could just about see the sea the need for map reading would be unnecessary, but no, we didn't want to walk an inch more than we had to, so it was important we followed the correct path and arrived at Robin Hood's Bay from the right direction.

A rare event - a mobile phone signal.

This path had large tyre tracks possibly from the ranger's vehicle as this is a National Park and a protected area for all the nesting birds.

Shocked when I looked down to see these tadpoles swimming around in the puddles of water created in the ruts on the track.

Where the rain water had evaporated we could see the black, dried up remains of  tadpoles.

The wind was howling across the moors so we huddled down by the side of the track amongst the heather for our lunch break. It was very cosy. The only problem was having to get up again and start walking.
Tina hobbling along well behind the others.

Tina, spurred on by the sight of the sea soon got into a good rhythm whilst I lagged further and further behind.

 I will catch up!

We could now see Robin Hood's Bay a few miles away.

Just needed to follow the coast round to the bay.
However there were a number of ups and downs before we got there.

We had to walk down to Boggle Hole. This used to be a notorious smugglers' haunt.

The name comes from the word boggle or goblin that is said to haunt the area.

It was a tough last mile mainly because of the descents and inclines. Tim was also having difficulty walking and at one point had to come down the steps backwards. My only regret is that I wasn't close enough to record the action!
 Find it hard to believe but yes I made it! I can now say I have walked across England.

 It's traditional to dip your feet in the sea when you arrive. I was content to watch the others.

Thank you to Tina, my cheerful and encouraging room mate who never let the blisters get her down; to Tim with his knowledge of gizmos  and endless sense of fun as the butt of many jokes; to Steve for his encouragement and support when it was needed the most; to Jim for all those chats we had when I could keep up with you at the front and then all your sterile dressings when I couldn't; finally to Paul for all the hours you must have spent planning the route, booking the accommodation and arranging our meals. It has been a real honour and pleasure to be part of this special group.
So, where are we going next year Paul?


  1. Gosh. You and Tina are absolutely iron ladies. I can't believe what you went through. Imagine a hot blooded Floridian could make that hike? Keep me in mind for the next safari?

  2. That is quite an achievement and I hope your feet have recovered. It can't be easy to get along with other people for such a decent period nearly all day every day but you all achieved that too. I've enjoyed the walk with you very much. Look at that four storey house perched on the edge of the cliff. How do the windows get washed?

  3. Congratulation on a job well done, and now your poor feet can recover from all you have put them through. But what an adventure it was for me! :-)

  4. A million congratulations! I am in utter awe! Though I didn't comment on every post I read and enjoyed every word of every one. Plus the pictures that made me feel as if I were there, except without the blisters. They look amazing enlarged on my iPad screen, by the way! Those stairs and steep climbs at the very end must have been especially hard.

  5. What an accomplishment ! Congratulations ! Fortunately I could see the walk through England looking at your pictures with my feet safely under the desk ! For me it was definitively better to have done this tour with a bus ! lol !

  6. I loved those tadpoles and I hope they will survive to become frogs or toads. We (my parents and I) once stayed at the youth hostel at Boggle Hole and we had to walk the 25% incline back towards the car. It was steeeeep! But we had a great view there.

  7. Well done! How about the SW coastal path next - my memory of the bits I have done it is either up or down - nothing flat!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  8. Very good you made it til the end! Now your feet can heal. A great achievement congratulations.

  9. Congratulations of completing the 192 mile walk across England! I went back to your first post about this walk and followed back to this post--enjoying all the scenery along the way. I hope your blisters have healed and you have no lasting ill effects. This was a marvelous adventure!

  10. Wow ! You have my admiration for embarking on - and completing - such an adventure (but then again I shouldn't be surprised, having looked at your profile and seen past excursions!). Well done and I trust your feet have recovered - time to sit back with a shot of your favourite tipple and reflect on what you've achieved and look forward to the next chapter!

  11. Congratulations. It must have been a relief to get there. Its a lovely little village. WE stayed there on our last trip to UK. I can't believe you want more. How about walking across Australia?? Did you have someone transporting your bags each day.

  12. Hooray, you made it! Congratulations!


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