Thursday, 19 July 2012

Day 24 begins

Day 24 begins

I had relaxed a lot more as the tent had done its job in keeping me safe and warm. A breeze had been blowing off the edges of the cliff here last evening but now all was calmer. I knew that the Ravenscar Tearooms were not open until 10.30 so I had decided to leave the tent up, with my gear inside until a bit later depending on what occurred during the morning. I cannot deny the views were incredibly breathtaking, looking down over the scar rocks below where seals were basking in the early morning sunshine. Yes for the second day in a row it had been dry and no sign of rain. It could almost be described as summer like......

I took my valuables and set off on the three minute walk to the wonderfully enchanting refreshment stop. I was the first to arrive, the bell on the back of the door, gave that old fashioned shop entrance tinkle. A young man was in attendance and busying himself doing the setting up for the day. He welcomed me to Ravenscar and I asked if he was the walker who had been heralded last night. Yes, this was Christopher, who prefered to be Chris, the young man who had walked extensively and was also he told me, a performance artist. 

I ordered tea and toast and he set off to prepare them. I wasn't alone for very long as people began arriving in their droves. Bearing in mind that it was a Saturday I guessed this was quite normal. I had hoped to be able to write something on the blog, but as I sat and got into conversations with people, that clearly wasn't going to happen. My tea and toast arrived, and I ate heartily and the tea was divine, hot and plentiful. Ooh the simple pleasures of life abound to make me smile...
I began talking with a man called Paul who was leading a party of five to do a practice walk for an up and coming walk from Whitby to Scarborough along the Cleveland Way. He said that they have been doing this once per year for a number going back a long way. They all seemed very fit and active, more mature people and they were all very full of energy to walk.
Paul was asking me what I thought of the way ahead. I explained that actually I hadn't walked on the Cleveland Way for the part from Scarborough on recommendation from Matt from the Crag and Moor Outdoors shop, who being a keen mountain biker had told me of the alternative cinder track which followed the now defunct railtrack embankments. He seemed curious and was eventually persuaded to go this way, rather than get into a serious amount of mud, that I had been warned about. (I have no way to verify if that was the case, only have third hand information) But they happily set of to follow the new alternative and I wished them a great walk. It is nice when people share this kind of information, not because it isn't great to sometimes discover for yourself the reality of the trail, but because certain people can be helped to avoid rather awkward circumstances that might otherwise ruin their day out.
I had many brief conversation with Chris, but again because he was working he had many customers to attend to. I happened to notice how very congenial he was and what a very good host he made for the tea rooms. Nothing too much trouble and always plenty of help and suggestions when people were not sure what to choose, and always a smile. I liked him from the outset, he knew how to be a good accommodator of people, even the awkward ones. He told me a little about his walking as a performance artist, when he had used his dad's orange overalls as an integral part of the act he was putting on, walking between two places from dusk till dawn and carrying buckets of sea and fresh water and occasionally mixing them. I admitted I would need a little more of an explanation to gather a proper understanding of this conceptualising. Later on he said that it was a pity he had so many plans for this evening as he would have loved to walk with me for a bit, and maybe show me the seal sanctuary at Peak Steel, the beach below Ravenscar. I told him that I was in no great hurry and we arranged it for the following evening, Sunday.

It is all about the people for me and when I engage with someone, I don't mind accommodating that, especially for a new experience with a local guide. Anyway I could find plenty to do to pass a day here. I said that I would be back for my dinner at about 4 pm well before they closed and I set out to spend the day writing poetry and sightseeing this area.

I found a lovely bench at a corner of the Cleveland Way, not far away and sat with a couple, David and Pauline Gregg. They were like me, here to enjoy the view and soak up the life that was here on these cliffs. We chatted randomly for sometime before they had to get home. Then as I was writing some poetry another couple stopped briefly to engage in conversation and we found that we had some strange things in common. Martin and his wife Sue actually lived in Spain for most of the year. They had a campervan which they had been using to travel and now decided to stay a little more permanently in a village just along the road from where I had recently lived on the southern coast, Nerja. We chatted about many things and they originally from Hull were keen to know about the stories of my adventures so far. They too had plans so had to carry on after a while. Even though some of the encounters were very brief, I was amazed that so many people wanted to stop and chat with a random stranger. I hoped it was that they also found me engaging, I would hate to spoil peoples other wise happy peace with my intrusions.

Back at the Ravenscar Tearooms I had a baked potato with curry for my meal and it was a nice warm boost, even though the day was not especially cold. Chris offered me a scone with butter and it was to die for. I left Chris to shut up the cafe and re-confirmed our walk for the following evening and came back to the tent to sleep after a long walk around the village as it is, where I also wrote a lot of the blog on a bench at the old Rail Station. It started to get a little chilly so I had to put my coat on at first, then it began to spit with rain so I made a sharp exit to my tent, just as the rain came down more furiously. The winds were getting up too, so I had a perfect opportunity to see if the tent would stand up to its first test of suitability.

No real walking done today but plenty of people and things to see and meet.

Night fell and day 24 came to an end.

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