Day 19 begins
I guess not. I was on a cliff near to the edge, but not I hoped in a place that would give way overnight. I was still here, so happily concluded that my judgements had been sound. I knew that Flamborough light house was only a few miles away and that was to be my first stop for the day, once I got my tent packed away and my legs into gear. The tent was still dry-ish, it hadn't rained as such, a bit of morning dew had settled though. I hate putting the tent way wet, it means that my planning has to include drying it ahead of the next usage, or getting into it with added complications. Neither good, but I shall cope whilst I wait for more lovely people to step up and offer me a bit more comfort. There is of course something extra special about having such a great opportunity to see the environment up close and personal. Try it sometime. Yes I know there is not electricity and or running water from a tap, but how would you ever cope if those things weren't there? Test yourselves at least once in your lives, please. Nature is so lovely and hearing the sounds of the birds and the wind in the trees and the rain hammering down so fast that it seeps through your tent is marvelous......urgh scratch the last one....lol..
One thing about my arrangements so far, means that I rarely get a cup of tea in the early mornings, as I was accustomed in normal life. I was thinking I could kill for a cup of tea when a building came into view at the bottom of the cliffs. The path went down, so I had to and was really disappointed that the R.N.L.I. had not come down here to put the kettle on for me at their lifeboat station. My life needed saving you know....
The south landing station was at the foot of a place known as Danes Dyke and the road coming down and yet a few hundred feet away from the beach on a ramp, I assumed was where the boat rolled out. The steps up the other side looked steep, damn. Still I had to lose some weight and strengthen my legs somehow, so this would be a grueling workout, especially with my house on my back. I felt like one of the millions of snails I had spent the nights with over these past weeks.
I hacked along at a fair gait until the next set of steps took me down then up, but not as serious as before. The lighthouse didn't ever seem far off but neither seemed to get much closer, until I was almost upon it. I was round the end of the headland in no time and saw the lighthouse a few yards away. I sat on a bench just below the towering heights of the centuries old tower and marveled at the views of the bay below and the people out walking their dogs. I could have given a fortune for a cup of tea was my thought sitting here. I ate a few of my saved food items and the cold sausage roll stuck to the roof of my mouth. Those buy 1 get 3 free offers are no good. I should only buy just enough for the day, that way I could have fresh stuff. Yeah but, the cost of living this way was not always the cheapest. You have to buy in bulk to get the best prices, even if you don't really want all that much product. I fell foul to that old marketing tool, that convinces you you need more than you do, just look at what you save. Ha ha ha... Anyway, the food was a sustenance and the cup of tea remained elusive. After a half hour or so, I loaded up and snuck along the path at the side of the lighthouse tower and nearly fell over back wards in disbelief. I had seen nothing but the tower in the walk here, but as plain as day, there was a small village, and a shop and a couple of cafe's and all sorts of amenities.... I couldn't stop laughing for ages...... I had though I was in the middle of nowhere...
I did get a cup of tea from the Cliff Top Cafe, and then set of again towards the far away town of Filey. The paths here are very narrow and I was glad of the waterproofs not only to keep my trousers dry, but because walking through long grass all day could whip your legs raw. I also had the boot gaitors on but even this was not keeping my boots from getting a hammering with the constant wetness they had to deal with. The winds had gotten up a little too so I was sporting my fine reversible wooly hat. The cliff walls were full of bird life and other creepy crawlies and the slugs were out in force, but I do my level best not to step on any creatures unless it is by accident. If I were a Buddhist I could be treading on my relatives or yours....
I came upon a copper plaque set on to a pillar that had all the notable compass bearings and some other interesting data on it. Apparently I was equal distance, 362 miles from both Lands end and John O'Groats. My goodness I still have a long way to go. I guess I may have done about 160 miles so far??
Soon I came to another bay inlet that was populated by boats and civilization too. Loads of children were on the beach and the fisher boats were lined up ready for the tides to turn I guess. As I came into the cliff top area close the the houses I saw a very interesting feature in the grass. A man, I found out to be a local man Joe, 87 years of age had been writing jokes onto bits of slate and old wood and posting them here for the amusement of the passing walkers.
He certainly had a way with humour, and it made me snigger and smile as I stood like a few people reading to our contentment. Then as I rounded the corner, I stumbled across the tranquil setting of North Landing Cafe.
The ambiance was lovely, I had a hot cup of tea and got into conversation with one or two of the staff. I asked if it would be alright to plug my computer in to carry on getting up to speed with my blog. They had no problems with helping me out so I sat and enjoyed the lovely company, the misty views form the windows and the food as I later decided to have a hot lunch here too. I guess I must have stayed about 4 hours or so, as they were packing up for the day towards the end of my visit.
Pat, Christian, Sue, Naomi and Jade were a lovely bunch of people and they had helped me pass a wonderful afternoon in their company, waiting on me and chatting about life here in a sleepy seaside village. I took a picture of those that were not shy and got on with the rest of my days walk as I now needed to walk off the lunch and hot desert I had with custard....mmmmm
Soon I was high up on the cliff tops again and worried about how close I was getting to the drop. The track was slippy and muddy and not much help for a safe passage, but my boots were quite grippy so I had that comfort. I called my brother and spoke to him for a while, and passed on my love to his family. He sends me jokes every now and then, he seems to know when they will help pick me up. He is a good guy and I have seen a new side to him these past years, a better more laid back and accepting attitude. He deals with a lot of stress at times and I wish he'd let some of it go, but he is a determined man with values and he sticks to his determinations and soldiers on. In a way Dean is a role model for me, with his kindness and giving, as too my other brother Ben, who rings me every now and then to see what I am up to. And my mum bless her, always rings me on a Saturday morning come rain or shine, to check if I'm still enjoying my adventures. Family are a great help when times are less than ideal. Today however I am in very good spirits, people are being exceptionally kind and supportive, and yet I was thinking of him so I called. He wished me every success and we exchanged salutations. I have tried to avoid saying goodbye these days, as I think that it kind of implies that I will not see them again. A bit like when I visited Richard just over a month ago, I wasn't prepared to say goodbye although I could see in his eyes he was not going to make it. He died two days later, and I will never forget that he said to me, he would come and find me, as we parted for the last time. He is here with me as I walk, I can feel him now and again as I look for a clue as to which way to go, and where to find shelter. I see his kindness in the faces of so many people I meet, and it makes me know that he goes on forever in my heart and will be around to help me as a friend would. He would have loved to have been walking with me I know, despite having had commitments to his new wife and children. God I miss him.
The walk was turning into a long drag, my feet kept getting bogged down but I wouldn't give up. The views of the birds in the cliffs was inspiring and I wrote a poem or two, whilst walking along. I love gathering material for new poems. I have been writing for about 3 years recently and done more than 800 poems in that time. (Find them at my poetry blogs Click Here)
I bumped into a couple who were surveying the bird population at Bempton R.S.P.B. Nature reserve. Alan and Glennis worked for the R.S.P.B. and they were most helpful and insightful giving me any and every assistance with my constant string of questions. I left knowing the names of several new birds and also how to spot them. Rules of habitation and all manner of rare facts about the populations and nesting and feeding and migrations. Alan was a goldmine of information and he reeled it all off without a hint of piety or arrogance. I could see he loved his job and the birds that he helped to save and monitor. We also talked extensively about the ecology and how climate was having such a profound impact on the bird life as they relied on other things that couldn't grow or flourish in warmer seas. It really does seem to have a knock on affect, and we the general public really don't have the first clue as to its devastating consequences on the environment. Did you know that a Gannet flies at 50 miles per hour, or that it files to the Dogger bank to feed and then returns with food for its young whilst nesting is going on, on the cliffs at Bempton?
No me either... Now there are some interesting things to learn out here and I am making I hope, the best of all opportunities to listen and learn from any source man woman or beast.
I crossed over I believe from the East Ridings, into North Yorkshire, and carried on down along the cliff tops for some time before I was stuck with a conundrum. Two signs, equally as official, both pointing all the way down the hill to the beach. Damn, I quite liked the idea of not having to go down there at this hour of the evening, it would be dark soon. One post was loose and so I suspected that the Farmer (god forbid they would do such a thing) had moved it to avoid walkers at the edge of his fields. I argued with myself for a while but then took it as a sign to go down, and that's what I did. Boy the track was steep and muddy and even almost lost in the undergrowth. I can't envisage many people walking this. In fact maybe they hadn't.
The beach was nice, stony and close to the sea. I mean that the tide was still in and some of the escape was cut off from the amounts of land slippages here over recent months years. I had to dart in and out of the surf as the water receded and back up again before the sea came back. Doing this, in a state of haste, I slipped and almost twisted my ankle badly. It began to throb but I had no choice as to go on, lest I be found here one day drowned at sea. The slides were often muddy and I got more than my fair share of muddy boots. At one point I had to scale a huge mountain of slippage, and fortunately had my poles to detect cavernous holes beneath the undergrowth and grass.
I was beginning to doubt my sanity as I struggled onwards, but all of a sudden a voice, or an instinct told me to go left, and I missed falling down a big hole in the middle of all this debris, by inches. Phew, thanks mate. Not long afterwards I was at the foot of a roadway, and I guessed the caravan site I had seen earlier was at the top. It was almost a quarter past ten when I arrived, and the reception was closed. My left ankle was hurting now and I could really have done with a shower and a sleep. I spotted a security guard at the entrance to the main block of buildings for entertainments and went over to speak to them. I explained that I was a bit lost/stranded and could have done with using their facilities and they kindly said that I could try the shower block at the bottom of the park but that they feared it would be locked after certain hours. I thanked them for their generosity of spirit, and set off to the bottom of the field. To my pure amazement the showers were open and I was clean and refreshed in no time. It was way too dark to go anywhere else, so I threw my tent alongside others who had paid, to rest for the night. Though my ankle was throbbing I strolled to the main block to see if there was any food to buy. Sadly there were only crisps at the bar, but I enjoyed a cool drink and a snack as my reward for a long day. The security guards were all very friendly and could see that I was not a threat to the other members of the camping park, so welcomed me with courtesy.
So to bed, and a well earned rest. Teeth cleaned and duty done I walked back to my home. The tent was still dry though it had begun to drizzle, and before you could say Jack Robinson I was asleep.
And here lieth day 19 at rest.