Monday, 2 July 2012

Day 11 begins

Day 11 begins

Mr Masood had done a half load of washing for me yesterday, another of the great additions to his range of services. So I popped down to collect my things and pack the ruck sack ready to leave. I was as usual in no particular hurry to get going, but I guess he would need to change the bedding etc. The accommodation was basic but very nice and clean, and the showers were hot. I had another just to get a fresh start on the rest of the week. Bag packed I dropped the key off and got my deposit back. He went to check the room, but I had left it pretty well as I had found it. I had a brief conversation with him, swapping contact details and the like before he wished me a happy onward journey. I smiled and said that I would thoroughly recommend his wonderful place and incredibly good food, as I am indeed doing here. It is simple to be able to share good advice and recommendations when the experience was so positive.

On the road again I realised that I had a bit more Industry to squeeze through before I could enjoy the beauty of nature and the raw elements she provides for free. I walked alongside a pipeline to escape the main carriageway which was dual here to the North entrance to the docks, and the M180 out of the area. The pipes were lovely.... 

Still I guess for progress we have to suffer some ugliness.

Soon I was back onto back water lanes, but the refinery to my left was enormous. It may have been more than one, but it seemed to never end. The wind was quite blustery and more than once I nearly got blown into the dyke. That is possibly the result of the sail effect from the tent being strapped to me and the bag. The day was also chilly and I had all layers on again, and even though I tried to keep a brisk pace, I was not very warm.

This is the beauty of summers here in the

After an hour or so I arrived at the corner as it was of this back road. I was gobsmacked at the sight before me. It would appear that the docks stretched even here and a few ships designed especially for carrying cars were tipping their wares out onto the key in the distance, but the foreground was a complete sea of shiny metal and cars of every colour. Huge lorries were uploading cars to take away to various car dealerships no doubt. I never knew there could be so many cars needed. I made my little documentary video and shook my head at so many acres of luxury motoring, taking the place of wild natural landscapes.

Around the corner and again I came across the North Killingholme power station and link to the national grid. Everything was so enormous and covered so much land. I couldn't help feeling a little sad that we need so much energy at the cost of the natural habitat of the flora and fauna.

Another half mile and I finally found where man left nature alone, and the terrain returned to green fields and trees, little houses and beauty. I spied another old church which really was ill kempt and had a look around, enjoying the architecture of the ancient craftsmen and masons. 

The wind seemed to have dropped here a few more miles inland even if it had been coming overland and not off the sea. I decided to follow an old road along through the middle of the countryside and not on the main roads. Across the fields I spied a very old looking abbey and way off in the distance, Wahey... the Humber bridge. Though I was not especially keen to get out of North Lincolnshire I was looking forward to crossing her. 

The feat of engineering technology that span the entire Humber into East Yorkshire. A couple of horses came along the road just as I was filming a small clip about the view. Things were jolly pleasant out here on the estuary approaches.

I wanted a break so took it overlooking one of the fine looking ancient homes of the Earl of Durham, that I discovered to be Thornton Abbey. I walked along footpaths that had not had much usage, by the look of the undergrowth. Back on the main roads I had to dodge cars and Sunday motorcyclists, racing about like Barry Sheene. (Who, I hear you ask ?)(Get on google. He would have laughed in the face of Carl Foggerty, or Rossi 'The Doctor'.)
Luckily I saw hidden in the undergrowth again another footpath sign. It seemed to lead directly alongside the Abbey. What good fortune I hear you say. I fought valiantly to get through the kissing gate. Several kissing gates later and I was on the field directly adjacent to the abbey. A good time for a nosy I thought. And to my complete surprise I found a huge compliment of archaeology students digging holes everywhere. Not being one to miss out on the opportunity for discovery, I went across and got into conversation with several of the team and asked what the hell they were doing.

The Sheffield University it seems are involved in a 5 year excavation project here, to discover evidence of the monastic periods of transition from the 13th 14th century into a more modern era climate. (I paraphrased here) Martin, heading one of the teams explained quite a lot about the stuff they have found and are discovering, following geological surveys prior to their arrival yesterday, when they commenced excavations. Most of the people here are studying at Sheffield Uni, but a good number have flown in from the United States, because their students don't have many historic sites to dig up over there. Shannon from D.C area came over and spoke a while with me, and later I found a group of three having a break in the graveyard overlooking the old chapel/church. Weird I know, but we are dealing with archaeologist here, they eat sleep and dream dead artifacts and people. I believe 2 of the girls were from Detroit (Motor City) (Home of Eminem) and the other was a well spoken English girl from the south of England. Chatting with these random strangers was very enlightening and we laughed frequently. 

I went exploring and later returned to get a few close up photographs of the digging team. One girl told me that she had found a coin from around the Elizabethan era, or at least I think that's what she said. I said my goodbyes, wished them a fruitful dig and add a link here if you out there in reader land wish to see what their project is all about.

I crossed back to where I thought the path was going and came across another dig which was around a house that had apparently been the dwelling of one of Charles the 1st's top men. They all looked animated as they had just found a tooth or some pottery. I asked one of the students if she knew where the path was going but, she wasn't sure. She sent me in the direction of the main gate offices. When I got there I was told that this was a National Heritage Site and that I needed to pay to be here. Oops.....
Still I joined at a very reasonable rate and can now go into all and any I come across henceforth without being strong armed off the premises. I joke, Kim and Ula were a lovely couple of ladies looking after the site. Two new followers to my campaign to cross Britain and meet all manner of peoples. I believe Ula was from Sweden.

Back along the road away from Thornton Abbey and I came to a station out in the middle of a field, with old fashioned gates and Lever catches to open and close the points and the signals. 

The road to barrow upon Humber was a bit boring, but it passed reasonably quickly. Again the survey of car drivers was underway and about 50 % in favour of my stepping out of the way. Well done those people for their acknowledgements....

I was getting ever more views of the Humber bridge looming in the back ground, as I hiked towards Barton upon Humber. I saw a few people out running and quite a few cycling, which was nice, to pass a complimentary hello.

My brother Dean had sent me a joke on the phone, and it made me laugh out loud. I stopped to call him and say how glad I was of his kindness. He knew about when I had walked across Spain in 2010 and how welcomed the jokes had been to keep my spirits up. Soon I was in a good frame of mind and ready for what Barton upon Humber could show me. 

The entrance was well marked, and several different signs announced the town and its over seas partner, Feyzin. I saw a group of youths outside a pizza restaurant and waved. They seemed pleased and surprised, but they were not the type to heckle or shout daft abuse. In the main like Immingham there was not a huge amount of litter about. Even there in that dingy town shopping precinct there had been an absence of rubbish about. Someone was obviously clearing it or people were just not throwing it, and that thought gladdened me. Some of the kids waved back. 

In the center of town I looked out for clues or signs as from where my good luck would spring. I walked passed the Wheatsheaf and was strongly drawn across the street to the George Inn. I have no idea why, just an hunch that I followed. It was a beautiful place and like the Saracens Head in Southwell Notts, I was impressed by the grandeur of the place. It appeared almost deserted inside as I set my bag down. Only two people were at the bar, one either side. I asked if they were still serving food. I realise that Sundays are funny and not all places have the same hours, and it was about 8pm. It turned out that they weren't serving any more, but the barmaid, Debbie said that if I went over to the Wheatsheaf that they were serving food. I said I wasn't that fussed as I liked this place and said I would just get a packet of crisps with a drink. The other lady at the bar, Ang (Angie Keys) was the cook here at the George and asked what I would have liked to have eaten. I said that was hoping for some soup or something warm really, and she kindly said that she would log back on to work and do me a bowl of soup and some warm bread. I thought I had died and gone to heaven, such kindness from an angel. Both Debbie and Ang fussed over me and made me feel completely at my ease, as I sat an relaxed in the corner of an alcove. They were keen to know all about my travels and what my goals were. Debbie unbeknown to me had rang the landlady of the Hotel and asked here about the possibility of helping me with a room at a reasonable rate. Sarah, the owner soon appeared and spoke to me about a reduced rate she could offer me. I was amazed at the kind offer but said that as I was trying to walk for a year, my fund wouldn't stretch that far so soon. I really did appreciate her offer and the kindness behind it.
For those of you that have never been here before, the hotel and restaurant/bar are of a very high caliber. I mean it seemed that I would never have been able to have stayed here in a month of Sundays. However the room prices were incredibly reasonable for the luxury that you receive. (You are going to ask me how I know this aren't you?)
Ang Keys.

Well, it came as a surprise to me that the cook, Ang a lady who was, as of thirty minutes earlier a stranger, and a person obviously with an enormous heart, had offered to pay something towards the room for me to stay in. I was blown away by her and Sarah's kind offers and hardly had the heart to reject such a gift. I felt graced by this and was amazed at the random kindness of these people who don't know me from Adam. I gave Ang one of my prospectus to read through as I ate my soup and she disappeared to the bank I guess.
When she returned she put some cash into my hand and said,
This is towards your room, I am glad to be able to support such a worthy cause that you are doing.”
She went on to say that she was also trying to help out her bosses as they too were suffering the hard times of the current financial situation. Ang really was a great person, ever ready to help everyone. I'm not sure if she wanted me to say this, but I feel sure it is without piety or pity she does what she does, she really is a genuinely kind, giving, and sincerely loving woman, and she had given me the entire cost of the reduced fee room.

All this from a person I have only just met.
So it would appear, that our great nation has many good Samaritans living and caring for others. I hope that Sarah and Jim the owners of the George Inn and the Wheatsheaf know just what an angel resides and works for them, in Ang the Cook.
I also noted the devotion of the staff, Ang and Debbie which is a very good sign of excellent management. The staff work hard but are respected and appreciated. I will be sad to leave, but can't abuse/accept this hospitality for ever. The Hotel is a beautiful place, (see pics) and click on the website link too. 

It is a delightful place to spend a few days from which you can discover the local Estuary and features associated with the bridge and Coastal areas of North Lincolnshire. Take a look at their website please.

When I retired to my room for the evening I took a shower and luxuriated in the depth of comforts here. A world apart from the room at Immingham, but none the more incredible as an experience. It is true, that if you put your trust in the Universe it will always supply you just what you need, to experience what your heart desires.
It is also true that life can be cruel and rob you of the things that you love dearly. My dear friend Richard to whom I dedicate my walk in his memory, whom died about a month ago was one of those people/things.

Another ex neighbour from Earl Shilton and a man I care for deeply Carl, also recently lost a loved one. Barry Green from Thurmaston Leics.
His Grandad had been a man he loved deeply and sadly passed away on the 17th February 2012. Carl took it pretty badly, but he asked me once if I would do a mile on behalf of his Grandfather, because the song attributed with my project title, IMAGINE by John Lennon had been one of Barry Green's most loved songs. And it had been played at the funeral, Barry's wife Hazel and family left behind to hear his vision declared in the words of the ex Beatle.
This was not the first occasion someone had asked me a favour like this, and I gladly accepted. The reason? Simple really. If someone takes the time to ask me this, I take it with great pride, that firstly they would ask me, and secondly that they know that I would consider this, as a token of my respect and love for them. Sadly the person I never knew, Barry Green, who had touched the lives of so many, was important to Carl and so yes I would honour this request in memory of Barry Green of Thurmaston. I will walk my first mile to the bridge tomorrow in his memory. The last mile of Lincolnshire and the beginning of the crossing into East Yorkshire.

R.I.P. Barry Green. (9/10/1931- 17/2/2012)

And thank you Carl for asking, may all your family be happy as you work towards raising them and protecting them.

And so to bed and the end of day 11.

1 comment:

  1. Epic!!! Great Adventures continue.
    Dean xx