Andrew said that he wanted a private word with me before I set out for the day, if I was leaving before him. I wondered what this could mean. The little party we shared was pleasant and again when Matt arrived I learned an awful lot about boarding schools that had slipped my grasp before. Luke also worked in one and I had gotten a feel for what goes on there besides teaching the normal curriculum. Soon we all had places to go Andrew was taking the boys to Peek Steel to see if they could get to see the seals at lunch low tide and then on to Bempton Cliffs to see the birds. Archie seemed very happy with this particularly as it might mean no long bike ride.
Andrew came over as I was about to leave the restaurant and told me that the boys and he wished to help me out with my travels in some way and had tried to pay my dues at reception, but I had already paid them. This must have been how Amanda had known about me trying to raise money for charity. He and the boys insisted that I allow them to assist me in some small way, and in the end it was really a big way. I cannot begin to understand the kindness flowing with this ease from people I barely know. I asked if I might have a picture taken with them all as a memory of my meeting them. They are half a of a really giving and kind family and are truly amazing in my eyes and in my heart for their thoughtfulness. Thank you to them all.
Luke was the next to go and he also made sure he wished me a great onward journey and his friendship had been gratefully received in many ways. Thank you Luke.
As I was in the lobby readying to go I had a brief conversation with Ryan another of the Hostel staff. I guess I stand out a bit now with my bag and union flag and other clear signals as to my walking quest. Thank you to Korin, Ryan and Amanda and the others who I didn't get to talk with at the Boggle Hole Youth Hostel. I made sure to join as a member, and so that I can use this great service on my onward journey.
It was approaching lunch when I finally set out as I had done some typing in the lounge. There had been a girl hanging about in reception and I had sensed that she was a bit distressed though she never said anything. I tried to engage in a conversation thinking she might just be shy, but she was quite obviously avoiding wanting to talk. I left her to her own little world and went about my writing. Later she came into the lounge in the hope of using the internet, but it was not working. Again I offered to help and said that she could use my computer if she liked and I even tried to log on to see what it would take. I needed to pay something so I quit the process, I wasn't that bothered. She carried on staring out of the window and I sensed what was wrong with her even though I am no mind reader only listen to intuitive voices.
In the end I said again if she wanted to use her card she was more than welcome to use my computer to get this important thing sorted out. I know from personal experience that stewing over something is not good so it's best to deal with it as soon as one can. She relented in the end and she logged on. After some time she came rushing out to me where I had gone to the reception, as the page she had been working on had disappeared and she was in the middle of something. I restored it all for her and she said “thanks you have saved me.”
I carried on talking to Ryan and then popped back to see how she was getting on. I guess she was using it for about 20 minutes, not that this bothered me, but I was thinking of leaving soon. I sat and read a magazine whilst she typed furiously, ever sure I could read her body language correctly. Then she was done and I tried to again engage in a brief conversation with her, believing that this might help her to take a fresh look at the situation she was dealing with. Still she held back. I mean I didn't want to interfere but I just thought that she might be helped by a friendly caring supportive soul to assist. She got up and left.
I had guessed that she was both German and a teacher though her brief responses lead me to determine my guesses correct but the reasonings incorrect. Still I was glad to have been of help in some way. Interfering and genuine help are two very different things. I try where possible to be able to help a person when something has gone beyond what they can comfortably manage or when a person may need just a friendly bit of encouragement.
When I began walking along the beach I noticed that she too was out here walking the beach. I wondered if she would keep popping up like this.
I walked into Robinhood's Bay and found the end of the Coast to Coast walk and even met with a couple, Pam and Alan from west London, near to Heathrow who had at this minute just completed their Coast to Coast experience. They had done it in a couple of stages but they were over the moon to have finished and began telling me of all their adventures and the kindness that they too had noted from strangers as they walked and visited the villages along the way. It was inspiring to see that it was not just me that had noticed the kindness being sponsored by the people of Great Britain. We chatted for about ten minutes or so, before they had to go and have a celebratory sit down and drink. They wished me well and I wished them a safe trip back to Middlesex.
The German girl popped her head around the corner at the bottom of the hill and I waved, she just smiled and disappeared quickly. I hope that she doesn't think that I am stalking her, but actually it is her stalking me mores the point. I went into the sea-life information center at the bottom of the hill and blow me down she was in their too. I saw her avoid me and disappeared quickly through the door into the sunny day. Phew, this was becoming painful. I mean, I am just doing my stuff and I don't want to be rude or ignorant, but neither did I want her to get the impression I was trailing her, as she clearly wanted to avoid me. And I smelt good for a change, the showers at the Youth Hostel were great.
I wound my way slowly up the hill and out of the small seaside village, stopping to buy some food for lunch from the shop at the top of the village. No, she wasn't in there...... But I checked thoroughly first.
I saw a Robin in the seating area at one point, close to the path and stopped to observe his cheery conversation. I wondered what the message was I was to expect and when it would come. I felt drawn to keep looking to my left and the sight of a tent also entered my head.
I followed the signs for the Cleveland way and headed out along the cliff tops once more. I was thinking that I should walk at least an hour and a half before I ate, so set off at a good gait into the mild afternoon sunshine. I hadn't gone more than about 20 minutes when guess who I spied up in the distance...... yeah.... the German teacher with a slightly awkward disposition towards me. I wondered if I should go across the fields diagonally to help her avoid me, as we were almost on top of each other now. No, be brave and face her oddness and don't make any judgements about what has brought her here. After a couple of minutes I could not avoid her any longer, without being as stone faced as she had been, and that I am not going to do to anyone. Her progress was blocked as it was for most walkers by a huge, muddy mess across the whole pathway. Sheer drop one side of the mess and thorny bushes, or a barbed wire fence to scale. I could see where people had waded through the mud, but it was shin deep in most places, a right horrible test of courage. With my poles and long stride I was soon able to navigate a way across. I offered my poles to the girl, but she declined saying that she was already wet and muddy and would just carry on through. I shrugged my shoulders, but waited for her to ask for my help or do the dirty deed herself. She was wearing a dark top fawn coloured short trousers and fawn coloured shoes. Not the most ideal colours to choose for this hurdle....I couldn't help feeling sorry for her, but she refused to ask for my help, so I pretended to be doing something. I am first and foremost a people person who likes to help anyone with any problematic situations. I don't expect anything for my help, but I also realise that some people feel dis-empowered if I just storm in and do things for them, that given time they could do them selves. I saw her doubting her desire to get covered from head to toe in mud, and the choice to go back the way she had come.
In the end I just said, “move back a little and I will put something across the divide to help you cross.”
She smiled and that indicated that she was too proud to ask directly for my help, but would accept it rather than spend another 20 minutes here.
She backed away, and I indicated further.
I found a log that was already being used in another place and lifted it out of the bog. I placed it at an angle to the gap so as to get the best possible use of its length and girth, in my attempt to be helpful to this damsel in distress. I carefully lowered the log despite still wearing my back pack, and all of a sudden it slipped through my fingers, so I jumped backwards. The resultant wave of muddy spray rose out of the boggy hole and lanced its way towards.......no not me......yes you guessed it.......the pouty German girl. She was covered with lumps of thick quaggy mud, and stood there in silent amazement........
I on the other hand was trying not to laugh......and not doing very well.....
She stood shaking the filth of her hands and face. I said that she was already dirty so she might as well get across now and we could try to clean her up once she reached dry land again. I lent across held out my hand and she stared at me with disbelief, but a hint of quiet acceptance. Yes she was actually beginning to smile........and now she was laughing.....not heartily but at the craziness of the days events.
She took my hand and I lead her to safety, and she said to me, “that's twice you've saved me now.”
“You're welcome, and I am glad that we got dirty together,” I replied.
She had some wipes in her bag and I offered her some water from my hydration pack to help clean herself down as best she could. I couldn't help think that this was the best of a series of attempts from the universe to get us to share time together, so I said that if she liked I would be delighted if she stopped to share a bite to eat with me. She declined. I said that the amount of times we kept meeting was becoming way too much of a coincidence, and she just said that it was because we were both going either one of two ways. I didn't think that was the truth, as there were many places we could have gone separately and never kept encountering one another. Still that was the way she interpreted the days events, and that was fine too.
“Ok then,” I said, “I'll see you later no doubt,” and set off along the path, leaving her to her clean up job.....
Well at least I tried, I thought, but was sorry that I had covered her with such a mess.
Along the way I met Paul from Doncaster, who was doing a walk for charity along the Cleveland way on behalf of the Help for Hero's charity. He was carrying a pack way bigger than mine, but was an ex serviceman, and wore his combat fatigues to camouflage himself against the terrain. He was a jolly man and was pleased to be able to chat to a like minded soul walking for the good of others too. Though I am against war and physical violence as any way to sort or resolve an issue, I do at least respect the service men and women of our nations who do what they do for the reasons they do, even if I hold different views. It certainly is a shame that those that give so much for their country and beliefs are treated so appallingly by the authorities and government when their need becomes great after losing limbs and abilities in and during serving their country. Paul was doing what he could to help those of his belief in their hour of need, so well done Paul for your commitment.
Whilst chatting with Paul the German girl went passed. At least she was still smiling, and as I waved I thought I saw an almost hopeful request for my company.
“I'll catch you later,” I called to her as she passed.
I never saw her again, though I later found her name was Gina. Maybe that look was of fear. That I might assault her again with my helpful acts that caused her so much dirty laundry.....
I passed a family who I guessed were also German and later set down my bag and ate my lunch alone. That girl didn't know what she was missing, as I chowed down on cheese sandwiches, crisps and and a bottle of fresh milk. The family overtook me but they stopped to chat briefly and I confirmed their heritage and what they were seeing here on the coast. Another couple walked passed and I made a brief connection with them before they carried on their way. Some time later I stopped to chat with them as they were having their lunch at a nice spot along the headland where they had found a bench. Christoff and Alexandra, were a young couple from Berlin, Germany and they were doing quite bit of touring and walking here in England this summer. I guessed that they were able to understand our humour better perhaps than some older German people so I asked them if they had met all the other German people on the walk over the past few miles. Yes they had met the German teacher and the family.
I said, “my goodness, it's like you are invading all over again.”
Christoff came back with, “Yes the U-boat is just off shore there, look!”
I remarked that he sounded so very like, Henning Wehn, though I couldn't remember his name at the time. He said it was because of the deep accent, not because he was Henning Wehn. They asked if they could walk with me for a while as we were all heading the same way. Christoff was a recent graduate from a Social study degree, and was working with government agencies to create social strategies for the future. They were a lovely couple and they didn't seem to have taken offense at my daft humour, but soon we had to part company as they wanted to sight see a bit more than I.
Soon I was in sight of the Whitby abbey and knew that I should be looking out for a clue as to where to park up for the night. I had a brief chat as the Germans caught me up as I sat looking at the abbey, and then wound my way down the 199 steps into Whitby center. I stopped for refreshments at the Duke of York, but the internet connection wouldn't work. I visited the Coop to buy something for my evening repast and set off up and out of the town. I had been here before and not much inspired me to stay right now and no intuitive inclinations either. It was interesting to finally get to the top of the cliffs on the north side and look back over the harbour entrance. I found a walking pole that had been left in the little wind shelter at the top. I added that to the extra pole ring that had attached itself to my walking poles in the bog from earlier. Though I don't want to carry more stuff I figured it might come in handy for someone else so took it with an idea to keep my eyes open for someone who needed it. It was quite an expensive pole too.
I set off on a several mile walk along the cliff and then dropped down to walk the beach to Sandsend and then back up on the Cleveland way.
It had began raining as I left Whitby so I had the whole wet weather gear on and it was a bit clamy as I walked. By the time I found a camp on the pathside it was about 9pm and the rain had stopped. The views were very inspiring looking back along the coast, but I was able to rest and enjoyed my meal in comfort and with something lovely to look at. You guys should be out here getting a look at some of these views I cannot tell you enough what you are missing....
Then it was time to sleep and day 27 came to an end.