I soon found the public services and shaved and got myself appearing half decent again. Cleethorpes is a very nice seaside town, even if they don't have readily available internet in most places. And if they do it was some big guarded secret, I only found access at the local library. And even then you only get 30 minutes free and have to pay after that. It is better than nothing, beggars can't be choosers they say. (Who ever they are..)
It was a long way out of the industrial areas before I got close to the coastal path again. I wound my way down a lane that passed a huge Cosmetic company and eventually arrived back at the sea wall. I noticed that I may have been able to get back on the wall earlier but had not seen any indications as to this, and was loath to walk down roads with no exit. Done this enough already, and you soon learn to be more careful. The bag weight was getting heavier what with a tent and other small items adding to a whopping 14 kilos now.
The wind had picked up to quite a squall and I suddenly realised that the tent was still possibly a bit damp from this morning. The sun was shining brightly so I thought, 'Pop up the tent and let it dry.' Great idea Watson, but as I threw the tent down I suddenly had to leap into the air to catch it as it nearly took off over the sea wall.....
Where was I when they were giving out brains....?
I sat with one foot on the end and threw my bag and poles into the tent to keep it down, whilst it dried out. This must have taken only about 5 minutes, the heat and wind did a very good job. A lady came walking her dogs and spoke to me, saying that it looked like I was having a great time holding the tent down. She didn't know the half.....
Later as I collected my belongings from the four winds and made it away along the sea wall I met the comedian lady. I didn't actually get her name unfortunately, sometimes if it is not offered readily I don't pry too much, some people like to chat and still keep some distance. She was originally from Yorkshire I believe, but had moved here 12 years ago with her husband, and found work when they arrived, rented a place first to see where they would settle. Back in the good old days when you could just up and move and be able to find work elsewhere. She works presently for the N.H.S. and loves her job she told me and the life here in a tiny village called Little Coates. She was out walking her own dog and that of a neighbour who was away on holiday. The little Jack Russel liked me I could tell, her own dog a Spaniel was a bit older and less keen to run around as much. Our conversation was full and animated, she seemed to enjoy telling me all about how the council were trying to waste money on some community hall project which would mean borrowing huge sums of money, when they had an old fashioned reading room, more in keeping with a little village atmosphere, that had to be closed down even though the residents were prepared to get it up and running and at a fraction of the cost of the new place. I nodded my head in recognition of similar waste strategies I had been party to years before whilst serving a brief time myself, as a Parish Councilor of another tiny Lincolnshire village.
More senseless debates about who cuts the grass at the cemetery no-one ever visits, or street signs in a deserted road.
Still we put the world to rights for a half hour or so and she said that she had to get back, and of course I still had some distance to go before I would call it a day.
I watched many ships sail in and out of the Humber and saw with horror the amount of industry still to navigate past. mainly Oil and chemical refineries and a power station and a pipeline from/to the ships moored at the jetty. Way off in the distance the Immingham docks loomed, the cranes like ancient leviathans striding out of the sea.
Eventually I arrived to where I could go no further, and followed the path down into the woods, and marveled (wretched) at the stench coming from the docks to my right, North from here. It smelt like the dead carcass of a whale, like the one on the beach at Horseshoe point. I half expected to find a dead animal in the woods, but none showed up, and I was so glad to escape the trees a few brief minutes later. I passed the dock entrance gate and followed signs for Immingham which I was reliably informed was close to the dock south entrance. When I saw the buildings ahead I almost died with grief, they were all small businesses closed for the day. I had to realise that this was not in fact my destination, but a brief interlude before. Then I found the signs of my arrival and nearly cheered, as I had walked a good 22+ miles to arrive here.
I really was fit to drop. I made my mind up that I would love fish and chips for a change, and then I would find the first place to stick my tent, out of the way and within close proximity to that food emporium. It was Friday night after all and I was not expecting an uninterrupted sleep, this close to civilization. On entering the village I saw what looked like a decent take away shop, which didn't seem to specialize in anything particular, but they had fish and chips.
And oh my word what a fantastic meal. I swear they are the best fish and chips I have ever eaten this past decade. Whilst waiting for the meal I noticed that they also catered for people with rooms. B & B or just room and at a very reasonable rate too. I asked if they had a room which they did and decided to have a day of rest here, so booked for two nights. It was almost 10 pm now anyway and the thought of a comfy bed and a shower with hot water was a clincher. They had free internet, so I decided that I could catch up somewhat with my accounts here. (Though I am writing this now from Barton upon Humber)
I was so pleased when I had my shower and settled down for a long sleep. I counted sheep but only got to about 5 before the lights went dim and I slid into a blissful rest.
Day 9 was over at last.