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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk
As undertaken by Paul Tinker
Aged 48 and a lot.
(And his manservant Dave).
June 5th-June 16th 2011.
Scaring Pilots.
Day one: 
Sunday 5th June 2011. 
To infinity and beyond.
But not passed Ennerdale Bridge.

      So I said to the wife," Your Highness,I'm off for a little walk!". What I didn't say was how little the walk was, where it was, or how long this little walk would take. The only thing that she knew with any certainty was the fact that I had my chaperon,Dave to come along with me. I am not sure who was actually delegated as the official chaperon. Dave for me, or me for Dave. Hard to tell really, as Dave is a misguiding influence on me. He takes me to gigs,conventions etc; all of which seem to have bars that sell beers in various guises. This is usually fine, as he only allows me enough to make sure I can still walk. Can't be seen to be carrying me now can he.
      So,after a very early start from Suffolk, and I mean a really really very early start, I mean an "even before the milkman has got out of bed" early start, at 2 A.M (that's After Midnight, but only just), myself and the young Dave Kite Esq, set our compasses (or is that compii?) to "N", the opposite to "S",then set Dave's car to Motorway,and set off for Richmond.

      Now I can hear you saying to yourselves," You're off to do the Coast to Coast Paul.! Richmond isn't on the coast. You stupid person". This is very true. The coast bit, not the stupid person bit, although, now I think of it......! I didn't say that.
      However. The reasons will now become apparent.There are some lovely people in Richmond, called the Sherpavan Project. I know it sounds like a hippy commune or something, but they promised to take us to the coast, and look after our car for us. This we thought was a nice gesture. It cost money, sure, but it was nice of them to gesture all the same; was it not?

      Having had to leave Sunny Suffolk at silly o'clock. We  managed to locate "The Old Brewery" (I told you he was a misguiding influence didn't I!) at about six. The Sherpavan people turn up at seven. Strange how the bar was closed though. I mean. It's a brewery isn't it?

The two insipid explorers.
Sorry. "INTREPID" explorers.

      We parked the car out of sight of PC McTraffic cop ,and carefully chucked our worldly possessions into the minibus, entrusting our fate to the driver, who's name may have been Glen. It may also have been Graham, or Richard. It was a long time ago now, and I have slept and had more than a couple of beverages since then. It may have been none of these and someone to whom I must apologise later for forgetting, but without further ado we set off for St Bees.  A place made famous by a Saint who kept some bees.  I think. I may have read that somewhere, or made it up. Either way, when we arrived the evidence of Apiary was not in plain view, i.e; we found no honey. Mind you it was still quite early if you are an Apiarist. It was only about ten of the clock B.N (before noon) in the morning, and we all know bees don't do much before lunch.
      St Bees has now also become famous for being the start of Alfred Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk, which was probably quite a good thing for Young Dave and Myself, as we had decided that was what we were here to do. This you may have guessed from just the title. As I don't allow stupid people to read what I write,then I assume that you are of an intelligence equal or beyond my own.  (This is not actually too hard to achieve. If you can breath and walk at the same time, you have managed something to which I shall one day aspire.)
      Upon our arrival at said St. Bees, we noted the large car park, with room for a vast amount of cars. It would seem that we had found the location of the Top Gear test track. The Holy Grail for Petrol heads.
It also has a toilet block. The Holy Grail of people with weak bladders and I.B.S. This we made use of,as it would have been rude not to, and stage fright has that effect on me also. We were also unsure as to where else we could find felicities that we could use further along the trail without having to dig holes.

        We De vanned (that's French for " got out"), and stretched our legs. Mine had been used as a seat for most of the journey by Toby.  I let him sit on my lap for the trip. Not that I was in a position to refuse his request as he sports a very fine tail, and two more legs than myself. Oh! And teeth. Lots of teeth. He also brought with him his minders/servants. Jo and Tim. He had trained them well. They sat in the back of the minibus making small talk with my manservant/chaperon Dave.

     The beginning of the walk officially starts at the BIG sign. This is where our legs were stretched. At least my legs had been warmed up before we started walking.

Thanks Toby.

See if you can guess which one is Toby.
He's Black, four legs,and no rucksack.
And he is the one with the tail.

       Dave and I collected our pebbles from the beach. A tradition that has sprung up to help the good people of North Yorkshire to keep the sea at bay, as we are ex-forces, we always follow orders. It may also be some ruse by the Government as a way of saving money on building sea defences for the good people of R.H.B.
       Our toes  were dutifully dipped in the North Sea (Another tradition of the C2C, King Canute  was conspicuous by his absence),and oft we bloomin well toddled. Thank you very much.

      We did have to stop to take some photos on the way up the cliff path. The fact that I was already totally knackered had nothing to do with it M'lud. Besides, that's a long way up from down there. I didn't take this photo from an plane ya know.

I can see the sea. OOooooh I feel queasy.

This one wasn't taken from a plane either....even though you may have thought it was.

      Our first serious point of call after evading the 30000 metre cliff drop to our doom (it really is that high), was the old Coastguard station. Now I don't know what was officially wrong with the old Coastguard Station, but you would have thought running the tracks all the way there would have made the trains journey a bit easier. Still Dr Beeching obviously knew what he was doing. Possibly. But probably not.
( For those of you of a non UK persuasion, Dr Beeching was credited with the destruction of the UK railroad infrastructure. back in the late 50's and early 60's, or something.)

Not a train in sight.


      From this point of the walk, you can see a few countries all at once.

To the North, there is the land of Bonnie Prince Charlie, Robert the Bruce , Ali McCoist and Billy (The Big Yin ) Connolly. 

 To the south west, one of the many homes of the previously mentioned "Top Gear", presenter Jeremy of the Clarksons,and fellow petrol head and former world F1 Champion, and Indie  Car Champion,Nigel Mansell, The Isle of Man T.T., a chap with three legs, and the Laxey Wheel. 

 To the south and East, the home of Her Majesty The Queen, and Mine and Dave's long suffering spouses. Along with a couple of other people who we have recently met. 

Wales was not on offer for inspection due to a by election in the Rhonda Valley.
      The viewing of the Coastguard station was then followed by a considerable study of the  now famous St Bees lighthouse. Believe me when I say I didn’t know people still lived in lighthouses. Apart from the Lighthouse Family of course. Oh how we laughed!!!! Luckily, we never laughed enough to make us fall over the edge.
      Seriously though. People do live here. So you must be quiet as you pass. They have wolves.......and children.Dunno which scares me more. And they must be well heeled to afford the electric to run this place. That is some bedside lamp. If they can afford to run that little lot,a Hit man would also be not a problem. So keep your distance and your noise down, unless you have a camera crew, and the chap who walked the walk with AW, or your loved ones may never know how you didn't even get past day one.  

Mind the dogs.

Mind your hats.
The wind will dislodge it and make you look stupid.It nearly did it to me!

       It has been said, by some (I never met them),that you can walk five miles from St Bees and still be only  2 miles away. I agree. But can I just say that it felt like five and a bit. Luckily for us, the locals in Sandwith (pronounced Sanith, which is almost like sandwich but with letters missing), had heard we were on our way and ensured that the Dog and Partridge was opened up for some well deserved liquid sustenance. I knew my fame would spread as I took charge of this expedition, but not as soon as this. Strangely enough, they have a sustenance called Wainwright, which is available in glasses of half or whole pints. Possibly even in Barrels. Either way,from this point, I envisaged our speed falling off to around one p.p.h. (pubs per hour), meaning we should be finished by November next year.

Anyone who says that this walk is just a glorified pub crawl must now complete the following test.

The C2C is a pub crawl.
                                           A: Right
                                           B: Wrong
                                           C: Just plain stupid.
                                           D: Following in my footsteps.
Select one........

The answer will be available just before closing time.

      When out and about doing this exercise thingy, it is wise to ensure you do not become dehydrated. Uncertain as to how many sustenance's would be prudent at this point,we topped up our water bottles with some strange liquid found in taps marked "C",after, of course, availing ourselves of one or more of those Wainwrights as mentioned a moment ago, just in case we didn’t find any more houses of a public nature open en-route. ( Bet ya didn't know I spoke French did you!)

      It turns out that it was a very good idea, because due to a slight navigational malfunction which can only be blamed on one of the following, Passpourtoute Dave, Me, or Henry Stedman,but most likely Dave, we found ourselves not where we thought we were, but somewhere else completely. Had it not been for some kind hearted and well meaning soul leaving a note on a gate telling us that, “If you are doing the C2C, and are reading this, you are off route. You now need to turn left, proceed to the end of the road, turn left again, then first right”, then we may still have been heading into the Lake District via some strange back door that no-one else knew about. We may even have ended up in Brigadoon. That would have been okay for me, but Dave cannot sing a note. And as that's all they do in Brigadoon all day, he may have been banished to somewhere less welcoming. Like Esher.
 Can I also say, that when we had completed these nicely typed directions, it became apparent that a certain Lady TV presenter who shall remain nameless, called Bradbury may even have made the same mistake, as we appeared  at precisely the same spot where said lady had appeared in episode one of a series of TV programs, that enchant and then entice would be idiots like myself and Dave to do walks like this in the first place.

Dunno who the other bloke is though!
Bit of a short arse though.

      Can I say? If you passed the Walkers Pop In Cafe without popping in, then you missed a real treat, and a cracking cuppa Gromit. Next time you are in the area, I would suggest you rectify this and, well, erm, Pop In. (It's in Moor Row, in case you missed it.)

There now follows a commercial for The Walkers Pop In Cafe.

"Marjorie will make you most welcome.
It's all home made,and good for you. Okay, there are no beers available, but you can't have everything can you!"

And don't forget to sign the book. Do mind your head when you stand up....all will become apparent upon a visit.
        Upon my return to said pop in tea shop some months later (August)  I was able to prove to my good ladyship wife (eventually) that we had actually popped in. All be it after looking through the wrong visitor book for ten minutes, finding the date we arrived and noticing that we actually hadn't been there at all and I had imagined it. (The Brigadoon effect possibly?) Then my clever Baroness looked through the visitor book for 2011, the year our walk took place, and found out we had in fact arrived and departed upon completion of beverage and cake.
      Marj even remembered me with a huge hug. My ribs are now thankfully mostly recovered.

      Any way back to the walk, where mile eight turned up just around the corner, just after which, you disappear off back into the countryside, via the path past the Millennium Post and the cricket ground, where people with nothing better to do, sit round and watch a small red ball dart around a field for several enjoyable and intensely exciting  hours. Then it's off into Wainwright Passage.
Where do they find these names?
      I make no comment here on purpose. But you can feel free to say what you like.


That's Dent behind the pavilion.

        We trod carefully in and then out of Cleator (not to much excitement there, but we did find another pub.The Three Tuns. But it's closed down for now). Then mile nine came and went. Onwards and once more blooming well upwards we hiked,until we came upon the first real hill. "Dent". This I did not like one little bit. The chances are that it may even have showed a little.

      You know you look shattered, when a lady out walking her dog,called Sally, insists you let her carry your rucksack to the top. Okay, after careful cross examination, it became apparent that the lady in question was also one of those Para glider people who regularly carry a 30Kg pack up a mountain, then throw themselves off.  Not once did she ask, but three times (Ask to carry my bag, not throw herself off, that is). Being the Gent on Dent that I was, I steadfastly denied her all three times. I hope she didn't think I was a holy man. Remember, the last time that happened?
      However, had the lady asked a fourth time, I’m not sure my resolve would have held. As you can see from this. I'm just glad there were no OAP's about to offer to carry my bag. How embarrassing would that have been? By the way. I didn't catch the young lady's name. But then she never threw it at me. Maybe she was already aware I may be a stalker!!!!!

Having removed the excess weight from my rucksack, I was able to proceed at a much faster rate.
Hair pieces are over rated anyway.

      I shall be returning to the Coast to Coast at a point not too distant in the future(2013). If the Lady is there again, I may very well avail myself of her backpacking services,and allow her to stride out and up on my behalf. We do have to find ways to keep the locals happy as we go. We don't want them fencing off the land now do we. And think of the benefits, economically.

      After the steep drop into Nannycatch, which we discover after having had to climb the three thousand foot tall deer proof ladder(it really is that tall. Those deer can get some height up you know. That's how they manage to deliver all those presents at Christmas), it is mostly plain sailing into Ennerdale Bridge for the average walker.
It’s a good job too. My feet are killing me. This may explain the strange call to my wife from the insurance company just before we set off. Had she arranged a Hit man who specialises in Death by sore feet, to take care of me before I got back?

      I may make reference to the fact that my feet were hurting several times over the next few days. No. strike that. I will make reference to that fact over the next few days. A lot.

Is it any wonder we are slow if the signs keep leaning on us.

    I had decided that it would be a good idea if Dave didn't cook for us this evening,as he was tired,and was unsure as to whether all of the ingredients would be available locally or not, as he had left the refrigerator at home by mistake,and so it was decided to indulge ourselves at the Woolpack in Emmerdale, where we were assured Mr Wilkes would make sure we were very well accommodated.

      Sorry. It would seem,Mr Wilkes nor Amos are any longer there,and Annie passed away a few years ago,and you may find yourself looking to pitch in a field by a church, near a river like we had to. And they have changed the name of the village to a more Cumbrian sounding "Ennerdale".They also changed the name of the Public House to The Fox and Hounds,so as to avoid complications.

      Thankfully, the Fox and Hounds is at the bottom of a hill. Otherwise, I may have expired before getting there. The food is excellent though. The beer is too, thank goodness. The camping is a bit of a let down. £5 will see you in a field behind the church, but only if you can find it. This will all depend on who gives you the directions to it, whether you were really listening, and on how many of those sustenance's you had between foods.It is possible that Dave had one or two more sustenance than myself,which is hard to believe, I know. It took him 10 minutes to find where we were supposed to be. It took me three. If he tells you different. Tell him he's fired. So my version is the one that is accurate. It may even one day appear in The Sun (the paper not the pub). The Murdoch press won't be able to suppress this tory. Sorry STORY! Oh no!
       I was a little concerned upon my arrival, that Dave may have taken his new found freedom a little too far. He had left my rucksack and tent in the Fox & Hounds, erected his own tent, climbed in and forgot to come back for mine. I allowed him this small indiscretion as it was our first night, and maybe the fresh air had got to him. One cannot say that I am the worst master to work for.

Good job I know how to put this up.
      So day one is complete.Our weary bodies have found peace,our prayers have been answered,and we didn't die. This can only mean we will have to do some more of the same tomorrow. Hopefully the miles will fall away and my feet will survive the onslaught of some gradients that should only be attempted in a Harrier Jump Jet.  
      I did manage to note that should I need to.....well you the night.....there was a fast flowing one nearby. No need to flush. Just avoid falling in. Explaining to her Ladyship the reason for my soggy appearance may cause an awkward pause in the conversation in the hospital don't you think? 

Day Two.
Monday 6th June 2011.
Ennerdale Bridge and onwards to
You can call it Borrowdale if you want.

      Who invented the zip? Whoever it was had never had to get out of a tent in a hurry. Myself on the other hand! It may have been the running water of the Lake District tributary rushing passed my tent all night on it's way to top up Ennerdale water, or it may have been the tall glasses of that stuff our good ladies tell us that we do not need."EVER!" They may have a point, because it was the morning before I found myself arguing with firstly the zip for my sleeping bag, then the zip for my inner tent, then the zip for the outer, and then zip for...well you know what that was for. Can you spot the pattern here? All of these zips have large tags on them to aid in their opening, but still they fail to respond when you are in a dire need to operate them ion a hurry. Funny how when I was not in a hurry, that they operated perfectly well.

       After eventually extricating myself from the predicament,and eradicating my need to be the newest sprinkler system in the Lake District, it was time to wake Passpourtoute. His claim of “ I’m already awake” were absolutely not true. Had it been, then my breakfast would have been cooked, and my morning tea would have been waiting for me after my eventual escape from the zip prison. As breakfast was not ready, we proceeded to strike camp. Noting as we went that one of our camp mates (whom we caught up to later at Black Sail Hut YHA), Tom, had already left. In fact he had left at 4 A.M and had also not thought to make my breakfast. Oh well. When one is roughing it with ones staff, one must expect that they do not always see the need to breakfast before stumbling off into the wilds.

 Now which way shall we go now?
Erm........that way!


 As you can see from the above photo, Ennerdale Water is only a mile and a half away from our overnight stop. This should take not more than half an hour to negotiate. Well it would have had we not had to go off on a Search & Rescue mission. I say "WE", I mean Dave. One of his trek poles had allowed itself to become detached from its lower, and quite important part.  So fifteen minutes was lost in the search for it. It did not bear fruit. A kindly chap offered to re-unite the escapee with the rest of it’s counterpart should it appear with another walker, but as it was unlikely to happen, Dave asked that the remaining parts of the stick were given a decent burial in the chaps recycle area, which he duly did. That was nice of him. They all seem to be nice people round the Lakes.We even found another nice chap slightly closer to the water.
(It transpires that the other half of Dave's stick actually turned up at Black Sail Hut, before we did. How that happened is beyond us. Alien intervention, maybe!)
       The Lake District must be awash with helpful folk. Even before we had got down to the water known as Ennerdale, another kindly gent took pity on us and advised us to "Take the path around the North side of the lake." he said. Obviously fearing for our ankles on the loose rocks on the South side, as we were packing some rather hefty sacks.For you ladies reading this, I mean RUCKSACKS. I don't know. The minds of some people.
      It would not have been a great idea to involve the real S & R people to rescue our broken bodies from the shore of Ennerdale when there was a safer, but possibly longer version of a footpath going exactly where we were heading. Although while I think on, it is quite some time since I was let loose with a chopper. The Sikorsky variety, rather than the Raleigh variety. The latter about to make a comeback I believe. I don't think I will bother this time round though. I did keep falling off when trying to pop a wheelie.
        Safe in the knowledge that we were not cheating, as both paths are shown by Mr Stedman. Albeit  the one we took was a little dotted line in the book, it is still a path all the same.

     Once more Dave found somewhere to rest.

                                                                                                                                        We sat a while. To look at what  we could have won.

           This gave Dave the chance to make up for the lack of bacon sausages and beans by making us both a nice cup of tea. He didn't take the hint, so we drank from our water bottles which had some strange watery stuff in them. Also some grain bars appeared. Along with a friendly tame Robin who thought it a good idea to buzz around us until we relented and fed him.  Just hope we didn't start a war among the feathered beasties.                      
     We set off once more to explore Northern England’s finest display of mountains. They were getting closer with every passing moment. Every step we took, every crunch of the ground beneath our feet took us to within touching distance of the barrier we must cross on our quest to be the First people to have crossed this great nation of ours on foot. Well, the ones from our houses anyway.
      What must be said at this point is how vocal the Cuckoos are around Ennerdale. I can honestly say that I have rarely heard a cuckoo over the last few years, especially in Suffolk. (I am told that there are still some there, but I think that's just the locals pretending.) Now I know why. They have all moved to Cumbria.  Maybe I should get them to pick my numbers for the Lottery, as it seems that's the only way I shall ever be able to join them on a more permanent basis.

      Having travelled the length of the lake we came to the Bridge Over The River Liza. Not quite as dramatic as the bridge in the film, Bridge Over The River Whatsisname, but a substantial structure all the same, considering it’s general purpose is for pedestrians, and not much else.

It isn’t a pretty bridge.

Until I arrive.Then it is vastly improved.
It was even able to take my substantial weight.
Luckily! I didn't fancy a swim.

         From here it is just a short hop, and with my feet, that is what it was turning into, to the YHA hostel that we shall call Ennerdale Youth Hostel, and it’s Master Gate Keeper “Ron”. Because that happens to be the given names of both (I may have made up the Master Gate Keeper bit. I claim Artistic licence. Now all I need to do is find out what that means and we are back in business).
         Ron’s duties include cleaning up after us mucky walkers, which he does with a smile, and offers advice.Like, how far your next cup of tea is at Black Sail Hut.( He was only half an hour out on that one. My legs seem to be getting shorter as we proceed.) Ennerdale YHA is a place you must visit. If you can manage. It is also a place you must stay. Clean. Modern and not priced to kill your wallet. The felicity's are excellent, and contrary to a note in the book about taking twenty minutes to find the loos, if you need “Thou shalt find.” So. Just in case you are in need, follow these destructions.

  Through the lounge, out of the door on the right, then through the door on the right.(for the bedrooms, Pillar and Skiddaw) Up the stairs.

and “Hey Presto”

Fill yer boots.....sorry.Empty yer .... You get the idea. Right?

Ron (and Bob the mop).

      Next stop then, Black Sail Hut. Here you need to be aware that the toilets are not open to passing traffic, due to the burden it would place on the sceptic tank, so go in Ennerdale YHA before you set off after your brew(or else, it’s trowel time).

      You may now notice a lack of photos between the two hostels.The reason,well, they are re-wilding the valley and it looked a bit of a mess. What with fallen trees,uncut grass,un-kempt walkers.I didn't want to spoil your experience.
I did warn you.

      Dave arrived ten minutes, five minutes,erm two minutes, at exactly the same time as me. I had, sent him ahead to order lunch, but I believe he must have got a little lost, as the waiter obviously had no idea I was coming, because my usual table wasn't ready.  You can see my man in this next shot. (That was the threat if he ever did that again. I do like to keep him in line.) That's him,stage right, hiding behind a rucksack.Just not very convincingly.He does look remarkably fresh. A Landrover.Hmmm. I wonder. He wouldn't, would he? Yes he undoubtedly would, and at this point I would have too.

       Unlike the movies, the keys were not in the glove box, because Landrovers do not have "glove" anythings. Neither are they hidden behind the sun visor. For Sun visors are a rare requirement up in the Lakes and were not even on the option list, so they opted for a portaloo under the back seat instead.

Did Young Passpourtous Davie boy get a lift whilst one's eyes were diverted in a scenic direction?
Who Knows? Apart from Dave!!

 At least he can make the tea this time.
If you watch this video, I think you will find he did.

      The Chap seated outside is Tom. Remember him? Yup! The other non breakfast maker from this morning. At least he knows when and how to say good bye. You will have seen the training he received in the video.You will also note, Dave's training will take a whole lot longer.

      A further kit malfunction to report here. My sunglasses became suicidal and detached themselves from my head, obviously to find some shade, but inadvertently dived under my rucksack as I placed it gently from four feet up, onto the ground. They too received a decent burial. In the bin in the kitchen.
      After, another cup of tea, and saying "Hello" and "Goodbye" in equal measure to fellow coasters, the hard work for the day was about to begin.
      Over the drumlins to Loft Beck. (It was nice of someone to put stairs in here, but did they have to make them so steep?) Thora Hird had obviously never been here. No sign of a Stenna Stair lift at all. Maybe Cumbria County Council could supply an escalator. It’s just an idea. Look what happens to the people who have to do it the hard way.

They end up looking like this.
If you look on Page 19 of November 2011 Trail Magazine you will see this portrait repeated.
Fame at last.
I shall be doing a signing session at every opportunity.Buy your own mag.

      After the Climb of Death, it gets a little easier.Not a lot easier, but a little. A gentle stroll from here, but still on the uphill slant, you find yourself looking down at Buttermere and Crummock Water. I have wandered around Buttermere in the past,and oft looked in the direction of where I was now standing, not realising it was part of the Coast to Coast. On none of those occasions did I see myself looking back down at me waving a cheery hello. But just in case in the future I did the same again, which is likely, I waved back down at me for the next time I am there.During the meanwhile, Dave was sat sitting among the building blocks that are or were or is Drum House awaiting my belated arrival. Damn these forever shortening legs. I must have lost nearly a foot in height by now. I digress. After letting Dave rest a while at his new house,I set off ahead to chart the way. It wasn't to far to go,and it was all knee breakingly downhill. Good job I brought my poles eh! Both still functional at this point to. (Insert Smug grin here).

Crummock and Buttermere.
Can you tell which one is which.
Ah, well, you will now have to do the walk yourself wont you!
You may even see me waving up at you.

Dave  fella sleep in his new self build.
Double glazing salesmen said they would have the windows ready by the weekend.

They will have to drag them up here.

     Now I see these rocks and boulders and things,didn't they use this in CLASH OF THE TITANS.You know the bit where they try to find the woman with the snakes on her head. It looks just like him...


  I think I do not need to fill my boots here.I think they already were. Even for £20.
Not that we could have. It was closed. So it would have been free.

    Dave eventually awoke, put down his plans, and stopped ranting on at the double glazing people, to try and get his windows to him before the pubs closed. "Fit the best. But Try the Rest" Catchy slogans these people have. They still didn't get to him in time for the pub. But as you will see in a few moments, we didn't need the use of a hostelry tonight. More of that later.
      The Stedman book reckons on an hour and a half from Black Sail to Honister. This may be true for Superman and Wonder Woman, and only if they can find a phone box. But if you multiply that by two, you may come close to reality.(Must try harder next time......)
         Unfortunately my feet were not straining up to the bear, and my first blister was beginning to make it‘s presence felt. I was a little disappointed upon arrival at the  Slate Mine and the Sky High Café. It was after six and they had all gone home. So we paid a visit to our third YHA hostel of the day.

          Honister Hause is another one of those modern well appointed hostel type places. Again run by the Y.H.A. Food is served and beverages of the falling over variety are available. The meals are freshly cooked on demand. If you want to stay, it will cost you 16.40 of our English pounds for one of them there comfy bed things. Considering the prices of B&B in the area, that is not an unreasonable price. The next question we had to find an answer for was “ are you gents eating with us this evening and are you staying?” After discovering the Chef/Bar keeper/Manager was talking to us, and recovering from the shock of being called "Gents". I mean, myself, obviously, even after two days of being at one with nature, but with my butler looking like a reject from Tramp Weekly, "gents" was no more accurate I believe than calling us Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Neil being a chap I met years ago. Told me he'd been to the moon and back. You know what. Don't believe the sceptics.I held his bit of the moon in my hand. Tasted just like cheese.
      Anyway. With our resolve on the wain and on the verge of breaking, we tossed the coin of "I dunno,what do you think?", and it was heads. So water bottle refills and a downward yomp to Seatoller it was.
      We took the road down to the valley, as we thought it may save a little time. It did. But at the expense of my feet. Eventually arriving at Rosthwaite, and the first campsite that made itself available to us.
      We found a level pitch to lay down our weary bones and proceeded to bend nearly all of our pegs into the two inches of top soil and grass, into the rock below. We did however make some new friends who showed us that with a car at hand you can bring supplies of falling down water with you without the need to go to the pub.  After hearing of our inability to get a table at the Black Sail Restaurant,and after hearing that Dave's windows wouldn't be ready for a week or more,  they sent a couple of said falling downs  in our direction, which we thanked them for and consumed heartily with our evening meals.                    
          Maybe, AW should have thought about driving the Coast to Coast. This would have saved a lot of foot ache. Although it may also have caused some very bad driving habits, to which I say...."DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE". If you spill it the car reeks for ages afterwards.

You may notice young Carl sitting in front, with his berg.

      It was at this point, prior to settling down to unconsciousness that we noticed another malfunction in the kit department. Dave’s rucksack strap had developed a stitching fault, and  basically looked like it was possibly going to need some emergency repairs (this was not needed, as we continued to trek over the next ten days without it falling apart. Thank whichever deity you pray to). I say Dave’s rucksack, but it’s actually mine. I borrowed my neighbours so Dave didn’t have to buy one. Am I kindness itself? OOOOhhhhhh YYYYesss. It's what any good master/servant realtionship should be like. Am I all heart? Of course, but I also required someone to come with my so that there was someone else to blame if I got hopelessly lost. Plus her Ladyship  doesn't trust me to go anywhere on my own. I did recently try, but the doors were locked. Damn those padded cells.

    I do need to point out here that we did manage to lose several hours along the way today. Half an hour with Robin. An hour with Ron. An hour with Tom. Half an hour at Honister to make phone calls and decide to proceed. So Three hours went out of the window, so to speak, but as as we saw the only windows there were, were the ones that Dave was waiting for at his new build. Had we not kept stopping for cups of tea at various YHA establishments,we may have reached Honister Slate mine's Coffee shop before it closed. Just mentioning it. Not a criticism. But we may have got to the pub. Maybe tomorrow we might just get our skates on..................but I extremely doubt it. This is me we are talking about here.

     (Point of Order M'lud. I recently took the affore mentioned malfunctioning rucksack to the customer service chap at Regatta.He looked at it in a dissapointed way,didn't promise if they could do anything, but low and behold a brand new 65-85ltr Xert performance rucksack turns up at my house via the man from UPS.Thank you Regatta. That is proper service. Praise where praise id due.)

When you go to sleep with this view, everything in the world is alright.
Maybe, it could be improved with scantily clad or even NAKED women.
But the thought never crossed my mind.
Mind you this was the waking view. The evening view had been blurred with Carlsberg and was unusable.

Day Three.
Tuesday 7th June. 2011.
Rosthwaite to a very soggy

     So it's five of the clock, AM, in the morning once more, and nature was calling for me to leave my snug warm sleeping bag. I did not want to, as we couldn't strike out for pastures new until Mr Camp or his daughter,Miss Camp, came round at half seven to remove a blue multipound note from our wallets. We could have made a break for it, but if we all did that Mr Camp would shut up shop, and we would no longer be able to use his faculties. I also would not have met the happy smiling Ange as she splashed water on just about everything around the washing area. Her dad Vic was still hiding in the tent.
     It was a good job it was light outside too, as I couldn’t find the light switch. I also didn't let on to my sleeping bag, tent or trousers  that I needed a sharp exit, so they let me out rather swifter than the previous morning.
     The Lake District looked ,like it was about to be having one of it’s "fill up the lakes" days. Well that was the perceived threat. You can always tell it is going to be a wet day in the Lakes, as the sun is shining at five in the morning. If it is going to be a dry day in the Lakes, you will be at home in Suffolk, or wherever it is you reside.
So before the rains came and made us all slightly damp, we had brekkie, washed up the pots and packed our homes back into their shells. Ange and Vic  promised to keep up. Or was that the other way round? 
      The weather started to show itself just after we hit the trail. The trail, having been caught off guard didn't hit back. We were hoping that the weather would blow over, but instead it blew itself right on in instead. Out came Mr Wet Weather Jacket,WWJ for short, and Mr Rain pants.Mr Rain pants for short. This was to be the first of many test for my all singing and dancing specially designed gear.
       Now. You always hope that when you spend a not too small a sum on your stuff that it will at least make some attempt at doing what it says on the tin. Maybe it was just me, but I could feel moisture in places I did not expect to experience it. Namely around the area used for sitting down on. Yes. I cleaned that up a bit. I didn’t say ARSE. Ooops! Sorry!
      Dave was dryer than a sheik in the desert in his "got em on Amazon for a fiver..sniff.. didn't I" waterproofs. Makes you want to cry doesn't it! Well it made me want to cry. I know I don't pay him much, erm, at all. But a fiver! I mean, a blinkin fiver! My lower regions are damper than a newborns first night in the world.
      Borrowdale, by the way, is said to be the wettest place in the UK according to that TV lady mentioned earlier.I actually believe her. I suppose it was to be expected then, that we would fail to escape it’s clutches without some sort of dampness. All the way past Eagle Crag it rained.
So it stopped raining for a minute for photographical reasons.

      Most of the way up Greenup Gill it rained,(so pictures are scarce. I didn’t need a kit malfunction in the David Bailey department, so early on in our little jaunt. So the camera stayed sealed inside my pocket, inside Mr Rain Pants.)
Onwards. Upwards. Wetwards.
It stopped raining for another minute.
All the way to Lining Crag it rained.
      So you will have to believe the rest of what I tell you, without pictures. Pretend you can read from now on. Some of it is  almost true.

      After eventually being overtaken by the Darby and Joan Ramblers Club (we did retaliate with a late burst at the top), and well, just about everyone else out on the fells to be honest.

      Almost forgot to mention the GAS malfunction half way up. It had nothing to do with the beans we had last night, more along the lines of...sssssssssssssssssssssssssss.........followed by the smell of butane.
Put that fag out. My old camping stove had a fit and threw the canister off,thus enveloping all of my kit in the stove equipment version of a bad morning after a bad curry. It took twenty minutes to air the bag out,by which time we were overtaken by every single person on Earth.

      We finally emerged at the top of Lining Crag, which I duly "SUMMITED". Yippee. Another Wainwright bagged. However! The way up to the top does manage to give you loads of false hope. Just when we thought we were there, another ten thousand feet appeared to loom up above us. That may be a slight exaggeration. Slight being the word to ignore here. It is quite a steep clamber up to. Not quite Chris Bonningtoneque, but you get the drift.
      No sooner had I exclaimed my joy at reaching said high point, than the bloke upstairs decided to turn the rain off. "Great" we thought. But that was only the prelude to something, which you do not need when there isn't a bus shelter or a coffee shop to dive into.Yes indeedy. Hailstones. I jest ye not.  You will not believe the size of these hailstones.They were the size of footballs. Hailstone sized footballs. Okay then.  Hailstones the size of ,well, just hailstones. But still not nice when you ain’t got a brolly. The hailstones finally began to ease, and they wore themselves out after about twenty thousand direct hits to my nose.(yes I can count past ten, even with my boots on.That's how I knew it was more than thirteen (you do the maths)( If you are listening in American, yes! there is an "s", that's because we invented English. Because we are  English. Just to clear up the spelling mistakes my compoota keeps making.)

      Maybe it was because I shouted my lungs out at the top that caused the rain to metamorphamamosesise into ice pellets. I don't know. But it was still a moment of sheer joy. So I only need another 200 more to complete the "Wainwrights". My helper needs 213. I may even let him go on his own one day. He isn't holding his breath. Except when he's my washing my socks. Bless him!

      We narrowly avoided a major directional disaster, by not consulting the book of Stedman and almost wandered off on the wrong path. Some quick thinking by Yours Truly himself,saved our bacon. 
      “Are they not the people we followed up, heading off down that path there Dave?” I asked innocently as Dave was taking point at this time.
      “ They might be your Lordship sir. Why?” came the reply.
      “Oh no reason." I replied."It's just that they are going down on a different route to us, and I  think they may be right, as they have one of those proper GUIDE type blokes with them. Do you, perchance believe we should go that way?” I asked all innocent and light, as you do when you know you are right and don't want to look like Mr Smug from Smugsville on a day trip to Smug central.  David of the Kite     eventually agreed. And do you know what? They were right, and we were, well, not initially exactly right. So some bog hopping, and knee sinking later we were on the right path. How I was the only one to find a bog of significant depth to lose sight of the sky is beyond me. That was my Vicar of Dibley moment. But anyway. As there were no Landrovers around anymore for Dave to get a lift in,and no Bradbury type helicopter, I pulled myself free of Mother Earth and followed the herd. Baaaaa. Yes I do speak more than one language.

       By now we were totally soaking wet. I say we. I mean, I was soaking wet. Dave was still as smug as a bug in a smug rug in his fivers. Was it rain or was it condensation? I Dunno. It was however,very wet. When you are wet, and you are not in a swim suit or even a  wet suit, then you tend not to enjoy the experience to much. Especially when your feet are hurting. Yes. They were still there.

      You may now note that as we were drenched and totally not interested in going on too far and had already decided that Grasmere was going to be our furthest point of the day, the rain went away.

Dave sat a while on a dry bit.

I found puddles to jump into.

I was so shocked that the rain had stopped, my face nearly fell off.  

      It did not deter our resolve in stopping at Grasmere, and we found a little place called "Thorney How" which was yet another Youth Hostel for us to visit. How unbelievable is that? It is a family run one this time, and very nice it is too.We did surprise the two young ladies in the office a little there.
 No not in that way.This is a family thing.  Now beeeee haaaave!!!!!!!

        We were, however able to persuade them that they needed our business.They persuaded us to part with £18.50 each. Okay, I parted with £18.50 each, as the expedition leader, I was responsible for ensuring my manservant didn't expire on me before we got to Robin Hoods Bay. It was a bit more expensive than chez tent, but a bloody sight warmer. Given that the proprietor got the fire in the lounge burning large and hot. He was also able to provide some local brews, which had been kept cold just for us.

       We cooked our meals in the self catering kitchen, and a bit of TV in the lounge with a couple of the local liquid revivals soon had us weary enough to call it a day.

       It was a strange feeling to be sat in front of a roaring fire with beer in hand, and be shivering like a cat fresh from a dousing in a bucket full of "get off my lawn", but that was how we both felt. We did have some re-grouping to do.Tomorrow we had to catch up.
      We needed to make Patterdale our stop for tonight to get to Shap on day four. Grasmere to Shap is a bloomin long hike. That was the looming prospect. We needed a very early start to get to Patterdale at a point when we would have been expecting to be leaving. Eight and a half miles as soon and as quick as possible. Come on feet. DON’T GIVE UP ON ME NOW. Did I mention I was getting a little depressed and homesick. Me homesick. I spend all week away from home, and here I am wondering if I am actually capable of doing a little walk in the countryside. If Dave had not been with me these last few days, I would now be curled up in my bed, at home , next to Mrs Paul. Dave has kept me going. Between you and me, I am The Weakest Link. Goodbye.
But not before a nice hot shower. This time from one that had a curtain and a door with a lock. Not the sort that just came down and dumped 500 gallons on you when you were not looking.
Thorney How YH. Yes, in the immortal words of Supertramp
"It's rainin again"

And it seems our fame has spread .We are now linked umbillericery chorded toThorney How via their very own web site.
Thank you Mr Thorney How, your daughters, your wife, and the pooch.......who may have a name, but I have forgotten it. Sorry Doggy.

Day Four.
Wednesday 8th June. 2011.
Grasmere to Shap.
Via God only knows where.
If you can see through the clouds,there may be a
 Lion and a Lamb up there somewhere.
      Having had an early night, and the comfort of a warm soft bed, you would think that a state of tiredness would ensue.Even Daves snoring didn't disturb me. Mine may have disturbed him, but he didn't complain.

      For many a year, Grasmere was the home of the Wordsworth family. The most famous of which was the poet,William. He was not the only poet to find inspiration in the area,as you will find. There must have been a few, as they named a place after them, called "Poet's Walk".
      It is said that William penned his most famous works here. although he had his sister write down his poetic thoughts as he dictated them to her. He just seemed to wander.
      Poetic licence must have been the order of the day back then, as his work shows. Either that, or he was partaking of substances that he maybe shouldn't aught to have been partaking of.
      " I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er hill and vale." Very poetic indeed, but maybe a tad inaccurate.
      I offer as a substitute, " I walked around under leaden skys, with mist and rain obscuring the views." Not as free flowing as the former, nor as pretty, but slightly more realistic.
      "A host of golden daffodils", becomes "Some clumps of grass and mud sucking at my shoes." It even rhymms when you add it together. Maybe I am in the wrong job.With this thought, Myself and my chaperon set of in search of Blue Sky.

 As you can see. There was none.

      Before too long. Remove smug grin here from the previous day. Insert grimace as equipment failure number three, for the expedition, reared it's ugly head. One of my trek poles had decided to collapse in upon itself like a wormhole. This left any eggs we may have found, all over my face. Any attempt to repair it was thwarted by the severe lack of co-ordination between my now cold wet fingers and the outer slippery casing of the pole. Yes folks. It was raining. In the Lake district. Would you Adam and Eve it as they say in Old London Town.

      We, I mean I had decided that we would take the low routes where available. But a serious breakdown in footpathability at a stream crossing point saw us making a decision. I was all for climbing over the barrier that precluded the bridge from our wanderings, but Passpourtoute had other inclinations. Because I could not leave him stranded, I chose to allow him to take the left path by Tongue Gill. I am all heart. I should receive another Lordship for this.

      By now, we were not alone. Other early risers had found the path we had taken, and were catching us up. This did not cause me a problem. Allowing them to pass, then follow them was so much easier than followinfg a map. Let us hope they were also heading for Patterdale and not Keswick or Windermere. This would have caused a further re-think. But only as to whom was leading this expedition.
    We followed them for as long as we could. Then the mist rolled in, and we were enveloped into another world all together. One of shapes and sounds. Faint outlines turned out to be our own hands infront of our own faces.
      I spotted a movement up ahead, and aimed myself in it's general direction,calling out a cheery "hello" as I went. The un Earthly sound that came back shall haunt me til my dying day. It reminded me of Wales. The country, not the mammal. BLOODY SHEEP!!!! It is a pity I had ran out of mint sauce, I can tell you.
      Regaining my composure, and some forward vision, we trudged upwards into the cloud cover. Not daring to stop until we could get a bearing, or find some other poor fool to follow. As luck would have it, some more walkers came along and passed us. They must have been BMW drivers, as they didn't indicate or anything. They too were headed where we were headed.We thought.  
      Approaching a steep incline in the UP inclination I allowed myself to stride out. Straight onto a slab of greasy wet slate that was on an already crazy jaunty angle. The fearful scream that was emitted told everyone within a mile that I had just died a terrible death. Either that or I had just landed on my arse.....sorry. Bottom.
      Dave's concern at my mishap was evident. I had not told him where I had hid my wallet, and it would have been his job to carry my broken lifeless body back down to the civilized world. Luckily, only my pride was injured. My scream of fright just made the sheep look at me and bleat. I could tell they were laughing at me. What could I do, other than shout rude words back at them? These words of wisdom, they completely ignored.
      We crested the crest and spotted our first target of the day. Grisedale Tarn. We followed the path down to where the outlet allows the watter from the tarn to stream down the hillside. Luckily it was shallow,and we were able to cross without drowning. Not even a little bit.
      From here, the ups and downs were not too harsh and were interspersed with lots of flatish bits.
      The rain still chose not to abate,and Dave's 'Fivers' were doing well. My wet gear was doing it's level best to compete. I reckon my inner dampness may have just been condensation,as the windows still hadn't arrived.
      A short break at Ruthwaite Lodge to allow us to re-group,albeit in the lee of the building to get us out of the rain, did help a little. Even though it was closed and there was nobody about, it was still good to stop for five minutes.

Dave couldn't wait. DAVE!!!!!Nooooo! People watching!

 Four miles in, and the café was closed.
So bacon butties were no longer on the Me and u.

      From here to Patterdale it is not impossible to get a decent average speed up. We had got here in just under two hours, and that involved taking the top route up Tongue Gill. so we were on target to get to Patterdale before the locals knew we had passed them by.
      We managed to find the barn that AW had spent one night in on one of his many Lakeland trips,and I dutifully went and stood where he would have popped out the following morning. Just for luck.

      We carried on to Patterdale, where most if not all were still soundly sleeping. We crossed the road as carefully as a hedgehog on a mission. ell, we ran as fast as we could, just in case a dirty great truck or bus or cyclist ran us over.
From here on in, we would appear to have been on our own. Dunno where everybody else had disappeared to. One minute we were in a pack of a few,next we were all alone. I didn't notice the pub being open, what did we miss?
We trudged on as the rain got worserer, towards Angle Tarn. At this point the Heavens thought it would be the ideal time to top up Ullswater just round the corner. It missed most of it and got us instead.
There now follows a 
 ** WARNING**  
on behalf of the

      Whilst out walking, no matter what the weather, ALWAYS,yes, ALWAYS consult you map every three seconds. We failed to do so, and Dave got us totally lost. As I had the map for this area, you may think I got us totally lost, but Dave knew I had the map and never asked for it,so it's his fault. I rest my case your highness.

      What appears to have happened is a convergence of paths, that one of us didn't notice. After an hour or so we were able to make out the distinctive shape of Kidsty Pike. Only it wasn't where it should have been.
This was due to one of two options.

1. The Earth's crust had moved and thrown all of the Lake Districts eastern landmarks off kilter.
2. We were not paying attention.

      I think option 1, was the one we chose. My trusty companion voiced himself along the lines of option 2. But what does he know? He was soon put right.
      I am a brilliant navigator. That is a well established fact. You can ask any member of my local's darts team. I can always find whichever pub we need to go to on any given evening. Even in the dark.
From the Kings Arms to the Bull and Bucket, to the Red Lion to the Queens Bottom. No problem. So obviously, option 1 it was.

      I didn't tell Dave that. I allowed him to think he was a clever person, by allowing him to point us in a direction that would see us back on track before Christmas. This he did, and we found Hawswater right where it should have been. Just from a different direction.
We passed "The Force".Thankfully Lord Vader was out on official Empire business, and we located one of those RARE Coast to Coast signs.
      A gentle stroll then ensued. Safe in the knowledge that we were no longer in "HELP...Call M.R.P NOW" territory.Even the rain started to abate, and we spotted one of those 'Lonely' clouds that William had ranted on about in his poem. There were however, NO DAFFODILS. Nettles yes. Daffodils not a one.

      We had actually made up quite a lot of time considering our excursion into the deepest darkest depths of the crust of the Earth. Mainly due to a severe lack of YHA establishments to stop and have a brew at. Early Afternoon gave way to Mid to late afternoon, and we strode triumphantly into the Abbey known as Shap.

      The Sun even started to come out from it’s hiding place to show it’s appreciation of our efforts. Upon arrival at the Abbey, we noted that it wasn’t actually finished yet, the reason being a major subsidence issue, as you can see here.
   They will need more than one pot of Polyfilla for that crack. 
They obviously didn't get the surveyers report first.
      To celebrate the fact that we were nearly done for the day, and very nearly done in for the day, I found somewhere to rest my weary bones. Whoever had been here before was a real short arse. No. Really. I am not by any stretch of the imagination a tall person, but I did find it hard to get comfy.When were sprung mattresses invented?

And I thought I was a little on the diminutive side.

      As it had now dried up a bit, the camera went into overdrive and the whole of the Abbey was photographed. To make up for the severe lack of piccies during the previous two days. So here are a few, just to show you what you will miss, if like some people, you do not stop to look. Dave on the other hand had to forgo the photo shoot due to his camera and communication device having had too much to drink.

For whom the bell got nicked from.
and more subsidence.

Knock knock.! Who's there?
Me! Me who?
Wrong Blue door, Doctor!

    That’s the tall ones out of the way.
I still think it will look better with a roof on.

We chose not to Loiter in the Cloister.
But chicken suprised, was for dinner. 
Flannagan and Allen were nowhere to be seen, but a chorus of
"Underneath the Arches" seemed appropriate.

Not a monk in sight.
Maybe when they get the roof on.


  After our little photo shoot and my little rest, a cry of 'NO WAY' was aimed in our direction from the young lady trained by Toby. The actual answer was  YES WAY, as Toby already knew,and proceeded to to greet us in the customary way. He must have heard of my near death experience and continued to try to give me the kiss of life. It must have been a while since his last First Aid course, as you usually do not need to give the kiss of life to a concious breathing patient. I did however appreciate his efforts on my behalf.
      We joined the maddening throng, and followed them both into Shap itself. Which makes you wonder why they call it Shap Abbey. It is nearly two miles into Shap from there. They should have called it Two miles from Shap, Abbey. It would have been more appropriate.
      After our days wanderings we set our rucksacks to stun, and alighted from the train of pain at the Bulls Head. Here we were greeted enthusiastically by the landlady’s two Spaniels, “Mickey” and  “Sam”. Both were pleased to see us. If you want to camp here, make sure poop patrol has been out before you set up your tent, as you share the Beer Garden with the pooches. Sam is also a bit of a thief, so don’t leave anything out that you don’t mind losing.I had to keep Dave locked in the bar all night.He did have the maps.Would have been a bugger to lose them.
      Toby and the people whom he looks after, joined us as we enjoyed a drink or three in said house of ale, and tucked into a hearty meal, fit for a condemned man. (There is a chippy over the road if you want chish and fips)
      A while later we had our first encounter with the two most intrepid explorers to grace the C2C. Gary and Keith  from Warrington.(My home town. Not where I live now. I was thrown out for being too nice.) These two guys made mine and Dave’s packs look and weigh like day packs. I think Gary even had the kitchen sink in his.His SMEG fridge had stopped working once the flex ran out.Shame we had to drink all that warm beer.
      Talking of which, we discovered a new one called Black Sheep. This came in handy, as it helped me to improve my vocabulary in sheep,so I was able to converse and direct abuse at the wooly ones upon out next encounter,and swear at them in a language they would understand.
       This was to be the first of many enjoyable nights in the company of Gaz and Keith, or Little and Large. All of which we appreciated more, as they were mostly slower than Dave and myself, but didn’t half speed up towards the end. Gary earned the nickname Captain Compeed, due to the large number of blisters he had accumulated during the walk. In fact, even the blisters on his blisters had blisters. Did he complain? A little, but not as much as me. My blisters were lightweights compared to Gary’s, as was my pack. Don’t worry though. Photos of his blisters will probably appear on Crime Watch later in the year, so you will get to see them.
      After warming our bums by the fire, we turned in at a sensible time, ready for the next days onslaught of either 18 or 20 miles, depending which book you use to do the stages. 19 by my reckonings,  so split the difference, and pleasant dreams.

Day Five.
Thursday 9th June. 2011.
Shap to Kirkby Stephen.
An Alien encounter for Dave?

This is what awaited us for the start of day five.
Well after escaping from Shap first.

      At six o’clock in the morning, I awoke to the sounds of silence.  "Strange" I thought. I should at least be able to hear the rattling of china cup on saucer as Dave produced my morning beverage,or at the very least, his snoring. But no. None of the above.
      Having explained to my zips, in no uncertain terms what the consequences  of a re-occurrence of the other morning would be, they allowed me to exit the areas I needed to exit with no trouble whatsoever, even though my needs were great.
      The doors to the rear of THE BULL were still firmly in the "you can't come in" mode, and four rather agitated gentlemen were needing to let loose the torrents; so to speak. Then in a mad rush of fur and tails, the hounds were let loose to reek havoc among us. As they piled out, we piled in. Bliss. And it was warm too. I suppose we could have done what the pooches had done, and used the bushes, but the garden is overlooked by houses.

      " Mummy? What are those men doing?"

      " Good Lord Samantha, come away from that window at once."

      Followed by Mr Plod with a warrant to make an arrest for flashing,after a complaint from the neighbours about four men running round the garden with their you know whats in hand. Explain that to the Master of the Rolls if you can.

      Anyway, even after the best part of a week roughing it with the hired help, one still has to maintain standards, does one not? Civilization was not built on poor behaviour. I remained completely civilized to the last, and used the ladies.
      Dave once more failed his duties and breakfast was indeed not where it should have been, but as the previous evenings fulfilments were still recharging my body, I let it go. Again. I am fair and just, if nothing else. It must be said. Even if it's me that has to say it.
       No navigational errors to report here, as we could hear where we needed to point our toes, and found our way out, on still tired feet, to the bridge that takes us over the M6.
       I was doing was my best Dora the explorer impressionistism as I crossed the bridge, waving cheerily to the poor people below. But I must report that there are some right royal biserable mastards about at that time of the day. I kept score too. Just in case, I have to travel this way in the future in my 460 bhp Hotel Mercedes Benz. (I would be a waver and tooter. There were no toots to report at this juncture.)

      The tally was as follows.
                                                   Northbound               Southbound 
                    Vehicles                        12                               6 
                    Wave backs                  11                               5
                    Friendly                        11                               4 
                    Non-Friendly                  0                               1  
                    Conclusion:    Nice people.                 Biserables  

    For non-friendly travellers everywhere. One middle finger extended vertically, does not constitute a wave. Okay. Hope that clears things up.

Southbound to miserable land.

   Northbound.  to Mr Friendly's house.
        It was just after this point, with the rest of the North of England before us in fact, as we stepped off the bridge, that the rain once more came to cheer us up. Again we were required to kit ourselves out in wet suits. We only just made it.
     With the sounds of the  motorway still rumbling in our ears long after we had headed away from it we once more entered the breach. Following the path for a short distance, as it hugged the side of the M6. The noise was not what you come to expect from a stroll in the countryside. Bloody truck drivers! Have they no shame? Erm.........sorry. Car drivers. Have they no shame?
      We strolled off into the Howgills,and just before Hardendale quarry, Dave made our first slight faux-par of the day on the navigational front, walking alongside a wall, that did not appear to have a way over. This was because it didn’t have a way over it.
       We made a U turn (well we made it's eyes water at least), and at once spotted where we had gone wrong. Silly us. We were able to rectify ourselves quite handsomely somewhere near Oddendale. Which must be an Odd en. Oddenairily you would expect to see a village as you pass it by, but not this endale.  It seemed to not actually be there. Maybe Oddendale and Brigadoon are one and the same place We didn't spot any strange mist, or signs pointing us in another direction. We assumed we were still on the right path even though the stone circle was it’s usual invisible self. We did however spot the Big and Little trees in the distance as described in Mr Stedmans little book. This at least showed we were not totally inept. Just moderately inept.
       I think we already knew we were on track, as we had already been  overtaken by some old people with zimmer frames, and could see some walkers in the distance, moving away at speed. Do we smell? DO WE? Dave I can understand, but me? Part of the great unwashed? Don’t answer that question. I already know. What can I say. You don’t need to take a shower, when the Lord has provided you with a free one for the last two days.

      We are led to believe that Robin Hoods grave is in the area, but like Oddendale,and Brigadoon before it, it remained in the same bag  as  the Loch Ness  Monster. Rarely seen and even more rarly believed.
Dave said he saw them, but I didn't pay him this week, so he kept it to himself.

Mr Stedman describes these as the Big and Little tree.
Dunno where he gets his ideas from.

     A little further on we were still sure we were on the right path, for a couple of major reasons. We were being caught up on a regular basis, by other Coasters. Notably the Jolly Emma H, who managed to keep us moving over the rest of the trek by telling us where we could get our next intake of food water and  strangely, some beer. Another big reason being the Large Isolated  Boulder. So called because it is Large, Isolated, and a Boulder, and Mr Stedman said if we found it, we were not lost.One to me then, as I was mapping the charge at this time.

       To make all seem right with the world, the Sun came out.
 It doesn't bother me. "This is 21st Century." ( a little Marillion in joke there) Better to out yourself, rather than be outed by someone else.

The boulder is the one
on the right. I think!!!!

Limestone Pavement.
I can see some claims going
 in for trips here can't you.

      I think maybe the council need to get themselves up here sharpish like. The holes in this here pavement were absolutely terrible. It's going to take more than one trip from "We've got the Jewson lot" to sort this little mess out. I can see why they have not been up recently, as access is pretty poor, but these council people are build like the proverbial outhouse are they not. One bag of cement on one shoulder, one bag of sharp sand on t'other for balance, and one bloke with a bag of 10mm stones. Job Done!

            Dave was using his rain cover as a sail from now on, to speed us up, as the rain had stopped, and things started to warm up. Including my feet. Did I mention I was having problems with my feet? No? Are you sure? Well I was. Worserer still, we still had bloomin miles more yet to go.
       Crosby Stills & Nash Ravensworth Fell just wanted to play tricks with us and try to send us off in the wrong direction. But it Fell short, due to my knowledge of map reading. Well to be more precise. My ability to plot my position using my Gee Pee Ess.The growing number of Coasters overtaking us was also a help. If only we could keep up.

      We found a road. It had a sign. I am not sure, but I think someone is having a go at me here . I don't think they Orton be doing that!

I have been called many names before, but for the council to put up a sign, just because I mentioned they needed to do some paving work up here. I think it's a bit rich don't you.

      After a short rest by the Lime Kiln just off the road to Orton, we were caught up by Gary and Keith. “Little and Large”, as they became known throughout the rest of the walk.(Dave and I became “Laurel and Hardy”, Dunno why! (MMMMmmm  MMmm)

We decided not to set up a camp fire to make a brew as we didn't fancy someone coming along and stacking bags of lime round us.

       Then onto Broadfell Farm, where I lost Dave. I say I lost Dave. I think he actually lost himself to be slightly more accurate. I had wandered off while he got his pack back on and he chose to walk a little slower. By the time I had got to Scar Side Farm and ordered a pot of tea for two, he was nowhere to be seen. After a half hour wait, I decided he must either be dead or worse still, lost. Even Little and Large were becoming concerned.Not concerned enough to put the tea cups  and cakes down, but concerned in a "he'll turn up eventually" sort of concerned way. So I put my boots back on and backtracked the half mile that I had not seen him for. It was obvious he was not dead. There would have been screaming coming from the other walkers coming along the path. I dunno. Find a body, start to scream. Instead of Find a body, do a Vinnie Jones impression and sing Ha Ha Ha Ha Stayin alive, stayin alive(for those of a non UK persuasion,its a CPR thing). Can I just say. Screaming at a dead body is about as productive as a packet of jaffa cakes threatening to take over the world at cup of tea time ( Other orange marmalade and chocolate snacks are available, but nowhere near as nice).
 That was it then. He was LOST. I turned and started to think of excuses to offer his wife Kath, as to how her husband had just vanished. He had probably been abducted by aliens or something. I was also deciding on  ways we could  split the insurance money. Then I heard a voice up ahead. It was Dave. He wasn’t lost after all, and had turned right instead of left at the end of the track. He was a quarter of a mile down the road before he realised his mistake, and turned round. My new yacht and Villa in the south of Spain will have to remain a dream for now. For future reference ---> is Right. <--- is Left.
         Well, that is what he explained had happened. I cannot be 100% sure that the Dave I finished up with was the one I started with, but in my joy at seeing him alive, and not apparently abducted, I even let him pay for the tea at the farm. That is true Master/Servant relationship showing through there. I even took a photo of him at the farm to prove to anyone who may ask later, that he was still alive and unabducted at that particular point.

It looks like Dave,It SMELLS like Dave, it sounds a bit like Dave. Can it be DAVE?
He's not too sure himself either by the looks!!!
Judging by the extra ears he grew later.......I am almost certain he is an ALIEN.
(see day7)

      After tea and scones we soldiered onwards. I was still not certain as to the personage proclaiming to be my Servant. Due mainly in part to the ignoring of the requests to provide more tea, and scones.
      No more losing anyone or anything happened for the rest of the day,not even on purpose which was unusual for us. The Sun came out to make sure  the Dave I had with me for now could always see me. Regardless of whether I was in front of, or behind him. My head is specifically designed to for this purpose. That and dazzling pilots. You have seen the evidence already. It may also have acted as a beacon for the Alien vessel that may or may not, but probably did, previously abduct said Mr David Kite Esquire.
    Our next objective was to locate and photographically document Christopher Biggins long lost Son. Sun of Biggins Tarn.  But we not only found him, but documented him from two different locations.

      The first photo  is from the west, and the one other is from the south. You can choose to disbelieve me if you so wish, but I stand by the fact that I know my ups from my rights, and my lefts from my over’s. 
      Sunbiggin Tarn we are told is renowned for it’s wild life. I think we saw, two lions a giraffe, and a baby elephant, with big ears, but that flew off with the crows as we approached. Like I said, earlier, do we smell? Do we even care? Obviously the big eared elephant didn't wan't to stay to find out.

See. No Baby Elephant.

Look carefully and you can see the giraffe.
Alright it is a long way off, but keep looking and you will see.
(Right of tarn,running away)
      Next we attacked Ravenstonedale Moor for having too few land marks and not enough Coasters to follow, and made the decision to consult all our available guides and maps, and Gee Pee Esses . Deciding that the chosen path was the correct one, we triumphantly marched on.  In the correct direction. But at a somewhat reduced pace. Did I mention my feet? Yup. They were still there,pleading for a bus or taxi or a piggy back.

      At some point we found something that was supposed to be hidden. The water cistern on top of the hill near Newbiggin-en-Lune. I am not certain these people were sober when they came up with the names for some of these villages. New Biggins on the Moon is how that translates. I should know. I speak a thousand different languages, and gibberish is my mostly common used, so I know where I am coming from on this. Even if I have no clue as to where I am going.

      Passing Bent’s farm was a bit of a challenge. As we were now down to crawling pace, due to my feet. It was only losing the coin toss that had us heading into no mans land, and past ANOTHER village that was not actually there. Severals Village was hidden so well, it may take Tony Robinson and Time Team to blinking well find it.

      We failed also to spot the graves that belong to the GIANTS. How we did this is not a secret. I was ready to lie down and die,so to have to keep plodding on at about half a field per hour did not fill me with enthuesiasmismness.

      My mood was of the "can't now be arsed to take my hands out of my pockets" variety, so photos of the last six or so miles of the day are in Dave's camera. Oh hang on. That was still doing an impression of a submarine. So ballast tanks still full there then, and the only bright part of the day was it was warming up nicely. As we warmed,we plodded on ever slower, and somewhat even more unentheusarcastically to Kirby Stephen. Not related in anyway to Stephen Kirby who was at the same school as me when I could be bothered to turn up.

      Through the pain barrier, the sound barrier,the light barrier, the security barrier we trod. Thinking of the Chips we were going to have at the Coast to Coast Chippy. Depressingly, upon arrival we noted that the Coast to Coast chippy isn’t even on the Coast to Coast route. That has got to be a swiz don't you think. In fact from where we decided to pitch our mobile homes for the night, it would have been another mile there and another mile back, or there abouts. We decided to complain to AW and JB next time we saw them. I still have not met either.....but when I do....ear bashings "R" us will be in full flight mode.

      We  actually crept up on Kirby Stephen so slowly it never noticed us coming, so when we arrived it was still there,and not hiding like some of the other places in the area that had evaded us today..

      So at the end of another day, and with a pub, the strangely named "Croglin Castle"( strange as it isn't a castle, and looks nothing like a crog. Which I believe is a cross between a crocodile and a dog, or a crocodile and a frog. You decide. I have never seen one.), with food only a hundred yards away (why so far? WHY? WHY?), we settled on the beautifully appointed Pennine View Caravan and Camping Site. £7.75 of those English coinages for the privilege, did not seem to much, as long as I could rest my weary feet. We got there in time to find a nice spot. Dave keeps choosing the spot under the trees, which I keep warning him can be a bit dangerous. Especially if one of those squirrels drops his nuts, just as you pop your head out to see what all the commotion is up in the branches. Vicious, devious little buggers. That they are! Oh yes. The voice of experience. I was bitten by Tufty many years back. Sitting in his tree, all innocent like.
      "Hello Human. I am Tufty. Do you have any nuts? Can I see your hand?" Crunch,as my finger becomes his main course. See. Devious little buggers indeed. I still have the scars.Physical and Mental. I am even afraid of Brushes. This is handy, as it equates to hoovers to. So no household chores for me. That's why I have a Dave.

  On your own head be it Dave.
 And no weeing in my boots.

      Oh well. Short day tomorrow. 12 miles  is short?  If my feet are up to it. Which it didn’t seem at this point. Nine Standards tomorrow, and the prospect of some down hill walking. If we don’t get lost. But as always. There is the up hill walking first. Did I mention I don’t like going up hills? Especially in these feet! Then we will be half way. Hoooooooorayyyyyyyyy!!!!!

Day Six.
Friday June 10th 2011
Kirkby Stephen to Keld.
With a slight route deviation.
Thanks to the Fell Runners.

      This morning we had a little lie in. Not on purpose. Nature didn’t wake us up. Even the squirrels couldn't be bothered to throw acorns at our blue nylon homes. Anyway.The sun was up. The sky was blue. There was not a cloud to spoil the view, except that one, and that one, and that one, oh and that one there with all the rain in it.

      As we were at the southern end of KS, we decided to take the old railway line out from the village, and join the C2C path just after Hartley, then on up to Nine Standards Rigg. Was that cheating?My feet didn't care. It was pretty straight forward. What I will say though, is you get to see the Standards quite a few times as you walk towards them. Each time they appear you think they will be just over the brow, but no. After about eleventy five false summits you eventually reach your first point of interest of the day.

      We never got to see Frank, or his bridge, but I don't think he will mind too much,as for when we joined the trail proper there were a few ladies already headed out from  Kirby Stephen. So he would have had someone to talk to already.
      We overtook these ladies. YES! WE OVERTOOK SOMEONE. That was a first. And uphill too. Get us Missus!

Underneath the Arches. Again!

Overneath the Arches.
(Is that a word?Well if it wasn't, it is now)                                                                                               

                               Alien Temple. Dave stopped to pray    


How did I become so far away?

      By the time we managed to reach the top of the not too minor climb, we were able to associate ourselves once more with Gaz & Keith.
I do not say that as a bad thing either. Two finer stouter more determined Warringtonians you are unlikely to meet, unless you are in Warrington of course. Which we weren't. Q.E.D.

      You will note that I had to rebuild one of the Standards,as they did look like they needed some tidying up. No one offered to help, so only one got done. It looks like I shall have to return to do the rest at another date. Either that or Bob the Builder was up here last week, and this is how he got them to look. Mine had a seat arrangement, as you can see. Somewhere for a weary traveller to rest his posterior prior to getting lost in the fog. 

       From here on in, things did not go exactly to plan. First came the hailstones, and then came the rain. So back on with the anti water clothing, and it was goodbye to the camera for most of the rest of the day. Which is quite lucky really, as it would only show us going completely the wrong way.

      Having joined forces to navigate our way to Keld, with the thinking, four heads are better than mine, good idea so far, we all consulted our various guides, and we were sure we had to follow the RED route. The red route to us was quite obvious, because some kind people had left the trail marked with bamboo canes with red and white tape for us to follow. How kind of them. Were they unaware that as Master of Her Majesty's Maps,I did not need the aid of such implements.Thinking that these were an aid to our navigation, we duly followed them. We did not even have to consult our books, or maps.
We left the ladies to there own devices as Gentlemen do. Ladies often need assistance with directions. Men do not. Simples. They were obviously not out to walk from one side of our beautiful country to t'other. As they say round these parts.
       "Keep t'path lads,an y'll be alreet." The words spoken by the late Brian Glover in the film An American werewolf in London," an if yer 'ere screamin, dunt looook back, cos y'll be next. HA HA HA!!!" ringing in my ears as we departed the top of the hills,in a downward direction. We were going great. Not a care in the world. Easy peezy lemon squeezy. Just follow the nice flags to where we get our cup of tea and a scone. Fine that is until we were about half way across, when a nice friendly chap walking in the opposite direction, asked us, jokingly, why we hadn’t brought his stakes down for him. What was he talking about? I don't know. "Could 'ave saved me, n't missus a walk, tha knows!"The people round here are a cracking bunch, with the banter. We remarked on this all the way down to the road that shouldn't have been there,and the cars parked in the lay by that should also not have been there. We consulted Gee Pee Ess. This showed us about 2 miles away from where we thought we should be. It turns out that the stakes in the ground with RED tape were not in fact the RED route, but the Green route. The not so nice and clever locals had fooled us into believing they were helping us when in fact, they were luring us to our doom at the hands (or is that claws?) of the werewolves that are known to prey on the unsuspecting idiots from all over the globe, or Suffolk foolish enough to stray from the path."Stay on t'path, and don't run neether, it's not reet ta mek t'creature angry fore it eats ya." Thanks Brian!
      You see, at the time, we thought it was common sense.

 Red Route = Red Flags.

       How silly of us.You would have thought he could have given us a lift though, there was plenty of room in his Land Rover Discovery for four strapping blokes with rucksacks, next to all the canes with red and white tape on, that he and his t'missus carried back down from t'top. And considering we only just escaped the clutches of the "Hound of the Bastavilles".


      Smug git. I know where at least one of those canes should have been stuck....and I don't mean anywhere near a Land Rover Discovery's load area.

     Anyway,not today, for us a cup of tea with Amanda and her clan at Ravenseat Farm, oh no. Today Matthew, we are going to be, complete idiots with sore and tired feet. We had a six mile road walk to Keld.
And did I mention my feet? Did we have a chuckle about it later? No! We bloomin well didn't. We were more peed off than Mr Bed wetter from Wettsville after a night in with a gallon and a half of soda water,because we never got our sit down and brew, and scones. To make matters worse, it carried on raining. So you won’t get to see the red flags, all you will get to see, is us leaving Cumbria, and entering North Yorkshire, at some point nowhere near where we wanted to be..
Goodbye Cumbriashire
Hello Bleak and desolate moorshire.
 And some moor rain.
Gettit...Moor rain..moor...more...
OH  Please yourselves.

      Next stop then, eventually,Keld itself. We trooped into Park House and Keld Bunk House which for a fiver, was a half decent place to pitch a tent. A hot bowl of stew at teatime for another fiver, and a couple of bottles of local brew set us all up for the night.

      ( Park House, has now been taken over by some new people, but I am led to believe that the felicities and such like are unchanged.)
      A while later,two happy smiling faces appeared in the doorway to the barn that we had taken over to eat our dinner. Ange and Vic had finally caught up. Hooray! They had had enough of wet tents and soggy pants and decided to partake of a nice warm room and lounge in Keld Lodge, a bit further down the road. They stayed for a few minutes to exchange stories that didn't involve them being lost or chased by strange un-godly creatures across the tops of t'moors, but fine weather and correct directions to former said Farm for scones and tea. (That's Ravenseat Farm. For future reference.)

      We pitched our houses in between rains, and put ourselves to bed at the unlikely hour of ten, or there abouts. 

  The rain has stopped.
 Time to pitch houses. 

Day Seven.
 Saturday 11th June.2011.
Keld to Reeth.
With the help of a tearoom.

      Winter has arrived early. Here I am snug and warm in my nice new tent in a sleeping bag designed for the SUMMER months, wearing my nice new pseudo silk kimono pj's, and I am feeling the effects of a night on top of Mt Kilimanjaro in the nude. This can only mean one of two things.

1. E.T Dave failed to make up my hot water bottle.

2. Summer ended yesterday and it's Christmas.

3.Both of the above.

      Having had a root around in my sleeping bag, I could find no sign of a water bottle,which means No.1 was true.
      Having dressed "MYSELF" and taken the risk of popping my noggin outside of Chez Rez, No.2 was also in the true stakes. Although I could see no signs of the man in the Big Red suit having payed a visit. I am sure he knew where I would be.    
       Minus four bloomin degrees is what I am led to believe the outside temperature was. It might as well have been 269 Kelvin for all I cared. I was like a lump of the thing that sank the Titanic. I ask you. Is this not summer? It wasn’t until we met up with a chap, later in the day, taking young people on the D of E scheme, that we  learnt, KELD only has one season. Winter. The previous year, they had a thick layer of  snow at this point of the month, and had to take the youngsters home.
      So my +2 degrees Celsius rated sleeping bag, was no match for Keld. Nor was Keith's either. He was curled up on the sofa in the barn, dressed in all his clothes. The only way to warm up, was to go to the loo. It had a radiator, and the seating area which I chose to use for half an hour or three warmed me up enough to venture back out into the wilds. No trowels for me today folks. Not seeing as I had already sent it home due to it's extra weight and serious lack of use.
      Once ET had emerged frozen like one of Mr McCains products from his abode, we de-pitched camp. I would like to know how he slept through all that freezing. I mean, even the ice on my tent had ice on it.
      I awaited my piggy back provider to show himself for five minutes, and threatened the proverbial NASA equipment in a upwards trajectory, only to be informed by the now arisen Gaz that Dave left five minutes ago, whilst my back was turned. I briskly changed direction, so nobody could see my blushes and set off in a hasty fashion after my wayward apprentice walker buddy.
      He had obviously thought that i had left him behind,and I could hear the joy in his tones as I caught up to him. I consoled him and even offered up my almost nearly never been used more than once or twice monogrammed handkerchief to wipe away his tears of sorrow, that he may have been discarded  by his callous employer. He declined. As you do when you feel you cannot offend the Lord of the Manor. He chose, instead a handy dock leaf to deposit the bodily nasal waste that was streaming from his nasal face portal. That's NOSE to the likes of you. I don't think it had anything to do with the fact that the laundry pile was getting bigger by the day, and he knew who it was who would have to make it a smaller pile.
      It was at this point we noted that we had strolled slightly further along the road than was required,and needed to make a sharp left turn, followed by a further sharp left turn so as to make a directional change look like we had meant it to be that way. Daves " Sorry yer Lordship, Oi thort we was carryin on where we left orf yeserday" filled my heart with relish. He actually believed we had meant to not go the way the maps had told us to go. I refused point blank to correct him. I am not a vindictive man.Okay!It may have added almost, at least, a quarter of a mile to our day, but once corrected we were able to find our first climb, up to the Pennine Way.
      Now I thought we were Coast to Coasting! Does this mean we can claim to be the only Coast to coast Pennine way walkers, or has that been claimed already? Anyway. It gave Dave bragging rights. "Two walks in one" he said. I shall not say a word. 
        So! Just over eleven miles to Reeth via the river and no need for an early start. Which considering our near disastourist start to the day, was not a bad thing.
      There are two ways to Reeth from Keld, and as JB had already shown us the route via the lead mines and Crackpot Hall, we decided the river route would do us the world of good. No steep climbs. Just riverside paths. Yeah right. And steep climbs and a few climbs that were steep. They forgot to mention that the river is on a slope. Should have brought my skis.

     The old Chap. El Dave.
 Sheepishly leading on after getting us slightly lost. A bit. 

  We were able to find the correct way without to much more reading of stars,moss,fungi,tree bark etc; and we even managed to spot Crackpot Hall.  A former home to some of my ancestors, as the name indicates. We were just unwilling to go uphill again just now. So after eventually finding some downhill to get to the river, we meandered our way down to it. As one does.
       Mr Stedman claims Ivelet Woods to be quiet and peaceful. It is not wrong. If the rain stays away, it could even be described as a nice stroll. On this nice stroll, we met a couple of ladies, also doing the "Coast". They were standing by a stile awaiting the return of the gentleman thay had sent back to locate God only knows waht in a suitcase that they were having transferred.
      Sending a chap to find something in a ladies suitcase cannot be the best use of a gentleman. I can think of at least one other use, but that would be improper as we had only just met. After a short chat Dave and I resumed our saunter. We expected the ladies to catch up within a couple of days if the gent eventually remembered why he had been sent back in the first place and retrieved the item he had been sent to fetch. I hope it didn't  involve refrigeration.
      The Swale, which gives it's name to the Dale in which we were now walking is a picturesque and calming place to stop and look at. This we did. Long enough to put the "Wets" on again. Yes. Yesterday had caught up to us again. God is obviously a Yorkshireman, and as such had deemed we were enjoying ourselves way to much. He had most likely taken his mind off my feet.
      It was at this point we met the previously mentioned  D of E people. That's Duke of Edinburgh to the none British among you. King Phill we call him. This award must be to show young men what is expected of them in later life. As the young men were all carrying a rucksack on their backs and a rucksack on their fronts, it can only mean they were being taught what happens when you takr your young lady to town at lunchtime on a Saturday. It's called "Shopping". And no matter how many hands you have used up, there will always be something else you need to carry "IF you Love me".
      Having spoken to the man who had sent these lovely people on their way, it became apparent, we had chosen the wrong time of year to traverse the Swale valley. He tells us that the previous year thay had need to rescues the D of E'ers in the middle of the night, due to eleven feet of snow. It might have been eleven millimetres, but I was long gone at the word SNOW.    
      Before long we picked up the signs to Gunnerside. We had heard of a tea room where we could probably get some respite, and repair our broken feet. Sorry. My broken feet. A sit down can do so much for aching heels. We asked the young folk how far it was to the tea rooms. "Not far now" they lied. It was further than my little legs wanted to go, so a sit down by the river was called for. Followed by a change into MR WETGEAR. Again. But a nice path on top a wall, under the trees, and hopefully staying dry.

I will walk on Wall ter!

Walking on walls gives you blurred thumb syndrome.
Unless there is a passing truck.
In which case you get middle finger syndrome.


I stole this piccie. I was busy with my feet.

       If you use the felicities’ at Gunnerside, might I suggest you take pictures, and post them somewhere they can be viewed, because I was too busy doing my sitting down, and tending to my feet.I also did my usual thing when it comes to drinking beverages. I go to Costa, which  you will agree is a place to get a cup of coffee. I don’t. I drink tea. I go to the tearoom in Gunnerside, and order coffee. I know! I am just strange.
Is it my fault that I allowed Dave time off to sit down and drink tea, instead of fetching mine. I actually carried my own tray, and everything. Generous to a fault,I am. Would you dare to disagree!

      We trudged endlessly on along the wall. Half expecting to be set upon by Hadrian and his legion of  Roman Soldiers. Luckily, they had taken a day off, so we carried on regardless. Good job too. I was in no mood for Romans. They pulled the plug on our baths; they did.

      Today was also the Swaledale Marathon Weekend.(Is that right?) So the road was busy with sweaty bodies running around. Also the occasional cyclist shouting encouragement."Come on Keep up", being one of them."Keep Up" he shouted from the comfort of his twenty mile per hour push bike.I was unable to "Keep Up", I just sat there watching the heaving mass of folk "Running".Dave and I thought we were idiots!

        It goes something  like this.Starting in Reeth, a group of people who are too fit for their own good, run the however many miles it is to Gunnerside, via some strange route, then run back to Reeth. I think! What I do know is this. All the accommodations  in the area were booked up. But not to be put off, and I had a signal on my mobile, I contacted Peter at the  Orchard Caravan, and camping park in Reeth and was not only able to secure a place for myself and Dave to stay, but for the same price of a fiver, was able to secure one of those tin tents that the chap has set aside for the likes of those BRAVE (see Stupid in the dictionary) intrepid explorers doing the C2C. With electric too, so phone charging was available. It also meant we had light, that didn’t come from a head torch.

      I was also able to secure somewhere to stay in Richmond for the following night,(have phone signal-will phone) as we had already had the weather report for the next 24 hrs. It involved a lot of sky water, and not much else. We had to make sure we got to Richmond from Reeth by not much later than 2pm, or it was wet gear again. So with the next bit of our jolly, sorted, off we popped. Sorry. Limped. Well, I did. Dave was still denying he was having any pain in the foot area, but was having problems in the shoulder area due to the earlier rucksack strap malfunction.

        From Gunnerside we elected to stay on the river route which took us away from those nasty four wheeled thingies that try to knock you into the grass.The route back to the river is also interspersed with walls with narrow holes in them that are commonplace in this neck of the woods. How much fun did we have trying to squeeze our not too slender forms and bags through these rather too narrow gaps? Well to be honest, it took our minds off our sore feet, and sore shoulder respectively.
      Eventually we did have to resort to walking with cars,but for as short a distance as possible. Oh, and it was raining still.

The way into Reeth got a bit damp.

Dave found a bloke with a thumb
so did I

Then Dave grew those extra ears I mentioned earlier.
However they aided our direction finding for the pub.
Cheers Bugs!!!

(I stole this photo too)
But you get to see the pubs as we saw them, except with sunshine added.

      You will notice at this point, that our tent has turned into a caravan. as I mentioned earlier. We don't know how this happened,(actually we do, as do you, cos I told you) but we are glad it did, because it was piddling with rain.Yep. Rain. You may have heard of it.

We don’t know if you have noticed, but it would seem that at some point along the way, someone stole our razors, so now we look like Bear Ghrylls and Ghrylld Bears. Her Ladyship will be impressed upon my safe return. Not! Anyway, less to worry about. Less to carry. We even managed to loose some excess weight from our bags by using the showers and plenty of that heavy shower gel stuff. We didn’t want the locals to think we were strangers to water. With all the rain we have had, that would have been silly. Don’t you think. Funnily enough, and you won't believe this, but we even managed to find one of those houses that open themselves to "the public", like the one in the earlier photo. In fact so much like it, that it may have actually been the very same one. There were publics in there when we arrived at it, and a few publics left in it when we took ourselves off again.
       Tiredness is commonplace among old fat people carrying rucksacks stuffed with everything you can imagine for a day or twenty,and we decided we were actually tired.So off to bed, again at a not to insensible time, ready for a little 12 and a half mile saunter to Richmond, where comfy beds, shower, and a big breakfast awaited us before the 23 miler planned for the day after.

The Tin Tent Bedroom.

      Some time prior to this photo being taken(This was actually taken on day 8, you can tell cos the Sun is working again), two weary chaps had entered this here caravan and promptly fell asleep. This sleep was aided by the visit to the affore mentioned "public" establishment that insisted we partake of some strange amber coloured liquid. Which we very reluctantly did. To our eternal shame. As I sit here months down the line, the shame has abated and is now totally replaced by an extra two inches on the waist line.

Day Eight.
 Sunday 12th June. 2011
Reeth to Richmond.
How we beat the rain.
      So we awake to a glorious brilliant summer morning. How long will it last? Well, according to Michael Fish and Co. it should last until 2pm as stated earlier. My feet are killing me before we even set off. Not a good sign, but as I was letting Passpourtoute Dave have another go at map reading,my feet were going to be the least of my worries. Lets hope the Brufen kicks in soon,and Dave's navigational skills,which he learned from some bloke down the pub, don't take us too far off the beaten track. Lets also hope we get to Richmond in time to catch the farmers hootra amalist. Or failing that, Yeoman’s outdoor shop to get some insoles for my boots.
     The first stop on today’s list of places to pass near to is Marrick Priory. From a distance it looks like a place you might want to stop at.

From a distance.

Not from a distance.
Then you find it forms part of a farm.
Hope they don’t mind the smell.
Nah! Cows don’t care at all.


   Then it’s on up to Marrick itself,as Like Shap Abbey, Marrick Priory is not exactly near where it claims to be. Oh, and its bloomin up blinkin hill again too. As always.
       Marrick is not a big place, and if you blink you might miss it.Which with Dave's help, we nearly did. But it is pretty. Once out of Marrick, which was about thirty seconds later, it’s back into countryside,and should you so choose, not to far to your first  cup of tea of the day. Elaine’s Country Kitchen. We didn’t have time to stop, because we didn’t want to get wet later,so onwards to Marske.

      Marske is not renowned for being overly large either. In fact if it were not for this here sign you may miss it all together.But as I was still allowing our intrepid learner to show the way, I said nothing as we narrowly skirted the place,and like a sheep,followed him. Luckily,he spotted this little nugget,and declared himself a true leader of people who followed.Nobody was following, so it seemed to go un-noticed. Thankfully.

It has a church. But it's behind a wall.
It was Sunday, but not 11am.
So we left.

      Back to the countryside and another hill, but this time we have somewhere to point ourselves. Up to the cairn on the hill, below Applegarth Scar. Before that, you have to cross Paddy’s Bridge. Paddy was nowhere to be seen. He left his gate closed, so nobody could tell if he was in  or not. We guessed, not, so didn’t bother with tolls or anything. Just so you know what to expect. Paddy’s bridge is at the bottom of a ravine, and is a little steep drop to get to. Oh and mind your head on the way out. The trees will knock it off if you are not careful.

 Paddy was nowhere to be seen.
The toll booth was closed as well.

      Once out of the ravine, The White Cairn which I spoke of becomes apparent.So much so, that I allowed Dave to progress at a snails pace, whilst I ploughed onwards, to make certain we were in fact looking at the correct White Cairn. I have to admit though, from here it looked grey.This was the reason I scouted forward.You mustn't allow ones staff to get to independent you know. I wish I knew where I had put my bino’s, because I would have been able to make it out a little clearer.

See. Grey!
or white!

      Once you get there, there is a decent track to follow. I met some more people here, who told me I was very BRAVE ( RAVE, as in RAVIN) to be attempting the C2C. I still don’t think I am brave. If you look in the dictionary, the exact meaning for Brave is “STUPID”, with my name next to it. I informed them that I would be sending Dave back with his bucket of bleach and his Marigolds to clean the cairn. If it says white in the book. We must make sure it's white. They thanked me. I said "No problem. It's why I have a Dave. He's happier than a pig in poop when he's got his Marigolds on and up to his elbows in my ablutions. You can ask him". They didn't as he was still miles away, down the hill.

      The path from here leads to West Applegarth Farm, which you must go through to get to Whitecliffe Woods. But if you look back from the path, you get to see Dave bringing up the rear. He will still be there when you try this little walk to. He promises. Honest. Really. He does. Even if it's just on Cleaning Patrol.

Hi Dave!!!
Low Dave!!!

      Up ahead, after leaving a long time after us, and  having overtaken us, is our little mate Toby. He had once more tried to give me the kiss of life, as I sat waiting the arrival of the bearer of the map, but this time, he understood, I was still actually alive. He does have twice as many legs as us, so it's hardly a surprise that he is quicker than the rest of us. He generously brought his people along with him again. They must have needed the exercise.

Toby is the little one.
As described at the start.
Black. Four Legs.
Tail. No Rucksack.
Jo and Tim are the ones Toby was looking after.

      Prior to our arrival at Whitecliffe Woods, we came across the Richmond Camping Barn. Like so many places on the route, you will notice that the Richmond Camping barn is actually several blooming miles away from Richmond. So once more we have the need to rename it

 “The Near but not to Near Richmond Camping Barn.”

Or you could call it the East Applegarth Camping barn if you like. Because that’s where it is.

      Then you wander into the woods, and you will note once more that it is UPHILL. AAAAA
                                           HHH!!!!! As Monty Python once wrote. Not so severe that you could fall down and roll to your doom if you fell backwards, but enough for your calf muscles to say, “NOT AGAIN!” But it is a pretty little woods.

With some strange looking creatures. Some of which are blurred,
and suffer from no eye syndrome.
(If you have heard of "Jamie Oliver",these two work for him.)

Must be the speed at which they run away at.
Catch up Dave...It gets scary in here!

      Out of the woods and into daylight once more, and spread before you the Vale of Richmond. That has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? Rather than the name I though up for it.

"The gap that Richmond sits in before you get to some more hills"
      It's catchy, but maybe to long to fit on a map. You also get to see Richmond properly for the first time. Only a third of the way to go from there, or to be more Elvis Precisely, two thirds done.

That’s Richmond that is.
In the distance lies the future.
(The Cleveland Hills)

 This tells you where you are.

This lies to how far you have come.
And how far you have to plod. 

      The how far to go is subjective. The sign says you have 76 and a half miles to go.AW says 74. All we know is, he’s not  called “The Stig”. A good job too. Could you imagine trying to get THE STIG to walk anywhere?

      Civilisation can be strange concept, when one has have been out of it for so long. There are shops. There are more shops, and then there are "The Shops". I think civilisation is just meant for the Ladies. So they can shop. That said,one of these shops, though, was requiring a serious visit from yours truly. Yeomans.(With all this advertising, I should be getting a free pair of boots in the post anyday now.Mr Yeoman, if you are listening.) They have people in there who love the outdoors, and all things walking. They can also sell you Gel Insoles for your boots. I thought £6.99 was a fair price to pay for peace of feet. Although, I did get my first Serious blister within half an hour of putting them in. I think it was probably just waiting to see if I could cope with the comfort before it attacked.

See if you can guess which way we need to go from here. I reckon, it’s that way.
Dave....can you zoom in next time?
I dunno. Why do I have a camera man?

A bit like this!
Ta very much.

And in time for lunch.
The chippies are open, and it’s Sunday.

      We have arrived just before the rain, which was due at two. It arrived at two on the dot. Bloody punctual or what! After a short reposte at ye olde chippe shoppe, via the Yeoman shop, we headed down to the Old Brewery, the place we started from, over a week ago, so we could dump stuff which was surplus to requirement.You know the stuff. Practically everything you brought with you,apart from the pants and vest you are standing up in,and the tent you need at night.
       The people at Sherpa are very good. They took us to the car park, waited for us to change stuff about, including what we were wearing,rather aromatically, then escorted us back to town, where we were able to wend our merry way to the Frenchgate Guesthouse, at the top of, would you believe “FRENCHGATE”. This is where we were greeted by Ralph. If you are staying in Richmond at all, ever, you should stay here. Ralph is a very accommodating chap. We were on a budget, which under normal circumstances precluded us from this establishment. Ralph had phoned around on our behalf to see if any of his colleagues could put us up, but to no avail. He then allowed us to stay at his very fine house for our budgeted price(He may not thank me for telling you this. But anyway. Breakfast was brilliant). The room had a fantastic view, out over the Swale and we could even see where we needed to meet up with the path the following day. See for yourself.
  The houses on the right are Priory Villas. 
(There are 2 missing. But only from the photo.)

      Now if you could see the rest of the view, which my camera could not show in one piccie, you would agree. What a mighty fine view.(The photo is from the morning. The evening one,someone had rain all over it.) We were warm, dry, and a relatively short (this means less than six pints, but more than one) visit to the Ship Inn across the way sorted our aching bodies for the time being. Replacing lost energy with that energy giving, or a Beerverage as it is known in these parts.

      Our next little daily stroll takes us across to Ingleby Cross, and will see us back in the blue houses that we have carefully carted across from St Bees. Tomorrow, and the next day, being monster days will see us with full pockets and no bags. Yes I gave in to the staff, and let him wimp out, "what’s the point in being in the Home of Sherpa Van and not asking them to carry our little homes for us for a couple of days." He said. "It would be rude. Would it not!" If he says it was my idea, I shall be docking his wages. Both pounds.

Day Nine.
 Monday 13th June 2011
Richmond to Ingleby Cross.
The sun is out, the ears are burnt.

      A half civilised time to start the day. Half past seven. And a breakfast to boot. Yummy yummy in my tummy. I got fed up asking Dave to get my breakfast ready for me. He was becoming quite the self important one. So I asked young Ralph if he would do the honours. You know what. He didn't moan. He even brought it to the table for me. Dave sat there learning from a Master Breakfast Maker.(MBM). I shall have to send him back to be trained up properly. We scoffed the lot. Then found our rucksacks, and deposited them in the hall. Ready for Mr Sherpavan to collect,and drop off at our next port of call. You would have thought that Dave would have speeded up without his baggage, but I still had to keep slowing down and stopping for him.
    Maybe he imagined he still had it on or something and that and stuff, because people were still catching us up and overtaking us. Why was that? It can only mean that one of us is very slow. Or has sore feet.
      Once we sniffed out the trail once more; and that would not have been hard to do, as you pass by the sewage works; we were caught up again, this time by the youthful and energetic Clive.

A sign post

A Clive post.

      We wandered aimlessly along listening to the birds. Skylarks. Blackbirds, and one bird with the most annoying song you have ever heard, which I am afraid to say, we were unable to put a name to. Even with three very clever heads. Well, two, and mine. In the end, we named it for ourselves.It is now officially the Pacldav bird. Not as annoying as the OOOMEFEETARKILINME bird, but annoying all the same.
      We found Colburn,quite easily, then promptly lost it again, because the pub wasn’t open . Then we found the outskirts of Brompton-on-Swale, which looked quite nice from the other side of the river, and then the underskirts of Brompton-on-Swale,then some idiot went and left a dirty great blinking road in the way. It is just a good job I know how to tackle roads. We went under it.

It's called the Eh? 1 or something.

Then we found a bridge near a Cat called Rick.

       We found a racecourse, and a pub. Hands up if you think we went in for a pint or three………..Ha. Got you. We didn’t. We had a Clive to keep us on the straight and narrow anyhow. Or was that closed as well? No! It was closed. It was still early.

Bridge House Hotel, and Alien Dave.
 Alien Dave is the one with the camera.
Bridge Hotel is the one with the roof.
(Note the ears have gone again,or tucked under the hat)

        We even managed to find some Roman Walls. Built by Romans, when the Romans were here last. Well I think they were Roman Walls. AW reckons they were, and you cannot argue with the man. See what you think.It won't keep the Northen Skirted Warriors at bay for long, but they will have to wade through the river to get to the Capitol of Cat called Rick

Roman all over the place.
They look pretty old to me.

(That's what most people say about me!)


     So Rick the cat's Bridge came and went. It has a race track, but we couldn't hear the cars on it, so we assumed they were still fine tuning them or whatever it is they do to cars.Next on the list of places to visit for a minute or eleven was Bolton on Swale,or Fantasy Land, where people live to be a Hundred and sixty nine years old. Well at least one of the people of Bolton-on-Swale did. The memorial to Henry Jenkins is tucked away in the churchyard here, and you don’t even have to go too far off the trail to find it. Which with my feet, was a blessing.


Sorry it's so dark.They were filming for the Hammer House of Horrors. It's why Dave was allowed to stay. They needed a monster.

       The good people of Brompton recognise that folks like us may require refreshment on the way,and leave them out for us as we pass, and honesty boxes are filled as we do so. Once  out of B-O-S (it's local name). we are back into countryside where shorts are not a good idea. CLIVE!!!!  Nettles and thistles and bitey  things abound.

       We even managed to be adopted by a lickle black pony. It joined us in the field, and followed us till we left. I think it took a liking to Dave as he hurried along in front. Dave and horses of any description do not go together.This may also be why we didn't go near the racetrack at Catterick."A fool and his money" as the saying goes.Not a Polo mint left our hands.(Apparently ,they race horses there too. Seems a bit unfair. The cars are going to win every time don't you think? Especially if they don't have to slow down to go over those hedges that litter the course, like the horses do.

      As we travelled further a field, and further a road,via the road to Danby Wiske,which is apparently only four miles away.(YEAH! RIGHT! I want to meet the person who invented Yorkshire miles) Twenty miles later, we arrived.

 Four miles to beer.
or further........

If you negotiate the blue garage doors.

       We found the tree house that appears in Mr Stedmans book too, but the cameraman forgot to take a photo of that. I was too engrossed with the debate between myself and Clive about whether the doors would always be blue, if for instance a Liverpool fan bought the garages. Obviously not. But for now, blue is how they remain. A bit more field walking then a bit more road walking and some place only open to walkers and not helicopter passengers appears before us. There is camping available here too,and I was tempted.....but I had promised Dave a nice quiet pitch at the Bluebell further on,so we continued onwards and flatwards.
(Not to be confused with jedwards)

The White Swan was blurred.
But not for long.
Not only was it open, but it had people inside whom we already knew,
as they had previously passed us.

  Natalie & Hugh(aka Superman & Lois).

 Paul & Julie(aka Dempsey & Makepeace)
I shan't explain.
Oh. Okay.
 You twisted my arm.Shhh.
 They are policemen.     

Then all hell broke loose and we were joined by none other than Little and Large.AKA Keith and Gary  and the kitchen sink,and the lump hammer for knocking the sticks for the tent into the ground.I kid you not!I am still uncertain as to why I am still wearing a compass at this stage, as most of it is by road. Even I cannot get lost on a road. Surely!
No I did not call you Shirley.

Clives legs were scaring the locals away.
Which meant more beer for us.

As you can see. Dave didn't hang about making up for the lack of locals all by himself.I am not saying he was drunk, but he did ask Whersh wees of to necsht?
No sign of JB! Or the helicopter.


       From here I cannot say with any clarity that there was much to take note of, but we did manage to cross a very busy railway line without getting killed to death, fatally or otherwise.Which is just as well really. Could you imagine Me having to carry Dave around for the next few days, before I could throw him from a cliff, and call it an accident. "He slipped sir. Honest, and so close to the end." I mean, he wouldn't want to go down in history as the only Coast to Coast walker to die by train. Besides which, I couldn't have cut him into chunks and put him in my rucksack, as that was in the back of a van somewhere between here and the Bluebell.

                     Derek the Diesel
                                                                                                                            and some strange creatures.

            We did manage to find a few miles of road to plod along with some safety, until eventually and tiredly we ambled up to the A19.
      Now stop me if I am wrong, but as you exit the path at said A19, on the left there is a service station and a truck stop. Yes I said truck stop. Being a truck driver, I have this knack of finding them. I was looking forward to re-carbing  my body with a Greasy Joe, only to find that at five of the clock in one of those evening type things, that the so called TRUCKSTOP was in fact CLOSED. Shutters down. No Admittance. Entry Prohibited.GO AWAY(I cleaned that one up) signs and everything. After a general inquiry at previously mentioned Services, we found out it  had closed at TWO!
      TWO OF THE PM CLOCK. I ask you. No right thinking truck driver pulls into a truckstop at two o'clock for his evening meal, then  expect to be ousted back to his truck for the rest of the day. What if he needs to erm……..well you know………without a trowel?

      To say I was disappointed probably would not do the sentence justice.

(I have since re-visited the establishment, and have requested they be open on the 24th June 2013 until 1900hrs pm in the evening, just in case myself and my travelling buddy require calorific input before we head to the Bluebell. I cannot say whether or not that the request will be acknowledged, but I did ask did I not?)

      So the last mile of the day was done on an empty  stomach. But it was soon filled by sustenance provided by Landlord Dave and Co at the Blue Bell Inn, which I can highly recommend. Not only were we able to put up our tents, but we were able to drink beer, play darts,(well some can, and some just can’t), and feed our faces.
It was here at this very establishment that we discovered that Gaz actually had with him a proper lump hammer. Not one of those baby plastic ones for knocking in your tent pegs. Oh no! Not for our Gaz. A two ton lump hammer. No wonder the blisters were complaining. Mind you. I was glad for the use of it. Even though it took a crane to lift it.

Some leaning on a large stone sign, took place,

And some alleged throwing of the darts.
Along with some Beerveraging.

      Can I just say in my defence, that prior to this photo, Dave had already gone to bed. I myself was about to leave when a couple of chaps who shall remain nameless (Gaz and Keith, you know who you are.) came strolling back in after deciding it was too early to go to bed and persuaded me to stay and join them for just ONE (yeah right) more beer, and a game of spear the little board on the wall. It would have been rude not to include young Davie boy here. So we dismantled his sleeping arrangement and he had to come back inside.
      This is what the Coast to Coast does to you. It turns you into a person who just wants to be friendly to anybody you have met along the way, and make them your new bestest friend in the whole wide world. Then try to beat them at darts. Generally, I have no problem with this, as that’s what I do normally anyway. But when one of those people actually beats ME at darts,well, I have said in the past, and shall say again, I DO NOT SULK. Besides. That was pure fluke. GAZ!!!!!! Your round I do believe. NOOOO. I mean, your turn to buy beers. Not You are round. I don't know. Which idiot invented this English Language?

Day Ten.
Tuesday 14th June 2011
Ingleby Cross to The Lion Inn at
Blakey Ridge.
Get that bus art Butler!

      It was actually harder and more time consuming to cross the A172  than it was to cross the A19. What has happened to all the Lollipop Ladies I asked myself. 
      Again today, we were Dyson Walkers. Bag less. Mr Sherpa was given seven quid from each of us, and he upt our bags and stuff, and sherpavanned them so they would be waiting for us at the Lion Inn. Nice man, that Mr Sherpa.All we have to do is make sure we
a, Don't get lost.
b, Don't get killed to death
3, Arrive today.

      We started the day with an UPHILL. (will they never end), and even in our Dyson state it was still being hard work. We decided to forgo the visit to Mount Grace,( I am sure she was pleased about that) and made our way steadily onwards, where we thought we had found the start of a shortcut that is clearly shown by Mr Stedman. So after a twenty minute climb through the undergrowth, on a path that looks like it had seen hardly any feet recently, we topped out half way up the hill in Ingleby Woods, onto a wide track, which we decided can only lead us to where we really wanted to be. And it duly did.Eventually.

Where we slept last night.
          Oh Look. An UP hill !!!

C2C go left.
Mount Grace Straight on.

      Once clear of the woods, we were delighted to find the views were fanblinkintastic. Just don’t look down. We even managed to find the trig point that was hidden behind the wall. Except it was not hidden behind the wall, as the wall is now a fence.

Crackin view Gromit.


Where is the wall? Oh well. Not hidden now.
It was initially hidden behind a cow.
As I can speak cow, I asked her to move along,and
she told me to Moond my own business.

      We were now most decidedly on the Cleveland Way, which in part is also the Lykes Wake Walk, as well as the C2C. Confused? Yep. Me too. But on we must plod. Over Moors, and through woods. Some kind soul even put down some paving slabs. They had the Jewson lot. I bet there was a hell of a delivery charge for that lot though.
      Huthwaite Green, another collection of houses pretending to be a village, but with friendly people with horses. Then onto Live Moor, Clayton Moor. And another trig point.Two in one day. Wahooooo! And some funny named farms.

Hole in a hill? Is that a chasm or cave.
Chasm cave.
I've heard of them!
 Friendly lady person and horse.
The Mr Ed was friendly also.
But didn't say much. Bit shy I think.

 Houses pretending to be a village.

      The first pangs of hunger were beginning to rear their good looking heads, and we were prepared to be disappointed, as I had heard that the Lord Stones Café had been shut down, two weeks before we set off on our stroll across the world. But I am happy to report that not only was the place open, but a mighty fine breakfast was presented for our delight.I even allowed my urstwhile companion to take his savings out of Bradford and Bingley to pay for it. We were not the only people to turn up at this oasis of tea coffee and all things beverage. (Yes they sell beer,we chose tea.We are not drunkards you know. Besides,the sun was not yet over the yard arm.Whatever that means) In fact we were not even first to arrive.

  The usual crew.
and Toby too.

     Ange and Vic.

Guess who?And breakfast too.At Lunchtime.   
      At the LS Café, you are never to far away from a creature of some description, and we managed to put my Dr Doolittle impession to the test. I don’t know if you have ever heard the call of a Peacock, and when we arrived, there was Mr Peacock, doing his thing. Strutting around showing off his feathers. He was a quiet chap. Obviously not needing to cry out to warn off other Peacocks in the area, as he was the only one.
   To the amusement and amazement to the gathered ensemble, none of whom believed I could talk Peacock, I did my very own impression of the call of a peacock. The Peacock was even more amazed, as he obviously thought he had pulled. I kid you not.Dave however was not impressed as Mr Peacock chased after him up the hill.The bird obviously did not realise that it was I who made the call,and obviously fancied my butler rather than me. A blessing for me also, as Dave can run faster than me. Except when being chased by lions or tigers. It is always best to be slightly faster on those occasions,or become the main course of the evening.

Are you talkin at me?
Well! Are ya?
Shake ya feathers Big Fella

      After our zoological lunchtime, we hit the trail once more. Would you believe it was UPHILL? Really! It was. Not just one, but several. But the views were fantastic, and as the weather was being very nice to us, we were able to get our first glimpse of the North Sea, all be itslightly obscured by the industrial might of Biddlesmorough.

Can you see the sea?

     The fact that there are several ups, and downs before you get to the Wain stones was not lost on us, as we lost count along the edge of Kirby Bank. Upon arrival at said stones of Wayne we were a little unsure as to which way to go, so a chap who was out with a group of rock climbers offered up some directions. 
      “Keep t’ left, an tha’ can’t g’ wrong lads.” So we kept  t’ left, and found ourselves on a sheep trod which was most decidedly wrong lads, tha' knows. Coupled with the fact that it seemed to run out, about fifty yards round the corner. Thus forcing us to make a hasty EWE turn, and sheepishly retrace our steps to where the climbers were. Did ya see what I did there? Ewe turn, sheepishly?All right. Forget it. We asked again, and a young lady showed us where we should have gone in the first place. Telling us as she waved us off, to “Oh tha' needs ta ignore him. He’s never bin up ’ere afore luv.”

Keep left….my arse!
Up through the gap in the middle if you please.

Once clear of the Wains and his stones, we made a Hasty traverse, of the Bank, and when we reached the road at Clay Bank Top, we bade farewell for the day to Dempsey and Makepiece, who had once more caught up and overtook us at speed. With nine more miles for us to do today, and fortified by our Lords of the Stones breakfast, we ate up the miles. Well, not quite ate, more like chewed casually through the miles.
    By now my foots were playing the usual “can we stop” tune, but I knew if I stopped now, I would likely not start again. Dave had slowed to an amble, and I had to speed up to stop my hoofs from complaining. I had to stop for twenty minutes for Dave to catch up at Bloworth crossing, but we decided that as our paces were not being compatible at this time, I would forge on ahead along the old railway line, and get the beers in at the Lion Inn. A Lord and his master must share somethings you know.Besides, two pints was cheaper than two breakfasts. I'm not stupid. Just with him.

      Along the way I found some things to look at.

  A memorial to Alec Falconer.

an old railway line with no trains on, so I had to do my own Thomas impressions.
Don't tell me you didn't or wouldn't do it either.
"Poop Poop" said Thomas.
"You can clear that up ya mucky little engine" said the Fat Controller

      Arriving thirty five minutes ahead of my companion, and being two beers down when he arrived was a sure sign that I knew how to smell out a pint or several. And considering it is in the middle of nowhere, the Lion would appear to be extremely popular. I can see why. Good food. Good beer. And somewhere to park your tent. If you move the tables in the garden, and kick the sheep poop out of the way.


 It might not look much from here,

 but from here it looks better. 

From here, the view is even better. And Dave even managed to find it.
From the left. Keith. Emma. Sarah.Sarah's friend Jane. Ange. Vic. Dave. Me. Gaz and Keith;s knees. Put them away. ladies present. 
Keith’s idea for lightweight camping proved no good when he realized,
 he had forgotten the walls, and only packed the roof and floor.
Still, the fireplace came in handy,and kept the chill off.

      Well, that was a good few miles down the road, and only two more days to go. Tomorrow will be another test of my poor footsies, with another eighteen miles, but we forgot to ask the man to take our bags, so we got to carry em. Any volunteers? No? Oh well. Back to work then legs.

Day Eleven.
Wednesday 15th June. 2011.
Lion Inn Blakey Ridge to Littlebeck.
Mind that pooch. 

      The penultimate day was going to be one last push, so we could take it easy on the way in to R.H.B. tomorrow. I was undecided when we set off whether or not to stop at Grosmont (pronounced Grow Mont, or they look at you like you have just escaped from the looney bin, which you may have decided we already had). It wasn’t until we got there that we decided to push on to Intake farm, so our last night was to not be in the company of most of the other Coasters we had met on the way. A shame really, because it would have been a good night out to celebrate our achievement so far, but Wainwright’s bar will be even better for it.
      A slight mis-reading of the book nearly sent us off the wrong way, as I could have sworn we had to go to Young Ralph's Cross, but indeed, you don’t. Not that Young Ralph would mind too much,as we heard he wasn't there anyway.You go towards it, then turn off onto another road, signposted to Rosedale. Silly Me.
      Once that little hiccup was over, we carried on to find Fat Betty. Very nice she was too. Fat,is a bit harsh, but calling her Betty is even more so.She had a few things for us to ponder over, and I decided upon the Jammy Dodgers, and as I had eaten all my sweets earlier in the walk, I left 20p. That was 19p more than the last hard up traveller had left. The tradition is you leave something to eat,and take something to eat,but I think somebody had been there before us and taken all the Kendal Mint Cake,and left the penny. Must have been a local.

Fat Betty seems to have lost weight since JB came through.
            I on the other hand……..
      While Dave sorted himself out,by that I mean deciding which treat to partake of, without leaving much in return, I plodded on. It wasn’t until ten minutes later, when caught by the Chefs and a chap called Mark, that an apparent serious further kit malfunction had occurred. This time it was to Dave’s gas bottle. It would appear that as he didn’t leave an offering for Fat Betty, she punished him by puncturing a hole in his last remaining gas bottle, which leaked into his rucksack. I lay down by the side of the road to await his arrival. That was twenty minutes later. In that time, four vehicles passed me by, and not one stopped, or even slowed down, to see if I was asleep, or road kill. So a little tip for you if walking in Yorkshire.



      (That was a party political broadcast on behalf of the Monster Howling Werewolf party) 

      Although a sheep wandered over and asked if I knew of any fresher grass than she had already had. I told her that I always leave my minions to decide where the good grass is,and how to purchase it. I never touch the stuff. It make you giggle, and get the munchies. Or so I am told. Anyway; to continue. After my little enforced rest (note I didn’t go back to see if Dave had blown himself up, as I didn’t hear a loud explosion, so assumed he was okay) I picked myself  and my rucksack shaped pillow up, and headed off with my butane odour enhanced companion in search of a Fryup. You have to guess Great Fryup Lane is where you are, as there is no sign. It does become apparent a short way along though when you have to turn off on the track to Glaisdale which is.

This way.
      Things were starting to warm up by now, and the clear weather gave us time to appreciate AW’s love of Great Fryup Dale.

And not a sausage in sight!

      Following the path was rather easy. Even I couldn’t get us lost up here. Not even in fog. Not even if I had wanted to.Not even if Dave had been navigating. Not even if we were being chased by the hound of the Fryupskavilles. I can even prove it. Look!

Not even me.

However,at this point, if you are not careful.
If in doubt. Keep right.

      Glaisdale still seems to be an awfully long way away. A chap called Colin caught me up not to far along from here, and promised me a pint if he was still in the Arncliffe Arms when I got there. Whilst I waited for Dave to catch up, Colin disappeared into the distance. He was a mere speck in front of me when I spotted the speck behind me that was Dave. He was being overtaken by some older ladies. I didn’t get their names as they passed me,as they were on a mission, but unfortunately they didn’t make it to R.H.B. One of them had to give up, so they all had to give up. It was a shame. Lets hope they come back and finish soon. Ladies, if you read this, leave a note and let us all know how you got on.

      The downhill arrival into Glaisdale is a welcome relief. I chose the shorter route rather than the round the houses route, and found Colin sitting at the table waiting for me. A pint of Black Sheep was very soon placed in front for me to consume. Which I did. As you do.
       Ten minutes later, Toby turned up with his Jo and Tim being dragged along behind him, and Jane and her friend (who’s name has still escaped me), were just behind them. They disappeared into the café downstairs to stock up on butties, which is why we called them the Munch Bunch, but not to their faces, but the secret is out now(Yes Jane. You can now put that into the back of your book).

       Gaz, Keith, and Dave turned up ten minutes after that. Dave abstained from alcohol(so I still believe the aliens cloned him. My Dave would never turn down a beer offered by his employer), in case there were any more hills to climb. And there were. Damn!
      Tim, Jo, and Toby were booked into the Arncliffe,but decided to walk to Gosmont, and catch the train back, then train again in the morning to get back again. A wise move if you ask me. I don't know who was paying for the tickets, but I assume it wasn't Toby, as not once in the whole twelve days did I see his wallet. Even I produced my wallet on occasion. Reluctantly, I might add.


   Toby isn’t old enough to drink.              
        But he does get a child ticket  on the train.

      Beggars bridge remained undiscovered, due to time/foot constraints, but Arncliffe woods didn’t. And guess which way they went. Yep. UP!!!!!. Oh and sometimes down, but more up than down.
We ambled along towards Egton Bridge, via the ford. Some kind person had built a bridge for us. We even used it, but we needn't have bothered. Someone had stolen the stream.

The un-needed bridge.

      Egton Bridge itself is a pretty little place, and it has a bridge too.As you would expect. But you do need to use this one, or you get very wet. The bridge was re-built in 1993 to replace the damaged one that fell over in a flood, back in 1930. How do I know all this stuff?

Well. Sometimes it's easy.


 The Egton Estate drive way passes some donkeys, whom you are not allowed to feed, or borrow to carry your rucksack. Unless of course you pay the tolls, or your mother is called Mary, and you are about to be born as the Saviour. I didn’t qualify for that,and I didn't have four pence change in my pocket, so it looked like I would be carrying my own bags.

Do not feed the Donkeys. 
 Do not pay in new money.

      Eventually, Grosmont came into view, and would you Adam and believe it, there was a café where you can have a sit down and a brew. If you ask nicely, Dave even buys one for you. And a scone. But don’t tell anyone I told you. We shall just have to blame Emma for sitting outside where we could see her, and allowing us to join her. Thanks Emma.

In view, but slightly out of focus.
How did that happen?
Oh yes. Beer.

Ah! Back in Focus.


 At this point my feet were in dire need of some help, and Emma came to my rescue with about a thousand Compeed plasters. So once again. Thanks Emma.

      It was here that I allowed Dave to decide if we were to push on to Littlebeck, having seen Keith and Gaz in a field at Priory Farm, we were tempted to park ourselves for the night. We pushed on. A hangover on our last day was the last thing we needed. We took our leave of Toby, Jo, Tim, Emma, Gaz, Keith, and Colin. All of whom stayed to watch the Hogwarts Express shunting back and to, through the station. And also to rest up for their own big push the following day. 
      As we left Grosmont we realized how stupid we really were, as it is ALL UPHILL. A one in three UPHILL. Even the cars struggle to climb up this hill, and here we are walking up it. Bloody slowly, but walking all the same. It isn’t a short hill either. Whoever put Grosmont there should have a bloody good talking too. We walked for half an hour, and were just getting near to the top, and we could still hear Hogwart's Chuff Chuff blowing his whistle. Still. Only five miles to go till we could die quietly in our tents. If, that is, we were able to get out of this valley.

And that’s just starters!
Then round the corner and....

Still no end in sight.

      We eventually got to the top, then trudged wearily across Sleights Moor. And no navigating errors occured. Making sure we didn’t stray from the path,as you never know what wildlife lurks around in the bushes. Eventually we appeared at the side of a huge big road with big huge truck type contraptions and little car like things,being driven by idiots who thought we were target practice for Death Race 2000. We haven’t seen traffic for days, so we were a little shell shocked, but still nimble enough on our feet to dodge most of the murderers.Taking our lives in our hands, we ran across the road. Yes I said ran. Okay it was a slow ran, but it was a ran all the same.
       A deviation to route took us to Intake farm, but if we thought that the road was dangerous, it was nothing compared to the sharp fanged barky growly snarly Border Collie at High Quebec Farm, that took an instant dislike to people going anywhere near his house. He should have been tied up, but Mrs High Quebec Farm didn’t think anyone else would be along today, so she let him off his tether. Thanks Missus. Can I have my leg back when the dog finishes with it. Only I have another twelve miles to do tomorrow, and I think I might need it. Crickey. I nearly pooped myself. And I don’t have a problem with dogs. In fact I talk dog in several different dialects. Obviously my Collie was a bit rusty. I suppose in retrospect he must have been a UK Border Collie,as we did get past by offering up a sob story.
      Anyway. Death didn’t come to visit us, and we arrived at Intake Farm before the weather took a turn for the worse. We were greeted by Julie Intake, with a cuppa and a slice of chockie cake. To stay here it is £5 with a shower. It is only£5, if you don’t have a shower. We opted for the shower option, as the Peasants were revolting. I am not sure we even needed to go indoors for one either, but I suppose, the water was warmer.
      B & B is also available.But I don't know how much that was,and as I mentioned earlier,I wasn't the mother of Jesus,and the Intake was full. Evening meal is £15,(2011 prices folks) but you need to pre-order, but from what I saw,£15 does not do justice to the fare. All those at the dinner table were stuffed to the Sally Gunnels‘.  I had my noodles. Dave had veggie Spag boil in the boll.
       The tents went up in record time, and the rain came down in record amounts. There is video evidence of the rain M’lud. I just can’t put it on here. Well actually, I can, but it is an epic, and I don't look good.

   Dave arrived slightly behind me.
 Tea’s brewed. Sorry, but there is no cake. No! 
There never was any cake at all. Where did you hear that nonsense?
I am not a cake thief.I don't even like cake. Not even Chocolate cake.

Day Twelve.
 Thursday 16th June 2011.
Littlebeck to
Robin Hoods Bay.
Are we there yet?
Just round the next corner!
No. The next one.
No. Maybe the next one.

      According to Mr Stedman it should take us four hours and fifty five minutes of your Earth time to complete what we have to complete today. Can I just say in hindsight, he was off by two hours. But an hour of that was brekkie. But more of that later.
      We took our leave of Julie, the Chefs, and Geordie Mark and were on our way just after seven of the clock, am. In the morning.As we had had no beverage the previous evening, we were fully refreshed and only slightly knackered from the previous days ramblings. Must have been the chockie cake. Oops. Sorry. There was no chockie cake Dave. 
As luck would have it,Intake farm is UP it’s own little road, which was good for us,as I don't think we had started any day so far with a DOWNHILL. because we had to go DOWN it. It was a quite steep down, but it was down. This can only mean one thing though. After a down there is always an up,which we were prepared for.That is what chockie cake does to you. Ooops. I think I may have mislead you into thinking there was chockie cake. This was not he case if  Dave is reading this. If he is not, then you can rest assured that Julie makes a very fine Chockie cake....but don't tell Dave. The cup of tea was good too.

  DOWN the lane to Littlebeck.

 Littlebeck Chapel.

      Littlebeck Wood, apart from being UP, is very pretty as woods go. It is also home to some rather large Red Deer. They are timid creatures, just like the Gnomes that frequent woods, but unlike the gnomes, we spotted a couple of them hiding behind trees. Unluckily, our cameras were not at the ready, and so they escaped capture of a photographical type.Mainly because we came crashing through like two bears (Bear Grylls and Grylld Bears) on a Deer hunting trip.  We may have spotted the deer before they spotted us, but Dave was Yodeling, so they heard us about an hour before we got close.The gnomes, did not make an appearance at all.Obviously they do not like the sound of Yodel.
       We did however find the cave that the gnomes live in, but they obviously heard us coming also, and beggered of before we got there. A wise move if you ask me. Even if you don’t ask me, it was still a wise move. Who knows what we could have done with a gnome. They are magical creatures after all. We had already had our first taste of magic at Grosmont with the Hogwart’s Express, so there!!!!  I may have got them to fix my feet.

The home of the Gnomes.

      I wonder if the gnomes actually had a hand in the making of the Hermitage? It looks like a cave, and it has the initials G.C carved above the door. “Gnomes Cave”? Perhaps. It’s only a suggestion, as nobody seems to know much about it. The doorway is not exactly large. Like gnomes. The seat inside is not exactly too high off the ground. Like gnomes. I rest my case. I could only just stand up inside the doorway. I did bang my head as I went in, and I do not stand to much tall than your average gnome. I would go as far as to suggest it was a Gnome away from Gnome.  I did bang my head on the way out. Some people just never learn to DUCK.

Gnome sweet Gnome.

      After the Hermitage, Mr Stedman says go down, but if you look on the map it says take the upper path. We did this, eventually after some discussion (for DISCUSSION see ARGUMENT, or see, Dave was navigating at this point), and made our way to the somewhat disappointing Falling Foss Waterfall. I was expecting gushing water and masses of spray, but what we got was a trickle. I have had bigger wee wees. I felt like proving it at that point,as running water does have that effect, does it not! I did not prove it at this point.

Must remember to flush.

      To further enhance the disappointment Midge Hall and the Falling Foss tea room was closed. So not only, no tea, but hardly a pee. Mind you when you consider where they put the tea room, the middle of nowhere, it is not to much of a surprise to see it not open until half ten.

Midge Hall.
 Dunno where the rest of Ultravox live though.

      Even more of a surprise is to see that the Loch Ness Monster has moved south for the summer and now resides in the stream that I presume feeds Falling Foss. In fact. Nessie herself has lost a lot of her bulk since moving. Maybe the tourists are instructed not to feed the monster, much in the way we were not allowed to feed the donkeys yesterday. Dave was however extremely afraid of Nessie, until, as the dutiful master that  am, acme alng and vanquished Nessie with my broadsword. I could have just scared her off by revealing what was under my kilt, but the day was young, and you can only do it once a day.

Not as frightening as expected.

      Once we left the woods and found the UPHILL road to Sneaton not so Low Moor, Low, my arse. It was higher then the woods. A little misinformation creeping into the place names around here,we noted.We were in for more misinformation at New May Beck Farm too, as it looked decidedly older than it’s name claims. And the dogs shouted at us here as well. Must be losing my touch, I didn't understand a word they barked.. Though they were not as nasty as Mrs High Quebec Farms Collie, they were nasty enough to tell us that we were not welcome to stay and have a chat. I never did really get the hang of Mongrel. Try me on Alsation, and you won't believe the results.

 The sign post to Haswker

  The sign tree to the next sign to Hawsker.

     The leaning tree is quite prominent in the guide books. So if you do not see are lost. The end was getting nearer. I could feel it in my water bottle.It was getting lighter,which means my bladder was getting heavier. Strange how four miles seems like forty when your feet are not fully functioning. Have I mentioned my feet? They were not well you know! It is also strange that even though there is nobody about when you feel the urge to purge,there is always a coach load passing by as soon as you release the fly.

      It says in the book that you can easily misplace yourself on the Graystone Hills. I can now confirm that “It is easy to misplace yourself on Graystone Hills.” Not only did we misplace ourselves, but we even managed to misplace the path through the heather. One minute it was there, the next it was misplaced. I don’t know how we do it. A further discussion later( remember discussion from the woods, guess who had the map!), we managed to locate where the path to the Hawskers actually was. Helped slightly by two Reverse Coasters popping out of the path between the hedges. In the ditch. You know the one.

This one.

      After being left by Dave, so he could scout the route ahead, while I gently massaged my feet, I looked at the book to see how far we still had to go. Eight miles. Could have been eighty, but I knew the end was nigh. So pack on. Boots on. Walk on. Well, stumble on would be more accurate. As Dave had the map, all I could do was follow my own instincts. My instincts have yet to fail me.

You got to look real close.He is there.
Right next to where my instincts were taking me.

        Dave was waiting for me by the side of the road so I could take in the fact we had found our first sign that Robin Hood had actually really left his bay nearby. All be it a lot further round for us as it was for those driverists. You may have to enlarge the photo to see him,as my instincts do sometimes get quite far ahead of me.


       So only a mile until we reach another road that we must cross. Dave spotted a cash point machine in York House Hotel, only to find that someone had used up all the money in it, and the bank had failed to refill it prior to his arrival. How dare they. They have had twelve days notice of our arrival, and leave us with hardly any beer chits.

Me thinks Miss JB spent the night here.

She didn’t get here from the way we came.

      At least the last mile was only a mile, but the next two and a half are about six. Lucky for us, there is another tea room ahead.. This time I actually had a cup of tea, and a bacon and sausage sarnie for my *breakfast/lunch/dinner* delete as appropriate.

      Once more fortified with sustenance,of the TEA variety and once more booted up, and only SIX more miles to go, oh and another rather steep decline in height and at a rapid rate too. Oft we jolly well popped. It might actually have only been four miles to go, but whatever it is, it is still “TO GO.”

Follow the yellow brick road.
Follow the yellow brick road.
Follow, Follow, Follow, Follow
Follow the yellow brick road.
Oh look Toto!

      Sorry. Forgot where I was for a moment there. So we followed the yellow brick arrow until we found another sign that led us to believe we were actually getting closer to our goal.

Is that Miles, or days?

      We respectfully keep the noise down as we tread carefully through the caravan park, as we do not want them to start barking at us as well. And low and behold we find the Sea that is called  North, because it hails from the North and it is a Sea. And it wasn't actually lost, so technically, it didn't need founding. I digress. But it was a long way down. So we decide not to pay it a visit at the moment. We would of course in due course set our toes in said Sea in a time frame that was shorter than a day, but longer than the HOUR stipulated in all the guidebooks. How many false dawns do we have  to have before we get to see the place for whence we set our sights so long ago in the distant past twelve days? Well about five to be completely honest.

Well. It’s not there! 
 Where Oh where can it be?

      Well I can tell you. It wasn’t round the next corner. It wasn’t even round the next one. And to cap it all, the heavens opened and I steadfastly refused to put my Rain Pants on. So my legs looked like I had had an accident down one side. At least it wasn’t the side that had the camera in the pocket. That would have been a total expletive deletive.But after several next corners, guess what hove’s into view.
 The long awaited ROBIN HOODS and his BAY.
      But our story does not end here deer reader, Oh no. We still have a couple of miles further to push ourselves. And several kissing gates to push to. In fact a couple of walkers were doing exactly that at every opportunity. Kissing at the kissing gates. One of them was a man, and the other was a woman, so I suppose it was okay. But can I say, that as much as I "like" Dave, I just don’t see me liking him to the point of kissing him at every gate we pass through. What would they say down at the Old Boys Club. We had resisted the temptation for twelve long days, so resistance in this instance was not futile. Apart from the fact neither of us had had a shave for nearly two weeks. Think of the rash!
      With one Last gigantic effort we ploughed remorselessly on to our final destination. Wainwright’s Bar. Sorry. Robin Hoods Bay and the North Sea.We found ourselves at the top of a very long downhill, but this time we were not struggling to get down it. Apart from the fact they had put stairs in especially for us.And there was the  promise of a BEER OR TWENTY at the bottom.

This is steeper than it looks,
and it looks steep.

Come on Dave. I think I have found it.

 Look everybody. It’s the SEA!!!!!!!

Deep Joy! Shallow water.

     Previous to this point I had turned into a big girls blouse. I was unable to contain my emotions any longer. I don’t know if it was, Relief, Joy, Sadness, Pain, or maybe all of them. All I know is I am not called the Stig and I blubbed  my eyes out. Great epitaph.“Sir Paul Tinker. Coaster. Big girls blouse”. But hell. I had just walked across a whole country.

My big girl's blouse look.

    Due to circumstances beyond my control. My pebble was left behind at Richmond. So no chucking in Irish Sea pebbles into North Sea. It’s probably overrated. What isn’t overrated is this.I’m still blubbing. I still don’t care. And there is still one more uphill to do.The transport can’t get down here.

Ands it can’t get in here.

      But it isn’t due till four and it’s only just turned two, so guess what, there is only one thing left to do. Enjoy the company of those who have done what we have done.If you see yourself in this photo.Congratulations.You are now officially a COASTER.Just make sure nobody tries to put a cup on your head.


  My head is the one facing the wrong way.
But it was stuck on the right way this morning.
Thats beer for thee.

These Boots were meant for walking.
Just a pity the feet in them weren't.
Thank you boots.
 You may now rest.
 Until the next time.
June 15th 2013????

Special thanks to all those who encouraged me to carry on, even when I felt I couldn’t.
Extra special thanks to DAVE. I do "like "him.

Without him, I would probably have given up at Dent on day one.



What it doesn't say is.

We shall be back in June 2013.
"Why?" I hear you ask.

Well,as previously explained.



  1. Awsome read, Paul!
    Thank you for sharing :)

  2. You are most welcome Mike.
    Planning on doing it again in 2013.
    All I have to do is remember why I want to put myself through all of that again, and away we go.

  3. Hi Paul
    I have enjoyed reading your C2C immensely – it brought back many happy memories. We met most days, the first being at the Black Sail Youth Hostel (I'm in your short video). Because I have difficulty walking at a faster pace my days would start between 4 and 5am and you guys would invariably race pass me by later in the day. I also jotted down my thoughts, but unfortunately I don't have too many pictures (my camera broke!) The website is:
    I will also do the walk again, who knows June 2013 might just be the time.
    Once again, many thanks for sharing your experiences.
    Kind Regards

  4. Hi Paul -

    I've read and reread your blog of the C2C. I love it! My 13 yr old daughter and I embark on this same adventure June 10th...a mere 12 weeks from now. I'm making her read your blog before we go to give her a realistic perspective of how hard (and how amazing) it's going to be.

    Hope to meet up with you in 2013! Oh, yeah....we're gonna do it again.

  5. Patti.
    THank you for your kind words.
    I hope you enjoy the walk as much as I did,and I am glad you like the blog.
    It was alot easier to write about it than walk it,but it's one of those experiences you just have to do,and I am sure even if at times on the walk you think "Why the heck am I putting myself through this" ,and " I wanna go home" and "where's my mummy", but you know what, it's addictive. I just wish I could do it sooner than I am going to do. THe people you will meet are amazing, and they will think you are too, because when you have done will truly be amazing. I keep remembering little things, and keep putting them in the blog. I am now working on The C2C the musical.........well a montage of all the piccies with some nice proper songs to go with it. I am going to YouTube it when it's done,and put a link on here.
    Keep watching.
    But most of all.
    All the very best for your walk. I hope the weather remaind kind for you, but be prepared,and GOOD LUCK.
    Never give up,you'll hate yourself.

  6. Ahhh...the C2C Musical! I can hear it now. I'll be holding my breath in anticipation of the debut.

    Can you give me advice regarding equipment we might need for navigating the peat bogs in June? I read on someone's blog that he needed waist high waders...?? I thought perhaps we might need some high boots but waders?

    Would appreciate your insight. Thanks Paul!

  7. Patti.
    It's all going to depend on the weather between now and June.
    If it stays as dry as it has been recently,then all you will need is a pair of trek poles and a pair of gaiters.
    If it teems it down between now and June, then you will need to book your accomodation on the Ark.(
    When myself and my learned friend traversed the northern region, we had had a dry spring. The rain only decided to come after we set off,and in only enough quantity to drown us, and not the land.

    If your daughter decides to hate you for making her read the blog and the inane rambling of a mad truck driver.......then I take full responsiblity for your actions.

    I wish my 14yr old Son would put the games controller down long enough to do the walk....but 2014 may come tooooo soon for him when we go as a family...but without tents.

    Good Luck.
    Any more info you may need...may I reccommend the Sherpavan website forum.
    You can see my Total Novice(reluctant trucker) thread on there, and also the real people who know all there is to know on the C2C are there and only too willing to impart anything and everything on all matters coasting.

  8. Thanks for pointing me to the Sherpa forum. Some nice folks there suggest that someone was having a bit of fun and that we shouldn't need more than short boots.

    I'm holding my breath in anticipation of the musical.

  9. I would take "SOME" clothes as well Patti. There may be children about

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  11. A brilliant read young Sir.