Coast to Coast 2006

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The Savage's Coast to Coast Diary
Day Ten
Day 10 - 17th August 2006

Osmotherly to Clay Bank Top (12.5 miles)

End of Day 10: August 17th: Room 14 The Wainstones Hotel, Great Broughton

We liked the Three Tuns Bistro in Osmotherly, our B&B of yesterday;  nice room, good food, pleasant staff. I just didn't like the village church clock that dinged and donged away all night. Hourly reminders of the time I could probably have coped with, but this chap liked a sing song every fifteen minutes. I had a grump with William about it in the morning;  he'd heard nothing;  slept like a log from head hitting pillow until I woke him at 8am.

As promised to William, a lie in, a late breakfast and a later start. Walking from 9.30am. A route today mostly over well walked moorland across the Cleveland Hills; all ups and downs with a number of short sharp pulls to get to the peaks. Some people I met have been a bit sniffy about this stage of the walk: too many paved sections (to help counter erosion), views taking in industrial Teesside in distance. However when I first did this route a few years ago it blew me away; I thought it was stunning. You are never in doubt that civilisation is near by but so what. Today the heather was in full bloom, the views were terrific.

We went at a moderate pace; I didn't want William to be too stretched today after yesterdays long day. We stopped off at Lord Stones cafe at the foot of Carlton Bank at about 12.30pm for lunch. Hard to think of a less charming team of staff delivering a customer service. Look out for the TV programme Charm Offensive (you won't have heard of it as I've just made it up); it involves taking a bunch of rude staff, contemptuous of customers and over six weekly programmes challenges a group of experts to convert them into reasonably pleasant and efficient members of the service economy. I'm going to nominate the sourpuss taking and despatching orders at the Lord Stones; I can see her now tutting at customers who dither over selecting there order, the shaking of the head if the owner of the tuna on white doesn't immediately declare himself when its availability from the kitchen is barked out, the slamming of customers change on to the front desk or the spinning of plates on to tables. This will be their hardest nut to crack. After a half hour of this entertainment we pushed on and were down on the road at Clay Bank Top for 2.30pm; decided to walk the 3 miles off route to our hotel Great Broughton; checked in for 3.30pm.

William back to his usual form after his wobble yesterday; although the sulk head came on for the walk down to Great Broughton ("wassapoint").

I've been reflecting on the etiquette among walkers on the hills. In some ways of course there is no difference with what you would see anywhere. If someone tripped over in the high street or the shopping mall you'd offer assistance; likewise on the fells. However if a total stranger sidled up to you on main street and started chatting to you as though you were longstanding buddies, an early thought of yours might be 'madman'. Not so in the hills. Somehow up there its OK to open discussions with total strangers, you are considered rude if you don't acknowledge or greet the walkers you pass (There seems to be some nonsense that if you're out walking the hills you must be a good 'un). OK so that's all easy enough but the dilemma is how long to linger; how long to walk alongside or with these strangers. I've already mentioned Kim and Jim who use Aussie rules which involve finding anybody who can read a map and not letting them go; a bit extreme and your average Brit will be a little more subtle. Here is the Savage Linger Index based on our encounters:

  • Lone male walker: highly likely to want to linger for an extended period (I'm missing fellow adult company)

  • Lone female walker: highly unlikely to want to linger (I don't want to give out wrong signals)

  • Pair male walkers: unlikely to want an extended linger (we are friends and mores a crowd)

  • Pair or more female walkers: unlikely to want an extended linger (heavy sweating amongst newly introduced opposite sex is not nice)

  • Mixed male / female group walkers: unlikely to want an extended linger (you're not one of us)

So there you have it; the singletons want company but nobody else wants theirs for long. Maybe the hills and the high street are not so far apart after all.

Note - the above linger index applies to Brits only; residents of the eurozone never want to linger with anyone and residents of Australia / New Zealand / North America always want to linger.

We have a lot of mileage to cover tomorrow; some climbing but mostly fairly straightforward terrain.

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