Coast to Coast 2006

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The Savage's Coast to Coast Diary
Day Twelve
Day 12 - 19th August 2006

Glaisdale to Robin Hood's Bay (20 miles)

End of Day 12: August 19th : 6pm our house near Whitby

Last day.

Our B&B last night, The Arncliffe Arms in Glaisdale, is an interesting place. You'll certainly stay in better accommodation (comfortable enough but no frills), although I doubt you'll get a B&B offering better food. There's a serious bistro downstairs from the bar (but I wish they'd stop calling it a 'fine dining' experience) and a great menu available in the bar itself. A nice surprise. This was the only place on our trip when, on departure, we were asked if everything had been OK. The only place. It also feels like a place on the up. It still needs a few bob spent on it but I bet if you came back in a few years it would be better still. An additional bonus was the room allocation. We were originally given room 6, above the bar and with a stag night due in that night. We quickly rearranged things and were moved to room 1, much quieter. At breakfast the next morning who should appear but the Well Meaning Git. He'd not been able to get to sleep until the early hours as there had been a lot of noise in his room. I'll let you guess his room number.

When William had studied the map of this walk he'd quickly worked out that there were more direct, faster ways of getting from Glaisdale to Robin Hood's Bay than the walk route for this final day. "You out this bit and ignore this bit." He's right of course, referring to the Littlebeck loop and the final few miles across the cliff tops. It had been a thing with him for a few days now. "We the short route on the final day aren't we?". I've never given a direct answer. Of course we were going to do the full route. No short cuts. But the right time to make this known? I just decided to sit on the fence and see what happened. I had a couple of advantages on my side. The first is that when you get down into Littlebeck you either nip into the woods (correct route ) or you have a long, long climb up the road on a 33% gradient. He followed me into the woods without a word. The second was that once I'd got him to Hawsker to go down to the cliffs, me having set a blistering pace across Sneaton Low Moor with him trailing way behind, it was just as quick (almost) to go over the cliffs. Later I got thanks from him for taking the true route. Sometimes, just sometimes, Dads know best.

To be fair to William, he has been moving at 'last day pace' throughout today - consistently fast - and he's been as chipper as any other time on the trip . We started walking at just before 9am and were down into Robin Hood's Bay around 3.30pm. Only stopped twice . First was to scratch heads when I took the forest road rather than the metal road coming out from the woods at May Bank and had us going in completely the opposite direction than required, a mere 45 minutes lost. Second was to ring my mother. She sent us a text (now let me just say that texting is a major technological challenge for her but she was keen to pass on some words of encouragement). The text simply said ' nearing the end. luv mum'. Thinking that she might be on her last legs, we thought it best to give her a quick call. As we hit the cliffs, and the last three miles, William suddenly found a new gear and was off. The boy had gone too soon though. I kept my pace and slowly pulled him back. We descended into Robin Hood's Bay together.

Bay very busy, Ruth and the boys sitting outside the hotel at the bottom. Lovely to see them, all looking just great. My immediate feeling was one of being selfish. I'd been off enjoying myself and Ruth had been left with the rest. Each night I've been calling home and there are always tales to tell. There have been problems with some pretty major building work we're having done and fraught meetings with architects and foremen. The boiler broke down in the middle of wintry storms and plummeting temperatures. The emergency services had to be called to help save an injured seal the 13-year-old stumbled across during a seaside fossil hunt. There were complaints from motorists because some of the boys and their friends were lobbing water bombs at traffic. There have been tales of teenage mates apparently mooning at a near neighbour. And, of course, in William's absence, a new pecking order amongst the boys has had to be established, causing above average levels of conflict. All this, on top of the usual demands of looking after a gang of lively boys during the school holidays. Of course, she manages all this well but it's hard when you're on your own.

I think Ruth got it right when she commented: "You had it easy. All you had to do was walk 192 miles across England."

Well it's all done now. I've read a lot of attempts by people to be profound about the impact this walk has had on them.

Lighten up guys, it's just a walk.

OK, it's a long walk.

OK, it's a long walk from one side of the country to the other.

OK, it's a long walk from one side of the country to the other through some of the most stunning landscapes of England.

OK, it's a long walk from one side of the country to the other through some of the most stunning landscapes of England that places all sorts of physical demands on you.

OK, it's a long walk from one side of the country to the other through some of the most stunning landscapes of England that places all sorts of physical demands on you and is a test of character.

But that's all it is.....yeah, right.


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