Coast to Coast 2006

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The Savage's Coast to Coast Diary
Day Nine
Day 9 - 16th August 2006

Catterick Bridge to Osmotherly (21 miles)

End of Day 9: August 16, 5.30pm. The room called Mercury, the Three Tuns Bistro, Osmotherly.

We warmed to Jane, our host yesterday at St Giles Farm near Catterick Bridge. She runs a relaxed, easy-going B&B. We arrived at 3pm. No sign of her or anybody else for that matter. A gardener eventually emerged form behind a bush; she’d gone shopping. Jane eventually emerged an hour-and-a-half later with a punnet of raspberries. Lovely to meet you; I’ll show you to your room when it’s ready; just a few things to sort out with it. She first gave us tea with chocolate cake and newspapers in the garden. We did eventually get to our room; size matters and, combined with tasteful décor, it was worth waiting for. Another communal breakfast table; this time sharing with a couple doing the C2C the wrong way (from Robin Hood’s Bay to St Bees). We like your style, Jane. Just a shame about Catterick Bridge.

I can’t let Catterick Bridge be passed without mention of the Tudor Hotel where we went for an evening meal. Entering, it smelt as if something had recently deceased on the premises but they were still trying to identify exactly what and where. When I come across that pong it’s safety first. I tried ordering stir-fried vegetables; alas no vegetables – they were expecting a big delivery. I’ll have a ham sandwich then; alas no ham – they were expecting a big delivery. William and I both eventually settled on a cheese sandwich with a bowl of fries. We met a couple of poor souls who stayed there; similar tales to share. You have been warned.

A full day’s walking today; started 9am right through to 5pm with just a couple of short breaks. The original Wainwright route to Danby Wiske uses mostly roads; we chose to use the alternative route in the Cicerone guide. This is mostly cross country. It’s a fair bit slower than the road route (a couple of slightly slower walkers in front of us stayed with the road route as we departed cross-country; they arrived in Danby Wiske about 20 minutes before us; so I’d guess our route was half an hour slower) but I enjoyed it greatly. The waymarking for C2C takes you through the original route but we had no problems with the alternative.

By any standards it’s been a tiring day; William has found it an exhausting one. He’s had his grumpy and sulky heads on most of the day. You know the drill now; he goes quiet and steadily goes slower and trails behind. It’s simply fatigue. He’s entitled to feel fatigued, he’s put a lot into the last nine days. I have no doubt he’s going to see this through; but he’s going to have to dig deep these last three days. If family or friends are reading this, why not send William a text of encouragement or perhaps give him a call? I know it will give him a lift.

There are many tell-tale signs of his accumulating tiredness. One is his sleep talking. As you know, in St Bees he was clear and articulate. Now it’s just gibberish and incoherent rubbish every night. I think he even said “Okeydokeydiddle” last night. Tomorrow is a shorter day (albeit with a good bit of climbing) on a route I know well. Once again, I’ve told him we’ll have a later start and he can have a lie-in. After that news and a shower he’s now on better form.

There are a couple of nice guys – early fifties I’d guess – doing half the C2C, who we call Mr Snoozy and Mr Sleepy. Whenever we see them they are horizontal in a field, stretched out in a tea shop or lounging in the pub. We’ve never yet seen them doing any walking. How do they do it? I’ll have some of what they’re having, please.

As William has noted, those people we saw a lot before Kirkby Stephen, we don’t see now. There is a nightmare scenario. Kim and Jim have chanced upon the Wombles; Kim and Jim’s maps have immediately been put away. Reliance is entirely on the Wombles… I’ll leave the rest to you. Nightmare scenario… The tears were running down our cheeks.

Last quarter of the walk now.

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