Day 11 of our holiday brought us ever closer to Robin Hood’s Bay..
Although it’s still only Tuesday our thoughts are turning towards the end..
We’ve realised that there’s people that we’ve met on this adventure that we’ll never see again.
Some folk have stayed an extra night in Richmond so they’re behind us now.
The 6+2 gang have stopped over in Danby Wiske so they’ve gone, and tomorrow, when we’re doing 19 miles Sandy and Gill are only doing 9.
Fellowships are ending, bonds are being broken…
But isn’t that always the way with holidays..?
So..back to today’s walk…
It was very different to yesterday..
To be honest, yesterday’s walk was a grind..it was wet, flat and dull..
We had to play mental games with it to make it seem even vaguely interesting.
We chopped it up into do-able chunks just like a marathon.
We gave ourselves targets..to be at certain points on the walk at certain times.
For those of you unfamiliar with this technique you divide the target run/walk into halves, quarters, miles, kilometers in fact any distances you like to give yourself a sense of achievement in getting towards the finish.
Today couldn’t have been more different..!
It was an 11 miler from Ingleby to Claybank – a serpent’s back of a walk that saw us rising and falling over numerous hills on the way to our destination- a car park!
Leaving Ingleby Cross in the sunshine..
Another major contrast with yesterday’s walk was the weather!
It was a beautiful day for walking, bright and clear, with dappled sunlight but not too warm.
The first section of our route took us across the busy A172 and upwards into Arncliffe Woods for our first climb of the day.
As we rose gradually through the woods the traffic noise below us gradually disappeared and we eventually reached the top of the ridge.
Yes, those are trees….
The view west from the ridge…
At this point we were looking back across the valley with the Pennines on the horizon in the far distance..
“We’ve walked across all of that” we thought..!
Indeed we had, and much more as well….
Turning north for a short while on the other side of the ridge, I noticed that we had the most wonderful mobile phone signal ever..!
Can’t imagine why….
Turning east now the view changed to give us our first, distant view of the sea, just beyond Middlesborough..
The sea in the distance..honest!
Now the landscape had changed as, for the first time we walked across the Moors..
Keep to the path Mrs Hill..you know what happens if you don’t!
After about a mile we came down to a lane. We crossed it and climbed into Clain Wood for our second climb of the day.
Mrs Hill…striding on purposefully..
Emerging from the wooded ridge, guess what? Down we went again to cross a lane and then up Round Hill the other side…
It was here, on the ridge that we saw these….
Looking forward to next week….
There they were, what looked to us to be a family of grouse.
Half walking, half flying just above and then underneath the heather and with a loud call that sounded for all the world like they were shouting “Kill”!
I kid you not ..!
Now personally, the idea of paying hundreds, if not thousands of pounds to stand on a moor with a shotgun and blast some very stupid bird out of the sky is just a little bit ridiculous.
Actually no, it’s a lot ridiculous.!
The whole principle of the moors and grouse shooting is a prime example of Mankind’s insanity and ingenuity…
The Moors aren’t a natural environment…
Hundreds of years ago these hillsides were covered in trees but Man developed an idea that’s since been exported to places as far away as the Amazon rainforest…
Chop em down…!
The basic idea was to chop the trees down to provide grazing for cattle and particularly, sheep.
The problem was that on the windswept hillsides, with no trees to stabilise the soil, it just got washed away..eroded they called it..so..the cows had no chance and the sheep did their best but the land was now very poor and only tough grass and heather grew.
Moving forward to recent times, we’ve now got moorland where nothing much grows so some clever soul invented grouse shooting.
We might not like it but it does mean that this beautiful, wild environment can be kept in its current state and that has to be good.
The only other option for the landowners is to either build on it or mine it.
Grouse shooting has to be a better option..
Walking over the Moors we saw a good example of how fashion follows nature..
After Lord knows how many more ups and downs we came to the end of our walk at..the car park at Clay Bank..!
The end of the trail..
Our lodgings for the night were a few miles away at Dromonby.
Our host, Dave picked us up in an old W124 Mercedes, wearing a Neil Young tee shirt and a a hairband.
What’s not to like..?