Saturday came, and it meant only one thing - the long threatened walk to a home game. Yes, having made the decision earlier in the week I had to stick by it. Fortunately I had an ally for the walk, once again Paul joined me. After I tried to delay the inevitable we finally set sail at 8:30. Unfortunately I had left my money at home and had to turn back, adding an extra half a mile to the journey. After discussing which route to take we set off properly - and yet again I found myself walking down by the Tees.
After quickly passing through Stockton we arrived in Norton (home of the legendary Norton Duck Pond), and as it's a place I very rarely go, sat and had a short break, just long enough, in fact, to enjoy another Norton icon - the Blackwell's Pork Pie!
I'm sure in the course of training over the next 8 months I will see some sites, but a unicyclist casually peddling down the street on a Saturday morning must top the list so far. On the other hand, it could well have been Big Jeff just getting out of the Tapas Bar that time on a Saturday morning, and that would have been one hell of a site!
I say casually peddling, he must have been as I had chance to whip my phone out and catch a picture of him. Brilliant!
And so the walk continued. We walked down roads which seemed to take forever - it is almost as if every walk I take, I seem to uncover the worlds longest roads. I blame the Romans!
Sometimes we had pavements, sometimes we had little footpaths, sometimes we had to do with grass verges. It's all good training though.
One of the most worrying things I've encountered out and about was a full set of clothes in amongst the bushes on a quiet footpath. Worrying for a few reasons;
We hit the wall after about 10 miles, which wan't bad going considering we had only stopped briefly in Norton. Dad had already passed us on the way to the match and the last 3 miles felt like another 10. We both felt blisters forming and various aches and pains coming out, yet we knew the finish line was in sight.
We did, after nearly 5 hours, make it to the rendezvous point - the pub! We managed to have an hours sit down before going to actually watch the match, and I must admit, for just about the whole 2 hours we were there I didn't 100% enjoy it, and that was purely down to the total body shutdown I was suffering (though not sure that is the medical term...).
We had done it though, walking about 2.8 mph we completed our 13.13 mile exercise. Not bad for a Saturday morning out!
Oh and by the way, Pools drew 2-2. They just cannot hang on to a lead! But that's footy for you!
'Stockton's Premier Night Out' new promo photo
Now then, Saturday night was something else! Although nothing particularly to do with walking or the Coast to Coast, it is worthy of mentioning. It was horrendous. Yeah ok, maybe not horrendous, that's not fair on the lads, it was just one of them nights...so bad it was perversly quite good!
The giveaway should have been that we were in Stockton, on a night! Never a good combination.
We started off in the Arc, and were told, despite it being a Saturday night, that the bar shut at 9:30. OK then, with everyone hungry to make more of the night, except Paul, whose mind was still 13.13 miles away in Hartlepool, we headed into the wild that is Stockton High Street. Next up was the Thomas Sheraton, where we were acknowledged by the bar staff on entry and then promptly ignored for the next five minutes, so after almost dying of thirst we had a swift pint there and moved on.
Goldies was abandoned by pretty much everyone except the bar staff, and the next pub had a woman(?) outside trying to lure us in, which we managed to evade. Down a back street there was people running in between pubs to make them look busy. Have nights out really changed this much?
We finally settled on this mysterious place called the Vault. We had noticed it from the Arc windows - the amazing thing about this place which attracted us was that we never actually seen anyone going in the place, yet witnessed several people coming out. And come out they did, particularly the guy who started chatting me up. We swiftly made our excuses and left. It's nice to know I've still got it though!
Anyway, that capped off an eventful day, I can't picture that much excitement on a Saturday for a long time!