OK, the weekend was upon me. After last week's success at Roseberry Topping, I had been telling myself that I would do a bit extra this weekend. Hartlepool were away and I had no plans at all - I know, I will walk from Captain Cook's Monument to Roseberry Topping, and then home from there...simples!
After struggling for a bit to actually get out of bed this morning, we set off. Nat was dropping me off at the foot of the monument, but not without calling off at Petch's the Butchers in Great Ayton - legendary pies!
At about 9:30 I was at base camp and ready to go! I got to the monument in no time, in my head it was quite far away, but I got up in about 15 minutes. When I reached the top, I was alone, not a person in sight. After getting over the eerieness of it, I loved it! It was very surreal. I spent a few minutes up there then made my way back down, of course, joining in the social etiquette of rambling, with a 'morning' here and a 'hello there' there. A guy was even jogging up there, and for that split second that I passed him, he was my hero!
After returning to base camp I turned round and headed towards Roseberry Topping. It was an initial ascent, which made me realise how unfit I actually was, followed by a long trek over across the hills on level ground. Again, I joined in the 'hi there's' and the 'lovely day isn't it?' banter while also trying to stare out the dogs which were at this point, totally off their leads and sniffing round my feet. It was at this point when I realised it is quite different walking by yourself than it is walking with another person. I think each has their own merits. I think I must have been subconsciously thinking of Nat because at one point I had an 'emergency plan' of how to fend off wild beasts. The plan, by the way, was hiding in one of the many bushes then waiting until it was about to eat me and whack it on the head with a loose rock I had found. Thankfully, the beast of Roseberry Topping never actually materialised.
After a while I found myself on the top of Roseberry Topping again, with a mixed bag of people. There was an elderly lady who was rightly pleased of her conquest, a couple of amateur photographers, a family who had set their stall out for the day - they had paid their £4 car parking and were determined to get their moneysworth, and, of course, the dyslexic dog walkers with their beasts roaming free.
Now coming down was even more of an adventure. Considering I had only been there last week, I managed to get lost. It wasn't quite a fear for my life, starting to cry kind of lost, more of a waiting to be caught in a bear trap or by a poison dart type of lost. I did stumble across a dead mole though, I don't even think I have ever seen a mole, dead or alive, but this was sad because it was actually laid on it's back in a kind of startled pose with its legs in the air. My mind did start to drift at this point and I could have sworn that the crickets were belting out some kind of Beatles song, maybe I just imagined it....
I think the thing I was looking forward to most was the ice cream at the bottom of Roseberry, and I don't even eat ice cream much! Anyway, my joy was short lived as reaching the car park I noticed a distinct lack of ice cream vans. It turns out after a good 30 minute conversation with the car park warden, that he tips off the ice cream man when it is busy, and today obviously wasn't. Gutted.
I then set off on the next big stage, walking home! The roads don't seem to long when driving down them but when walking, they are never ending! I thought I had found a short cut through a public right of way, though the angry cows (see photo above) put me off and I had to turn back onto the road. This was followed by a chance meeting with Nat and after some great encouragement I continued. I saw a sign for Middlesbrough, it said 8 mile, my heart sank.
Hours went by and I eventually met up with Dad in the Rudds (he had walked the 5 miles there to meet me). It was at this point my phone battery died (something I will have to address for C2C), but I had a bit of scran in there and we both continued on. After about 12 miles my feet were heavy and I could feel blisters coming on, but I kept telling myself that it's only walking and I have to get my practise in.
I arrived back at Mam's house at about 5:30 after walking about 16 miles (including the uphill and downhills). All in all a great day's exercise! Feet are blistered, head is burnt and I am almost certainly going to be unable to actually get out of bed in the morning, but it's done now!
Pools are at home next week so cannot do the same next Saturday, but I am sure to think of something.
Just got to give a great word of thanks to Liverpool FC for their donation of a tour of Anfield and Liverpool FC Musuem for 2 people. Thanks.
I'm off to stick my feet in dish of water. Ciao.