Monday, 20 April 2015

Wolds Way Day 4

Day 4 - 25.88miles - 41.65 km
Robeanne BnB >> Hessle

Up for 7ish I was so eager to get moving. We had about 25 miles to complete before sun down and we were so close to home. If we could get there before the end of the day we could sleep in real beds and have a a lie in tomorrow.  I had time to kill so got another shower, using the old towel which was hanging up in the bathroom. Then I headed through for breakfast which was amazing. A few other walkers were already seated in the large conservatory overlooking the large garden of lambs and chickens. A side table was full of cereals, fruit, yoghurt, juice it looked amazing, then we were able to order an english breakfast to our liking. I had a bowl of honey-cheerios cereal, packed an apple for later and got some bacon and toast. SO good! We then got chatting with a walking couple who had been on a few walking holidays; Spain, New Zealand, France and Corsica were a few places they mentioned. 

We set off walking at 9:30  and were hoping to make it back in one day, the thought of sleeping in an actual bed making me happy. It was a hot day already, we paused for sun cream and headed in and through Market Weighton again. This part was familiar and we reentered the hills of the Wolds for a final time. We had a mid morning break and chilled in the shade. Since we were getting closer to home the pathways and hills were beginning  to look familiar and this encourage us on. We hiked through Arras Farm, a farm where I’d first camped doing my Bronze DOE practise. We paused at the busy A1079 road but eventually a gap appeared enabling us cross. Walking on past wind turbines which spun and creating a soothing whirring sound. We found a lovely deserted valley in Newbald Wold and walk through it, the sun beating down on us. 

We took our lunch there and maintained a steady pace afterwards my feet at this point resigned to their fate. Buzzards circled overhead mimicking the sound of vultures. We cross the road leading towards Southcave and ascend the road up towards Mount Airy Farm with a pair of friendly border collies. Onwards we pass by Ellerker North Wold and pause beside St Andrew’s Church. We’ve both run dry on water so take it easy for the next part.

Brantingham comes next and we gingerly pace through Welton Dale valley. The surrounding area grows with familiarity and next we come across Welton and Melton and managed to maintain a decent conversation throughout the day. Of course this mainly consisted of;

What would you do if a Tyrannosaurus Rex burst through those trees over there?
What if a pack of Raptors did the same?
If you could drink anything right now what would it be?
Eat anything?
What are you going to do with your free day tomorrow if we make it back to night?
Think you’ll do any other long distance hikes after this?

Tom sped up with the strange conversation taking his thoughts off the pain. I was getting sore feet again but kept going playing old sega music from my phone.

We passed over the A63 and walked through Long Plant and by a scout camp. Soon North Ferriby slid into view and we walked through a forest talking of films, Tom recreating a scene from Star Trek First Contact which made him forget his aches and pains briefly.

Then we were stopped by a closed path, the route towards the foreshore was closed due to being re designed. I look for another way round even if it meant trespassing where we shouldn’t but it was hopeful, so we’d have to walk back through the woods. I scouted up ahead and tried to see if there was  a cut through, I saw a woman walking a dog turnoff and followed her. She lived locally and disappeared through a gate in her garden. Bugger, looks like we were walking the full route back to the other side and into the housing area to somehow find our way back onto the trail. Then amazingly the woman seem to sense our need and called out to me.

“Are you looking for a way through?” she asked

“O yes, the path to the foreshore is closed and we were hoping to get to the Humber Bridge before dark”

“Just nip through here” she smiled

“Thank you!” I gushed, I waved Tom over whose hobbling increased and we passed through into their garden and out the other side.
“We do have a guard dog” her husband pointed out rapping at the window, a large, long legged beast lifted his head lazily stared at us before returning to his slumber. We smiled and made our way out on the streets and determined the best route back to the trail. Only 4 miles left.
I remember the long stretch down Hessle foreshore leading to the bridge, frequent trains speeding by beside it. The sun was beginning to set and nights chill was creeping in the air. I was so glad we were going to make it, even at a snail's pace we were going to make it.

Tom was still pretty much dragging his leg, he needed hiking poles. I’d found some temporary chunky wood ones a few miles back which he’s tossed upon entering the town. Definitely a must for any future long-distance hiking routes.

I look ahead and could see the eight red beacons of the Humber Bridge twinkling in the darkening sky. A golden twinge lingers above the horizon behind us and a silver crescent moon was flung up into the sky. 3 miles, 2 miles, 1.5miles, 1 miles, we could taste it now, 0.5miles to go and bingo! Our pace (of 2 miles per hour) doubled in eagerness. The worn stone pillar stood beckoning us over, signalling the end of the walk and our sign that we could stop. We had done it!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Wolds Way Day 3

Day 3 - 14.11 miles - 22.71 km
Huggate Pub >> Robeanne BnB

Up for 8am we packed the tent, brushed our teeth using the outdoor tap and headed out. The sun was gradually warming up and we walked out of Huggate reentering the Wolds via the road and rejoining the path a little further up. Walking up one valley and scaling the along the edge of it before sailing up to the top again. We chilled half way up it and had a lengthy snack break consisting of dried fruits. We only had 16 miles to cover so we we're taking our time today. We watched the clouds pass over the Wolds and listened to the distance gas powered gun shots from a farmer land to keep pests away. We watched a yellowhammer chirp in a nearby tree and eventually returned to our walking. 

Walking on we passed a farm with dog kennels, friendly dogs barking at us. We found another curvy bench designed by an artist relating to the Wolds way. It was positioned on top of the hill overlooking Millington down below. I recognized it from a recent trip there with my Dad. Across more farmland we enter Nunburnholme and Londesborough. We had a snack break next to a church and applied more sunscreen, the April sun doing well. We headed into a farm and were greeted by 2 friendly border collies who sniffed us and bounced around playfully intrigued by our new presence on their territory. We took a late lunch of polish sausages, angel cakes and syrup cake and relaxed in a field. We were over halfway now and were able to relax a bit in the sunshine. 

Tom’s walking resembled a zombie and his face twinged with pain. I was hoping to finish the walk in four days but we would have to see how we got on.  We met a divide in the trail which lead to either Market Weighton and Goodmansie. We followed the route to Market Weighton and entered upon a fancy estate called Londesborough Estate with a groundsman and his lodge at the rear. It sadly looked run down and the keeper was out doing repairs, he smiled at us as past. We motored on through some farmers fields and walked by a fancy, old fashioned stables. 

One mile of road walking was left and we slowly arrived at Robeanne BnB. We greeted by a friendly lady who said it was £5 per person and an extra 5£ if you wanted breakfast - Done Deal. We pitch the tent and I headed off for a shower. The lady apologised due to the showers current unwashed state but I didn't care. The water was warm and it was unexpected. Once clean, I relaxed in the garden, watching the flurry legged chickens wander by and the tiny wren call out merrily. We then bimbled into Market Weighton and got a take away at the same shop that we ended the hike last year. After re-supplying we chilled in a deery pub Tom didn’t fancy walking back so we got got an expensive taxi back and went to sleep.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Wolds Way Day 2

Day 2 - 20.72 miles - 33.35 km
Wolds Way Caravan Site - Huggate Pub

I sleep ok, half aware of the other campers who may want to come in and use the kitchen at any given moment, - at least I’d been warm and inside for a few hours. I head back to the tent and pack up. Tom was already awake playing on his gameboy - his luxury item. Tent down, bathroom used, breakfast eaten and we were walking for half past nine. A little later than I would have liked but not a bad start to day 2 - 18 miles down, 63 to go.  

The sun is slow appear but finally breaks through the clouds. We head down a steep valley lined with gravel called Deep Dale Plant careful not to slip and we arrive in Winteringham. Onwards we plod and make our way back into the center of the Wolds and along the sheep filled valleys. We maintain a good pace for the first half of the day and have lunch at Wharram Percy, a medieval village. It is apparently the most well known medieval village in England and was continuously occupied for about 600 years. It is known to be founded around the 9th or 10th century and flourished between the 12th and early 14th centuries, when members of the noble Percy family lived in the village. But by the early 16th century it was almost deserted due to gradual abandonment and forced evictions. The ruined church is the last standing medieval building.

The church was still in good condition despite not having a roof. We had lunch there and sadly I’d pick up the wrong gas canister from the store so hot meals were off the menu and we chowed down on couscous rehydrated by orange juice. We apply sun cream and walk on with slower feet. We shimmed to the top of a valley for a whilie, hearing fake shotguns in the distance.
The wind had picked up annoyingly by now and  blew constantly at us. Tom’s knee was giving him pain and I look back to find where he was and saw him unable to straighten his left knee. I inwardly sigh knowing we had another 2.5 days to get through and with Tom “walking” like that would not be fun. I hung back waiting for him to catch up - You’re as fast as your slowest and as strong as your weakest Bossman’s my DOE instructor words floating into my head.

We walked on watching dark patches of speedy clouds scurrying over green pastures. We arrive over looking a little village called Thixendale which was a stunning place to live with the sun bathing. One farm looked amazing, green lawns with clucking chickens merrily waddling along, two border collies chilling happily in the grounds.  We walk through and collected a twix bar and magnum ice cream en route from a little womans converted conservatory before following the path back out into the hills. I remembered this area having walked through on my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh. 

We were eager to reach the end of our day and arrive in Huggate where a fabulous pub meal awaited us - this I’d checked out personally and found out that you could camp for free in the back beer garden if you brought a meal there. Our pace had slowed due to Tom's Knee so we walked at a reduced speed and time clocked on to half past 4. We free-walked up a steep valley after going slightly wrong and were corrected by the farmer of the field and his grandson along side him. We had about 9 miles more to go through valley scenes and entered a small town called Fridaythorpe. We see a sign for Huggate - 2.5 miles ahead. Up another hill and down a well kept avenue of pre-spring trees bloom trees, we descended into Huggate only to rise slowly up the road and into the heart of the village.

One step in front of each other we staggered towards the one pub aptly named the Wolds Inn. We immediately order drinks followed by two roast dinners. I opt for one with lamb and Tom a loin of pork. It was amazing! We were starving and the cook meal was heaven and precisely what we needed. Afterwards I got an amazing golden syrup sponge with ice cream for dessert.  Afterwards as per usual we sat dazed, enveloped by the pub heat and with full bellies. It was slowly getting cold outside and was wet having just rained. We needed to pitch the tent and all I wanted to do was roll out my sleeping bag in the carpeted toilet and sleep in there. After spending as much time as we could in the quiet bar area; Tom drinking half pints of various different ales and reading through the complimentary newspapers, I journalling. The pub eventually closed and we had to go outside like cats being put out for the night. I piled on the layers and hunkered down for bed. Thankfully it didn’t rain through the night and I slept through putting my waterproofs on for extra warmth.