Another long day in the field. Ended up being a bit shorter than yesterday but with lots more ups and downs – 1,344 metres of ascent as opposed to 340 metres yesterday.
Fortunately all the climbing came in the first 15 miles and the last 8 miles were flat. So at least the legs were (relatively) fresh for the climbing.
Unfortunately Steve Hart, Atkinson’s finest coach driver, was unable to meet us for our prearranged drink after a work over-run.
We left The Bluebell at Ingleby Cross just after 09:00 following a very good breakfast. We had been royally looked after the previous evening – they opened the pub just for us after a mix up with the booking.
The walk started with a climb up through woodland to pick up the Cleveland Way. As this is a recognized National Trail the waymarking and general path condition was far superior to the Coast to Coast which is an unofficial route.
We were again walking through woodland and there were lots of chiffchaff singing and an unconfirmed willow warbler. The only people we saw up to this point were a young couple walking in the same direction who were going at a more leisurely pace than us.
A sharp descent brought us to Lordstones Cafe where we enjoyed a large pot of Yorkshire Tea (Yorkshire Quality).
As we were about to leave, the young couple from earlier turned up and we struck up a conversation. They are from Cologne and walking the C2C in more bite sized (and sensible) stages.
We generally did our bit for Anglo-European relations, at this fraught time. Ian pointed out to them that Cologne and Liverpool are twinned but thankfully didn’t mention Tony Woodcock.
There followed three climbs and descents of about 120 metres which took it out of the old legs. We then levelled out for the last eight or so miles. There was a splendid topographical memorial to Alec Falconer at the top of one of the climbs
The sunlit lowlands of Middlesbrough (my Alma Mata) were laid out below us in the distance and I was delighted to make out the Transporter Bridge – happy days.
There were lots of Red Grouse now appearing with their distinctive and somewhat comical call. I had heard two or three curlew but only caught a glimpse of one disappearing behind a hill.
A little further on I heard another curlew quite distinctly and after a quick scan round spotted it sitting on a nearby ridge of grass. I managed to have a quick look through the binoculars before it settled out of view.
After another hour or so of pleasant moorland walking we then joined an old railway line which would lead us virtually to our destination, The Lion Inn.
Dear Lord the last stretch, along the railway line, was unremitting in its tediousness. I did however see a solitary lapwing and another Curlew, in flight this time.
A short-cut off the trail saved us about half a mile to the pub. After a well earned pint I was overjoyed to find a bath tub in our room and took full advantage. I was also delighted that they had three vegan mains on the menu.
A much more manageable 17 miles tomorrow!