Day Ten - St Giles Farm to Osmotherley  

    Thursday 7th  May 2009

Flat in Places

The day Elsie got chased by a bull.

We had arranged for a reasonably early breakfast, 7:45, to allow us to get away quickly.  I woke at 6:00 and read my book until 6:30. I then got Elsie out of the utility room for a quick walk.  One thing that caught the eye was that the Swale, which the farm looked down upon, was high and flowing fast.  Breakfast was on time and pleasant and we departed according to the plan.  Elsie had all her energy back and was racing back and forth along the path.  She did, of course, leave her most outrageous franticness until the A1 bridge, where we and the Swale passed under the dual carriageway.  She is noise sensitive and gets very, very excited passing under road bridges.  We next entered Catterick Bridge and rather promptly left again along the banks of the Swale.  We passed a couple of dog walkers who made a correct assumption about us and asked if we had had wet weather in the Dales.

We reached Bolton-on-Swale, which was just under a quarter of the day's walking surprisingly quickly and then we started a long section of road walking.  Just before this we had crossed a field full of bullocks showing an unwelcome interest in Elsie.  She slipped her lead and ran.

For the next hour and a half we plodded along the lanes, at one point helping a poor electricity meter reader to locate the farm he needed to visit.  We reached Danby Wiske, the day's half way point, at noon.  The village’s pub “The White Swan”, a slightly notorious C2C landmark was closed with a big for sale sign over the door.  We ourselves sat on the bench on the green opposite for ten minutes, before carrying on with the day's normal combination of fields and lanes.  For a lot of the time Elsie was on a lead, but when the field was empty I gave her her freedom.

After five hours we finally got to Ingleby.  There was one incident of note, excepting the terror of crossing the A19.  Close to the end of lane / field section we had to cross a field of cattle.  I thought it was going well until one of the bullocks decided to follow Elsie with menace.  When he got close I dropped her lead to let her run.  This she did but then turned back because David was lagging 20 yards behind us both.  David wasn't in danger, just the dog so I encouraged her on.  It ended with Elsie running to a narrow bridge out of the field followed by a galloping bull.  It ended with said bull standing looking at Elsie over the bridge.  When David and I arrived a few seconds later it took one look at us, startled and moved out of the way.

We reached Ingleby Arncliffe, sat on a bench for a while, then, just before the first and last significant climb of the day to take us the final two miles to Osmotherley, we stopped at the Bluebell Inn in Ingleby Cross.  I found the shandy refreshing, they served some tea for David and he was mightily relieved.  While we were enjoying this, the pair of walkers we’d met in the pub last night rolled up.  This would be their stopping place for the night.  They had remembered that we had mentioned that David was raising money for the Stroke Association.  They had obviously been thinking about this and gave David £5 to add to the kitty - a nice gesture.

We thanked him and made our way up through the woods to Osmotherley.  There was no one in at Vane House, but the door was open and our keys were on the table for us.  We have a twin room, but it is easily the smallest room to date.  David was muttering something about dead cats.  Once settled in we put the lead back onto Elsie, who was at this point exhausted, and went to the chippy.  We ate the takeaways hiding from the wind in a bus shelter before grabbing a pint in one of the village’s three pubs.

Returning to the B&B we were able to watch Julia Bradbury on BBC4 covering some of the same ground as we had been earlier today.  David then declared bed time.

To get out of the way I made my way back to the pub.