Day Eleven - Osmotherley to Blakey Ridge  

    Friday 8th  May 2009

Cringle End

Again I woke early and took Elsie out for a walk, arriving back at 7:00.  David was just getting up.  We ate breakfast and left at 8:30.  The village shop was next door so I bought a tin of Pedigree Chum and more Ibuprofen.  For the first mile it was a continuous gradual grind up to the top of the hill behind Osmotherley.  We then dropped down to Coalmire Plantation where we met the same gentlemen whom we left at The Bluebell Inn.  We leapfrogged a couple of times, but eventually ended up in front as we climbed steeply onto the Cleveland Hills.

We followed the escarpment for an hour or so, always with a strong wind from behind and the occasional light shower, before dropping down to a minor road and the Lord’s Stone café.  They were able to supply David with the tea he craved.  I joined in too!  Just before we left the Bluebell duo came in wearing full waterproofs.  Although we were only quarter of a mile ahead of them they had got caught in heavier rain.  That was lucky now.

Suitably refreshed we set off again and quickly started climbing Cringle Moor.  The up was fine, but David was finding the down very painful.  Therefore rather than climb up the next two hills, modest though they were, we decided to take a lower path skirting the sides of the moors and avoiding the descents.

We followed a reasonable track at one point getting a good view of the Wain Stones, a rocky outcrop which we would have ordinarily have scrambled through, and an hour later we arrived at Clay Bank Top.  For a lot of Coast to Coasters this would be the end of the day, but I had booked accommodation a further nine miles on at The Lion Inn.  This would need one final climb onto the moors.  However before that we found a quiet spot for our packed lunches.

The climb was OK, but the following eight miles became a bit of an ordeal.  The walk in itself was pleasant, if blustery, but David was in pain and his priority was to get to the tea at the end of the day.  In fact the biggest psychological blow was reaching the old iron ore railway, which would form the last five miles.  The hope, and inference from the guide books, is that this is a quick section, but it isn't at the end of a long day.  It would still take an hour and a half.  The only bit of excitement, apart from the good views of Farndale, was a sudden panic when the gamekeeper's land rover drove up behind us.  Elsie wasn't on her lead despite all the notices about nesting birds.  The law is that she didn't need to be on a right of way, and she hadn't chased anything (although she was sorely tempted at times and was under “close control”), but all the same I felt a bit guilty.  Anyway the fellow drove past and then pulled off to a piece of high ground.  He didn't get out so what he was doing I don't know.  Moor watch?

We continued on and approached The Lion Inn, arriving at about 5:00.  The room was really small, but was that bit cheaper because of it; in fact the cheapest room of the walk.  The bathroom was shared, but the bath itself was just what the doctor ordered.  Elsie found a place under a bed and ate that can of dog food.  She didn't say no to the bones from the Barnsley Chops I had for my evening meal either. 

In the bar we met two gentlemen who were in the party of six, encountered between Reeth and Richmond.  As planned the majority had finished their walk in Richmond, but these two were carrying on to the end.  They were meeting up with their wives.  We were also able to eavesdrop on a conversation between man and wife.  He was talking himself into doing the C2C.