Eller Beck Bridge to Jugger Howes  

   
Whilst waiting for me Chris had had a visit from the police.  A policeman, seemingly just passing, stopped to see what she was doing.  He was very polite and as soon as he knew that she would be moving on in an hour or so was happy to leave her.  Next he went to wake up the Poynton driver!  Chris had obviously been talking a bit to the said driver and after I’d got there he came across again to a chat.  For him this was an annual affair and when the day was over they would be staying in Scarborough YHA before giving the students the morning in the town.  I sat down for a while and talked, but was itching to get going, so after 20 minutes I got my stuff together, put Maggie on the lead, because she would be accompanying me for the rest of the walk, and set off up the access road towards Fylingdales Moor.  As at the very beginning the Other Voices were following 200 yards behind. 

I was mindful of the additional instructions on the website and was wary about taking a wrong turn.  The access track soon ended and I followed the stream with a boundary fence for the EWS on my right.  Set back were some red signs, but I couldn’t read them.  After about half a mile the boundary fence swung around to the left, and, to my surprise, a gate gave access to a permissive bridleway heading towards the pyramid.  At this point I was conscious that I should not swing south and forded Eller Beck, crossing some boggy ground, to join a narrow path to the right of Little Eller Beck. 

At this stage I could not make out my summit target of Lilla Howe, but, as described on the website, there was a line of thin white boundary markers to my right, which gave me confidence.  Maggie trotted along just behind me as the path snaked it’s way through the heather, sometimes splitting, but never wide.  It was now mid-afternoon and clouds that had been gathering had dissipated leaving very pleasant, warm conditions.  It was here that I hit the ‘wall’.  Pleasant though the scenery was, it was uphill, for me just that bit too warm and my eyes were starting to sting due to hay fever.  I had to slow down and take more regular breaks, just to cool down.  Still there was no way I was going to stop now and followed the path, until I was able to cut across to a vehicle track, which was merging from the right.  This I followed until nearly up to the cross at Lilla Howe, where a path lead up to, and around the tumulus. 

Here I could see the mast at Ravenscar, but it seemed an awfully long way away and I was left with no illusion about how far I still had to walk.  The path was now slowly descended and after a couple of hundred yards joined a vehicle track.  Once again I stopped and this time the Other Voices passed me.  I followed behind them as we covered the two miles or so to Jugger Howe Beck.  The Ravenscar mast served as confirmation that we were on the right track and I just had to make sure that I left the road, when it veered off to the southwest, to follow the obvious track towards the mast instead.  The wide path, showing signs of erosion, continued gently downhill for another mile, until it reached the lip of Jugger Howe Beck valley.  This valley is described in the guide as a ravine.  I don’t think it fulfils my definition of that word, but the climb down was very steep, and the newly made steps uneven and difficult.  I was fully expecting this obstacle, but that still didn’t stop it from being an unpleasant experience.  I crossed the beck by a wooden bridge then followed the new path to the right leading to some gentler steps back up leading to the army road over Jugger How Moor.  I was now only a mile from the final checkpoint. 

I caught up with the Other Voices when they stopped to talk to two other men, part of a support team, whose own party were very overdue.  The overdue walkers, a father and son, had started from Eller Beck Bridge an hour before us.  I joined in the conversation, but couldn’t help much other than say that I’d only seen a couple of solo walkers.  I completed the remaining half mile with the Other Voices.  I had revised my arrival time, based on the previous sections, and had been overly optimistic.  I was nearly an hour late myself and, as I approached the car, I heard my mobile ringing as my own support team checked up on me.