coast to coast 2011

coast to coast - reflections

some final thoughts

Now that the walk is behind me, it is time to take stock and to lock away some wonderful memories. Whilst I like walking on my own, the people that I met along the way undoubtedly added to the enjoyment. If they ever find there way to this blog then I’d like to thank them all for their companionship.

The walk started with two hard days in the Lakes the second of which started out wet, got better and finished with me getting a lift for a couple of miles along the way. The first week was also memorable for sore feet and blisters - not something that normally bothers me. Day 4 from Grasmere to Glenridding was the wettest of the whole walk with about 5 hours of rain. My passion for solo walking got the better of me on Day 5 when I made my own way from Kidsty Pike, along High Street to Bampton Grange. It was good to meet Stuart on Day 6 and to get his opinion of the bogs on Nine Standards Rigg - I’ll never believe him again! Day 7 from Orton to Kirkby Stephen was one of the most enjoyable of the holiday.

Well that was Week 1, now on to Week 2 and what a start. The crossing of the bogs on Nine Standards Rigg was something else. Near zero visibility and squelchy peat bogs - not very enjoyable but all part of the C2C. Keld to Reeth is one of my favourite walking areas, something that I’ve done before and will do again. Days 11 & 12 from Richmond to Osmotherley were far from exciting but again an essential and unavoidable part of the C2C. The week finished off with some highly enjoyable moorland walking to the Lion at Blakey Ridge.

The final 3 days were a mix of emotions, the walk was nearly over but in an odd way I was glad that it was coming to and end. The climb out of Grosmont was literally a high point as were the last few miles into Robin Hood’s Bay. All in all it had been a really enjoyable way to mark my 60th birthday. The weather in the first week was mixed but could have been far worse.

Packhorse did a really great job in organising it all for me. One or two of the smaller B&Bs could have been better but given the limited pool of accommodation on which to draw upon I can’t complain too much. The things that really annoyed me were the places that only provided one sachet of coffee in the room, pre-measured the breakfast orange juice and waitresses that just said “enjoy” when the served my meal. Why couldn’t they say “I hope that you enjoy your meal sir”? If that is all that I have to complain about then I guess I must have “enjoyed” the walk. There is no doubt that I did, but I wouldn’t want to go a do it again - well not for a couple of years and thoughts now turn to how I might celebrate my 70th birthday, assuming that I live that long. In the meanwhile, I’ll stick to exploring what else Britain has to offer in the way of walking using my caravan as a base.

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