Saturday, 14 September 2013

Coast to Coast day 13: Egton Bridge to Robin Hoods Bay

Ah, Friday 13th and our final day walking.

A check out the window showed gray sky and wet rooves and roads. Fortunately the rain had stopped. A check of the forecast brightened us as it indicated that it should be fine until around 3 in the afternoon. While we were not expecting to get to Robin Hoods Bay until 4 o'clock that was hours away and anything could happen.

Breakfast was in a nice bright conservatory. The lady of the house was very pleasant. A pot of coffee quickly appeared and she took our breakfast order. At all the places we had stayed there had been a good selection of cereal and usually a museli or sultana bran equivalent. This morning had three offerings: fruit loops, cornflakes and rice bubbless. There was yoghurt which I used as a starter. The rest of the breakfast was fine.

The final days walk for most of our group was from Grosmont to Robin Hoods Bay, some 15 miles (24km) however we had stoped a couple of kms short of Grosmont so had extra walking to do. We set off aty 8:30 already suited up in wet weather gear as it had started to rain. Bother.

Between Egton Bridge and Grosmont we took a track, which was more like a road, alongside the River Esk. This took us past the old toll house which still displays the toll charges.

The toll house beside the track

The toll charges notice. 1 horse and 2 wheels was 4d
Once our track hit the road we walked the remaining distance to Grosmont on the road which meant dealing with traffic using the one lane bridge. Fortunately there were step offs on the bridge for pedestrians to get out of the way of the traffic as it passed.

Grosmont boast a very small store which incorporated the post office and this was already open and doing a roaring trade. We had not got a packed lunch at from our B&B as we had been told that we would be able to buy sandwiches and other lunch stuff in Grosmont.

Most of the group was aleady waiting in front of their B&B when we arrived and the conversation was all about the weather.

At least Trevor and I had warmed up before we arrived in Grosmont because the climb out of that village started immediately and went on for about 2km with a 33% gradient for some of the climb. It was a tough way to start the day. By the time we reached our high point we should have been able to see Whitby Abbey and the sea. No such luck. The rain continued blocking out our views.

We took a path across Sleights Moor, a heather moorland, which set the tone for much of the rest of the day. There was a competition between the rain and the very wet conditions underfoot as to which was going to cause us greatest discomfort. I think that the underfoot won hands down!

Slogging through boggy conditions did not do my battered right foot any favours. The left knee was not overly happy with its lot in life either!

Clearing the moor we then had some road walking alongside the A169 which was very busy before heading across another moor and then quiet country roads to Littlebeck which was more a scattered collection of farms than a village.

At Littlebeck we entered a woodland which took us up to Falling Foss, a waterfall.

Falling Foss
This was a highlight as there was a cafe, which was actually open, sheltered seating areas and hot drinks! And did we wet and dripping walkers indulge! We had been hanging out for scones and jam and cream since the start of our walk and finally we had the chance the chance to get some.

The very welcome cafe at Falling Foss

Trevor and Luch enjoying scones and tea

It had been a slog to get to Falling Foss. Underfoot had been wet and much of the terrain was either boggy, muddy or just running with water. Still, our feet were sort of dry.

Suitably refreshed it was off into the rain again. Finally leaving the woodland it was more moorland, Sneaton Low Moor, and this time we were confronted with very wet and boggy conditions. Most of us ended up with very wet feet. We were giving our feet a foot bath It was just a pity that the bath was inside our boots.

A short break allowed Trevor to check out his boots, one of which was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. Later he would remove the intersole from his left boot as it had creased making it very uncomfortable to walk on.

Trevor attempting to fix his boot problem
 Another short section of road walking took us to yet another wet and boggy moorland, Graystone Hills.

Every time our feet started to dry out they took another bath. I was begining to think that my socks would be welded to my feet.

Finally, a view of the sea ... it was hard to see where the sea finished and the sky began

Finally we left the moors and walked through the town, or was ity just a village, of Hawsker and out to the coast.

At least the rain was clearing but the slog along the clifftop, some 5kms, was very muddy and slippery underfoot. Walking required a great deal of care.

Some of the very slippery stones we had to negotiate
The clifftop walk kept on going through dips ... with more climbing to get out of them.

And there was mud to contend with, too

We had thought that we had seen our last stile when we got to the cliff but, no, we had to deal with stiles, too, as the path was diverted over a fence into a field due to a landslip.

It was with a great deal of relief that we finally sighted Robin Hoods Bay.

Robin Hoods Bay off in the distance
The walk to and through Robin Hoods Bay seem to take forever.

A really attractive garden that we passed soon after entering Robin Hoods Bay
And there was one final gate to go though ...

Dave, the member of our party, who became our official gate closer, doing the honours of closing the final gate of our walk
Continuing down the steep, narrow roads we finally arrived at the seafront. The tide was out so it meant a slog across the sand to reach the water and, following tradition, dip our toe in the North Sea and drop the pebble that we had picked up at St Bees into the bay.

Trevor standing in the water at Robin Hoods Bay

Lorraine dipping her toe in the North Sea.

We made it

Definitely "the end"
There were still more things to do. There were group photos of the eleven of us standing in the water. The photo shoot went on and on and the incoming tide filled our boots, yet again!

Finally leaving the beach we headed for the Wainwright Bar for a beer and to sign the Coast to Coast book.

Finally we headed back up the steep hill to our B&B and a hot shower and dry feet.

At 7:15pm all but one of the group met for a celebratory dinner at the Victory Hotel. This was also our opportunity to say farewell to everyone with whom we had shared the challenges of the past 13 days.

Distance today: about 28kms (I need to check the distance on some sections where I kept losing the GPS signal). Elevation gain was at least 633m (and possibly more).

I will do a final distance and elevation gain summary and final overview over the next few days.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on finishing! Enjoy a few days rest :)