Here’s my diary for the last few days, during which I’ve trundled along from Beverley to just past York:
Friday 6th Feb
Beverley to Goodmanham
I got so lucky, I couldn’t walk on Thursday, but as it happened the weather was filthy. I restarted on Friday, and the sun shine bright and almost warm.
After meeting my friend Sarah for a second breakfast in Beverley, (my second breakfast, not hers), I walked out of the town and into an old railway track, another relic of Beecham’s transport massacre. I pretty much stayed in the track for the majority of my walk. Due to the fact that raised banks and bushes lined the track, it was rather chilly and tunnel-like. This meant that the snow, fast melting elsewhere, remained. It was quite icy and slightly tiring underfoot. But a pleasant walk, apart from an excess of canine excrement sitting proudly in the snow.
I reached a toasting hot pub in Goodmanham, and was swiftly whisked away to stay for two nights with Alex, Jane, and Ambrose the cat. I was properly spoilt with a wonderful supper, that incredible crimson sunset, and such good company.
Ambrose the cat
I felt really tired, surprisingly. Embarrassing really, but it is how it is. So I’m not sure that I have been very good company, with my epic hibernation type sleeps.
Nb the words efficacious and saturnine came up in conversation, as they do (?), and thus have found their way into the title of my blog post, for no particular reason other than they are wonderful words. Plus I hate to play by the SEO rules when it comes to titles of blog posts.
Goodmanham to Pocklington
If you look at the map you’ll see that today was a bit of a dog leg. There weren’t any more direct route options that didn’t involve a lot of road walking. But there were two bonuses. This stage involved the first little hills of the walk – the Yorkshire Wolds. And secondly, I was lucky enough to have a walking companion for the weekend.
Alex and I slip slopped along through good Yorkshire mud. Skylarks accompanied our constant chatter. Is it a bit early for skylarks? They sounded lovely anyway. And some were hovering unusually low, so we actually got a proper glimpse.
Pocklington to Sutton on Derwent 9.7 miles
And then we were three. Alex and Jane joined me for today’s walk, although Ambrose declined to be a puss in boots and didn’t join us. That was probably a good thing as we walked for the best part of the day alongside the rather lovely Pocklington Canal. Ambrose would have been beside himself with all the birdlife: a heron, coots, ducks, swans, and more skylarks up above.
We made up limericks as we pootled along enjoying surprisingly warmth from the February sun. I do love a limerick. Any comments posted in limerick form would be very much appreciated.
The last mile of our walk was a grim plod down a straight bit of road that seemed to double as a race track for local traffic. Fortunately Ian arrived just at the right moment to pick us up and ferry my fab companions back to their car, and me home for the last night before I properly strike out on my own.
Sutton on Derwent to York 12 miles
Ian dropped me off to restart my journey at lunchtime, and I continued following the Wilberforce Way to York. I can’t say that this route is the most well planned – there was yet another stretch, this time about 2 miles, on a very busy local road. Quite unpleasant to have cars flying past at 70 mph. There were some nice bits – walking through quiet woods, and it was good to arrive on foot into York. Also it was a superb day, weather wise. I got quite hot. My baselayer tights had to be removed in a churchyard.
Perfect lunch spot
I saw a foal excitedly chasing a poor dozy sheep that had managed to squeeze under a fence into the horse’s paddock. The foal v sheep performance continued for quite some time. In the end I walked on, happy to have experienced this free entertainment. The chase may still be going on today, for all I know.
I arrived at Sam, Sarah and baby Mariella’s house in York, fairly tired after my longest day yet. It was lovely to see them though, and hopefully Sarah is going to join me on Wednesday. It’s brilliant seeing friends along the walk. It is all part of a very memorable experience.
York to near Tadcaster 7.6 miles
A grey freezing foggy sort of day. And my most uninteresting stage thus far. Quite a lot of tarmac, bike paths, and plods beside arable fields. All of which was in earshot of the A64, which is a very busy dual carriageway. There are always going to be days like this on a long walk. Very soon I’ll be out of the flatlands of the Vale of York, and into countryside that is a lot less familiar to me.
York Racecourse in the fog
My solution today was to stick in my earphones and listen to a thriller (audiobook). The drama kept me content and shut out the roaring traffic.
Today was my first time with my proper rucksack (up to now I’ve just had a tiny running bag with a few bits in for day walking). I’ve been a bit apprehensive as to how my body will react – it’s the first time I’ve really carried anything like this since my op. I’ve packed really light, but it’s still something I need to be aware of. Anyway I feel ok. I ended up stopping early, at 7.5 miles, as I passed my favourite hotel chain. The temptation of a half day and a bit of feet up was too much to resist. I’m probably in need of a bit of a battery recharge. I felt incredibly sleepy all morning. Even though I’m not covering the kinds of miles I would have done a few months ago, my main aim is to enjoy the walk and ensure I steadily get fitter.
Now I must remember to start taking a few elephant photos…