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  • Chris Jones

Day 16. Thurs 19th Jan. Scarborough to Ravenscar.

A second Masonic Lodge visit in two days, a pleasure and a privilege. This also meant a second night in a hotel but surely it couldn't be another bad one, could it... It was warm and clean but the all male party that was going on in the room above me until 2.30am was a real pain i didn't need. I couldn't recognise which country the rap music came from, it was loud enough, i just didn't recognise the language. I called the hotel reception at midnight to complain and ask them to sort the rowdy bunch out, 20 minutes later, someone was kicking my door in asking me to turn my tv down as I was annoying the other guests... priceless... 🫣 My tv hadn't been turned on for my entire stay !!! Not good Travelodge Scarborough, not good.

The lovely people in the Lookout on the pier cheered me up with the best full English breakfast I've eaten for a long time, on the house, and the extra large portion of cake they packed me off with, thank you. 😍

A nice walk around Scarborough castle watching the surfers playing on the water and then back up onto the cliffs.

It was nearly lunch time so I knew I wasn't in for a long walk today, the weather was perfect again and physically, I was feeling good. Mentally, I was all at sea to be honest. The story of that young man from Scarborough that I never met, that I would never have the pleasure of meeting, the pain and suffering his family must be going through, today and every day for the rest of their lives, will take me some time to process I know that.

Then i was reunited with this chap....

Look up Freddie Gilroy and The Belsen Stragglers, now there's a story of an ordinary man, a soldier, who spent his long life battling with the horrific memories of what he witnessed when he and his comrades liberated Bergen Belsen during WW2. It would be easy to say that they were made of tougher stuff back then but when you've looked up his story, try to imagine how you deal with those memories on a daily basis. Mind blowing...

The remainder of the afternoon was uneventful, up onto the cliff top and a nice steady walk towards Robin Hoods Bay. I knew I wasn't going to make it all the way as once the light starts to fade at around 4.30, only a fool would try to keep walking along the edge of those cliffs, one slip or trip could be fatal.

I decided on a decent spot to pitch the tent but I had got my times wrong, it was only 3.30 and not 4.30, the heavy black sky had tricked me. I loitered for a bit to make sure there were no other walkers around and pitched the tent, I couldn't believe my luck, again. I had just got my boots off and got into the tent when the skies open, it hammered down with snow for over an hour so I was grateful that I was snuggled up inside.

A good nights sleep, no noisy parties, no cigarette stenched bedding, I love being tucked away in my tent, I just cant wait for the weather to warm up and the daylight to stretch out a bit so I can enjoy sitting out looking at the views and the big night skies. Curried noodles and pasta soup for tea, lovely...

Looking forward to tomorrow, another visitor from Lincolnshire will be joining me for a walk.

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Jan 22, 2023

Lovely scenery Chris. Talking about Belsen, never an ideal subject but it fits in with what you say about how people who have been there deal with it. A friend of mine who I joined up with and we served together in Bomb Disposal died recently during COVID, although we were allowed to attend his funeral, at the funeral I met his dad who was in his 90's. He told me that he'd been a POM during the war and one of the worst times he'd experienced was the liberation of Belsen. His worst memory was having to bulldoze dead bodies into mass graves to try and alleviate the enormity and horror of this task he and his fellow POM'…


Jan 22, 2023

Well done mate. Hope to see you again soon.

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