- Chris Jones
Day 17. Fri 20th Jan. Ravenscar to Whitby.
Waking up on Friday morning is always a good feeling, waking up in a tent when it's chucking it down with rain takes the edge off a bit. The good thing was, I was in no rush so I decided to lay in the tent until the rain stopped. It didn't stop so at 9.30 I gave in and dedided to make a move.
It rained for most of the morning, a band of cloud folling slowly south along the stretch of coast I was walking up. The going was a mix of bogging mud or in the shaded areas, frozen rutted paths, both were really hard to walk on and I was saved from ending up on my back side a number of times by the walking poles.
I knew that Martin and his wife Margaret were on their way up from Lincolnshire but I didn't know Derek and Joy were also in the car, I also didn't know where they were going to meet me. I got to a tea rooms where I was planning on stopping for some lunch but as I'd come to expect, it was closed !!! In fairness their website did say they were seasonal so I wasn't surprised or fed up when I arrived, I cracked on and a little while later I got the call from the car load, they were close so between my map and their car sat nav we managed to meet at the end of a dead end farm track. Hugs all road and a good slug of Margarets home made slow gin and we were off, back onto the very muddy track.
As Derek will always remember, Doc Martin Air wear boots are not the best footwear when walking on bogging wet muddy tracks, Martin and I had to keep walking and not look back for fear of wetting ourselves laughing at Derek doing his best impression of 'Bambi on Ice"... 🤣 At one point I looked back to see him slipping around like a cartoon character with his feet shooting all over the place until he could hold it no longer, his feet shot into the air and he landed flat on his back... Politely I spun round and carried on walking so Derek didn't know I'd seen him fall. I had lent him my walking poles to assist and I didn't want him bending one of then around my ear !!! 🤪
We really did have an excellent laugh as we made our way towards Robin Hoods Bay. We got as far as Boggle Hole and seeing the climb back up the other side, Derek decided to call it a day and had a cuppa in the cafe until the girls came to pick him up. Martin, the dog and I cracked on to Robin Hoods Bay which was only another half hours walk and imagine my surprise to find that there was a pub open when we arrived !!! The last time I was in this pub was about 10 years ago when a group of us finished the coast to coast walk, 190 miles in 7 days !!! You start with you hand in the sea at St Bees on the west coast and finish with your hand in the sea in Robin Hoods Bay. I seem to remember being completely shattered on my last visit although the 3 pints we had each on this visit didn't seem to touch the sides...
It was just getting dark and starting to rain so we left and met the others at the top of the hill, we all managed to fit into Martins Range Rover and Margaret whisked us off to a lovely hotel for the night in Sneaton. A quick shower, a lovely meal and a lot of red wine ensured we had a fantastic evening. Cracking company, a lot of laughs and a perfect way to spend a Friday night as I looked forward to a day off in Whitby. Thank you guys for joining me and looking after me so well.
Saturday morning arrived, my head was a bit foggy, must have been that last glass of wine !!! Margaret dropped Martin and me back on the trail and we walked the 5 miles down to Whitby. Derek did join us about half way but as we were walking on the cinder track which runs between Scarborough and Whitby, he wasn't entertaining us with his ice dancing impressions...
The morning nearly ended in tragedy. When we got onto the huge viaduct I stepped up onto the ledge to look over the edge. Derek followed me and so did Martin. What none of us expected was that Martins dog also wanted to have a look so she jumped up onto the wall... But for Martins lightning quick reactions, the dog would have gone straight over the wall and almost certainly have fallen to her death. She scared the life out of us all, Martin was feeling sick with the scare so we hustled on to get into Whitby. That was far to close for comfort...
Down in Whitby, we met up with the girls and Martin pointed to a nice looking terrace bar where we could go for a drink and I couldn't believe it, our friends David and Julie were up on the terrace waving at us. Michelle was already in the car on her way up from Lincolnshire as David and Julie had very kindly offered to put us up at their house in Whitby. We met them 10 years ago when we were touring in our MotorHome down in Spain. We then met them down in Gibraltar 5 years later for New Year and we hadn't seen them since despite having an open invitation to meet up with then in Whitby at any time. We love Whitby, it was a trip to Whitby all those years ago that prompted us to buy a MotorHome which in turn changed the entire way we ended up living our lives on the road travelling whenever we got the chance.
We all had a pint together, the Lincolnshire gang packed up to drive home and we met up with Michelle when she arrived.
A great night on the town experiencing the pubs of Whitby, a good dance in a disco bar and finished of with a Kebab... What a brilliant end to the week, a relaxing day with Sunday lunch was planned for my day off and all set for Monday morning and the start of the fourth week walking the edge.