Day Eight: Reeth to Richmond

After finishing my blog last night I briefly went to the pub and noticed on the way that the sunset was reflecting a glowing pink light off the few clouds left onto the surrounding hills. This picked out the details of their craggy scars and made them stand out even stronger against the darkning blue of the late evening sky. It was very pretty but also foretold of a cold night.

After watching the football sharing a couple of pints with Matt and Allan, the two guys who I’d originally met on the way to Kidsty Pike (probably the only people whose names I’ve actually learned while on the walk), I retired back to the caravan where it was so cold that I had to sleep with my jumper and thermals on. Thank goodness I wasn’t in my tent for this sudden temperature drop!

The walk the next day wasn’t long, just over 10 miles and taking about 4 hours to do. The weather was bright and sunny and the landscape was becoming greener and greener. The space whales were becoming smaller and more spaced out and were acquiring hairy backs of green bushy woods where before had been moors. I took several trips through these woods, their interiors cool, lush and sun dappled, and over numerous streams, fields and meadows. The different greens burned themselves onto your retinas,
amplified by the sunlight and clear blue sky.

It was a pleasant but uneventful day, except for the point when you rounded the hill on the way into Richmond and caught sight of the cleaveland hills in the distance that formed the last section of the route. It was reminiscent of rounding smardale fell and seeing the penines except these hills were much further away and surrounded by a much bigger expanse of flat land. They looked like cliffs striking up from the sea and it was very exciting to see them.

I eventually got to Richmond about 1pm and was hoping to do some serious mooching but discovered that without the ability to buy anything (due to not wanting to carry it) my desire to shop was seriously curtailed to just the own and a half outdoors shops, and they weren’t great shakes. I was also disapponted by the lack of alfresco eating and drinking options – a town with such a lovely and large square isn’t really playing to it potentially if only a couple of places have tables and seats outside.

The weather heated up as I waited for the bus that was going to enable me to skip the next section in order to get home for friday. I bumped into a couple of people (including Matt and Allan) who I would now not see again as I jumped ahead of what had been our shared schedule. I felt a little bad for cheating, but knew it was for a greater good. Anyway, the bus would be taking me across that flat (and mostly boring) expanse of land I had seen earlier and despositing me next to the hills, which were much more exiting (and difficult).

After a quick stop in Northallerton, where I cramed two outdoors shops into twenty minutes and even managed to find the gadget I was looking for (a firestarting flint) but didn’t buy it because it was the wrong brand, I eventually got to Osmotherley at the foot of the Cleaveland Hills. It was a lovely camping and caravan site, only slightly spoiled by the way in which you had to pay for everything-at one point the owner even tried to squeeze 60p out of me to charge my phone up in the socket behind his desk. I even spent £3 on wifi access in the hope of catching up on doctor who, but unfortunately it didn’t seem to have enough bandwidth and so was a complete waste of cash (and probably a silly idea in the first place)9. And then an early night, as tomorrow involves an incredibly demanding route of over 20 miles up and down the north York moors that I’m slightly concerned/scared about due to my knee. The consolation was that the final destination was a pub apparently very similar to Tan Hill where I would be sleeping, eating and drinking. I’m sure that thought will keep me going when the going gets tough as I’m sure it will!

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