To Egton Bridge (stay in Glaisdale) – (12 miles)
I’m writing today’s post in a beautiful, busy pub called the Arncliffe Arms—an impressive building in the small village of Glaisdale.
|The Arncliffe Arms|
We’ve just finished the second-to-the-last day of our incredible walk and although we’re looking forward to seeing Robin Hood’s Bay and the end of the trek tomorrow night, the feeling is very bittersweet. Neither Jan nor I have had any experience like this in our lives and we’ve done things we never thought we could do. We’ve also made some incredible friends that I hope and pray we’ll stay in touch with forever. It brings the threat of tears to think about being done with this journey.
But, we aren’t finished yet and today’s walk completely made up for the dreary rain and wind of the last two days. We breakfasted with Andy and Joy and also reunited with a threesome we’ve run into on and off since early in the trip: Kevin and Jane from Canada and their friend Jeri Ann from California. Jeri Ann said she’s been struggling for the whole walk to keep up with her fast-walking companions and has often ended up walking alone and meeting them in the evenings. We had her join us and so we were five walking together all day. It was an incredible amount of fun!
|Andy, Joy and I leaving the Lion's Inn|
|Andy, me, Jeri Ann and Joy on the drizzly road|
|The Fryup Valley|
|The sun started to lighten the sky--and the valley below.|
We traded off the lead of the walk, and traveled as easily as old chums. We laughed a lot. One of the funniest moments was when we found a memorial stone just off the path. Andy led us through the heather so we could find out who had been so fondly remembered. Here’s what we found:
|Mrs. Stainthoppe loved the "MOOPS"|
We all decided we, too, love the moops!
|Joy, Liz and Jeri Ann|
|When I showed this picture to Joy she said, "I look mad as a hatter!"|
|Lunchtime on the moor|
|Sign to Glaisdale|
|Main Street in Glaisdale|
|A cool mailbox|
|Andy, Jeri Ann, Joy and Jan|
|Andy, Joy, Jan and me|
|St. Hedda's Church sanctuary|
|The beautiful altar|
The Arncliffe Arms where we’re staying is bustling tonight, a Saturday. There’s a huge party of fancily dressed people—wedding formal including tuxedos on a few of the men and fascinators on the women. It’s noisy and friendly and fun. And we stuffed ourselves on the hugest pieces of beer-battered cod we’ve ever seen. The Brits don’t mess around with their fish and chips—no wimpy pieces of fish here – it’s huge pieces of cod or haddock.
|Check out the size of the cod fillets!|
Just a point of interest: fish and chips are the most common combination for battered fried fish. They’re served with vinegar or ketchup and very often something called mushy peas. Those are dried peas that have been soaked and boiled and end up soft and mashable. They’re very good. But they can also serve the fish with new potatoes and veg (vegetables), which is what we had tonight. We finished it off with strawberry and white chocolate crème brulee cheesecake and ice cream. It’s a darn good thing we’re walking all these calories off.
And finally, to cap off the day we finished our dinner, turned to leave, and whom did we see but Mattieu! We were overjoyed because after all the rain we were concerned that he’d made it safely down the path. Not only did he make it safely to Glaisdale, he’s already finished the entire walk! We’ve never quite figured out Mattieu’s logistics, but he has a car here and he someone gets people to take him back and forth to his vehicle once he’s completed a stage of the walk. He hugged us, kissed us European-style and told us how happy he was to have met us on the walk. He wished us good health and told us to make good things with our lives. We were nearly crying to say good-bye. Cheers to our friend Mattieu Aalders!
|Here I am with Mattieu -- a pretty amazing guy.|
Tomorrow’s forecast is iffy again—but we got a bonus today. Maybe the weather gods and God Himself will shine on us for the last, long day’s trek (16 miles) to the North Sea.