We sleep as late possible and stumble down to breakfast, which we know we need to eat but don’t really want. As wonderful as each B&B has been at making our morning meal, we never want to see an egg again. I want leftover pizza for breakfast, dammit. Or pasta or Mexican or Chinese or anything but eggs and tea.
No sooner do we step into the parlor and the gentlemen with whom I’d shared a bathroom moment the night before pulls me aside. He’s the proprietor who washed my undies the night before. This guy knows way too much about me. He apologized and I told him not to give it another thought. Really, don’t. Please. I step away and sit myself at the table and try to avoid eye contact.
We eat a lovely breakfast with two other couples (which we’d met the night before and then saw again in the pub) and enjoy some nice banter. After breakfast and attempts at goodbye, Mr. Proprietor tries to help us dress and kisses Lauren and I both on the mouth. I want to punch him in the crotch but assume that wouldn’t be appropriate behavior so I turn a cold shoulder and push Lauren out the front door.
We’re off again with the rain and again I don my rain pants. I hate these things because it rains in my pants all day and that’s not a nice feeling but it keeps my calf warm and pliable.
We set off with Lauren in a bit of a funk because today is our last walk with her dwarf and she’s already sad. Today’s walk is again filled with finding ways around angry and aggressive cattle and short-cuts from our dwarf that don’t pan out. I’m thinking of having Grumpy replaced with Dopey or Happy but then I realize that they probably aren’t any good at navigating either.
Near the end of our walk, we cross into the North York Moors National Park. To be honest, I didn’t really care. I was so very tired and my calf was screaming. Lauren’s hip and knee were screaming at her and our dwarf stunk. I just wanted to find the Golden Lion, a pub at which we’d agreed to meet Mic Dundee and the Aussies.
We finally get there (the details aren’t worth telling) and Mic is eating a GINORMOUS bowl of mussels with bread and butter. We buy a pint and join him. The rest of his group is at a Tea House (ick) and he’s the only smart one. He tells us that he’s made reservations for all of us for dinner at 6pm. We kiss his cheek and run off to find our B&B.
Turns out we are in a lovely home in which the owners raise bees and make honey. We have a separate entrance and are more than comfortable. We shower and watch a couple of game shows while waiting to go to dinner. (Turns out the damn Brits have more game shows than we do. Ridiculous.)
We set off and find we are the first to arrive. Too bad. We have to have a pint whilst we wait. Lauren’s dwarf arrives in shorts. What a sight. His legs are VERY hairy and I’ve never seen skin so pale. I don’t get too close in case it’s catching. The Aussies and Mic arrive and we’re seated at the very last table in the back. Do you think it’s on purpose?!?!
We enjoy a very nice meal of bruscetta and calamari and blue cheese soufflé and cheesecake and cheese plate. And wine. And perhaps some more wine. I’m not sure.
We say our goodbyes to the Dwarf. We don’t expect to see him again but it’s possible that we’ll catch up with him in Robin Hood’s Bay. Lauren is very sad and it breaks my heart but there’s nothing I can do. The dwarf doesn’t really know how to handle the situation but does his best. He makes an early exit and we stay a bit longer with the Aussies. We realize that we’ll arrive in RHB about the same day and agree to meet at the Bay Hotel at Wainwright’s Bar for a pint. We hug and kiss goodbye again and set off in different directions.
It’s a bit of a sad night because yet again, we’re saying goodbye to people who’ve meant a lot to us over the past few days, especially Lauren’s dwarf. She sheds a tear or two and I do my best to act the fool to cheer her up although I too am sad to see him drift away. He has been very kind and very protective and very good to us. We can never repay him for his kindness and generosity. Thank you Owen. You are an amazing dwarf and one of a kind. We are in your debt.
We walk back to our B&B knowing that tomorrow is a day of rest but wishing that we were plodding ahead with our friends. Funny this walk. You forge strong friendships very fast that end even faster. It’s enough to make a grown woman cry.