We slept hard last night with the windows wide open with feather ticks to keep us warm. After a light breakfast (no more bacon butties since we're no longer buring 4,000 calories a day!), we hopped a bus back to Whitby where we spent a really great day.
I've always loved the idea of quaint, sea-side fishing villages and this one doesn't disappoint. Winding cobblestone streets with odd little shops and pubs everywhere. We cross the swing bridge into the oldest part of the village (our favorite part) and soon wander into a jewelry shop that's having a retirement sale. Yay. We bought too much stuff but it was so much fun. I bought garnet earrings and a ring in sterling silver for the equivalent of about $28. I love them. Lauren bought some necklaces and a gift for a friend and while we were spending Dougie's money, the rain started again. It wasn't kidding either. We didn't really care and while lots of people huddled in shops or crowded under awnings, Lauren and I just walked along as if the sun was shining. Silly village dwellers.
Our next stop was a coffee shop. I had the first Diet Coke in weeks, which tasted funny. It was warm, of course, and there wasn't any ice. (That's the other thing I'm going to do: Teach the Brits to love and use ice cubes.) Lauren had a milkshake, which we learned is not a shake made with ice cream because that's an ice cream shake. Oh well. I caved and had a bacon buttie but I didn't eat all of it.
The next stop was our favorite and was named "Incantations". Lauren summed it up best when she suggested that we just buy the whole damn shop. More of Doug's hard-earned cash down the drain. When I finally forced us out of there, we just wandered in and out of places. We stopped for a pint and a hot chocolate at the Duke of York (no, not the one in Yorktown, VA) and then we stumbled upon a photo shop that does those silly portraits in which women dress in Victorian gowns/hats/gloves and the men dress as soldiers. I begged Lauren until she caved. We had so much fun for the next hour or so and the people who work there were a lot of fun. The photographer was an odd little character and it was easy to see that his wife adored him. He and Lauren were acting out Monty Python scenes. The picture is pretty cool and Lauren looks about 18 or 19 years old in it. I do not. I look like Gooma (my maternal grandmother) and that's not cool.
We wasted away the day until we realized that we really needed to get back to RHB to meet Mic Dundee and the Aussies for a celebratory pint. As our bus pulled into RHB, I thought I saw the foursome on the street. Probably a coincidence, I thought, but we hurried around the corner and it was them! I whistled and Lauren shouted. They had just called a cab, which would arrive in 20 minutes, to take them to Whitby where they were spending the night. Apparently, the last time we were all together, we agreed to meet in the Bay Hotel around noon. Huh...Lauren and I didn't remember it that way! They'd already had a few pints while waiting a couple hours for us to show up and now they had come to the Victoria Hotel near the top of town to get a cab.
Mic realized we had time for one more and bought a round for everyone. We sat outside in the sun and tried to wrap up our wonderful journey in less than 15 minutes. That's not long enough to say all of the things that should be said at a time like this and we all felt a little frustrated. I was very sorry to have misunderstood about our meeting time but all of us were happy that we managed to bump into them before they disappeared forever from our lives.
More pictures and hugs. More promises to keep in touch via email. Perhaps a tear or two.
And then it was just me and Lauren again. Deja Vu.
17 Day Itinerary
Our walk begins in St. Bee's on the West Coast of Great Britain at the Irish Sea. Almost 200 miles later, we will find ourselves at the North Sea in Robin Hood's Bay.
Day 1 - Moor Row, 9 miles The Jasmine House
Day 2 - Ennerdale, 8 miles Low Cock How Farm
Day 3 - Seatoller, 14 miles Seatoller Farm
Day 4 - Grasmere, 10.5 miles Town Head Farm
Day 5 - Patterdale, 7.5 miles Grisdale Lodge
Day 6 - Shap, 16 miles Brookfield House
Day 7 - Orton, 8 miles The Westons
Day 8 - Kirby Stephen, 13.5 miles The Black Bull
Day 9 - Keld, 14 miles Keld Lodge
Day 10 - Richmond, 14 miles The Old Brewery
Day 11 - Danby-Wiske, 14 miles Old School House
Day 12 - Osmotherly, 12 miles 32 South End
Day 13 - Clay Bank Top, 11 miles The Maltkiln House
Day 14 - Blakley Ridge, 8.5 miles The Sevenford House
Day 15 - Grosmont, 14 miles The Station Inn
Day 16 - Robin Hood's Bay, 16 miles The Raven House
Of course, these distances don't account for getting lost and doubling back a few times, avoiding an aggressive herd of heifers or navigating the moors.... or wandering off in search of a pint.