It was a very warm day so we all felt it was quite tiring. Bees buzzed slowly and sheep lay in the shade beside the stone fences with their faces close to the cool stones. The walk took us past the old Marrick priory which is now an outward bound school and up into a forest. The stone path underfoot was laid by nuns from the priory! It is from the 12 th Century.
We left the river and headed towards the forested hills which provided welcome relief from the sun. We walked near the cliff where in 1606 the owner of our guest house rode his horse off the edge, killing his horse and mangling his leg but remarkably, surviving the fall to live on to be mayor of Richmond. Then as we crossed a field being mowed by the farmer his little dog, a patterdale terrier which is a local breed, rushed up to us and ran around our feet. He was like an enthusiastic little black eel with a shiny black coat and short muscular body. High energy and good natured he halted once , fully alert when he heard a whistle from the farmer then raced off to the fence.
This little rabbit just sat panting in the grass.
It was a fairly uneventful day. Just hot. British summers do exist!
At Richmond the group split. Half decided to stay( the injured or really tired) and the other half stopped for lunch and ice creams then continued to Boulton on Swale where a bus waited to return us to Richmond where our accommodation was. This extra walk was to break the two days into even distances of 17 miles otherwise we would be doing an 11 mile day and a 24 mile day.
Dennis and I were the only Aussies to keep walking. Alan was in difficulty with his pulled calf muscle, the other Kathy has nasty blisters, both Lyn and Bruce are blister affected and Moyra is still getting her fitness back after her cold, Stuart found the heat was sapping his energy too. They had a pleasant afternoon looking around Richmond which is a very pretty town. It has a history as a military town and nearby Caterrick is a military base. The sculpture along the river was to commemorate the military history.
By the time we found our lunch spot, the old Station at Richmond, I was thinking I wanted to stop too. We had walked past all these people splashing and giggling in the river which made me want to jump in and cool off. We found a cool spot under the trees and I lay with my feet up hill. An ice cream completed my recovery and then we were off.
Again it was un remarkable walking, skirting the villages until we arrived at Boulton and sagged onto the bus. I didn’t know if I could haul myself off at the end. It was only a ten minute bus trip back to Richmond! The motor car is a wonderful invention. I am always amazed at how a journey is so dramatically shortened.
We all went for dinner at an Italian restaurant around the corner where the food was good and Sarah was presented with a mini dessert birthday cake.
After dinner when we returned to the guesthouse, Kathy and Moyra took their staircase to their room and we took another to ours only to find we were facing each other at the top with rooms side by side. We all cracked up. It was so unexpected.
I couldn’t write the blog last night because I kept falling asleep. I gave up and crashed, sleeping soundly.