July 2 – Back on the road this morning for a long slog (either 14 or 16 miles depending on which book you believe) that our guidebook says is the most uninteresting of the entire walk. Oh boy! At least it’s flat, the sun is shining, it’s not as hot as last week, and a breeze is promised. Who could ask for more?
We started confidently out of Richmond. So long Castle!
So long city!
Following the guidebook, within two miles we found ourselves off the trail and walking along a highway. Drat! Nothing worse than adding miles to an already long day. We walked to the next town, and saw some folks standing at a bus stop. Where’s your bus going? Back to Richmond. Drat! A little old lady asked why we were walking through town. She pointed us at a farmer’s field, and said we ought to be heading that way. Okay. As we opened the gate to walk through through the field, the farmer jumped out of the barn and yelled, “whoa!” He pointed to another track, and told us to follow the power lines through the wheat fields until we saw the sign for the Coast to Coast. It worked! Nice People of England!
So what did we see today? A beck and an old bridge:
A rock quarry with an unnaturally blue pond:
A church where the world’s oldest man lived (and that offered cold drinks for hikers)
And a long road walk into town. Total miles: 16.
Our supper tonight was at the White Swan, where you had to sign up for a time slot at which you would be fed. We were assigned 6:30. We were careful not to be late! Looks like we have 60 miles to go to complete our Coast to Coast Walk .
After supper we walked down the street to see the Danby Wiske Church, parts of which date back to Saxon times.
Over the door is a Norman tympanum made around 1090. It depicts three figures, almost worn away, that are said to depict the Angel of Judgement (in the middle) weighing the soul of the figure on the left. On the right, the Angel of Mercy puts a hand under the scale to reduce the weight of the soul’s sins.
It’s easier to see in the sketch below.
There is also part of a cross thought to date from the 8th century, and an effigy of Matilda, widow of the Lord of Bedale that dates from 1340. We just don’t have things that old back home.