Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Day 5 - 7th of July - A4 Scarborough to Hartlepool

START:  8:00
FINISH: 8:00 pm
DATE: 7th

ACCOMODATION:  the Cosmopolitan Pub near heughes gun battery.


Pie and Mash shop in Whitby!  Couldn't find it!

Breakfast at the Esplanade doesn’t start till 7:30 so there was ample time this morning for me to take the remainder of my gear down to reception and get the bike packed.  The night porter was still manning reception and I asked to get access to my bike, his response was at best “functional” on the two occasions I had spoken to him he was borderline rude and certainly could do with learning how to smile.

I packed the bike quickly but still had time to wait before breakfast, when someone is deliberately miserable or dour I like to play a game and be as pleasant and bubbly as I can be in response.  Sometimes they look at me like I am a lunatic and other times despite themselves it becomes infections and their own demeanour changes to a more sunny one.

On this occasion I attempted to engage him in some chit chat and asked him if he was local, he told me he lived outside Scarborough and that he had to catch a bus in every day.  He explained he was a painter and decorator by trade and only did this to make ends meet as there simply wasn’t enough work.   He was unhappy that these were “Hard Times” as he put it and that he had “two bairns” and they weren’t cheap!
The receptionist arrived and mid conversation without any warning he snatched his coat from the side put it on nodded at her without any hello or goodbye simply walked off from the desk.   I feel sorry for anyone who is having a hard time, but I can’t help feeling he was making his own life that much worse…  I wonder how much work he had lost because of his negativity.

It was soon time to go for Breakfast, I made my way down and as I went to put some toast through the toast carousel I noticed most of the brown bread was thick with green mould…  Symptomatic of my hotel.  I asked one of the staff to come over and he called the supervisor and said we will have to throw this lot and he proceeded to pick out all of the brown bread with his bare hands, to leave the white bread only in the basket.  There wasn’t any attempt to communicate me and I started to wonder if I had turned invisible.

I made do with a box of muesli and fruit with some coffee and a very small cooked breakfast,  1 egg, 1 sausage, 1 slice of bacon some beans and a hash brown.  I wasn’t going to risk the mouldy bread…  Scarbrough had already given me one upset stomach I wasn’t giving it a second shot to finish me off.

I left Scarbrough and road down to the promenade waving goodbye to Christian the physiotherapist on the way.  I had intended to ride up to the castle but found that my route out had no route back up to it so I ploughed on perhaps another day.

I headed out of Scarbrough and began making my way towards Whitby, eventually I found a track I wasn’t aware of called the Cinder track which is along the route of an old railway track evidence of which can be found here and there.

I stopped for a drink after entering one gate and an old lady with her little white terrier came and spoke to me.  Her husband had died and she explained her little dog had saved her life, you could see from the way the dog constantly looked up at her that she had a great bond with it.  

She asked me if I had seen the fairy garden just before and I had said no, she told me that there was a fairy garden put there by a local policeman for his daughter and that children put letters in the fairy postbox and his wife would write back to them from the fairies.  I had seen something as I cycled past and assumed it was some flowers for someone had died so had avoided them, I realised the lady would be disappointed if I didn’t take a look so I turned my bike around and headed back. 

Sure enough there was an overturned tree stump that had been turned into a little fairy village complete with a decorated tin for posting letters in, collected at midnight as the fairy post sign announced.  I decided that I needed some fairy dust for my wheels to make them lighter so I pulled out a postcard and asked the fairies to send me some.  I made sure to leave my address and emails so they could find me.  The little old lady soon passed me by and had a beaming smile as she saw me writing my letter.

I carried on down the cinder track heading towards Ravenscar, on the way I met another cyclist she was on holiday and decided to go for a little pootle to Whitby.  She soon overtook me, however I caught up with her just before Ravenscar she was on the phone to her mother trying to work out where she was so I told her she was not far from Ravenscar. 

I carried on along the cinder track and eventually arrived at Ravenscar, just as a group of Ramblers arrived, and then right behind me the cyclist I had met.  I had a quick look round and then carried on towards Whitby, I cut across some fields to rejoin the road to Whitby thinking it would be a shortcut, it probably took me twice as long.  I was behind time as the cinder track that was part of NCN 1 was very slow going.

I slogged my way to Whitby and then climbed the hill to the Abbey, I took some photographs and met some Spanish students then made my way down the cobbled path to the town centre.  The path was extremely steep and towards the end I had to come to a halt and use my brakes to inch my way down nearly tipping forward several times.

At the bottom a rather large gentleman came forward and acted as my additional brake for the last few feet, for which I am eternally grateful.   By this time the climbing had took it’s toll so I sat down for a coffee and a bacon roll.  A seagull apparently well known to the café immediately came knocking and I was warned if I turned away he was not opposed to stealing my bacon roll… this would have cost him dearly!  I did however feed him a little only to be chided by the café owner that local byelaws meant feeding them was a fine.

All of a sudden a thunderstorm hit as if from nowhere with torrential rain and lightning, the nearest shelter was the train station and I arrived in time to see a steam train leaving.  I had a quick browse round and the staff were about as friendly and helpful as sunburned hippo.  I headed over to the tourist information office which was huge and spacious and then refused entry because of health and safety re: my bike… wonderful.

I then made my way round Whitby for a tour and got into an argument as a middle aged lady stepped straight out into the road and I had to come to a sharp halt.  She then started screaming at me that I had nearly run her down, shouting that did I have a bell???  I explained that I would have to have it going permanently to avoid someone just walking out without even looking and I pointed out that she had walked into a road.  

She got increasingly louder shouting that I had almost knocked her over, in the end frustration got the better of me and I told her what to do in my best celtic and told her to move or I would cycle over her.  At this point her husband who had been watching from the left came over and pulled her away apologising.  There were two more incidents after this with lemmings walking out into the road it was so packed there.

I made my way along the harbour to the lighthouse and took some photos, I met a couple on holiday who took a snap of me, we exchanged pleasantries and went out separate ways.  I visited two or three places looking for something that would remind me of Whitby, unfortunately I couldn’t find anything designed to poke my own eyes out…  I really couldn’t believe how depressing the shop staff were, in the end I fled Whitby vowing never to return.

The thunderstorm hit with full force and leaving Whitby was a herculean task but inch by inch I made my way towards Middlesbrough.   My first real disaster struck as my camera refused to work it just wouldn’t switch on, I could only surmise that some water had gotten to it, I was very depressed by this.

Eventually I made Middlesbrough and detoured to see the local college and the car park attendant there took a photo for me with the college in the background, he asked me very proudly are you heading for the Transporter Bridge, this was of course my destination and one of the things I had come to see.   After several detours in the industrial area I made my way to the bridge.  It was deserted and I was convinced it was closed, the museum was shut however I saw a man sitting in an office and tapped the window asking if it was running.  He confirmed it was and that I had a 20 min wait.

I dutifully waited on the transporter and at the allotted time it took me across the river tees.  By now I was tired and hungry…

I will finish this later:

Put in – food in Hartlepool
Heugh Gun Battery,
Luck and genoristy from the Cosmpolitan Pub cheap lovely room and a free meal and a pint.


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