Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Day 6 - July the 8th - A5 - Hartlepool to A1068/Northfield (finished in Alnmouth Golf Club)Crc

Today was a bit of a blur to be honest, on leaving Hartlepool I seemed to be stuck on the headland and arrived where I started twice… I just couldn’t make out where the exit was and was continually forced back on myself.

In a foul mood I went into a local café and there was a group of men sat round a table, the biggest of them asked me what I was doing, and he asked me several questions very pleasantly until one of the others, who turned out to be the owner told him to leave me alone as he always wanted to know other peoples business and that round here people kept things private.  The larger guy lost his temper and announced he would never be back and stomped out.

I said to the owner that I hadn’t minded and he simply said he needed telling he is a nosy bugger and doesn’t leave people alone.  He told me not to worry it was a regular occurrence and he would be back in the morning for his breakfast!

Eventually I made my way along the promenade, the weather was awful but it made for some dramatic waves crashing against the sea wall, which I stopped and watched for a while.

I made my way towards BlackHall Colliery where I saw a coastal path and decided to try and ride along it.  I had to go up a wooded incline and I met a polish man with a greyhound that looked at me in that lonely way only greyhounds can.  He advised me that it could be cycled and to look out for gannets who were catching fish and unusual in the area.

I was unprepared for the view which was spectacular I took a few photos and could see birds in the distance diving towards the sea which must have been the Gannets but the weather was poor and I could not keep the camera steady at that distance which was a disappointment.

I then travelled through Easington Colliery which seemed very depressing and the people who I passed didn’t return any of the smiles I gave.  I noticed a shop and decided to get some supplies for the day the owner remarked on how loaded I was and about my trip.  He asked me if I was doing it for charity and I explained my primary reason was for my own personal challenge but that I was hoping to raise money for Zoe’s place.   I can’t imagine in that area that the shop was doing brilliantly but he immediately shot over to the shelves and came back with a bunch of Lucozade isotonic drinks and insisted I had them.   This really touched me and at the same time it made me sad to think of the struggle people in these areas are going through.

It seems a theme of the conversations I have with people that they are struggling to make ends meet in working families, I wonder what the effect of the proposed cuts to family credit etc.. will have on these people who are working hard and trying to support their families.

The weather was getting worse and I was I have to admit struggling against the wind and the rain, this worried me as it had taken nearly 4 hrs to get 20 miles that’s an average of 5 mph….

I arrived at Seaham feeling a little down but it’s a beautiful spot with an amzing 1st world war soldier made of Iron.   The sculpture is called 1101, after the Armistice date, it is  9ft 5ins tall and weighs 1.2 tonnes.  It is very intricate and standing in front of it, I could imagine how tired and futile they must have found the war.

I was constantly soaked by waves crashing over the concrete pier and at the end I asked one of the fishermen who were braving the weather sheltering by the lighthouse at the end of the pier if they would take a photograph of me getting clobbered by a wave.  A volunteer was found and I handed my camera and waited and waited and the waves simply stopped washing over.. I had a look around and couldn’t find anyone with a white beard looking like Moses.  After an uncomfortable silence I asked him to take one of me with the lighthouse.

As he handed me the camera back a wave came over and drenched us both, I thought of asking him if he would try again but his body language said let me go please mad person.  So I thought better of it and showed pity on my unwilling victim.  Just then a council truck arrived and asked us to leave as they were locking the piers off for safety.

I then rode along the promenade until the end when I came across a little café and ordered some food and a coffee.  There was a lovely pair of grey-haired old ladies who watched my bike for me, as I walked away I heard one of them say, no one will steal it, how will they get it started… they must of thought from the size that it was a little motorbike.

I noticed I had missed a work related call and found a rather long voicemail message, I phoned back and discussed what needed to be discussed and then finished my breakfast heading out again once more.

I pushed on to Sunderland already feeling tired perhaps I needed a rest day?  I pushed those thoughts to the back of my head as I only needed to keep going till the 10th and I would be meeting up with Jazzy and Bill in Scotland where I would be treated to an amazing breakfast and get to see my “Scottish Mum and Dad”, if Scotland had left us would that have made me an Orphan?

Eventually in a haze of mental Delirium I made my way to Sunderland to cross the Wearmouth Bridge and took some photos, before moving on.  There must be a contingent Egyptian population there as I passed some Egyptian restaurants and then met a group of Egyptian men crossing the bridge who were very curious about my bike and we chatted for a while.

After crossing the bridge I hung a right to follow the beach at Roke and followed the coast until South Shields where I crossed on the ferry.   I met a German Couple who were on holiday and we exchanged pleasantries, I found out they had started from a friends in Birmingham.

I pulled over to visit Tynemouth Castle and Priory however I was running low on time and they wouldn’t let me take my bike through so I took photos through the gatehouse and took some pictures in front as well as getting some tourists from Taiwan to take a picture of me, I then headed off again!

I passed through Whitley Bay and Seaton Sluice which has a wonderful little estuary with various marooned fishing boats that looked more like toys not something I would venture out into those seas with.

Eventually I arrived in Bluth where the gods of everything decided to punish me for being an Atheist, I was not quite sure which way the Sat Nav wanted me to go and I crossed over a railway stop which then marooned me in an estate that seemed to have no escape from.   Nearly an hour later I exited and headed on.

I then had a narrow miss from a car which caused my rear hub to slacken I didn’t have the tools so had to get a taxi to a bike shop about 15 miles away.  We took the back wheel off and checked things over.  There was no damage everything just needed torqueing back up properly.  By the time this had been done I was very well behind.

I pushed on by now just not able to think straight and eventually came to an end where I found a golf club offering a room and breakfast for £45  I decided I had earned it and will not hear anything more about it!  I must remember to take some photos of it before I go as the area is beautiful, I had missed out on some photos because I was too tired to be bothered!

Crashing Waves at Hartlepool

Angry North Seas

Hartlepool Rovers Football Club

Seaham Pier


First Glimps of the Bridge

Wearmouth Bridge Sunderland

A welcome break in the weather

No crashing waves for me :-(

Giant Clockwork balls - I have no idea what they are

Yep Im tired

The ferry crossing, my girl wouldn't fit in the bike rack hehe

Exiting the ferry

A converted church just up from Tynemouth Castle

Tynemouth Castle

looking smug for some reason??

A beautiful view in Alnmouth

1 comment:

  1. looks and sounds like another amazing day despite the weather. Always nice to meet interesting people even the eccentric ones (who i find the most interesting).
    Love reading your write ups, makes me feel as if i could be there. Keep it coming love you heapsxx Roylyn