After the chilly night, the morning wasn't as bad as expected. We now have breaking camp down to a smooth operation. While I made the morning brew and porridge, Ruth packed up the sleeping bags and mats, and while Ruth washed up the breakfast I packed the bags. Leaving the team effort of dismantling the tent. We were on the road just after 8. A new record.
The first few miles of the days walk were around farmers fields alongside the Swale. We disturbed flies as we went that got into our hair and eyes but at least we made breakfast easy for the swifts performing low level aerobatics above the pasture.
The morning started bright but cool and after walking for s couple of hours we hit civilisation in the form of Bolton on Swale where we were invited into a young couples garden to share some tea and fresh lemon cake, straight from the oven. After taking a second helping of lemon cake for later, we stopped by Jenkin's Memorial in the nearby churchyard. A memorial to Henry Jenkins who, according to his grave, was born in 1500 and died in 1670 at the grand old age of 169 years (memorial is pictured in the photo linked to this blog entry).
The following miles passed without event with the exception of a rain shower which made a good impression of rain setting in, leading us to don wet weather gear only to un-don it a few miles down the road when it became clear that it was barely a shower. This was the longest single road section of our journey, 8 miles. It was punishing on the feet, but we made good progress. In Danby Wiske we stopped in a pub for lunch and a pint. The TV wad on showing the Royal Wedding. This was the only exposure we had all day to the event, Wills and Kate looked genuinely happy on the balcony and Ruth and I thank them for the day off, we were genuinely happy too at that moment.
As we finished lunch, we were once again caught up by Jason, Rachel, Barry, Laura and Merlin our intermittent walking buddies. We set off as they began their lunch but were soon caught up again. It was nice to have some more company for this uninteresting route over flat ground. There are only so many miles you can interest yourself in roadside wildflowers and birds.
Walking on the flat roads and farm tracks was hard on the feet and Ruth's already battered specimens were not taking it well. The last few miles were a struggle motivated only by the thought of removing the boots and numbing the pain with beer. Our final obstacle to this was the A19. A busy dual carriage way with no pedestrian crossing that required us to sprint, recreating scenes from the 1980's classic game "Frogger".
Eventually there was a gap big enough for us to cross and Ruth and I hobbled across as fast as our Quasimodo gait would carry us.
At the Bluebell, our stop for the night, wounds were checked, Ruth having many new additions to the the blister family, showers were taken and beers imbibed.
Around the dinner table we shared stories with other Coast to Coasters and reflected on the hard 21miles covered that day. No wonder our feet were sore!