Last night was NOT a good night sleep for me, even though the beds were luxurious. Major storm woke me up a little after two and then I kept hearing the grandfather clock chime each hour. We did have a great breakfast though. Our hosts at the Springfield Inn, Denise and Bob Guy served a FULL meal - we were totally stuffed by the time we finished. Fresh fruit with non-dairy yogurt (spelled 'yoghurt' here), vegan sausages, potatoes, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, porridge, toast, cereal . . . . And they were so sweet. Denise is so gracious, she reminds me a lot of my Aunt Ruth, and Bob is a born comedian. We took a picture of the kids with them (the one for this post) because we want to remember them. While we started breakfast at 7:00, we didn't actually leave until close to 8:30 because we talked with Denise and Bob for a while.
By the time we left it wasn't raining any more, but it was still foggy and overcast. About 10 minutes into our walk, as we went through a field, we saw a white car drive across the field. Bob had noticed that Jonah had left a couple of pairs of socks and wanted us to have them for the rest of our trip. Now that is hospitality and service!
Soon after the rain began again- not a heavy rain like we had last night, but a light constant rain that forced us to put rain covers on our bags and raincoats on ourselves. Our shoes got soaked, not so much from the rain coming down as from the water that was on the grass in the fields from the downpour last night.
Today ended up being a fairly easy hike through many pastures and on some country roads. No chance for a handstand shot during our hike - we wanted to get to our destination as soon as possible and get out of our wet shoes before we got blisters. Fortunately, the rain cleared by 10:30 and soon thereafter we were out of the fields with wet high grass.
The final descent into Richmond was beautiful. We found a plaque with one of Alfred Wainwright's quotes about the town and view:
"Richmond is a town unlike others, a place unique, rich in relics of the past, steeped ina long history that still lingers int he ramifications of its castle and the narrow alleys and quaint building that huddle in the shelter of the massive Norman keep.... It is a town of reminders of times long past. It is too good to be by-passed."
Fortunately, we are not by-passing it but taking extra time to enjoy it. We walked through town to our destination, the Frenchgate Guesthouse, an exquisite B and B with great views of the castle and town below. We arrived by 12:45, thrilled to start our day and a half of rest. And the sun came out to greet us. After showers and baths, we headed back in to town for lunch and to look around. And then we came back and I collapsed from exhaustion and didn't awake until after 6 pm. By then it was time to head back to town for dinner. So today has basically been all about walking, eating, and sleeping!!
We had a nice Chinese dinner at the Wok Wok Noodle shop -due to a miscommunication we ended up with twice as much food as we had wanted. No problem as we now have a built in lunch for tomorrow! We came back to our lodging, relaxed, watched a bit of TV and slowly but surely made our way to bed. Time for me to join Lara who is now fast asleep.
Happy July 4th! We'll be celebrating by sleeping late tomorrow and enjoying a much needed day off.
Distance hiked: 11.25 miles
Total time hiking: 4 hrs. 16 min.
Avg. miles per hour: 2.6 miles per hour
Total Ascent: 1,092 ft.
Total Descent: 1,295 ft.
Lara's Observation of the Day: Today felt exhilarating with a relatively easy walk concluding with a beautiful vista overlooking of Richmond, the town where we'll be for the next two days
Olivia's Observation of the Day: I'm glad we got in early today because it gave us a longer time to rest and chill out.
Jonah's Observation of the Day: We talked about what we're going to be doing for the rest of the summer, and I realized I can't wait to get back to Camp Onas (our favorite summer camp). We were all happy when we arrived because we got to take off our wet shoes and we will have a day and a half rest.