Not every day is meant to be breathtakingly beautiful - if it were, we wouldn't appreciate those that are. This was one of those days that make us appreciate the beautiful ones. It seems that most everything that could go wrong did. That being said, in the bigger scheme of things it was still pretty darn good - just not compared to all of the other brilliant ones we have had recently.
The day started out like any other day. Normal breakfast at 8 am. Perfectly fine. We even had another couple at our B and B who happens to be from New Jersey. And the owner, Jean, was very interested in learning about veganism and how it might help her. She asked in part because she saw how fit the four of us are. Lara was happy to oblige with plenty of information and gave Jean her email address so that she can email with any further questions.
Since we spent a bit more time talking with Jean, we didn't get out the door until 9. By then it had already started raining - it wasn't really heavy, just a constant drizzle. We put rain covers on our packs and headed out. Fortunately the rain stopped after about 30 minutes. Unfortunately I tried to take off my rain coat while walking and missed a turn - I noticed in less than a quarter mile though so we rectified the situation pretty quickly.
Today's terrain was primarily flat until the last couple of miles and ranged from main road to side road to pasture to wheat field. It seems that the past couple of days we've begun to walk through the wheat fields. Sounds lovely, but in reality, walking through these fields after or during rain is not so great as the wheat is high and the water from the rain ends up soaking hikers walking through them. There is a path, but it is only 1 ft. wide so we end up getting pretty damp even without rain. I've also noticed that the fields aren't as maintained in this region as they were in the Lake District, but the signs are more clearly marked. So it is easier to get lost in the Lake District, but the hiking is a bit better.
Today's diversion was once again Les Miserables. I picked up where we left off and finished telling Volume One. That took a good 90 -120 minutes! And there are four more volumes in the book - I need to pick up my reading pace so I can keep ahead of them with the story! They love it so it is a good story to tell, especially when they start getting tired.
A side note about the water - I haven't been drinking so much for the past day or two. It's not that I'm not thirsty, rather the water in this area just has a bit of a funky taste. It's perfectly fine as far as being potable, but it just doesn't taste so great so I find myself less inclined to drink it. This has the dual affect of leaving me a little less hydrated and also more tired because I end up carrying more water weight throughout the day than I had (since it is staying in my reservoir instead of in my system). Fortunately we brought along flavored water drops so I'm adding those to my bottle (as opposed to the reservoir) to hide the taste of the water by itself.
Once we got through Ingleby Cross we started our ascent for the final few miles. The rain decided to join us for those last few miles too. Actually this part of the day was our favorite as far as the terrain. It was mostly farm road and trails through the woods, but it was picturesque. Many people stay in Ingleby Cross but I think we couldn't find lodging vacancies there so I booked us in to the next town that's about 20 minutes off the path, but one that is commonly used by hikers. By going to the next town, we were able to get in the climb at the end of this day rather than at the beginning of tomorrow. And since today's terrain was flat, our legs still had some energy left to finish strong.
We got into Osmotherly at 2 pm excited to unload, shower, and eat. Unfortunately the owner of the B and B which we had booked was not in. And there was no note telling us when he would return. Not a big deal - we went to the local pub, Queen Catherine, and ate lunch (jacket potatoes with bean and a side of onion rings). We came back at 3 but he still wasn't back. By then several other groups were waiting to check in. We ended up waiting until 4:15 before he arrived. When he showed up we thought things were going to be looking up, but they weren't. It turns out that he didn't have us reserved for the night despite my emailing several times, including last night to remind him, and also speaking to him back when I originally booked and paying a 40 pound deposit. Fortunately he still had a room available so it worked out. He also did our laundry - that was a must as we are all out of clothes.
We read, rested, and wrote our journals for the day. By then it was time to go to dinner. We went back down the road for a nice meal at the Three Tuns. The chef was able to accommodate our diet.
When we got back from dinner, I received the cherry on top of my day. Somehow my blog had been erased before it went through. Not a huge deal, but it does take 30-45 minutes to write so it just seemed to typify my day. So I rewrote it and not it's time for bed. One great thing about days like today is that there is always tomorrow! ;-)
Distance hiked: 11.84 miles
Total time hiking: 4 hrs. 22 min.
Avg. miles per hour: 2.7 miles per hour
Total Ascent: 715 ft.
Total Descent: 387 ft.
Lara's Observation of the Day: I enjoyed the diverse terrain - walking through fields and pastures.
Olivia's Observation of the Day: Lately I have been reading a book about a young girl, Rachel, who did the C2C. She talked about a metal sculpture of a 'chain lady' outside a pub. When we arrived at that pub, I finally it! It was an unusual but amusing sculpture, so we took pictures mimicking her pose.
Jonah's Observation of the Day: I liked singing songs today.