Day 9: Thurs Oct 21 Reeth to Richmond

I woke to a forecast of heavy rains and 60 mph winds. However, the morning was actually quite nice for the last day of my walk to Richmond. This is the middle of the Yorkshire Dales, very idyllic countryside of rolling hills. I started the day’s walk with a side trip to Grinton over the Swale. Beyond Marrick, just as it started raining, I lost the path and lost almost an hour as well, hunting for the way. Wainwright showed the path going straight ahead, but actually it deviated two hundred yards left over a hill where you could then see the C2C waymark. The found path led through pasture after pasture, crossing stone walls by way of stiles with little spring-loaded gates - very cute. Cattle pastures are all beat up and muddy; sheep pastures are much nicer thanks to their delicate feet. It rained the rest of the day except for a gorgeous clearing of the sky just before Richmond. Swaledale was bathed in sunlight, as was the forest under Willance’s Leap. Out of the trees, a stag with a huge rack showed itself then bounded away.

Emmanuel Guest House greeted me with a tumbler that dried all my clothes - it is definitely a common service for walkers and much appreciated. The Town Hall Pub served a Pensioner’s Special of lamb w/gravy, potatoes, peas and carrots plus Yorkshire pudding - all for only 2.75 pounds. Supposedly a reduced amount of food, but more than I could eat. Possibly the best meal of the trip!

Day 10: Friday Oct 22 Richmond to Darlington

Richmond was a great place to spend time: 11th century castle, historic buildings, used bookstore, internet access and nice shops. I even found my favorite pastry, a Bakewell Tart, in a Gregg’s Bakery. A satisfying end to my 9 day, 120 mile walk. It will take another trip to finish the C2C across the moors to the North Sea.

On Friday afternoon, a short bus trip to Darlington for my last B&B in England, a stately mansion booked through Richmond TIC and one mile from the train station. Friday night in Darlington is busy, pubs crowded. I had another tasty lamb shank for dinner. You can never go wrong with lamb in Yorkshire. It is always sooo tender and flavorful. Next morning, an early train and flight home.

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