Friday May 12 Garrigill to Alston to Carlisle to Manchester

An excellent breakfast and I’m on the road by 8:15. Anne was nice and helpful with my schedule. It’s a cloudy day, off and on rain blowing in from Scotland, even so a pleasant walk along the River Tyne crossing stiles and bridges.

In Alston, I find the bus stop on the main road and have time to walk into town for a look. It’s a lovely village, quaint shops, loo behind the church. The market square, actually octagonal, shares with Buxton the honor of being the highest market town in England.

After a rainy bus ride to Carlisle and a lunch on a park bench of Scotch (lamb) pie, chocolate muffin and banana, I had a cappuccino from the coffee cart at the train station, deja vu from 1 1/2 years ago as I was starting the C2C walk. Then a two hour train ride to Manchester and a long walk to Potato Wharf YH next to the Chesterfield canal. The hostel is a large modern place in an urban renewal area near nightclubs and restaurants. A bit of a shock after where I’ve been staying.

I opted for dinner at nearby Chesterfield Club, Spanish lamb on rice with a bowl of their wonderful vegetable soup, thick and smooth, along with a pint of Boddingtons. Good food, nice atmosphere, but no real ale. I used my phone card to call Cathryn and assure her I’ll be home tomorrow. This card has been great to have, I’ve used it several times to call home. Tomorrow, it’s a ten minute walk to Deansgate Station for the train to the airport. I’ll land at San Francisco airport by 6 pm, home with my wife three hours later to tell her “the Black Sheep was good, but I’d rather have you”.

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