To the coast

Trip Start Mar 28, 2011
Trip End Apr 13, 2011

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Where I stayed
Saltwick Bay

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Would you believe there is not a single BT Openzone in the whole of Whitby. You'll have to wait for the next installment.

Result - not tied into Starbuck's, also have the option of Cafe Nero!! - Ripon, as it happens...

I enjoyed my second day in York. It was better than I thought it was going to be.  Cycled into York and managed to survive the day without the bike being nicked despite only having one lock as opposed to the two that were recommended on all the bike racks.

Was breaking camp on Wednesday morning when the site owner came over for a chat.  I told him I was going to Whitby next and he confirmed that I'd be going on the A19 and not on the A169, his favourite road.  Oh really, I asked, why so?  Because your old wreck won’t make it up and down that road, he implied.  That’s ok, said I, I’m going via Brempton anyway.  Oh, there’s only one big, long, very steady hill on that road, he confirmed – smirking!  I didn’t have the nerve to tell him that the A169 was fundamental to my route back into the heart of the Dales on Friday!  I’ll worry about that another day...

So I reached the "steady" hill on the road to Brempton.  It was the sort of hill that had I been in the Pug with the 2 litre HDI, I MIGHT have needed to change down from sixth to fifth.  In the bus, I resisted the temptation to double declutch into first!  No issues in second!! Well, not many!!  Still, I made up for it by overtaking a geezer later in the day!  Nett positive for the day, I’d say!

One thing you should know about campervan drivers is that we’re a friendly bunch.  So much so that a cheery wave, when you see a fellow traveller, is a must.  Day one of my journey was predominantly on motorways and dual carriageways and the opportunities for acknowledging fellow travellers were limited.  I was therefore keen to enter into the spirit of things on the trip to Brempton to make up for lost time.  So much so that in my haste, I found myself waving to a bus coming in the opposite direction.  My pace at the time was severely limited and, as such, I had plenty of time to study the bemused look on the drivers face.  It was a white single decker bus, not a red double decker so it was, in my opinion, an easy mistake to make.  Don’t think I shall be travelling that route in a hurry none the less...

Brempton Cliffs, just North of Bridlington, is an RSPB site.  Not the sort of place you’d expect me to visit, I hear you say.  Well, my book says I had to so I did.  Nice spot – only spoilt by millions of bloody sea birds.  And noisy or what!!  Anyway, I can now tell the difference between a Gannet and a Kittiwake.  Mind, I’ll have forgotten by morning...  And I saw a puffin.  At least, the bloke with the telescope said I was looking in the direction of a puffin but with my eyes, it could well have been a muffin, let alone a puffin!!

Made it to Whitby where I’d asked for “a pitch as close to the cliff top as you can get me please”.  And that’s what I got.  I first parked the bus with the rear end approx four feet from the top of the cliff but I moved it when Shirl asked me to.  (In fact, I realised it wasn’t level and that I’d be spilling my wine so I eased it forward a tad...)

Looking forward to eating my Full English in the morning sitting on top of the 150 foot high cliffs with the sun coming up over the horizon – or I might have a lie-in instead...

Full English duly cooked and devoured and in rising winds, I was off to Robin Hood’s Bay by bike.  Now a 10 to 12 mile round trip on a bike is probably pushing it a bit or me so when you add in the “sail effect” that my Full English presented to the oncoming wind, progress, at times was painfully slow – and more to the point, painful.  Still Robin Hood’s Bay was worth the effort, a delightful little fishing village.  Did my duty and had a pint of Theakston’s in The Bay (as recommended in the Good Pub Guide 2010) before girding my lojns for the return journey.  Had a look on the OS map and can confirm that the road rises to 180m AOD coming out of Robin Hood’s Bay.  I walked most of it!  But when the wind was at my back, by eck, did I get a speed up.

I was thinking as I approached the campsite that I hoped the bus was still on top of the cliff and not at the bottom of it (due to some fairly strong puffs of wind) and what’s the first thing I see?  Yes, a caravan on it’s side – but thankfully not my precious transporeter.  Three vans failed to survive the wind, one of which completely turned turtle.

I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in the passenger seat – just behind the engine – hoping to add my “full English” belly to the weight of the block in order to weigh down the windward end.  Seems to have worked – so far!  When I did venture out, I suggested to the site owners that I might relocate to somewhere a little less exposed and they were quite keen for me not to attempt to move the van until the wind had dropped somewhat.  I think they were worried that four upturned vehicles might be considered a tad irresponsible.

So instead I went into Whitby for the mandatory Whitby cod and chips (at the Duke of York, again from the Good Pub Guide) and having now returned, the bus is still atop the cliff, the forecast is for reducing winds and I’m considering toughing it out.  Gusts should have dropped by 10pm so I’m going to make a late call about whether to move to somewhere behind a big mountain!

If you get to read this, you will know that the bus and me didn’t end up on the beach.
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Becks on

Despite your hurtful response to my first visit, I am very much looking forward to hearing how you get on - we love that part of the coast and I'm betting you ditched any thought of Fray Bentos in favour of some fabulous fish & chips???

Becks on

Those pictures of the overturned caravans have set me up nicely for the weekend - bet you thought you'd had one too many Theakstons when you peddled back to find that scene. Serves 'em right for blocking up our roads...

I can barely wait to get back on Monday to view what mischief occurs over the weekend! Stay safe x

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