Sun
May
25

2008

Day 13 : The End

Steve and Steff will be preparing a wrap-up entry shortly, but for now… here’s my view of The End.

Early Saturday morning Carole and I went up to Bolton to meet with Mum and Dad, and together we set out for Robin Hood’s Bay — by car rather than on foot. Arriving there around 2 o’clock we had time to explore a little and reconnoitre the B&B at which Steve and Steff were to be stopping in the evening. Anne was taken into our confidence and it was arranged that if the couple were to arrive there first then they would be encouraged to continue to the finish straight away… not letting on that we would be waiting for them of course.

Steve and Steff arrive at the Robin Hoods Bay sea front

Chatting with people in the pub, we found a number of people who had met Steve and Steff along the route. Some had taken longer that others but the one thing that was completely transparent about all though was the sense of triumph shared by all of them.

At about 5:10pm we received a call from Anne to confirm that they were on their way.

It was about ten minutes later that I snapped them coming around the corner at the bottom of the hill: a look of grim determination on their faces. I had positioned myself outside the old Coastguard station wearing a new hat, but Steve still managed to spot me — thankfully he kept it to himself and left Steff in the dark whilst I followed them down to the shore.

Steff deposits her part of St Bees in the North Sea

At the shoreline Steff deposited the pebble that she had tenderly carried all the way from St Bees into the rolling surf, gently placing it into the water marking the end of her journey.

It is a tradition to carry a pebble from one shore to the other, this is to represent the burden that we all carry through life. Personally I think it’s a Lancastrian ploy to attempt to get Yorkshire to sink… but unfortunately some people (possibly Yorkshiremen?) do the walk in reverse to even it all out.

Steve enthusiastically lobs his pebble into the cold waters of the North Sea

Steve too had carried a pebble along the journey, but his ‘deposit’ was made overarm, flinging the pebble as far as he could. This, of course, ensures the maximum leverage being applied to the eastern side of the British mainland by this particular mass.

200+ miles they had walked, slightly longer than the ‘official’ Wainwright route thanks to the requirement to do no trespass; farmers who force the path to deviate; and the wonders of modern navigation — satellite navigation is an amazing thing: letting you know just how lost you are at all times.

In spite of the rigours of the journey, the expiration of Steve’s boots and a multitude of bad sheep and cow jokes; they had survived through to the end with hardly a harsh word, other than a disagreement about Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdink (see day 6).

Steff signs the Coast to Coast register

The Bay Hotel keeps ‘The Register’ for people completing the coast to coast to sign in, so here we see Steff doing just that: ‘it is written…’ that Steve and Steff completed the Coast to Coast walk on Saturday 24th May 2008: that can never be changed!

After signing the register we toasted the pair of them and they enjoyed a very well deserved pint each; and we all had a jolly good chin-wag covering subjects as diverse as chess playing grouse, the offside rule, sheep, cows and comparative sociological interrelations.

Eventually Steve and Steff made their way to the B&B to get a bath and we all went to The Victoria for a lovely meal before they went back to the B&B and we drove home.

A very happy day for us and a big surprise for them.

In the words of Bruce Forsyth: Didn’t they do well?

— Geoff

Steve and Steff at 'The End'

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