Friday, June 10, 2005

Walk 112 -- Barton-upon-Humber, across the Humber bridge, to Hessle.

Ages: Colin was 63 years and 33 days. Rosemary was 60 years and 175 days.
Weather: Mostly sunny. A cool wind on the bridge.
Location: Barton-upon-Humber to Hessle Haven, via the Humber Bridge!
Distance: 3½ miles.
Total distance: 883½ miles.
Terrain: Mostly across the Humber Bridge.
Tide: Coming in.
Rivers: No.46, the Humber Estuary.
Ferries: None.
Piers: None.
Kissing gates: Nos.90 & 91, to get into and out of the Humber Bridge Country Park.
Pubs: ‘The Whalebone’ in a rather dodgy area of Hull. I had a nice cider, and Colin drank Diana Mild & Joe Allen Cooper. (We didn’t actually pass it on the Walk, but we went there in the morning after visiting ‘The Deep’.)
‘English Heritage’ properties: None.
Ferris wheels: None.
Diversions: None.
How we got there and back: We were camping at Barton-upon-Humber. We started the Walk in the campsite because that was where we ended it yesterday.
At the end, we turned round and retraced our steps. (So we walked across the bridge twice!) The next morning we packed up our camp and returned to Bognor.

We didn’t start today’s Walk until mid-afternoon due to a change of plan. This is what happened. We were very tired after yesterday’s Walk, and we woke to weather that was cloudy and cold—not very Summery. We fully intended to walk over the Humber Bridge and at least part of the way through Hull. We put the bikes on the back of the car and drove over the bridge. The traffic in Hull was diabolical, and we simply could not find anywhere to park. When Colin had driven thirteen miles and we still hadn’t found a car park, I called a halt saying that was too far. Colin suggested trying the car park of ‘The Deep’ which is a new aquarium claiming to be the biggest in Europe. Of course, we could only park there if we were going to buy a ticket to get inside—something we both rather fancied doing anyway.
So I suggested Plan B (or was it C?) We went into the aquarium — at pensioner’s prices — and spent the morning there. It was fascinating, I especially liked the huge rays and the pulsating jellyfish. Then we sought out one of Colin’s pubs — in a very dubious part of town — before driving back over the bridge to the campsite. We removed our bikes, which had stayed firmly strapped to the back of the car all the while, and sat in our tent eating our packed lunch.
By then the clouds had gone, the wind had dropped and the sun was out! We set off on foot from the campsite because that is where we finished yesterday’s Walk. We passed a house that had obviously had enough of ‘cold-callers’. A notice stuck to their letterbox read:—

So now you know! I can empathise with their feelings — these door-to-door salesmen are a real nuisance — but I did find this notice amusing.
Very soon we were on the Humber Bridge! It was only a stone’s-throw from the campsite, in fact we could hear the traffic all the time from our tent. I admired some poppies growing next to the pavement, and we came across a dissembled bike that had been carelessly left against the railings. As the road rose above the countryside we could see across to our campsite—except we couldn’t see our tent because it was behind a bush. We could see the towpath on the North Lincolnshire side snaking along beneath us. In fact it was very clear and we could see for miles!
‘Awesome’ is a much over-used word these days, but it did feel good walking high up on that magnificent bridge on such a beautiful day! We were glad that we had left it to the afternoon when the weather was better. It was quite a milestone on our trek, and over the other side we really did feel we had got to the ‘North’ because we were in Yorkshire. We were ‘Walking Tall’ all the way across! We took pictures of each other, and tried to set up the camera on the timer but that didn’t work. So we waited until someone cycled over, and asked him to take a picture of us together. I bet no one else has walked every inch of the way to there along the coast from Bognor!As we descended the other side we saw the road snaking underneath — the way we shall have to go towards Scotland. However, we had some difficulty finding our way down there. The road from the bridge stays high until it comes to a roundabout some distance away. We didn’t want to go that way, so we turned off on a kind of ‘helter-skelter’ road which went down underneath, but then it seemed to be going up again the other side. We were puzzled until we found an obscure path leading down through some woods. It wasn’t very clearly indicated, or perhaps we were just being unintelligent in our elation at crossing the Humber!
We went down through a wood — it was quite steep — and through a tunnel under a road to get to the waterfront. The area was called ‘The Humber Bridge Country Park’. We admired a wooden carving of an owl telling us there were nature trails, and a very odd looking seat which didn’t look at all comfortable. At the bottom there was an old windmill without any sails which looked as if it was now used as a house, and there were some mill-stones on the grass nearby. We walked under the bridge again, and asked a passerby to take a photo of us together with the bridge in the background. Looking at the bridge from underneath, it struck us what an amazing structure it is.
We passed a pair of attractive cottages which were obviously much older than the bridge. They are practically underneath it, and we wondered if the residents had received any compensation when their peace was shattered thirty-plus years ago by traffic whizzing past their roof day and night. Then we came to the beginning of the ‘Wolds Way’. This way-marked footpath goes all the way to Filey Brigg, wending its way across the Yorkshire Wolds. We shall also walk to Filey Brigg, but we will not be following much of the Wolds Way because it goes inland.
We came across our first bit of vandalism in Yorkshire, and we had hardly set foot in the county. A riverside seat had been completely burnt out — it didn’t augur well for our walk through Hull. We carried on a short way to Hessle Haven, a small inlet with a few old boats in it. The other side the factories started — it didn’t look good.

That ended Walk no.112, we shall pick up Walk no.113 next time at Hessle Haven. We sat on a wall to eat our chocolate before returning the way we had come — across the Humber Bridge and back to our campsite. The next day we packed up and returned to Bognor.

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