Up early on Tuesday, and get ready whilst listening to Radio 4extra. Here I can do it live, without the need for the Internet 🙂
Checked tire pressures. Front a little low, but the bike has been in the shade. Rear tire looking good.
First stop was Seaways Cafe for breakfast……
Just what the doctor ordered. NOT! hahaha
Had a chat with a biker dude on a Harley, and a couple. The husband was taking his wife out for breakfast on her birthday. What a nice guy.
Next stop was Helmsley Castle. It was shut! Feeling a tad despondent, I consoled myself with a tea and date square. Excellent pastry at Auntie Anne’s.
Then on to Rievaulx Abbey, where I find out that Helmsley castle had been probably open. They have a new entrance, that neither TomTom, staff at cafe, nor signage, knew about.
A walk through the abbey ruins gave a good imression of how big this place was. As many as 650 monks lived here. Huge!
After the dissolution, you can see where some of the stones went. Right into the dry-stone walls of the next door fields!
Mind, considering this was build 600yrs after the Romans left Britain, I would have expected better workmanship on the abbey buildings. Bring back the Romans!
Next stop was Redcar.
I’d chosen a route through the North Yorkshire Dales Park. Scenic. However, as I pulled onto the main road, I noticed a sign proclaiming ROAD CLOSED. I ignored that. I am a biker 😉 Carried on for some 15kms, ignoring more such signs. Was begining to think it was a lie.
Came across a row of cones blocking the road, a man in a van, and no way on. Turns out there is re-surfacing going on, and the signs are meant for trucks. I on the other hand, could turn around, run the 3km back to a village, and take the recently repaved route parrallel to this road. So I did.
Both roads were scenic.
The diversion meant I was away from the hill-tops, so away from the clouds and rain 🙂
Arrived at Redcar, wondering “What happened?”.
First, nothing looked familiar. Who would have thought all those years could make such a difference? As a young trainee engineer I lived in Redcar, when seconded onto a petrochemical site.
Secondly, TomTom taking me to the city centre, dropped me off at an Asda store in the burbs. Took my psychic navigation and road signs, to get me near the proper centre, which was a pedestrian precinct.
Ran onto the beachfront. Another big change. Wind farm and drilling platforms offshore. Though the beach was still a wide expanse of golden sands.
Took a look at the map and ran onto South Shields.
Was glad the leave the Redcar area, as it is a HUGE industrial area. I worked on the Billingham plant. Was part of ICI back then.
Why go to South Shields? Many a happy visit to Shields, chez Robert. This is where I first met Uncle George.
Had my first proper Yorkshire pudding in Shields. Served as an appetiser.
Ran into the Shields pedestrian precinct to pick up some cash.
Very confusing area. Cyclists banned. But one-way road signs. The police drove by me, so I must have been legal 🙂
Booked in my B&B.
Planned Wednesday’s Roman Day. With help from Stuart, who told me about “Vini Land” 🙂
Joan, the landlady’s proxy, got the bike parking spot in the backyard sorted.
And directions to a couple of pubs.
Grabbed a cab to the Marsden Inn.
Has become a twee pub, with a frumpy and grumpy barmaid who served a frothy pint….
Walked onto the Bamburgh pub for a much better pint, and barmaid.
Found a curry house, Zeera, in the golden mile. Walked there through a strange land, of unrecognised housing.
Onion bhaji was very good…..
Rice would have been perfect without the onion. Whilst the Chicken Tikka Masala tasted as if the sauce came out of a jar.
The chai came as a tea-bag. Disgusting.
A short walk took me home.
And to bed :)
Funny to find a piece of my past that has changed beyond all recognition. Even more than the old home town.
“Canny ‘Shields” !
It’s been a while, for me . . .
The Great North Run? As a spectator!
The edible non postcard arrived this morning, many thanks xx
South Shields is the start of Hadrian’s Wall
Should have gone to “Ali MacTavish”s restaurant near “The Pier” in Ocean Road. 🙂
My treat 🙂
Oh yes. Many happy times even along with the sad ones. We did pubs well, back in the day….
Oh yes we did 🙂