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Wednesday, 7 July 2010


Day 25 - Darlington to Barnard Castle

Last night Blackwell Grange Hotel was on the face of it quite luxurious, but it was full of Americans and Japanese on what appeared to be two different organised parties. I had a conversation with an ex US colonel who seemed to have been everywhere and done everything "...I love my country, but..." and "I served my country for 32 years, but..." the follow on from buts being criticism of Bush and various others and the strictures put on the military by presidents etc. He said he had met both Prince Charles and Margaret That her. Everything he said came accross as an oft repeated monologue which qdidn't, seem 'to relate to real conversation.

I had a sirloin steak which was tough.

Breakfast was a shambles. A huge dining room, self service for everything except beverages and toast. I had my breakfast on mg table then had to wander off and find a waitress to get some tea by which tome the breakfast wasnearly cold - all a bit dreary considering the price I was paying.

Walking wAs easy to start with following The Teesdale Way, but developed into another nettle fest for some time, then I missed a sign and ended up in more trouble. I was accosted by a farmer, in a reasonably friendly manner. I knew where I was but he was convinced I was totally lost. I got back on track and slogged on. In between the easy and the hard bits I hit gold in Gainsford at The Laurels Cafe; I just spotted it down at the end of an alley about thirty yards off the main road. It was run by the lady proprietor and her assistant and they were very kind to me. I had a bacon and egg butty, two pots of tea and piece of Yorkshire Curd Tart. Everything was home made. This was a pleasant stop.

I eventually got to Barnard Castle about 4.30 and decided on hotel accommodation. There are quite a lot of hotels in BC but most of them cater for disco, karioke, or very large screen very loud football ( yes I know I have used "very" twice but it was intentional).

Eventually I have a basic room at The Golden Lilon which does not do evening meal, and I intend to eat at The Old Well where I would have preferred to stay but it was full.




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