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Monday, 19 September 2016

Northumbrian Coast Path - day 3

Monday, 19th September. Warkworth to Caster

I had a good meal at the Hermitage Inn at Warkworth last night: excellent steak and mushroom pie with chunky chips cooked with dedication. A bread and butter pudding was disappointingly layered flat but it was fine in the eating. When I make it my slices are diagonally vertical, points up, which brown off. By the way, my mother who was a cook par excellence on rare occasions would burn something, but that was shrugged off with, "it's only browned on."

I was sat next to a resident couple and we talked together. He was there for the salmon fishing, but the local rivers are at low ebb.

The landlord enquired about breakfast requirements, and when I suggested poached eggs he feigned trepidation, but this morning they were done to perfection.

There was more beach walking to start with - vast expanses of golden sand and good going with just the odd person about, mainly dog walkers. The weather now a bit cooler but amenable for walking just in a shirt. Everybody I met today seemed to be swathed in winter waterproof jackets. Surely they must be over-warm? And that coming from someone who has a fear of getting cold. They must think that if they go walking it is obligatory to wear all the kit all the time.

From the beach a rather tedious trek round dunes, tracks and main road was required to cross the Aln estuary and arrive in timely fashion at Alnmouth and a local bakery café for top notch black coffee and Belgian chocolate chip shortbread.

Onwards across a couple of golf courses, all good walking underfoot, some more beach then good paths through dunes to Boulmer. The only thing of note there were photos taken of two older tractors which will no doubt be analysed later by AR when I do the slideshow. From there it was quite a long walk to Craster on good paths and nowhere to sit for a rest, but great views of the sea and now some small cliffs.

I was booked in at the Cottage Inn, Dunstan which village is a mile off route from Craster. I plodded down the road and turned off on a closed to cars road and unexpectedly came to signs and a driveway to my destination, quite a long way before the village. It was couple of hundred yards to the Inn up a windy track as if to a grand house. There was nobody about snd only one car on the park. Inside was the same where I had to ring a bell for reception. I feared the worst thinking that I was at some place on the verge of closure. The room was fine even with the opportunity of a hot bath and it was only 3:30. There is no doubt I am covering ground much more quickly on this flat well footpathed terrain with little need for navigation stops. All a big contrast from the SW Coast Path a few weeks ago.

When I went down for my meal at 7:25 the place was almost full and my worst fears were annulled. Craster is famous for smoked kippers. A smoked kipper pâté starter had to be sampled. Unfortunately I had some of the stuff on my fingers and kept getting whiffs of it during the rest of my meal. It was served with the ubiquitous salad, chunks of cucumber, red onion and crunchy lettuce. My main course was one of those now popular beef burgers which was ok, but again served with exactly the same salad - what a lack of imagination, and it happens all the time.


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Sir Hugh said...

Here is a copy of a comment received from the couple I was talking to at the Hermitage In. For some reason it has not come up her but only as an email notification to me.

Claire has left a new comment on your post "Northumbrian Coast Path - day 3":

It was lovely to meet you last night and listening to you stories. I have been waiting to hear how you got on today, glad you have had a good day. Looking forward to hearing more. Eddy didn't manage to catch a fish but there's always next time

Sir Hugh said...

Claire - I think the problem may have been with me. Perhaps you may try again.