Saturday, 23 January 2016

TWOC’d ( Taken without consent ) !

Tuesday 19th January 2016 - 19.3km

Today was always going to be a short day so I took the advantage of a slow, lazy start and a leisurely breakfast. Once in the breakfast room of my accommodation I didn’t think I was going to get a cooked breakfast as the staff were in a heated discussion about the duties of the day. It was a strange experience to being ignored, but eventually my order was taken and then my feast arrived. My mind or head must have been in the clouds because it was about 30 minutes into my walk when I realised I had left my walking pole in my room. I never like to go back on my walk so I decided to press on instead.

The route was easy going initially, but soon I was heading into the clouds or was it heaven? The path slowly ascended and continued up and up. For some reason my bag felt quiet heavy today and it was not made easy by my constant slipping and sliding along the muddy, snowy path.

I made a slight detour in a forest, well I missed the path left so I had to retrace my steps to go the right way. In the cloudy weather I donned my waterproof jacket as by now I was sweating buckets. I now knew what it felt like to be an oven basted turkey and it wasn’t pleasant !

The path through the forest was waterlogged and very boggy so I took advantage of following others who had made detours around the obstacles. Eventually I left the forest and reached a wide open space with Middlesbrough unfolding ahead of me down in the valley below. My route continued downhill and by now I was wishing I had gone back for the walking pole. I gingerly made my way downhill, once more with clenched buttocks, and was relieved to arrive at the bottom unscathed…….unclench buttocks and breathe I thought to myself!

Soon I was following an old disused railway line into the heart of Normanby which took me through its urban streets and into the industrial parts of Middlesbrough. It was rough and it was dodgy. My head was down and I was walking without making eye contact with anyone. Why do some people not take pride in where they live, why do they dump rubbish and unwanted household items in streets and fields?

I decided to take the route past Middlesbrough football stadium and walk directly to the edge of the town centre where this stage ended. I have previously worked in Middlesbrough and knew that as the locals used to say, I was on the wrong side of the railway line. The side I was walking on used to be known as the Red Light district. With that in mind and knowing the reputation some of the local population, I was hoping that with all the electronic equipment I was carrying, I was not going to get TWOC’d! 

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