The Kindness of Strangers

Slow Ways Route – Easshi one

Distance 21km / 13 mi

Breakfast was included so I got packed up and enjoyed a leisurely start looking at the passing trains. It was a straightforward walk today with a long stretch of road walking. I had booked a room just before the village of Easingwold above an Indian restaurant. I set off into and through the village of Shipton taking a selfie to prove I had actually been there. You can tell that I am still not used to selfies from the bemused expression.

My route took me through pastures and along field edges until I reached the road.

Thankfully it was not very busy. I was just settling into a rhythm and enjoying my walk when I realised I had walked off with my room key. This was a real key as opposed to the cards you often get these days. I was just thinking of different options on how to return it when I got a telephone call from the hotel. From my conversations yesterday they knew where I was staying so they assured me they would pick the key up from me this evening. It made life easy for me but I felt bad that they were putting themselves out on account of my absent mindedness. One good thing about walking up country lanes is you go much faster than across ploughed fields.

I eventually came to the village of Huby just before 12.00 and was ready for a break. I found a wonderful Community Shop with a bench outside. It was so good to see this community venture flourishing.

I called in and picked up a drink, sandwich and some snacks. It was the kind of place where people are happy to chat and once I had explained what I was doing they kindly gave me a free flapjack. It is these small acts of kindness which make this journey very special.

I continued on. This half of todays route was through fields and pastures and along farm tracks. There were several fields which were full of cows. In general I am ok with cows, especially since I grew up with them until I was eleven, though they were Jerseys so maybe different. They were more curious than anything. The only real difficulty was finding the gaps in the electric fences.

After negotiating this local ‘wildlife’ and the accompanying stretch of slurry filled path the going was easier. I saw a sign for the Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College and wondered what kind of emergency they were planning for now.

It wasn’t long after this I approached Easingwold and had a short walk along a busy road to reach my accommodation for the night. I got a call about the room key and headed downstairs to the restaurant to hand it over. I was amazed that they didn’t seem upset at all at having to drive from Shipton to get a key, indeed they were ordering a take away. The insisted on buying me a drink too. Today was a day when people were being so kind to me, it was a bit overwhelming to be honest.