Friday, November 22, 2013

Day 18: Whitby

The weather smiled upon us, sun broadcasting intense light onto my two sets of curtains well before 6am - this did not wake me. Annoying neighbours did! I rose at 7am, showered and discovered my hairdryer did not work. Disgruntled and too bothered to ask for another, I had cereal and a hot chocolate at 7:30 before rambling down to the beach. I had to climb down a pathless hill to accomplish this.

The most aesthetically pleasing hairdryer ever.

My mission? To find Whitby jet or fossils. 

Donning thongs and rolling up my jeans, I let my toes enter icy water briefly before unleashing my telescopic lens and keen eyes. It was difficult because my hair went everywhere and the sun was blinding, especially as it reflected off the water. Dogs and their owners passed by - one dog even dropped its tennis ball at my feet!

I returned to the hotel with dry hair, numb toes and a rock that wasn’t jet. I sat with Cazy as he ate then we packed the car. He dropped me at Whitby station before hightailing it to nearby Heartbeat locations. I walked at a leisurely pace, sighting the Australian flag flying unabashedly over the Captain Cook Museum (though the UK flag caught more wind!).

I tried the traditional Whitby jet store (W. Hamond) but nothing suited my style. Eventually I found some nice celtic-esque pieces in silver at another shop. Necklace, earrings and ring all totalled to about £82 - I actually thought I’d spent more!

I bought some amusing Dracula coffins from a chocolate store (strawberry/champagne filling, apparently) and paused in my explorations when I caught sight of a devilish car with the numberplate "DEAD 666". The car was accompanied by a couple decked out like characters from a gothic novel. Bemused, I continued to catch sight of gothic and steampunk costumes everywhere I went.

The very, very narrow streets of Whitby were quaint but it was hairy getting vehicles down there - I had to press myself into a doorway for two vans to pass by me! Many times I watched a real life version of the endlessly frustrating game Rush Hour.

Your own two feet are the best type of transportation in this part of Whitby.

I walked to the end of the east pier where I rang Mum in Sydney to gloat and then returned to the cramped streets where I finally seated myself at the Abbey Steps Tea Rooms. I was the first to arrive and ensconced myself in the back corner with a pot of herbal tea (mango and strawberry) and what seemed to be a scone sandwich. I wrote some stories while customers poured in. 

I heard the owner/waitress/cook/cashier tell other customers that she was about to get busy on the weekend because the Whitby Gothic festival was due to start the next day - this is a biannual event in Whitby and a much needed boost to the local economy.

 After tea, I climbed the Abbey steps and explored St Mary’s Church (inside a sign warned people not to ask where Captain James Cook used to sit - apparently the "discoverer" of my country passed his apprenticeship here) before I re-entered the Abbey on the OVP - a chance for blue skies in my photos!

Now that's more like it!

I roamed along the outside wall for a while and managed to return to the car park in time to be picked up by Cazy. 

I napped during the drive, feeling unwell, until near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. We found our hotel - this place is a bit of a dive. Yikes but it was cheap!! And has wifi. :P 

The room is okay but in this “twin” I’m sleeping on yet another foldout lounge while Cazy has the double. Grrr. Decor old and tired. A used condom is in a drawer. Ick. It’s a cross between a hostel and a B&B. We have a private bathroom but other rooms here don’t.

Time to pass out.

No comments:

Post a Comment