I was feeling pretty good this morning, so I packed up and got away just before 8. Not as early as my starts last week, but I'm just enjoying staying in bed a bit longer. The mornings seem warmer now so it's not like it was, which was freeze or get up and moving!
I needed to get back towards the coast. The shortest route I could find went through a ford. Not a problem as I've been through plenty on this trip. I tend to use the little bridges if available, but I don't mind going through if they're shallow and don't look too slimy!
Well, I descended a steep hill, rounded a corner and was presented with a ford longer than anything I've ever been through and there was no bridge!
I just went for it! In the middle it was almost up to the bottom of my front panniers. Annoyingly I had to dab with my left foot as I felt the front tyre lose a bit of traction. Now with a wet left foot, I had to put a pedal stroke in with my right to keep me moving. Of course, that got my right foot wet too!
Cursing my wet feet, I didn't think to stop and take a photo.
Anyway, wanting to press on, I forgot about my feet and found the NCN1 to follow all the way to North Shields to get the ferry across the Tyne.
This was about 40 miles and entirely uneventful. I followed the route, my feet dried out and life was good.
When I got to the ferry, it had just left. A bit irritating, but it's a fairly quick turnaround and I was soon over the other side.
Having to navigate my way around such built up areas was a little tedious, but I eventually broke free and was back on the coast with some really nice sea views.
I got a bunch of food and as I ate it, I looked up some campsites. As is so often the case on the east side of England (IME anyway) there are so many sites purely for sodding motor homes or caravans only or worse, those ghastly static caravan places. I found a perfect site but they weren't answering their phone. I would try again later. I did find one other that looked good, but it had no showers. I'd rather have a shower of course, but I can live without for one night. So I phoned them and the guy said I could turn up whenever I liked and to just give him a call when I arrived. That took some of the time pressure off, although I still felt it as time seemed to be flying by but the miles did not!
Anyway, back on it, I got Google to direct me to the campsite. I called the other one again, but there was no reply and and I didn't fancy a 5 mile round trip to find out if they had a pitch. pitchup.com reckoned they were full (although I never really trust them) So I forgot about them and carried on.
I suddenly realised that this campsite might be one I stayed at back in 2011 when I rode up to Scotland. It was all coming back to me. I was coming in the other direction then and I'd had a terrible time getting lost in Middlesbrough and Hartlepool (I didn't have GPS back then) and was in a foul mood. The site in question literally saved be from going insane!
Anyway, back to the present - I rocked up and it was indeed the same place. I've even pitched my tent in exactly the same spot.
It's a working farm with sheep, cows and alpacas. There's also a very friendly dog called Skye and an even friendlier cat whos name I don't yet know.
Pretty tired after a long day and looking forward to an early night...