Another view of the seafront at Seaton Carew, looking North this time

Walk the Kingdom Day 54. STOCKTON ON TEES TO SEATON CAREW.

STOCKTON ON TEES TO SEATON CAREW.

I’m a bit late writing up this report for yesterday but better late than never … This was a short walk of ten miles from Stockton on Tees along the northern, industrialised flank of the river Tees to the seaside town of Seaton Carew just North of the Tees Estuary.

It was an uneventful walk and I took my time as it was a semi-rest day as I was feeling the aftermath of the exertions of the previous few days. The weather was reasonably pleasant with only a light flurry of rain, little wind and even a glimmer of sunshine onwards the end of the day.

I rather like Seaton Carew. It is a pleasant seaside town tightly flanked by heavily industrialised areas to the North (Hartlepool) and South (Teeside) between which it sits reassuringly like a rose among thorns. The fascinating juxtaposition of natural beauty and human depredations that results makes for a beguiling aesthetic that is reflected in the photos I took for the day’s album.

And an added reassurance that we may well be entering by increments into a cleaner, more golden age is the presence of yet another wind farm just off shore.

Here the eclectic mix of human and natural elements is as thorough and almost harmonious as anywhere I have seen. The natural beauty of the bay is flanked by the aggressive works of Man that yet display in the tangled towers and chimneys and the bluish smoke that delicately lends the evening sky an aesthetic of their own. Tankers ply the offshore swell like whales, moving past a backdrop of wind turbines turning in the same breeze that carries the gulls and stirs the leaves of the promenade palms.

I almost felt a poem coming on, but the poetry I had planned to write whilst walking the shores of Blighty has thus far eluded me. The effort of walking so many miles each day up hills, through rain and against unrelenting winds, the soreness of my feet and the ache in my back have preoccupied me more than I imagined they would. Some blokes have managed to write poetry in the ruddy trenches, with shrapnel buzzing around their ears, mud up to their haunches and trench foot rotting their toes. I take my hat off to them: I’m not one of them.

I’m sure though that inspiration is sitting there like stored potential stoked by the steady drip feed of sights and sounds and changed realities and will find release once this ordeal is over.

This walk is proving very, very hard to do and is testing my persistence mightily but all I have to do is remind myself of the purpose behind it and all the people who have supported it and I just keep going. The only way to go is forward.

I arrived relatively early for once and stayed at the Norton Hotel right on the seafront at Seaton Carew. The owners very kindly gave me a room for the night and it is very much appreciated as the kindness of people once again spared me the horrors of camping (did I mention I hate camping? I will do it if I have to but don’t ask me to like it.)

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