First stop in England: Hull

Sunday, 11th of September
It’s not far past dawn as our sailingboat arrives in Harwich. We
drop anchor while it starts raining. Andrew and Emma are going to get
some well deserved rest and he asks me what I’m going to do. Well – I’m
tired, but I’ve still got some energy left and I’m really eager to get
to Kingston upon Hull. After all, I promised Ruth that I’d be there on Friday and I
feel very guilty about being two days late already.

First, before splitting up, we warm ourselves with a cup of tea while
waiting for the rainclouds to move on. After they’ve done so we use the
canoe to row to shore. There we climb
a rusty ladder which finally leads us to solid British ground. What an
amazing
feeling! Having sailed day and night I now got a respect for the sea
which I previously hadn’t. It was inspiring and intense. Sometimes,
there’s nothing for hours on end – nothing, but the sound of the sails
and the waves and the experience of an empty and endless sea. All
there’s is to do is
watch the compass, adjust the direction of the boat and contemplate the
horizon. The smallness of the boat compared to the enormous size of the
sea makes you feel small and quiet. Even when there are other people
awake we often keep silent and just watch the waves.

On shore we exchange adresses and say our goodbyes. Hopefully we’ll
meet again. Uneasily I start walking around on my wobbly legs while the
traffic confuses me. Still, I manage to get to a gasstation and start
hitchhiking. I feel like a drunk, unshaven and unable to look
anybody in the eye – I’m unable to focus on anything or anybody for
long because the world seems to be moving all around me. Still,
hitching works
and soon I’m on my way. Sometimes I talk to people, sometimes I use a
sign with a city name, but as long as I’m on a good spot I never
have to wait for long. Unfortunately though I’m just to tired, and I do
make the mistake of getting out in bad hitchhiking spots; I get dropped
of at abandonded gasstations and in the middle of city centers.

After a while I’m dropped of near the Ipswich train station, but I
continue hitching anyway. However, after walking for what feels like
an hour I get lost in a maze of hypermarkets. There’s a giant
supermarket, a supersize pizza tent, a gigantic hamburger place and an
awfully big toyshop. I feel ill at easy and want to get away. However,
nobody is going anywhere, and after another hour the fatigue just
becomes to much. The thrill of being in England and trying to hitch
there kept me going, but now the exhaustion of being seasick and the
following Northsea crossing really gets me. So, four hours after
leaving the train station I finally do grab a train there, for a price
which could have gotten me from Rotterdam directly to Hull in the first
place. It doesn’t
matter though, I’ve managed to hitchhike across the sea and had a great
time doing so! Had I not tried this I’d always have wondered how it
would have been.

Late in the evening I arrive in Kingston upon Hull and my dear friend
is waiting for me. Not angry at me for being so unreliable, she’s rather
full of understanding – which I feel I have not deserved at all.

Monday, 12th of September
Ruth has a very comfortable home and although we’ve known
each other only for a couple of weeks, it does feel like we’ve known
each other for years already. So, I’ve got no problems feeling at ease
here
in Hull as I would in my own cozy home. In the morning I leave the
house and go walking
through Pearson’s park, but the world is still moving around me and
after a couple of hundred meters I suddenly start feeling seasick. So,
instead of exploring I just lay down
in the park and enjoy the warmth of the sun. Later that day I start
feeling better and
we visit the famous Adelphi’s pub, a pub which is well known for the
famous bands which have played there and for it’s total lack of
hygiene.

Tuesday & Wednesday
The seasickness is getting less, but still I haven’t explored the city much
beyond the park and the small local shops on Newland Avenue. The
weather is extremely good though, and I’m happy to relax outside while
just doing some reading or gardening. I’ve had enough interesting
experiences for now, and I’m happy just to let it all sink in.
Together with Ruth I do get to see more of the city though. We go to
watch
a French movie and participate in a samba
workshop. I enjoy both, but the samba workshop makes me realise I
really want to get a djembe, even if it means adding some more weight
to my backpack.

Thursday
Today I’ll start hiking in the North Yorkshire moors. It’s a hilly area
with tops around 400 meters and I’m looking forward to spending some time
alone in this National Park. Nonetheless, I’m feeling slightly depressed about having to move
on; I wish circumstances were different and I could have stayed longer in this nice place.

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One Response to First stop in England: Hull

  1. Marten says:

    Hehe Jurgen,

    Eindelijk antwoord op de vraag die meerdere mensen bezig hield. Je hebt Hull dus wel bereikt al was het een beetje later. Altijd mooi als mysteries opgelost worden.

    Veel plezier,
    Marten

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