One of the things that always signifies "up north" to me, is when you have to cross the Humber bridge. We have driven over it on every great tour we've made up to Scotland and it evokes many great memories for me. This time i knew it was going to be different though, as I had very reluctantly agreed to walk the bridge both sides on this trip north. Now, to me, being scared of heights, this was to be quite a challenge,and that was before arriving at the car park and checking the temperature which was flashing at around 29degrees! Its an impressive structure as you drive over it, even more so as you leave the car park (which was much larger than i had anticipated, great facilities, lovely clean toilets, open tourist info centre, and a hand full of shops and cafes. On the Sunday we visited it was near packed in the bottom car park, cloest to the cafes and again, it was a surprise to see this area being so well utilised by people).
For me walking under the bridge and up the steps to the start of the bridge you notice the length of the bridge, you can see the middle but not the end. You cant see over the edge of the bridge as the structure here is large concrete supports, a few hundred yards forward and the edge becomes visible as it changes to a hand rail. To someone like me, scared of heights, its hard to do anything but walk roadside of the path, furthest from the edge but settling into a walking rhythm calmed me down a little. Hubby keep on saying "look over, come to the edge" wasn't overly help full but hey. I was doing well and enjoying the walking until about half way when i realised that a skirt wasn't the best thing to be wearing to walk. The journey up had meant that i wanted to be cool, and i changed into my walking shoes in the car park, thinking nothing of the fact i was in a skirt. The chaffed inner thighs i was left with at the end of the day, is a reminder i will not be forgetting anytime soon ;o(
The first crossing just under 2 miles went quickly and walking down off the end of the bridge to cross under the road and start again wasn't as bad as it felt starting the walk. The second side seemed to go quicker, maybe as i finally found my head for neights, well if not my head for it then at least an acceptance of being so high. As we walked back on the left hand side of the bridge, we saw the launching of a hovercraft, a sight not seen before and was a welcomed short break before finishing the crossing.
Date: 3rd July 2011
Total walk: 3.92miles / 6.3km
Descent: 174 ft
Ascent: 165 ft
Average pace: 22.55 mins a mile
Accompanied: Gary Bygrave