After three weeks in England, a time well suiting us both, we left the southern region to start on a new, different phase of our adventure – workaway. Workaway is a brilliant way of ‘travelling’ (personally, I wouldn’t call it travelling, but we’ll get to that later) as you work for a certain amount of hours a week in exchange for bed and board (usually). It’s not a holiday, or a vacation, because you’re working, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it’s ‘travelling’. In the usual set-up, you work five days and get two days off, during which you can do whichever you like. During those two days, I’d say you’re travelling. But the other days of the week, you’re on a wonderful, some sort of socio-cultural exchange as you live with ‘natives’. I found it’s an amazing way to learn about their norms, values and cultures but also the people inhibiting the country you’re visiting. I thought it was a wonderful experience and it allowed me to see countless of places and things, as well as gathering new experiences and grow.
Our first workaway address was a small farm/horse rescue sanctuary near Scalby, which lies next to Scarborough. Mace and I took the train from Norwich until, a few hours later, we arrived in Scarborough. The thought that we travelled through half the country was absurd and put the term ‘distance’ into a whole new light (coming from a small country myself).
A few minutes after arriving at Scarborough train station, having left behind the rain and now soaking up in the sun, we meet L, a fellow workawayer from Germany. Germany has been with Lou, our new host, for quite some time and she fills me in on the job, the place and what it’s like. We chat for a while until an old, banged up, black van pulls up and Lou greets us happily. The ride to Scalby, the village adjacent to Scarborough and probably the closest village to the farm (if you don’t count Silpho), is stunning. We drive next to and over mountains, granting us magnificent views that stretch over fields of green and we can still see Scarborough and the sea in the distance.
On my first day, I watched a foul being born and we worked until late in the evening to make sure everything is set for the foul and his mom. For now, it’s just Germany, York, Lou, Mace and I, but we quickly learn that two new workawayers from France are coming over and soon after that, there’s two more girls arriving.
Germany and I get along quickly and well and we decided to spent most of our days off together. Our first trip, just three days after starting work at the farm, Germany, Bradford and Mace and I make the bus trip to Whitby, some 18-something miles from Scalby. We enjoy the sea-side town thoroughly, spending time walking up the hill to the church of Saint Mary and the Whitby Abbey. We roam the streets, popping into cute looking stores or stocking up on some groceries.
A few days after that, Germany and I took the train to York. York turned out to be more like a small city, with wide, cleanly paved streets and lots of shops. Shamble’s Market, which is supposedly quite popular, was half empty and we were bummed about it, having both looked forward to it. Nevertheless, there were some fruit and veg stalls and we went crazy when discovering how cheap it actually was – compared to prizes in the supermarkets, that is. York was a fun visit and it was fun hanging out with Germany outside of ‘work’, but overall it felt too city-like to me.
In between the days filled with taking care of the horses, cleaning out the barn and sheds, working on the veggie garden and cooking and cleaning, it was sometimes nice not having to go anywhere. Sometimes I took Mayson and we just wandered about, going up the hills until we were satisfied with the amount of views we’d been given, sometimes trying to find a way into the woods that were never really woods. The possibilities were endless. The first two French girls walked all the way to the sea. The second two French girls enjoyed lazily laying on the deck in the sun, trying to teach me some French (Merde!) and laughing as I pronounced it wrong, playing with Dixie and chatted animatedly. The funny thing was that, with so many people, there were always people working or enjoying a day off, but that never seemed to mind. We were constantly checking up on what the other was doing, hanging around for a few minutes, keeping each other company, talking about each other’s lives. Now living in a house with 8 + myself was actually very enjoyable.
One trip Mace and I did on our own, was the bus trip to Robin Hood’s Bay. We drove through town on our way to York and I decided that was one of the places I really wanted to visit. So on one of our last days off, we hopped on the bus and set out to explore this small and adorable fisherman’s town.
Back to being the two of us, we take our time as we wander around, feeling fortunate because of the weather, and examine and observe the most random and at times littlest details of Robin Hood’s Bay. One of the legends has it that this was where the later entitled ‘Robin of the Hood’ first set foot on English soil again after having been on the famous Crusade in the Middle East. After roaming around the narrow streets, peeking into shop windows and spending some time in a cute, second-hand book store, we walked back and forth on the beach, jumping from stone to stone and getting our feet wet. Once we had soaked up on the salty air and the sound of waves and seagulls, we headed back to the narrow lanes and alleyways to discover there was so much more.
After two weeks, it was time to say goodbye. Mayson and I had finally found a new host in Scotland and I was eager to go. I had never made it so far up north when we travelled to Scarborough. Now, now we were finally heading towards Scotland.