Today we didn’t have to get up too early as we had several rendez-vous in the city before we left. First we went to a market that had been set up in the outskirts of the city with stalls of various climate associations and NGOs. Next there was a short parade with samba music up from the park.
The event continued with a two-minute silence in memory of the MP David Amess who was fatally stabbed the evening before in London. Then speeches were given by the Lord Mayor of Leeds and a Member of Parliament, with all speakers stressing the urgency of the climate crisis and praising the marchers for their initiative.
Before starting our route, the marchers and a large group of people from Leeds walked to a nearby Sikh temple where, after a moving welcome greeting, we were invited for lunch (200 meals were served!).
At 1 o’clock we started walking. Today’s walk was mostly along roads with dense traffic, a loud and stressful experience when there are no pavements or verges. It was a relief when we crossed the road and found ourselves in the extensive grounds of Harewood House. This was one of the largest groups of walkers doing the whole day that we’d had – some 30 people in total. We completed the 25 km in around 6 hours.
As usual, when we reached Harrogate there was a group of local activists waiting for us waving flags and playing musical instruments. We walked down one of the main roads chanting and there was a great atmosphere all round. After, we went to a Quaker meeting house where there was a tasty vegan chilli and we were serenaded by a local folk group. At the end of the evening, local hosts were there to pick us up and take us to their homes to relax ready for the following day.
Written by: Luis Alejos