Friday, April 16, 2010

Dales Way - Day 4

Richard and Paul had left by the time we got going this morning. They had carriers to take their gear on to Sedburgh (our destination as well). I felt sorry for them really as they couldn't possibly feel the same level of either pain or satisfaction that we experience.

Strolling down a gentle slope, we wandered through fields, along the True Right bank of the Dent River on our way to Dent Town. Scattering sheep, most of which were proud mothers of the cutest little lamb twins that you could imagine. Seems to me that the ewes that produced only one lamb had been poggled off for someone's dinner. No room for slackers on the farm!

We were dismayed to see two lots of four moles (dead), strung up on gates at a farm gate. It is difficult to understand the reasoning for doing this, given the difficulty for your mole to read this message of danger and unwantedness from deep underground, where they doubtless 'hang out' for most of their lives. Richard explained that mole catchers used to be paid one shilling per dead mole. They strung up moles to show that they had done their job. In today's money that is not much per cute little mole. I, myself, am very fond of moles and this collection of dead ones made me feel quite sad. But I am now over it.

We sped (ran) into our destination of Sedburgh to catch the bank before it closed, only to find that we only needed the ATM, which is accessible 24 hours! Nevertheless, we are iw cashed-up and ready for more adventures on the morrow.

Dales Way - Day 3

Longest day ahead of us (the length of which many laughed us to scorn of our chances of finishing) began gently enough with a stroll along our much-love Wharfe river. Gently moving upstream, we soon came to the head of this beautiful river, which was distinguished clearly (the head, that is) by the convergence of two 'becks'. I called them Beck Dickinson and Beck West (names of two Wangaratta identities), the latter of which we followed in, yes, a westerly direction. I know many of you have grown as fond of the old Wharfe River and Wharfedale as we are, but youse are going to have Suck It Up and Get On With Life. You are going to hear no more of the Wharfe in this blog. EXCEPT for the fact that it is beautiful and has many daffodils and jonquils growing alongside it. Pete Frawley's duck Vic (bought at the Victoria Market) would love to know that there are many ducks to be seen as well. I sure that Vic would feel VERY MUCH AT HOME anywhere on the Wharfe

... But also on the Dent! Yes, there are ducks there as well, Vic. And more daffodils and jonnies! The Dent is our new river. It runs in completely opposite direction to the Wharfe because it is on the other side of the Pennines. Crossing the second lot of moors on our trip took us past the highest spot on our walk, and some incredibly isolated farm houses. It is all downhill from there...

Overnight was spent in Cowgill, where the publican was much more interested in his shiny motorbike than attending to our every wish. He nonetheless went through the motions of serving beer and meals, eventually to scurry at last to his laptop to gaze adoringly at the screen. One can only imagine that he was looking at something to do with motor bikes as, from our view, his face (and that of his young son) was shining in a way quite different to when he was attending to us.

We had dinner with our new friends Paul and Richard and went to bed very tired, but also very happy! Our biggest day was behind us. This was also to be the worst weather for our week, but it turned out to be another 'pearler'.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dales Way - Day 2 (continued)

From Kettlewell, another gentle stroll along the Wharfe via Starbotton (no 'm' here) for lunch and then only a couple of kms to our B&B at Hartrigg House in Buckden.  Jim has given up his laptop for me to enter this really interesting blog, and for that I am most grateful.

We are counting and re-counting our cash at the moment, because there are no credit/debit card facilities along the way.  A quick perusal of our guide book would have alerted this to our attention, but sadly this has simply not happened.  Just as well we cashed our travellers cheques this morning.  Still, it might be a little tight for the next couple of days ...

Toodles for now. I had better get this laptop back to Jim who, by the way, hopes to play football for England some day.  We can only hope (for Jim's sake) that he achieves this noble goal.

Toodles for now,



Dales Way - Day 2

A much shorter day today - 17 km or thereabouts. The GPS disappeared not far out of Grassington, where I left youse all yesterday. The day began with a(nother) scrummy Dales Way breakfast, cooked by Andrew (because Mrs Andrew had skipped off to Bradford for her local history class at the Bradford University). Up the hill from the town, up, up, and still further up, till we reached really bare and windy, but always sunny moors ["Beware the moors, Jim Lad. There's nuthin' but evil up on them there moors"]. Those moors are really WILD, and quite a contrast to the rolling path alongside the Wharfe river to which we had grown quite accustomed and very fond. Belting into the wind, with hunched shoulders and happy hearts, we passed many a fellow wayfarer coming in the other direction. Some returned our happy 'hi's, while others ignored us completely. Can't really blame them, I supplse. Still, I think it's better to be a happy 'hullo-ing' wayfarer, than a sad and gloomy one. What do youse think? [BTW, there haven't been too many responses to there anybody out there?]

Later on, the moors disappeared (or more accurately we walked past them] and we soon dropped down to rejoin the Wharfe in the village (gorgeous, cute and welcoming) of Kettlewell.  We sat for a rest on the seat dedicated to the memory of Jack Lambert of Wold Farm.  Les' heart will skip a beat when he hears about that little seat in Kettlewell, I'll be bound ...

 Running out of room, so I'll finish this blog now.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dales Way - Day One

End of day one finds us at Grassington. The walk started full of anticipation as to whether we had bitten off way too much in terms of walking distance, but nonetheless striding off at 8:30, only 30 minutes later than planned. From the first step we were in heaven. Striding out, we passed through (variously) clumps of tiny stone cottages, lush meadows, a magnificent ruined Abbey (Boulton), beautiful copses and over babbling rills. I had never crossed rills babbling quite as babbling as these rills babbled. My favourite village was Fold Bottom, through which we didn't walk, but which did bring to mind quite disturbing images. Throughout this first day we were both given to loud garpses of excitement and Ju ilation as wecame across each new (old really) and wondrous spectacle. As my friend Graeme Blanch would say: 'What a hoot'.

Weather was exceptional. Cool breeze, occasional sun and warm hearts, we tramped along arriving to a warm welcome from Andrew at our B&B here at Grasington. Off to the Local for dins and then sleep only nanoseconds after head-pillow-hit.

It is morning of Day Two now with blue sky and rolling Dales out of the window in the direction of Buckdon via Kettlewell and Starbotton. Even more hoots in store for us today, no doubt!

Stay tuned!

Love, RRs