Monday, 24 June 2013

More Malham Meanderings

Chrissie wanted to scratch that backpacking itch again; this time on the Dales High Way. It's supposed to start in Saltaire but Chrissie decided to miss out the beginning and start instead just north of Skipton for this first, two day leg. So, Friday night saw us driving along the well-worn groove between home and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Research using an OS map and Google street view found us a great wild camp spot north east of Skipton, just inside the National Park boundary.

What a beautiful evening!

Next morning I dropped Chrissie and Tilly off to set off on their adventure. Recently Chrissie's come to the conclusion that she needs a dog who can carry their own acoutrements, so poor Dixie's bin pensioned off and replaced by Tilly the big, strong labrador. Seriously though, at 11 and a half, asking Dixie to tackle harder walks as well as carry stuff is a little unfair. So, having got rid of the adventurers, Dixie and I tootled off along the lanes to a favourite wild camp pitch near Malham Tarn. Once ensconed there, we booted up and set off on our own ramble through the moorland grasses and limestone pavements so prevalent up 'ere.

We enjoyed a really pleasant wander, up past the tarn, along a bit o' t'Pennine Way and along a dry valley before following a twisting route through limestone and back to t'van. Despite the dull, misty weather it was luverly.

This ladder stile was intriguing, being totally devoid of rungs. Not the best  of ideas with an arthritic boxer. Thankfully, just a few yards away the wall was broken down, so giving us an easier option.

I liked this view of a limestone pavement by a drystone wall, the two seeming to merge into each other.

Here, Dixie's trying to remember which are the clints and which are the grykes. She was really struggling with this 'til I reminded her that the clints are the sticky up bits. This was actually the remains of a settlement where former residents appeared to have integrated the pavement into their buildings ... I think.

I reckon we covered around 8 miles and Dixie reckoned there was only one way to follow that so, as I put on the kettle she applied some serious effort to ... snoozing.

We had a wet blustery night, the evening being relieved by another watch of the Les Miserables movie. Dixie quite likes Gavroche, 'specially the bit where 'e sings "... you'd better run for cover when the pup grows up", or something like that.

Next morning I woke early and by 8 o'clock we were off walking in the wind and rain. Wearing my Paramo Pasco jacket, Velez trousers, Paramo cap and Sealskin gloves I was able to shrug off the worst the weather could chuck at me. Didn't take many photos though.

There's been a phantom sticker of pink hearts on some o' the signposts hereabouts. I can think of worse graffiti and couldn't help but wonder if the world might be a better place with the addition of a few more pink hearts.

We were back at t'van by 10 and, once out of wet clothes we moved on towards Settle in anticipation that Chrissie and Tilly might well be early at their RV. In the event, we ended up picking up the bedraggled pair on a lane above Settle. After a refreshing lunch it was back home from a fun weekend for all.

Now I just have to pack and ready the van again. Next Sunday Bernie and I are away to Islay & Jura for a week or so. So much to do, so little time!

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