Sunday, 5 July 2009

Friday 3 July

Today started cloudy and overcast, and with rain in the forecast. Nonetheless, we picked a destination for a walk. As we had not visited Wensleydale together (my father was there last week), I suggested we go to the start point of the walk, Keld, via Leyburn and Hawes in Wensleydale. In turn, he had to go to Richmond to put some glass into the recycling bins there. So off we went, along the high road to Marske. The route there suddenly looked familiar, after yesterday’s walk which paralleled the road journey. Richmond’s Coop store didn’t have any picture postcards, so I decided to buy some in Reeth, on the way back. And off we went on the A6108 to Leyburn, a journey of about 10 miles. Latter town is a pleasant market town, but quite busy; it is also lying on the A684, which is a busy link between the M6 motorway, far to the west, and the A1 in the east. As we drove the 17 miles to Hawes, the clouds grew darker, and quite soon it started to rain. And not much later, it poured. That’s what you get in a valley in amongst high hills. Turned off in Hawes to head north towards Keld, and the rain lessened a little. You do reach quite an altitude (about 1,500 feet). Passed the famous Buttertubs, but did not stop to take a closer view. Turned east at Thwaite, as the rain was too hard to do any enjoyable walking. The drive to Reeth, a good 10 miles, was not easy. There was a lot of surface water in the road, and the light was poor; most people were driving with their lights on. At Healaugh, the heavens opened again and we inched our way the remaining two miles to Reeth. I dashed to a shop on the Green to buy postcards &c, then dashed back to the car. Five miles of hard driving separated us from Hurst, along a road that bore more resemblance to a river than a carriageway. The Stelling Road in particular was very bad, and it was with considerable relief that we pulled up outside Shiney Row at 1 pm. I had a postcard to post, but was unable to locate a mailbox in Hurst village, so will pop that in the mail tomorrow. Early in the evening, the sun came out so we went for a walk – only to be curtailed by a local lady who said our proposed route was not a public footpath. Odd thing was, my dad had walked it the first week and had met same lady in same road: without any problems. We cleaned the cottage in time for our departure first thing tomorrow. Two pheasant hens squatted squarely on the fence outside enjoying the sunset, which we did as well.

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