Sunday, 5 July 2009

Sunday 28 June

The day dawned in thick fog. At 11 am, we headed off south towards Reeth. This involves negotiating a rock-strewn track which descends steeply from the escarpment of Fremington Edge. Very demanding on the old ankles and legs. Visibility improved steadily as we emerged under the clouds near the White House – that’s the name of a private residence incidentally. We met some people in four-wheel drive cars, bicycles and other walkers. Arrived in Reeth at 12.15 and had our lunch on the Green. A steady stream of tourist cars and motorbikes trundled past. A group of youngsters were having fun outside the National Park office, and shops did a steady trade. Yep, it’s Sunday but the shops are open here. Was watching a cat which was trying to get friendly with church-goers, who emerged from the Evangelical church. That came to an abrupt end when one man stood on the poor creature’s tail. It let out a squawk and shot off. At 1 o’clock, I bought the Sunday Telegraph, as that was the only paper that wasn’t talking about Michael Jackson on its front page. We made our way to the Swing Bridge, across the Swale River. This has had to be rebuilt in 2002 after it was swept away in a flood. The Swale River can rise 10 feet in 20 minutes apparently. We headed east into Grinton and had a look round the churchyard before recrossing the river towards Fremington. From there, we made a fiendishly steep ascent towards the Edge, which took us about an hour. Returned to Hurst at 3.30. My attempts to get a mobile phone signal have so far proved fruitless; I got a very weak signal on the Chapel Road. Will have to nip down the Stelling Road later. One thing that is pretty striking as it is unpleasant: the number of dead rabbits on the roads. They dash out of the undergrowth, and when a car comes by at that precise moment it’s curtains for the bunny. Hedgehogs suffer a similar fate. After dinner, we drive the 3 miles to the point where mobile phone coverage commences. Have to proceed a little way down the road to Marrick to get O2, but manage a half-decent signal. The fog comes down at sunset, about 9.30pm down here. What a contrast to Stornoway, where it’s broad daylight until 11 o’clock. I am told that it is still hot there. The south of England is set to get its hottest week, with temperatures topping 31C / 88F. Here in North Yorkshire, we won’t reach those crazy highs, but 25C is warm enough. Furthermore, if you’re high up (like we are), you lose a few degrees off the temperature.

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