Friday, 7 October 2011

A bit of The Dales Way.

I can't think of any better way to spend a hot sunny day than having a drive out with Sal. We parked up at Buckden in the National Park carpark and had a couple of miles stroll down to Starbotton via the Dales Way.

It wasn't the most walker-friendly footpath, the land owners/National Park seemed to have gone out of their way to "cage" us in with barbed wire fences on both sides. This kept us well away from the River Wharfe for the biggest part of the walk which was a shame. Sal was in her element snapping away furiously and I was merrily playing with my newly acquired Lumix GF1.

Expectations rose as we approached Starbotton (or Starbottom as I have always called it) due to the prospect of a pint each in the Hare and Hounds. One last photo of Sal on the bridge and then we headed for the pub.

We sat outside in the hot sun and my pint of lager shandy tasted like nectar. The plan was to walk back to Buckden after the drink but as we had wanted to head up into Swaledale, we decided to take our luck with the local Dales Bus. After coppering up, Sal checked the timetable (which was on the pub side of the road) and we crossed over to wait  for it's arrival.

Ten minutes later and with still no sign of the bus, she walked over and checked again, confirming her timing was correct. A few minutes later she wondered if she had read the timetable wrong and had got the time for the bus coming in the opposite direction instead, so across the road she went again.

There was still no sign of the bus so I suggested that maybe the bus only ran Monday to Friday. Embarrassment and giggles had now set in so it was my turn to walk over the road and check that it was a daily was. 5 mins later and still no sight of the bus so I was sent over the road again just to double, double check the times whilst Sal took a photo of a telephone and post box! To huge cheers and laughter the bus then appeared around the bend and took us back to our starting point in Buckden.

 The rest of the day passed off without much incident except for when we drove along Langstothdale. We were entertained by a couple of hippies; one on the bongos and another with a sort of home made, stand up, one string bow! They were chanting some eastern mantras but were doing no-one any harm and seemed quite happy. Their campervan home left a lot to be desired though.

It was then a drive over Fleet Moss where we stopped to admire the view of Wensleydale and then down in to Hawes. We didn't have enough time to go across into Swaledale so after unsuccessfully trying to find somewhere open which sold food in Hawes, we decided to leg it down to Horton in Riddlesdale and have a final pint in The Golden Lion.

I saw Sal off on her train back to Bingley and I drove up to the Lakes for a couple of day at the caravan. We'd had a super day with plenty of laughs and as usual I felt a hint of sadness to see Sal go.

I hope everyone enjoys the photos of our little stroll.

Note to myself  "enroll Sal on a Right of Way gate opening course"  asap.


A right of way.

A signpost and a pointy thing

A wall and a wet path

A path and a giddy person

A hand and a pink tee

A wall, a gate and a barn

A fence and a spanner.

A gate and a barn

A path and a tree.

A bridge and a gate.

A path and a tree.

River Wharfe at Starbotton

A bridge and a smile

River Wharfe at Starbotton

Afternoon's entertainment.

A journey of two halves.

It was one of those all too frequent occasions when the weather forecast had a big wad of thick cloud and rain hanging over Cumbria whilst ...