Yorkshire walking

If I put this note here, maybe \I can @edit it later and today’s ramble will appear on the right date\? (Grrr. \keyboard.)

Proper blog entry:

6 October 2015

I think yesterday was the 6th.  EOS is still reading New Zealand time and it’s saying that it’s 8:00 PM 7/10/2015. It must be 8:00 am on the… 7th.

And I’ll go back and change the date.

No I won’t. Yesterday was the 6th and this is yesterday’s blog.

We had to get up relatively early because Tuesday is the date of the Blake’s regular rambles. This one was 1.5 hours away and we had to get there by 10.30.

Unfortunately it was raining: highly reminiscent of last time I did one of their walks. But the weather forecast promised that the rain would ease off until the evening when they would become showery, so we decided to chance it.

The drive there was very pleasant. This is real James Herriot style country (he lived further west) and the Yorkshire Dales were spread out before me. The trees weren’t quite as autumnal as they’d been last time, but still it was very pretty seeing the various shades ranging from deep green, through paler shades, to yellows and oranges.

But was still had a light misty rain in the air.

It had lifted slightly when we got to the carpark where we were meeting everyone.

A lot of the people had remembered me from last time and were very friendly. (I didn’t do such a good job remembering them. They were all rain hoods and I had my head down to keep the rain out of my eyes and an eye on my feet.)

The original plan was to climb to a higher point, but with the bad weather that plan was flagged for a less taxing route. Hopefully my GPS has mapped it.

The misty rain re-joined us when we started walking and I put my rain cape on over myself and my bag. The rain grew heavier and I put my waterproof over-trousers on. The cape was quite handy as it meant I was able to withdraw into it, (it must have looked funny) and dive into Michael’s pack (which I’d borrowed) to get my over-trousers out without anything inside (like Kally and my camera) getting wet.

About my cape. I haven’t used it for years and now I keep it in my Civil Defence kit in case we ever have to evacuate the house due to flooding, earthquakes, or asteroid collisions. But as it’s lightweight, waterproof, and folded up small, I thought it would be ideal to bring with me as extra rain cover. My three-in-one ski jacket very convenient as it can be a warm jacket (which I’ve only needed in the evenings so far), a rain jacket (which I’ve only needed in the last couple of days), or a warm rain jacket (which I haven’t needed at all. It’s 10:05am on the 7th October in Leeds, Yorkshire, it’s raining, and the temperature outside is 14°C. And that’s the coldest it’s been).

Anyway the cape is a large, bright orange, waterproof thing that’s a bit more like a poncho, and can be used as a groundsheet, shelter, or you can have it over you and your bag to keep everything dry. D.C. and I both wore ours to a Ranger (14-19-year-old Girl Guides) camp once and because of those capes ever since those Ranger have known us at the “Jellybeans”.

The rain didn’t last for long. It eased off and eventually dried off. Unfortunately the ground didn’t. Much of the area we were walking along was limestone – if we’d been up a few metres or on the other side of the valley there wouldn’t have been any – and it gets very slippery when wet. That coupled with the fact that my walking shoes, although comfortable, waterproof, and designed for walking, seems to have a less than idea grip on slippery surfaces.

I’d managed to avoid most of the sheep droppings and cowpats, but couldn’t avoid stepping onto a slippery bit of limestone.

I slipped over…

I regained my balance…

No, I didn’t…

Yes, I did…

No, I didn’t…

Yes, I did…

No, I didn’t…

After about two seconds of trying not to go splat onto the ground, and (as Rosemary noted) trying to save the most important thing – my camera), I skidded right arm first through the mud. (Thank heavens it was an animal free zone.) That arm’s fine, as is the rest of me, but I have to report that limestone, although a soft stone, is very hard. I have a bruise of about 10cm in diameter on my right knee.

I got up straight away and said “I’m fine!”

One of the four Davids present said that I’d stood on my cape and that that hadn’t helped me regain my balance. So I took it off. It wasn’t raining by then anyway.

It made a nice change to walk with people and to be able to tell them things rather than listen as others explained (very interesting) things me. Even if my main topics of conversation seemed to be about what were the biggest influences on New Zealand weather (Australia and Antarctica), and what New Zealand’s geographical influences were. And that both islands had very different, but beautiful scenery. One lady did get the dirty look when she suggested that New Zealand was made up of two islands and… Tasmania…?

There was another dirty look when someone told me that “David” was carrying an umbrella with the New Zealand flag on. When I got to see it the first thing I saw was a white, multi-pointed star…

Maybe we do need a new one?

Anyway, as they say – a picture speaks a thousand words – and there’s nothing that I can say about the scenery that can match what I caught on flash memory card – except that I wish I had bought a wide angle lens to capture the full panoramic vista.

Our lunch stop was beautiful. It was warm, there was no wind nor rain, the hills were around us and before us was a valley with a road that looked like a river sneaking through.

And the lunch was very good too. Thank you, Rosemary.

The second half of the walk was down in the valley and people were laughing because a New Zealander was photographing sheep. As I explained, most of our sheep don’t have black heads, I live in diary country – in the town, and in the main our paddocks don’t have stone ruins in the middle of them.

Near the end of the walk we called in to have a look at St Michael & All Angels, Hubberholme’s (isn’t that a great name) Parish Church. I saw some graves dated 17## and one for someone who was born in Jamaica, but died in Hubberholme.

Tall David pointed out some tress and said they were Yew trees. Planted in graveyards because they were slow growing and leant themselves to the eternity of death.

We were extremely lucky for the rest of the walk and ended up back at the carpark where we’d started. One of the David’s was celebrating a milestone birthday, so he shouted everyone afternoon tea. I was quite prepared to pay for my coffee and walnut cake with ice cream, and apple juice, but he was happy to include me in the festivities.

Being one of the groups who had the furthest to travel, we were one of the first to leave. Once again the drive was very scenic, until we turned off one road onto another and were waved down by an oncoming car. “There’s been an accident up ahead and the police have closed the road.”

Hopeful that the accident was after our turnoff, we continued on.

It wasn’t after the turnoff.

We sat there for a moment, visualising a long drive back until we came to a point where we met up a road that headed in our direction, when the Police Road Incident van came past. Michael asked them how long it would be and was told five to ten minutes.

Nothing happened in the next five to ten minutes, apart from Rosemary perusing a map and discovering that if we went back a short way, there was a turnoff that would send us roughly in the right direction. So we did a U-ey, and followed her instructions.

Does anyone know what a “Blubberhouse” is?

It was one of those irritating words that both Michael and Rosemary had heard the meaning of but couldn’t remember. It wasn’t until the following morning that Rosemary discovered that it’s a corruption of “bluber”, which is old English for “bubble”. So they were houses by the bubbling springs.

We also saw a sign saying: “Caution: Pheasant crossing”, which was a little unusual.

It must have been a dry summer because the reservoirs were almost empty.

We made it home safely and Rosemary kindly put my muddy, sweaty clothes in the wash.

After tea of sausages and mash – and corn on the cob – we watched a “Doc Martin” and a “Downton Abbey”. And then talked.

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