Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Malham

Walking day today. Well, in one direction at least. We caught the bus from Gargrave up to Malham, and walked the mile further to Malham Cove.


My best beloved and I had been here many years ago, and climbed to the top to walk on the extraordinary limestone pavement, which shelters many unusual plants.


This time, however, we contented ourselves with walking to the cove at the base of the cliff, where the River Aire emerges. We're going to meet this river again in a few weeks time, I fancy, under very different conditions.


We sat down to drink our coffee…


and while we were there, Jack and Rachel came up the path.


Rachel is Access Warden for the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Jack had suffered a spinal injury seven years ago, and together they were exploring access issues for the Park Authority.


Jack's vehicle was a "Mountain Trike". I had never seen one before, and neither had our friend Margaret, though she specialised in spinal injuries when working as an occupation therapist. Great to meet you, guys! It was a fascinating conversation.


Our task was now to walk back to Gargrave along the Pennine Way. The signpost at Gargrave had suggested it was just over 5 miles to Malham. It was actually nearer 7, according to other signposts and my GPS device. That made for a total of over 9 miles for the day – rather more than we'd planned. Overnight the Met Office had removed the final raindrop from the website forecast for the day, but this is Yorkshire, and it drizzled for about half the time. Even so, it was a stunning piece of countryside to walk through.


Across the fields a couple of oystercatchers were playing games in the rain.


Up hill and down dale we walked, and then we found ourselves in a field which a farmer was dosing with large amounts of smelly slurry. We couldn't avoid picking it up on shoes and socks and trousers, and by the time we got back to Erin Mae we were smelling very ripe. We've rinsed out socks and trousers, but even 10 minutes under the tap couldn't eradicate the stink from my trainers. I think we'll leave them out overnight. If the smell's gone in the morning, all to the good. I doubt whether anyone is going to nick them!

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