Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tall Tales in Yorkshire Dales

Amount of creative activity achieved today: 5 hours -check it!
Level of conviction in own genius: 7
Reading / Watching: Just finished the very marvellous 'The Suspicions of Mr Whicher' / 'Classic Goldie', with old Yorkie chum Anna Meredith rockin' it BBC-style
Hair Day: passable

Had a totally enriching and brilliant few days away with my mum Sue in Yorkshire - Andy and I having decided we should follow our separate passions for a small hol. So whilst he went cycling and hostelling intrepidly round the bottom end of Wales, I went a-walking, a-walking I did go on the west side of the Dales. We based ourselves in Ingleton at the foot of the famous Three Peaks walk and strode womanfully some distance every day, enough for my cellulite to just consider a little loosening of its grip on my thighs, and for my knees and ankles to throb dully like a crap club night. Highlights were:

1) The Ribblehead viaduct, 24 lofty stone arches echoing the curves of the hills. Clouds moving over the hills and getting stuck on cows' backs.

2) Going 'off-road' at the base of Whernside and discovering two little caves all for ourselves. Kept inching down into the watery depths and then freaking out, imagining that the monsters from ace caving horror flick 'The Descent' were emerging, and racing back up again. As they are only marked as 'Cave' , we renamed them, happily defacing the ordanance survey map. Clambering up onto a large scar (rocky outcrop to the untrained East Londoner), I disturbed a sparrowhawk and cheerfully watched it, wondering all the while why it was hovering so meaningfully low over me, before I again freaked out about an impending sparrowhawk attack and ran away.

3) Conquering the third (or 'the smallest' in party-pooping terms) peak, Pen-Y-Ghent, in three and a half hours. Celebrating at the windy summit, some sheep advanced and I swiftly, again, ran away.

4) On the way back down encountering the totally excellent Hull Pot, a massive canyony-gorgey-cave-fissure thing in the earth which looke like the entrace to a lost world or something. Studying my new friend, the ordanance survey map, I became so engrossed I left my camera here and didn't realise it was lost to we got to the car. Was depressed all night, dreamt I was falling down caves and being eaten by sparrowhawks, got up the next morning and walked halfway up Pen-Y-Ghent again to rescue it. The jubilation at finding it still sitting in the grass by a 30-ft stony drop was worth the nightmares.

5) Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, a rather trashy nature walk you had to pay to go into, was populated by hideous high street-types. So it seemed Pennick waterfall churned into cherry coke and lager shandy pools; Thornton Force looked like a white wedding complete with plumed ponies; Snow Falls was paint splattering in a whitewash of DIY TV shows on 'Living'; and the spray and sunshine in the air turned clubby colours of small-town Ladies' Nights.

6) The totally marvellous Inglebrough Cave, we going deep into the rocky wet earth to look at all manner of astonishing stalactites/stalagmites and ludicrously grandiose formations called things like 'The Lost City' and 'The Sword of Damacles'. Of course, once Mum and I had a look, we were renaming them 'The Land of The Joyous Penises' and 'Labia Surprise'... Arf. I came over all 'Descent' again and almost attacked Mum when the laconic guide thought it would be a laugh to show us what it would be like down there without any lights on. Hhm. Not sure I'd have made my dad's side of the family, miners all, proud...

Total notable wildlife seen: 1 sparrowhawk, 1 rabbit, many pied wagtails, red admirals, green-veined white butterflies, stonechats
Total miles walked: 25
Photo accompaniment to this blog here:

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