Sunday, 8 July 2012

Surprise, surprise

It's been a weekend of surprises. The first was that, after the miserable washout of Friday, Saturday was sunny, warm, cheerful and, in short, a peach of a summer's day. Then, as we wandered into the town to do some shopping we heard the sound of an accordion and the clip-clop of dancing feet: yes, Clogfest was still on.
But last, and of course, far from least, was a surprise visit from daughter Lucy, with Nick and little Ellen . (A surprise to Nanny - Grandpa being in on the secret - which shocked her so much she practically fell overboard with excitement.)
The darkening sky looms over the hills
They'd booked themselves into a hotel in the next canalside village, Gargrave, so we headed off into the countryside, unfolding now into glorious views to distant peaks as we eased our way higher into the hills. But even as the sun shone we could see black clouds rolling steadily in behind us. The further we went, the closer they came and the blacker they got. Would we get through the Gargrave locks before the blackening sky disgorged its inevitable cloudburst? Answer: no. We still had three locks to go and in that time the whole crew got as wet as if they'd simply jumped in and swum the canal.
Still, we had a car at our disposal so after drying off we could zoom back to Skipton (a mere ten minutes by road instead of the two hours by boat) and return with a substantial, and excellent, take-away from Skipton Balti.
Still sunshine as we leave Skipton and Clogfest dancers  behind
Another surprise came today when we managed a second successive day without rain. Cue cries for a hosepipe ban. We worked up through the closely stacked flight of six Bank Newton locks and emerged out of the trees onto a sublime section of the canal.
It's simply unbeatable. The canal twists and turns on itself over two of the most convoluted miles you could imagine in a panorama of rolling green hills and lush valleys with steeper Pennine peaks looming in the distance. Dotted here and there in the distance you can see across the valleys other boats working their way across the same sinuous path. It's a wonderful spot and we moored up for the afternoon right in the middle of it.
Aqueduct over the River Aire
Fine views from Bank Newton locks summit
Finally we rounded off a fine weekend with a half mile walk to the Cross Keys pub further along the towpath at East Marton for a top class Sunday meal in the village pub, the Cross Keys - our stuffed stomachs heartily recommend it to all!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So that is where summer has got to(or was)....enjoy whilst you can.

Watch the waistlines....I am beginning to think that the crews of Briar Rose and Star only think of Food!