When We Was Walking and Wandering in Wet Wharfedale 2020
A few Covid weeks ago (they’re like Earth weeks only longer), the annual Mike Andrew Memorial Walking Weekend took place, through the good offices of Peter Chapman at our esteemed venue, the George Inn at Hubberholme.
Peter C, David Antrobus, Colin John and myself arrived to find that Jackie and Ed had done sterling work in the field of virus protection, beer-keeping and cookery, ably assisted by Sarah the chef.
Social distancing and overt hostility meant that we couldn’t all pile into one car, but, despite appearing to be holidaying bank robbers, there was no trouble. Friday confounded the weather forecasts and was fine on arrival. After a modest lunch… we set off towards “the tops” and were treated to excellent views of the impending weather closing in. I hadn’t seen an occluded front like that since the barmaid at…
But I digress again.
We made the most of the very clement weather , crossing the River Wharfe before the threatened storms flooded the stepping stones. We made it back to the George, with its warm fire, warm welcome and George the dog, just as the sky began to melt.
After a relaxing pint, we had another. The meal was as good as ever, absent friends were toasted and, as the only residents we were allowed a little un-sung cabaret. The honey-bear puppet became George’s
best friend and object of desire. The baby is due in February. A strict 10.00pm curfew was in order, so, tired but happy, we went to our lonely beds. Although the puppet slept with me, the hussy.
Saturday – It rained and rained and rained. The rock in the river was disappearing rapidly, an ominous occurrence. (See: Plate, Number, Lost, Carter, Jaguar, Bugger),
After Ed’s excellent full machins breakfast we headed out by cars to see Malham Cove. Over some marvellously scenic and deserted-for-a-reason roads we drove, missing the appropriate turn and instead coffeeing in Settle. I had already bored Peter witless (no head start here) about cycling over these very roads. Ie very steep, very narrow, very twisty, very isolated. So I contrived to take us out of town up the hill that taxed us most on the Way of the Roses cycle ride. Everything came flooding back, like the rain.
Anyway, Malham was full of people so David took us up to the top with a view to standing in the torrential rain, on slippery rocks in a howling gale, on the edge of a 600ft drop. So I got out and took a picture of the rain:
and where we might have gone:
And we got back into the cars and went to the George for a well-deserved beer and lunch and a quiet afternoon of beer driven contemplation.
Another cracking evening meal and some banter with a couple who had the misfortune to be staying at the George with us. A bit of performance and then on to David’s International Mastermind Quiz!
Won for Wales with masterly ease by native Colin John, Chappers representing our fair land whilst yours truly roes to be a Sturgeon supporter .(rose/roes/sturgeon geddit? Oh well) So I had a wee snifter as 10.00pm arrived and so to bed.
Sunday arrived to blue skies and belied the forecast but the going would have been slippy, boggy etc. so we wandered homewards to the bosoms of our families.
Thank yous go to Peter C for the arrangements, all at the George for all they do so well, George the dog for service rendered and my companions for the er – companionship. The weekend of reduced numbers and added restrictions worked better than any of us could have hoped. We look forward to resumption of the old “Normal” next year!