On a rare sunny day we set off for the Yorkshire Dales to RV with Pat & Jane in Hawes
Our new guise complete with 'motorway maintenance trailer'
The trip goes well and both van and trailer perform well. All that strapping down inside pays dividends as the roads on the last 20km are a good test of the rig
Our view from the site in Hawes where our Chums have been encamped already for a day
We are soon off strolling in to town amid beautiful scenery
Best cross in single file then….
A mouse's utopia..
Wensleydale Creamery on our route in to town…
And a good place to find our missing fourth member
To be fair to Pat he'd waited a day to enter this fine establishment where you can, and we did, stuff yourselves with any number of free tasters from their huge collection of fine cheeses
Oh how we tittered…...
Not so Chummy when an hour later I discover this on the toilet chalkboard
In jest I physically attack Pat stood waiting at the bar on my return and bizarrely for quite a while he's dumbstruck as to why his kidneys are now really hurting him
I have also gained notoriety at the bar as I'm questioned by random strangers if its me who is Pete Hudson?
The penny drops with Pat and much hilarity ensues as he recalls writing it the night before
I'm secretly annoyed as much later in a revenge graffiti attack the chalk runs out after only managing to write 'Pat'……bugger!
We stroll back to the vans and spend the late evening watching shooting stars and letting ourselves be eaten by the numerous small biting insects keen for a share of the alcohol we'd consumed..
Next day we set off walking in the morning up to Hardraw Falls
The Green Dragon Inn where we took mid morning coffee
A short walk through the back of the pub grounds soon reveals England's largest single drop waterfall
Not in full flow but still impressive
A few sausage banjos later cooked up by yours truly and a short drive taking in Leyburn and some retail therapy sees us pitching up at the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham
Pat has organised the parking arrangements for the night as we get set to take on the town's fine hostelries and enjoy another tour of the brewery
2nd trip for us but Pat & Jane's first and expectations are high
First a walk round town and a few 'looseners'
The equivalent of 'Amber Nectar'
The last tour of the day sees us sat crossed legged listening to the tour guide drone on a bit too much
All important tasters...
Aperitifs before some fine fayre
The next two days are spent at The Howard, Rosedale Abbey caravan club site north of Pickering
This is after surviving Sutton Bank and its gruelling steep incline
This experience was really, really bad for us…
Caravans are banned from this section of the A170 and quite rightly so but, having never used this route and knowing HGVs use it , I stupidly thought there would be no problem if Pat kept a good distance in front of us
We began with wheelslip in the first small gradient and almost wet ourselves when we came across the hairpin bend halfway up. How we got up I'm not sure as the engine was singing away merrily at stupid revs and we were launching ourselves around the tight uphill bends far too fast in an attempt not to get stuck on the hill
Pat & Jane stopped soon afterwards and came to see if we were OK. The sight of me double hunched over the wheel with my fingers locked around it sweating must have been hilarious for Pat…
Never again this way mate..
We settle in amid the rain at the site and later drown our memories of the now hilarious event at the White Horse pub in Rosedale
Next day and boots are donned for 'Pat's Walk'
'That' perfect Des Res
Pat's researched route takes in some lovely scenery and the weather is kind to us today
After seeing this guy it all goes a bit wrong on the direction front and we spend a half hour 'off piste' trying to find the correct route
All is well soon and we set off cautiously...
Not the bull we feared
Its a sign!
The Holy Grail is not far now ladies
Our route back to the site takes in the remains of some old kilns used many years ago to break down iron ore mined locally to make it more suitable for transportation
Cock of the North
That route and respectable legwork
There is a theory that mushrooms left in the sun for ten minutes produce vitamin D
I'm not so sure
But Pat can see it...
Tired teddies at the van in BBQ mode
On our last morning we rustle up more sausage butties and reflect on our trip away together.
All too soon its over and we are returning to Derbyshire to regain our strength..
Thanks guys for a super trip, we enjoyed it all immensely
Enjoy your next adventure in France soon...