Thursday, 24 August 2017

Walks, dips, swims.

Recently Mike has been laid up with a dodgy knee. However, by last week cabin fever was setting in. With no contours to worry about, Druridge Bay seemed a good place for an easy walk. Thus it was that last Wednesday we went for a gentle amble.
It was warm day with a blustery wind. There was no hurry and finding a sheltered spot, we stopped. A change in to cozzies and I nipped in for a swim. Something I find frustrating is my lack of confidence. There is always that niggling nervousness. There was a bit of cross current and the waves where fairly strong. Despite my qualms, I managed twenty minutes.

  Mike went in twice and had fun playing tag with the waves rolling in. Resuming our walk, we completed our circuit without any undue problems with Mike's knee.
On the Sunday we headed off to the Yorkshire Dales. Our destination was Rukins campsite in Keld. With the tent up, we went to explore. Mention has been made that the river Swale offered plenty of opportunities for swimming. We found a series of falls above Catrake Force. Two lovely pools offered some fine swimming.
 Mind, the rocks were greasy and further out the water was deep. Mike enjoyed some fine dipping and had an exciting moment! Once in I managed around twenty minutes. The lower pool has a few hidden rocks and had a few 'oh dear' moments as I attempted to slide down over the falls to the lower pool.
The water was slightly chilly but felt soft and silky on the skin. Before folk ask, no, we did not skinny dip. The falls are too well visited.
The campsite was invaded that evening by a large, (very large!) group of D.O.E and army cadets. Mind, they were generally well behaved, polite too. On the Monday, after the cadets early morning parade, we set off for a walk up by Crackpot Hall.
The day was fine and we were in no rush.
One for Alan. An old Ferguson I suspect? The whole area is riddled with old lead mines and workings. For anyone interested in industrial archeology this must be an area rich in history.
This is the route used by the Coast to Coast walkers. Further up much repairing of the path is being carried out. At the moment it looks hideous.
This path on the right is to be replaced by great, specially, cut stone slabs.
Descending down to Botcher Gill Gate, we stopped for a leisurely lunch. It was then a steady descent down to Dyke Heads and on to Ivelet.
+At Ivelet Bridge we turned off to wander though grassy meadows by the river Swale.
Staying with the river Swale we crossed it at Ramps Holme Bridge to continue up through more grassy meadows.
It is hard to imagine the noise, the toil, the industry that this now quiet valley once was witness to.
We were both feeling a tad wearied by this time and Mike's knee was playing up a bit.
Back at Keld we treated ourselves to a cup of tea and toasted tea cakes. We had earned it!  arriving back at the tent, we found that the indomitable wandering minstrel, JJ had joined us. A convivial evening was spent by the fire (in a fire basket) despite the rain and midges.
Tuesday morning I went for a dip. John supplied me with a humungous egg, bacon and tomato butty on my return. We had a walk up to Wain Wath Force. A couple of children in wetsuits were have a fine time in the water. Being right beside the road, it was obviously a very popular place. A large group of folk set themselves up for a picnic. It would have been nice to have at least had a dip but I found it too crowded..
Mike proposed a walk up to Ravenseat. here we indulged in cups of tea with freshly baked scones jam and cream. The path had been wet and clarty on the way up to the farm. Thus we followed the road for a short while and then joined a footpath back to High bridge.
 There are many well preserved barns in the area.
. A walk back down the road to Keld and the farm campsite to the cars and it was time to head home. A good couple of days.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Gone swimming

Over the last few weeks, my main focus has been on swimming. Mike and I have been regular visitors to Ross Back Sands to indulge in a spot of dipping in the briny. The problem was, for me, the fact that I never did much in the way of actually swimming. On our last visit I did manage to take to the water. However, getting caught in cross currents and finding myself heading out to sea, spooked me a tad.
Years back I was a regular open water swimmer. That was way back in time. Somehow though my interest in swimming has been rekindled. Having Parkinson's, there is an essential need to keep active. Being a non clubbable sort of person, I took a very big decision and joined a nearby sea swimming club.
One thing I immediately became aware of was that basically I had to relearn how to swim. Thus over the last few weeks I have been regularly heading seaward. There are no swimming lessons on offer. It is a case of getting in there and doing it.
These photos were taken earlier this year. As to whether I will manage to swim in those conditions remain to be seen. Several of the ladies at the swimming club, all like me, of more senior years, assure me it is fun. All it takes is to get out beyond the breakers hitting the shore and riding the rollers, so I am told?
How long I will continue through the year, I have no idea. Ideally I would like to swim through the winter months.It is a case of taking it one swim at a time. So far I am averaging around thirty five minutes in the water. Sea temperatures have been hovering around twelve to thirteen degrees. The worst part, I find, is the actual getting in. Once in it is quite enjoyable!
 Certainly on future backpacking trip my swim costume will included. These photos are a selection from my local walks taken over several months.