After leaving Mum in London to catch her flight back the next day, Luke and I returned to Cambridge to pick up our tarp and then head up to Yorkshire to see a bit of the dales.
Over the last week we’ve amassed a sizeable amount of camping equipment. We’ve got a magical tent that springs into shape when you take it out of the bag, 3 tent poles (possibly the last 3 tent poles in Cambridgeshire), rope, a groundsheet/mesh thing, a pile of cooking equipment… all the things we’d usually take to a festival. We loaded it all into Van Failen and headed for a campsite at Aysgarth. I’d looked up a bunch of campsites and this one looked particularly good because it was attached to a pub.
The sun came out as we got off the motorway and headed through the increasingly lovely Yorkshire countryside. We arrived at the campground with several hours of daylight left (the sky only gets completely dark around 11pm now) and chose a spot.
There were rabbits everywhere – little baby ones particularly. It was charming, although I can’t imagine how irritating it must be to try to grow anything there. We set up our tent but didn’t bother with the tarp because the sky was clear.
In the morning we woke to the sound of rain and I was quite surprised that a £50 tent wasn’t letting all the water in. We did end up putting the tarp up though – it’s 8 x 4 metres in size, quite huge really. It covers the van, the tent and leaves enough room for chairs and cooking in between. Not a single other campsite had a tarp, which surprised me. I would’ve thought that, with all the rain that happens here, everyone would be putting up shelter but no one did. It’s like the way shops here have no awnings out the front to stand under if it’s raining despite the fact that it rains more here than almost anywhere on earth.
We went for a 12 km walk yesterday after visiting the information centre down the road and picking up a pamphlet with some maps. The walk started off in fields of sheep and buttercups (which kept reminding me of The Princess Bride) then through a grey stone village before climbing up through more paddocks to the top of a dale where we walked along the ridge and across a short stretch of moor before heading down the other side.
Luke spotted 3 little creatures that I have since discovered were baby weasels. For some reason I’ve always thought of weasels as nasty creatures (I’m blaming Wind in the Willows here) but these were so cute I’ve completely changed my mind and now I want at least a bucketful as pets. Really, do click on the link, they’re adorable!
We also saw a cow and her calf and the calf must’ve been less than an hour old- it was wet and the afterbirth was still attached to its mother – interesting and yet a trifle icky at the same time.
As you’ve probably noticed, there are no photos to go with this post. I didn’t take my camera out of sheer laziness and am now regretting it. I was also in a pretty rotten mood yesterday, for various reasons, so didn’t feel like carrying it. I felt better by the time we got back to the pub but I was incredibly tired and slept for several hours in the afternoon, woke up to make chilli for dinner then pretty much went straight back to sleep.
Upon waking up this morning I realised I’ve got a bit of a cold and so we’ve ended up booking a hotel for tonight with the added advantage that I can update the blog a bit.
After a breakfast of golden syrup dumplings (must remember to make these at festivals – perfect camp food!) we spent today driving from Asygarth to Kendal, where Luke bought some hiking boots, then to Ambleside, where we had lunch and bought a book of walks, then on to the Britannia pub. The pub’s lovely and I’ve slept half the afternoon away. I had an amazing steak and ale pie and planned a couple of walks for tomorrow if I feel better. This time with my camera!