Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Yorkshire Dales

Leaving Alt-Berg, we headed west via the Yorkshire Dales towards the Lake District. Riding out of Richmond we rode straight into another beautiful part of England. Picture book perfect images, old stone bridges, beautiful streams and very green. The typical drystone walls were everywhere and beautiful winding roads everywhere. Just perfect. We were in for a couple of days of relaxing and just enjoying the trip. Even the weather joined in with clear blue skies and just a couple of little white sheep clouds to create this perfect bliss.

England from the highway looks so incredibly different that at times I wonder if they just lined them with boring wallpaper. Sure it's more fun to ride over winding narrow roads but how come the whole landscape changes too as soon as you leave them? Surely the highways, or motorways as they are called here, run through the same landscape? 

Yorkshire is a beautiful part of the world. There have been quite a few TV shows recorded in this setting and from what we have seen today, they could have all been recorded here. Old farms, huge stone historic sheds… Within 30 minutes I had the feeling 'I could live here…' which surprised me. Not because I'm surprised I like the landscape, the houses and towns; but because I fully realise that winters are harsh here. Not as bitter cold as The Yukon in Canada of course but windy, wet and pretty miserable I imagine. Yet that somehow seems to fit this landscape. It doesn't take much imagination to see yourself walking here in Wellies and a long raincoat, Scottish Collie by your side and streaming rain in your face… Hmmm. Suddenly I'm not so sure anymore.

Camp for the day was going to be a farm campground. Maybe it had been a farm at some stage but now it was more a caravan park than a farm. Lots of cabins, some of which seemed permanently inhabited, and a pretty big fully equipped caravan site as well. For some reason the tent sites were, as is so often the case, furthest away from the toilet block. The coin machine for the showers was of course as far away from the showers as possible too… It didn't dampen my feeling of the day though. The visit to Alt-Berg had been great, the Yorkshire Dales are beautiful and it had been one of those days that emphasise why you would want to travel.

The next day we continued through the Dales towards the Lake District. More beautiful scenery unfolded before our eyes and, unbelievable, the weather was good again! The Tour de France had apparently passed here recently as most houses were decorated in one form or another. Jeanette liked all the banners, yellow painted old bicycles and slogans painted on the roads, to me they were hideous. Men in tights, full of steroids and god knows what else, riding plastic bicycles with skinny wheels… Big deal. Not worth defacing your house and street for I would have thought.

We met a motorcyclist on a BMW GS. One of the few that actually fits on one too. He described his BMW as 'Too big, too tall and you need to be an electrical engineer to operate the suspension… just perfect for me!' And that's what it's all about I suppose, a motorcycle has to fit the rider, no-one else. Just like me, he doesn't like football… good man! To me the only proper spot for a ball is in a bearing, he only likes sports where you need two balls… :-) According to his on-board temperature gauge it was 24°C, or as he said 'as good as it's going to get!'

Jeanette noticed that although we had seen plenty of LandRovers, she still hadn't seen a Morris Minor! She also wondered if there were more sheep in New Zealand or here in England. Some of the sheep seemed to be wearing strange bright coloured vests… until we noticed they were in fact walkers with a need to be seen from miles away in the most hideous outfits. They were more misfits in the landscape than the healthy environment friendly advocates they pretend to be.

The Yorkshire Dales offer beautiful and friendly landscapes and we enjoyed every minute of it!