Hawes – Worth the Extra 10%

After spending all season being frustrated by how many people rely on their Sat-Navs rather than actually research the best route, he has just informed me …. well, I’ll let him say it … “We’ve balls’ed up”. I’m not sure how “we’ve” came into it, as I’m happily listening to Jeremy Vine and not paying one jot of interest to the road signs.

After disagreeing with the Sat-Nav twenty minutes, and numerous narrow villages and 25% inclines, ago, we are now rejoining the A65 that we left behind us forty minutes ago, only a few miles from where we departed it … just sayin’.

We pull into a Lay-By, “Dinner Time” he announces, before studying Google Maps on his phone and informing me that he will be cellotaping the route to my leg next time.

We are on our way to Hawes Caravan and Motorhome Club Site, which, at 850ft above sea level involves a bit of climbing, a few narrow bits and a lot of trucks trying to scrape the muck off our off-side. There are however, some highlights along the way.

Hawes is another town we visited on our ‘Tour of Britain’ on ‘Louis’ our Tandem a few ‘slimmer’ years ago. It is a beautiful town in a stunning area. We have three days here and it is going to be woefully too short.

Another reason we are here is to visit fellow Assistant Wardens Janice and Peter, who we met at our induction training two years ago and again last year on our previous winter tour. Looks like we will have to catch up and compare stories … and as you may imagine … we do have some number of stories to share. After spending the morning spending, local produce is so damn good, albeit so damn expensive, Peter and Janice arrive at the caravan saying “Get your walking boots on”.

We are instantly envious of the area they have called home for ten months. Within twenty minutes we are standing at the foot of England’s highest single drop waterfall, Hadraw Force, 100ft of cascading water.

Entry to the waterfall, £3 per person to pay for pathway upkeep, is via the 13th Century ‘Green Dragon Inn’. Frequented by Turner and Wordsworth no less, we didn’t see them today but certainly enjoyed two pints of Timothy Taylor on draught while sitting on some 13th Century IKEA benches. We could have stayed hours, but it was ‘throwing out’ time and it was getting dark … and boy, it gets proper dark here, proper quickly too.

The next day we took the car over Buttertubs Pass and quite simply could barely believe we rode a Tandem over this beast of a hill once upon a time ago.

From Buttertubs we ventured to Aysgarth for some Faterwalls time and a spiffingly good ‘Afternoon Tea’, then a quick look at Bolton Castle, in … Castle Bolton. We simply would need two weeks to remotely do this area justice.

We only just had time to rush into the Wensleydale Creamery to buy plenty of cheese, very well recommended by Wallace and Gromit and get drawn into a staff dispute about whether or not Cliff Richard is irritating. Only in Yorkshire…oh, and we got 10% off by flashing our Club Membership card.

Peter and Janice walked us into Hawes for an evening meal and more story sharing. Blimmin’ good it was too. The local pub here even provides a free pint on Christmas day after the locals have been to church, brilliant. Oh, and we also got 10% off here by flashing our Club Membership card … hmmmm … Peter forgot that bit, dooh, that’ll be the tip then.

Final night and temperature reaches -3°C . The Aquaroll has it’s coat on and the pipes are lagged, pointless, the tap offers nothing when prompted in the morning. Fresh water, frozen, Waste water, frozen, Pipes, frozen to the caravan, Us, frozen. Hawes is beautifully frozen but we reluctantly have to move on.

Links to other blogs on this trip

The Winter Tour

The Lights of Broadway

A Date with Lady Margaret and a Desire to Cuddle

Bury & Bolton -The Annual Pilgrimage


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