We woke up to rain. So the question was – to walk today, or not to walk today? Malcolm said ‘no’. I, albeit reluctantly, said ‘yes’, and went off to join the Ripon Ramblers at our Ripon rendez-vous. It was still raining on and off, and as we struggled into cagoules and overtrousers in the car park at Grassington, the rain was definitely more on than off.
You can see from the pictures that it was grey and forbidding. But these conditions lasted ten whole minutes. Then a breeze picked up and blew away the black clouds. Our Dalesway views became clearer and brighter. We spotted curlews on the skyline. We scrambled down a narrow ravine on our way to Conistone that reminded me of walking in the Gorges de la Frau back in the Ariège. And it was lunch-break time in picturesque Conistone itself.
We spent the afternoon working our way back towards Grassington. There was a country lane, paths through fields bright with meadow flowers, and a long wooded section high above the River Wharfe. The prize here was the sight of a heron patiently fishing. He didn’t fly away as we came into view, but remained still, quiet, awaiting his fish dinner. Finally however, we passed too close, and he flew reluctantly away.
And then it was nearly time for us to end our walk, and claim our reward of a pleasant few minutes sitting out in the sunshine of a café courtyard, with toasted teacakes and a cuppa. We felt smugly satisfied that we’d braved the rain. What rain?