Day 30 – Thursday, May 24th

OUR FIRST VIEWS OF THE YORKSHIRE DALES

We were awakened a little after 4:00 this morning by the street cleaners who were trying to clean up the debris left from yesterday’s celebrations. We finally got up and started getting packed for our Yorkshire trip. With much trepidation we entered the streets of Oxford and our fears were soon realized!!! We were following Yahoo driving directions and, although they were correct, they were confusing when it came to traveling around the round-abouts. Instead of telling you to enter the round-about and take the 3rd exit, it would tell you to go 10 yards on one street, 7 yards on another street and then continue on the street that you were actually trying to get to. At one point we finally had to stop the car and basically draw out the round-about to figure out where we were supposed to be.

Once we got out of Oxford it was a bit easier, but we were worried when we missed our first major intersection between highways. We were expecting a round-about and instead were supposed to exit on a normal highway exit. There was no place to turn around for 8 miles, but we were able to find a cross road that took us back to our missed road. We also could not figure out what the speed limit was…..the map book that I bought simply said that it was the “national” limit, so Michael called one of his colleagues who laughingly told us about the speed limits. We had sort of figured it out by noting the speed that drivers were going when there were “speed cameras” present. Apparently these cameras used to be hidden, but people filed suits against the government saying it was a breach of privacy so now the cameras are marked…..even on the maps!!! I was also told that many of them don’t have film, but you never know!!

We made the rest of the trip with very few problems, although we did call the B&B owner twice to confirm that we were going correctly. He graciously answered our questions and gave us additional directions as we went. We arrived at West Close Farm at 12:30 and were met outside by Steven & Julie Thompson, our hosts for the next few days. Julie made a pot of tea and they sat and talked to us about the area and made suggestions of things we must do, including a 10 mile walk thru the Dales which we will try tomorrow.

They told us of a pub about ½ mile down the road where we could get lunch, but they closed at 2:00 so we needed to hurry. I misunderstood the instructions and we ended up walking about 1/4 of a mile the wrong way and then figuring out where we were supposed to be. We hurried the rest of the way and had a wonderful meal at “The Forresters Arms”. Michael had Sausages and mashed potatoes, served with a hot salad of greens and brown gravy and I had a Parmesan Quiche with chips and salad. It was such fun to sit in the small back room that contained a mixture of tables, chairs, benches and even two overstuffed chairs!!

We strolled back to our B&B taking almost 100 photos on the way. The scenery is magnificent, as are the trees, paddocks, stone walls, cows and sheep. It was also fun to read the names of the houses along the way, including “Low Barn”, “Thistle Cottage”, “Ivy Cottage”, “Falshaw House”, “Gable Inn” and “Town Foot Farm”.

Our room at the B&B is wonderfully furnished and has a gorgeous view of the Dales from the window. We were both tired so we spent the rest of the day napping, eating junk food and watching tv, ending the night with an episode of “The Last Detective”.

By the way, daylight breaks about 4:00am and dusk is around 9:30, but it never gets a “night-time” dark. It makes for a LONG day. The comment from one person was “we pay for it in the winter because it is dark until about 9:00 am and then again at 3:00 pm”.

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