Edit Blog Post
Published: April 3rd 2022
Church in Darlington at dawn
It was a famous market place near the river Skern. Bishop had a massive manor house where the premier Inn and Darlington DL1 leisure centre stands today.
A spectacular bright full moon
because bettle larvae begin to emerge from the thawing barks) motivated me to explore the universe. I booked myself for an event in the dark sky reserve of Keld village in Yorkshire dales
. Time to put on my boots and go on a nature discovery.
I took National express overnight bus from London Victoria to Darlington.
That evening, watched Agatha Christie's play- Witness by the Prosecution in London
County Hall. A full house and the play was a courtroom with some excellent acting
. Having read too many mysteries, I guessed the twist and so it was not that much fun. Comfortable in overnight bus?
Did better in my return journey with a quieter seat at the back, my jumper for a pillow, slept across the seats and slept on without bothering to get down the bus in 30 mins break.
It was lovely to see dawn break
with the town centre lighting up and the bells of the watch tower.
Unfortunately the local bakeries strictly served after 8 am. Hence, it was Gregg's – a cheese pasty and coffee. It was a 1 hour ride on local bus X26/27 from Darlington to Richmond
. Richmond is the mother of all the Richmonds of the world
and means the strong hill in Norse.
It was a gorgeous spring day.
I took the little white bus
colourful ads on its white body).
Being the only passenger, it was a delightful ride in the countryside, see the daffodils, snow bells, wild garlics, streams and hear about life in Yorkshire dales from the friendly driver.
It would be daffodils and snow drops, bluebells followed by other wild flower
s in Swaledale
We drove by the river Swale
- the fastest flowing river in England
and called the Jordan of England
. It was in big shape with elaborate waterfalls
at Richmond by the ruins of the Richmond Fort but down by Keld, a little stream with plenty of playful waterfalls. Keld was an important lead mining town
of over 6,000 people but now had about 30 people. I deposited my luggage at Keld Lodge
and explored the beautiful countryside, skipping in and out of the Pennine hiking way
- like the fresh lambs
of the season. I noticed a few dead brown hares
by the road side. There were stone barns
scattered in the fields where farmers used to keep their cows in winter/harsh weather. Children played in the cold waters
(they have the skin for it). Chatted with a small family on a bridge over river Swale. Dinner of chicken in mushroom sauce and reading a book on the Celts- the original inhabitants of the Europe
, by the waterfall, it was a day well spent. The night was
even more exciting.
Keld residents had organised a beautiful paid evening of sky photography projections with hospitality of homemade cakes (madeira/brownies/pineapple cakes) and tea/coffee. Later, we went out in the open to identify the celestial beings. I was surprised to see shiny moving satellites in the sky
which were surely spying on us or aliens? Fantastic to identify nebula in Orion, Polaris, Acuturis and Sirius.
After a full English breakfast, I trekked 8 miles from Keld to Hawes from Swaledale to Wensleydale.
Given it was mother's day, I expected minimal traffic as the lads on motorbikes will spend time with their mothers. The mothers hardly would like to spend time in open countryside climbing up and down the hills! Being Sunday, there was no public transport.
Initially, it was an uphill walk
. I was wondered whose brilliant idea was to construct these perpendicular roads?
I crossed one hill over to another through the Buttertubs pass (526 ms is the highest point). The hills felt like green pistachio ice cream spread generously all over the slopes with a tiny ribbon of a river flowing down. The moors had pheasants like red grouse and other birds chirping about.
were a few cyclists
and cars. Overall, a beautiful sunny day for hiking and very much enjoyed the natural beauty of Yorkshire dales
Downhill, I observed more sheep
and lambs. A rude traveller said it was my problem when I asked for directions (I could not read the signs with my glasses). Thankfully, my phone network was on and so was able to figure out the location of my hotel. Hawes
was a busy little town. After a cuppa tea at The Fountain
(previously a coach station), I rushed to Wensleydale creamery
and ate the last piece of their famous ginger cheesecake
. Rambled up to Gayle Mill
and the waterfall on river Ure
. Rest of the afternoon, I sat in the comfortable sofa of the hotel parlour in the mellow sunlight with a book in hand and my legs under the Scottish lamb wool throw.
Alas, everything closes by 7pm
and it was time for dinner! A friendly pub waiter suggested an Indian restaurant. I ate a lovely mauri lamb curry. I tipped generously as the service was simply excellent.
After a full English breakfast
which was the most wonderful thing in England, I
saw it was raining. So stood with another passenger in the rain for our local bus from Hawes to Leyburn market
. The bus was in a hurry, throwing water everywhere but the Yorkshire dales looked so handsome in the rains.
From Leyburn market
took a connecting bus to Richmond
, where it was still drizzling. I opted for a fantastic, large almond scone and Yorkshire tea
at a local café. Then I walked to the ruins of St Agatha monastery
. My spectacles got wet because of the drizzle. It was not comfortable walking with hazy vision.There were horses in the field
and magnificent views just like the scenic paintings of great European artists
From Richmond, took empty bus to Darlington (timing as I let go the previous one full of school children). Had a so-so Italian dinner on the high street. Sat in Premier Inn
lobby reading a book till midnight to catch my bus to London.
Overall, a lovely holiday in the lap of nature.
More life outside Earth?
Watching the shiny, moving satellites in the sky was a new experience.
With 2 million or so Earth like planets, possible! How wonderful it will be to make new friends from other planets. During these few days, with my
feet in such natural scenic beauty and eyes to the skies, it certainly felt a little closer to heaven
Tot: 0.173s; Tpl: 0.011s; cc: 15; qc: 52; dbt: 0.067s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (10.17.0.13); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb