In Settle, on Saturday 11th July at 11 am, once Matt had counted his chickens (19 humans and one dog) outside the Tourist Information Office, we set off with the first of several steep ascents, and as expected, I lagged behind with luckily the excuse of being the oldest.
The views were magnificent from the start, which meant frequent pauses, so I could catch up, although many people kindly walked at my pace.
Hill or no hill, there was no shortage of chatting, one great advantage of walks over, say, meals, being that you easily change conversation partner and meet almost everybody.
As we encountered a flock of sheep arriving from the lane we were about to turn into, we stopped to watch the farmer manoeuvre them into a pen.
After about an hour and a half, Matt showed us to our dining room, with a view of course. However, this spot also happened to be particularly appreciated by a herd of cows and their calves which descended upon us at a relatively slow but steady pace that didn’t leave much room for negotiation. So we quickly repacked our packed lunches and Ella (our four-legged friend) was shifted over the stile as a priority. Phew, panic over, we relaunched our lunch on the other side of the wall.
Another half hour walking, past blue sheep, and there was our second cave and second break, and guess what, more amazing views, with the three peaks in one panoramic photo.
Then it was downhill all the way to Settle, and the pub elected by Matt for a pint or a brew.
I chose to have a mooch around Settle and had a chat in French with the man from the Rotary club selling books in the glorious sunshine. Altogether, much more pleasant than the canicule (37°C) I had left 2 days earlier. But then, isn’t Yorkshire God’s Own County!
Thank you, Matt for a memorable day.