Monday, 27 October 2008

Calling International Rescue....Discovery 1 is Go

Not a wildlife safari this time. We left Base Camp at dawn and headed to the Yorkshire Dales. After a whole day and night of torrential rain the River Lune had broken its banks in many places.
Ribble Head viaduct is a feat of 'navvy' engineering.

Water was gushing out of the hillsides all over the place, what were normally little rivulets had become torrents.

This small spring being a perfect example.

Deeper into Yorkshire the River Ure beyond Hawes had also broken its banks.
This lady from Holland was trying to get to the Newcastle ferry and come to watery stop. We gave her a lift back to the nearest village shop, bearing in mind it was still before 8 o'clock on a Sunday morning. Hope she found someone to help and got going again.
Eager to reach our rendezvous we surged through the flood - only to reach another where it was impossible to tell where the road was and where the river was - nothing for it but to turn back and find a detour. This bow wave is on the return and is not as neat as my first pass. Maximum depth of water was just above the bottom of the door! At this point one of only two raptors we saw all day flew over - a Buzzard.

From the higher vantage point of the detour lane we could see the small linear fields each with its own barn that typifies the Yorkshire Dales.The start of our Green Lane drive took us in to a disused quarrying area. easy enough driving but I haven't had the opportunity to try out the biodiesel on anything other than tarmac until now - 'how would it fare under pressure?'

So far so good no worries about the bio it has plenty of power, perhaps a bit too much as I was consistently catching up the car in front despite driving mostly just above tick over. He did have extra passengers which would have made him heavier but I think it more likely that the bio is more calorific than normal diesel.

The start of a long steep climb with a tricky rock step at the top, all the group managed it without too much problem. One disadvantage of having a tow bar is it hangs low and catches rocks with horrible crunching sounds.

The tricky bit was just above this beautiful spring.

Lunch stop was at this stunning viewpoint. Looking down (or is it up?) ??dale because, by now, not having sat nav and not being familiar with the Dales, I was totally lost.

The picture below shows a perfect example of an old farm lane formerly used by horse and cart or for droving stock. The walls show the 'through' stones (the dark line half way up) very well. These support the upper portion of the wall. It is A shaped being about 3 feet wide at the bottom tapering to 1 foot at the top. The walls were encrusted with lichens and in damper areas moss. Our favourite was a particularly splendid bright reddy orange lichen. Also shown well is the divide between the fell top and the 'inbye' in the distance. The inbye is the managed farmland with field boundary walls showing the signs of improvement where it is green as opposed to the rough grazing higher up.

River crossings are always fun but this one was much less tricky than the flood we'd already encountered on the way. (Twice!)

The overnight rain had created plenty of opportunities for big splashes but driving to rashly can cause unnecessary erosion so it was gently gently through the puddles. If you want to make a splash go to your nearest 'pay and play site.

We had the distinctive flat top of Ingleborough Hill in our sights. We had it surrounded, it was to our left, our right, in front of us and behind. The only place we didn't get was to the summit - no vehicular access and rightly so.
This very steep rocky decent ended as you will see in a bit of a drop off.Mind the step. If your 4x4 is fitted with side steps take them off, they will be broken off when you come across an awkward bit like this.

Side slopes are probably the most hair raising bit of the drive. This one is quite moderate. My co-pilot and photographer in chief had her eyes closed and hands tightly gripping the grab rail on the more extreme ones. Black mark for letting go of the camera. The 200 foot drop on her side didn't help matters

The last river crossing of the day was watched over nonchalantly by this pair of geese.

Many thanks to Colin and all the team at UKLandrover Events (see links on right hand side) for a great day out. And big thanks to to the other participants a day of great camaraderie...and not forgetting star of the show, Lucy the Labrador.
No problems what so ever with the biodiesel. Total mileage for the day 200 of which about 40 off tarmac in low ratio. Fuel used c.30litres - 5 litres normal (26kg CO2) 25 litres bio (6.5kg CO2). Footprint for the day = small (Less than most of the ramblers out that day probably). Other people out enjoying the sunshine and showers (including a bit of early sleety rain) a few ramblers, three guys on trials bikes and some mountain bikers one of whom gets the medal for fastest man of the dales - I've never seen a cyclist go so fast...he was whizzin'.

Where to next? Local trip probably...but there is still the Ross's Goose on the south side of the Ribble.
In the meantime let us know what you have seen or where you have been in your 'outback'.

1 comment:

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

so far no one has spotted the deliberate mistake at the end. 5litres of diesel release 13kg of CO2 not 26 as stated