Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 11: Malham, Yorkshire Dales

With Eric up and at ‘em when the alarm went off, I woke up with exactly what he caught. Congestion, sore throat, aching face and eyes. Malham looked to be a lot more fun than the Snowdonia hotel turned out to be so I was determined to leave the room and venture out with Eric. We thought a light, easy hike would be a good option. We could always turn around if I started to feel worse and we could take it as slow as we needed. We headed off for a 1/2 mile hike up to the Malham Cove; the remains of a waterfall that’s been extinct for 12,000 years. The waterfall is under 100m high and about 300m across. All the rocks are limestone and it was fed by a melting glacier which is now the Malham Tarn; a lake just north of town said to be the highest lake in all of England.


 We sat down at the top for a rest before heading back. Eric struck up a conversation with some other hikers and found out that we could either head back to the B&B the same way we came (45 minutes) or we could go around the top of the waterfall, through some woods, the Gordale Scar, Janet’s Foss and then on to the center of Malham (about 75 minutes). I was feeling good so we chose the later. I think we were both glad we did.

 The Gordale Scar is an active waterfall that’s about 400 feet high.

 Janet’s Foss. Foss is a Norse word for waterfall and Janet is the name of the “Queen of Fairies” who is said to live in a cave nearby. A class of young students stopped for a lunch break when we were here and I heard the teacher say that the pool below is where the local women would do their laundry. That water is always freezing cold, no fun.

 Coins hammered into dead tree trunks for good luck.

 The local smithy.
By the time we got home, I was absolutely exhausted and feeling a lot worse. Eric called up a local doctor (the next town over in Settle) and made us appointments. We drove 15 minutes to the doctors office. The directions the receptionist gave us were: "Drive to Settle. There’s going to be an aqueduct, go through that. There’s a church on your left and a petrol station on your right. Doc’s office is behind the church. No address. You’ll figure it out."
We checked in right on time, waited about an hour, got some undivided attention with a really nice doctor, a prescription for Eric and a shopping list of OTC meds for me and that was that. Thank you, free health care; you were wonderful.  

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