Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 12: Malham / Settle / Skipton

Eric woke up bright and early for some breakfast and a bike ride through the Dales. He left at 8:30 while I slept in until 9:30. I quickly ran down to catch the last minutes of breakfast. Filled up on several cups of tea and honey, took my time getting ready and found a cozy spot at the creek with the ducks to update our blog.

Eric really wanted to go for a few mountain bike rides on this trip. I had originally planned to join him for the one here in the Dales but I’m just not in the right state of health to do that. So, what do we do when we fill under the weather? Make an appointment at a nearby spa for a massage and recouping! Since the rest of my day was spent in a massaged daze; Eric’s going to write about his busy day out on the town...

As Genell stated; I got an early start to the day in order to get my ride on before Genell was scheduled to get her massage (I needed to be back by 1:00 in order to drive her there).  I grabbed a quick breakfast and drove back to Settle to rent bikes.  Because of our medical expedition there the day before I knew the way.   On the way I had to wait for some cows to moooooove.
The people at the bike rental place were nice.  While the bikes for hire were nothing special (basic hard tail Trek with an even more basic suspension fork), they were adequate for the route they provided me.  This route was the Settle Loop

I started out of town down a paved street for a couple miles along the way I saw some shepherds with their dogs moving a herd of sheep from one lot to another.  I have been on hiatus from photography and videography for some time, but this site was clearly an inspirational catalyst.  I started shooting.  After getting some awesome shots I was on my way again.  Another couple miles and the route had me turning onto a bridleway.  Now this “right of way” thing that governs trails on private land in the UK, does not apply to mountain bikes.  Mt. bikes and horses need to stick to bridleways and purpose built trails.

The rest of the ride was not the most challenging feat that I have a accomplished on a bicycle, but its merits were in the sights it provided.  Here is quick video that I put together of some of things I saw.
 After the ride I returned the bike and got back to the B&B to take Genell to the Spa.  Now a side note about the spa; the day before I had suggested that Genell get a massage because of the accelerating effect it has on bodily process’ including being sick.  Genell complained about not wanting “another massage” (I know its rediculous... in her defense she was sick and  cranky).  After doing some research for her about the available spa’s I found one that was located on the Duke of Devonshire's 30,000 acre Bolton Abbey Estate.  After viewing the website, Genell said, “That’s the spa?  Oh, I’ll go there”.   Here is a picture of the Bolton Abbey Estate where I dropped Genell off.
While Genell was at the Spa I went to the town of Skipton to see some sights.  First I went through the towns open air market.  I realized I hadn't really eaten anything substantial since my ride, and I saw long lines outside on place advertising “pork pies”. I got one and it was pretty good (a little salty). 
 Open air market in Skipton.
  After walking around the market a little more I made my way to Skipton Castle.  As I was to learn on my tour Skipton Castle is on of the most complete and well preserved castles in all of the UK.  Here are some pictures....

 The court yard.
 Here you can see two walls.  The original at the bottom was brought to that level by bombardment.  The upper portion was rebuilt without fortification in mind.  Crazy thick walls.
 The privy.

 The dungeon.

 Chapel of St. John the Evangelist on the castle grounds.
 View around Skipton
We have to cross this bridge to get to our B&B.

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