26. Topsy takes us caving

Well, Topsy has been performing magnificently, a couple of weeks ago she got 5 females to Bradford, even with a rather long detour to avoid the stationary traffic jam on the A1, and we discovered we knew where Lightwater valley is, though the 3 girls in the back were quite devastated when we drove straight past it! Well done to Karen for navigating at short notice, she isn't too keen on reading maps and it must have been a bit shocking for her when I decided the stress of moving a mile an hour was too much for me, so it was B roads all the way!! Still, if you're gonna get stuck in traffic then take the B roads, Topsy is the ideal vehicle to do it in, as she's brimming with books and games to keep bored kids entertained for what turned into a 3 n 3/4 hour journey, there, and two hours back! Then a bit of a rest untill the next adventure!!!

It was that Saturday panic again, the kids off school but the weather lousy, just where could we have a fun day out?? Rog suggested going underground, but we've been in enough mines, so how about going caving instead. No, not with ropes and head torches, diving through icy cold water and scrambling through rabbit size gaps - that kind of caving is for braver less claustrophobic folks than us! We set of to White Scar Caves, not far from the home of Wensleydale cheese (we like that cheese), beneath Ingleborough hill. Topsy couldn't fit through the cave entrance so we had to leave her in the car park whilst we went underground...
It cost a whopping £21 for the four of us to go in, but we all agreed it was actually well worth spending that sort of cash to see the delights inside... Roughly an 80 min walk, the tour is fantastic, with and underground waterfall or two, eerie flow stone and stalactites and stalagmites, all in weird and wonderful shapes. We were lucky as the recent downpours (some of which we drove through) turned the sometimes trickling stream that runs through part of this cave system into a raging torrent, very exciting!
Afterwards we headed back down the road towards Hawes, stopping for a pie and pint (well, Rog had the pint, we had fruit juice!) at the Station Inn next to Ribblehead viaduct, their award winning pork pies got the thumbs up from us. Just next to the pub you can see underwater streams emerging from the limestone and disappearing back in!?! Whilst we were exploring these we watched the rain sweeping towards us from the hills, and only just made it back into Topsy before the squall soaked us. But it gave me enough time to make coffee before we set off again.

The weather on the way home was patchy, sunny one second then huge rain storms the next, but we made it home with no troubles, well done Topsy, who got us out of Aycliffe again!

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