The Very Hungry Photographer
The other day, I caught the 06:22 from from Brough to Leeds, and then a connection from Leeds up to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, in the depths of the Yorkshire Dales. My plan was simply to walk up Yorkshire's second highest peak, Ingleborough (about 2,475 feet), take a few photographs along the way, then stroll back into Horton for a substantial and well deserved lunch. Train home, job's a good 'un.
All of which tells you that I can be both overly optimistic and under-prepared.
The first part of my plan worked quite well. It's about four miles from the train station at Horton to the summit of Ingleborough, and several stops along the way to capture the views, including this one of a lone tree on the limestone pavement that characterises the area made for a leisurely wander rather than a speedy yomp.
I reached the windy and decidedly cold summit just before noon, before reversing the process and heading back to Horton for that lunch, which by this time had doubled in size in my imagination. I would aim for one of my favourite cafes, which has been for thousands over the years the start and end point of the Yorkshire Three Peaks walk, that 24-mile "try it if you think you're hard enough" challenge to those who are unafraid of blisters.
A few more photographs on the way down, and there I was, back in Horton and approaching the cafe. Hungry. Very hungry. Only to my utter dismay, the cafe is no more: closed, I now know, back in 2018 (although the signage is still there, to lure the unsuspecting towards their inevitable disappointment).
No matter. There are two pubs in Horton, one at either end, so I re-traced my steps to the first. No food available until 6pm, damn it. Back along the road to the second pub...no food until 5pm. The village shop? Closed. The other cafe ("last house in the village on the Hawes road", another half mile away)....you guessed it.
There was, it seems, no food to be had in Horton on a Thursday in May. As I waited on the station platform for the 16:20 back to Leeds, it was a relief to hear the automated station announcement say that there would be "a trolley service or drinks and light refreshments" on my train. Hooray: salvation! Except there wasn't.
Lunch, when it arrived at 6pm on the platform in Leeds, was a decidedly past its best "posh cheese and pickle" sarnie from a well know purveyor of such things. It was the best thing I'd eaten all day.
Camera settings: Nikon ZD850, 24-70mm lens at 38mm, ISO 80, 1/20 of a second at f/14