Perception of our weather can sometimes belie reality. It seems as though it has rained for a month, in fact it largely has but there have been a few windows of brightness. The forecast, why are we so dependent, hinted at a dry Sunday morning but with worse to come. Catch it while you can. So a quick dash for a couple of hours walking by the River Ribble from the graceful bridge at Ribchester. This was once a favourite walk with my young family and later with my ageing father.
Perversely within a few minutes of starting it was raining but within a few more minutes there was blue sky and rainbows were appearing.. This is part of The Ribble Way. The banks of the river show the aftermath of recent flooding, debris washed up 2 or 3 meters above the normal level. Unfortunately plastic seems prominent along the ‘high’ water mark.
The path is forced away from the river edge after a mile or so. There is an anglers’ track continuing but we are denied it, although I have on previous occasions followed it. Having spent some time this year in Bavaria and Austria, where recreational paths seem to have higher prominence, I ponder what damage we could inflict on the angling community. How have the privileged classes hung on to this injustice, higher up the river things get worse where ‘public’ paths have been closed. This is supposed to be The Ribble Way. The only benefit was that as you climbed away from the river views opened up to Pendle and the distant Dinkley footbridge.
Soon I was crossing that bouncy Dinkley suspension bridge back over the turbulent Ribble, the floods last week must have been a few inches below the bridge. Previously there was a ferry at this spot until the bridge was opened in 1951. I walked back along the river bank with a chatty lady and four dogs. Before the road is Sail Wheel where the river does a dog leg and interesting currents and eddies develop below the rocks.
The road back passes grandiose gates giving access to extensive meadows which occasionally host the Royal Lancashire Show. The success annually depends upon the amount of summer rain and mud, not possibly the best site. White Elephant springs to mind……
Rain settled in again as I reached my car and probably will continue to the end of the year. At least I caught a little sunshine.