沒網絡的生活Living off the grid

離開曼徹斯特後,我們繼續北上到約克郡谷地。我們在高速公路上駕駛時感到很驚訝,因為竟然在三月還可看到白雪皚皚的山脈頂部。當時還沒料到我們在半小時後就會走在這片山路上。我們在這條蜿蜒曲折的小山路上緩慢地行駛,一邊欣賞美景和拍了很多照片,一邊又要小心避開迎面而來的車輛和路上積雪,結果我們在小路上走了一小時才到達目的地。

After we left Manchester, we headed up north to our next stop the Yorkshire Dales. As we were driving up the motorway, we were surprised to still see snowy top mountains in March. Little did we know that we would actually be driving right through them half an hour later. After meandering through the slippery mountain lanes and stopping to take a lot of photos, we eventually reached our bolthole for the next two nights an hour later.

當初我規劃旅程時,是希望能夠停留在約克郡谷地一處從較偏僻但又不太遠離我的主要途徑的地方。我在電腦上用Google地圖尋找心意民宿,結果在一個名叫Keld的小村莊,找到一個蒙古包營地。我知道這不是很英式,但我從來沒住過蒙古包,而網上照片看起來實在太吸引,所以馬上訂了兩晚作為落腳點。抵步後才發覺Keld偏僻得一點手機信號也沒有,令我們有點不知所措。但幾小時過後,又發現原來這未嘗不是好。沒有電話和電郵騷擾,不用經常無聊地上網查看臉書,除了非常偶然經過的車輛馬達聲,就只有各種優美動聽的大自然聲音。偶然過一下這麼寧靜生活真的很舒服呢!

When I was planning my road trip I choose an area in the Yorkshire Dales that didn’t detour too much from my main route but remote enough to experience the Dales. I zoomed right into Google map till I found a B&B that caught my eye, and finally came across a camp site at a little village called Keld that had some Mongolia yurts. Not very British I know, but I had never stayed in a yurt before and the photos looked absolutely stunning so staying there was a no brainer. After we had settled down, we found out that Keld had no mobile signal. Initially that took us by a bit of surprise but after a couple of hours, it actually wasn’t that bad thing to live off the grid for a while. No phone calls and emails, no constant checking the social media, just nature’s beautiful sounds and the very occasional vehicle passing through.

營地總共有五座傳統蒙古蒙古包,裡面有床、有舒適的沙發、有一個燃燒著木頭的火爐,四週還掛上一串串童話燈,既可取光又能加添氣氛。擺設雖然簡單,但感覺相當溫馨和舒適,跟外面伸手不見五指的冰冷夜晚,簡直是兩個完全不同的世界!

There were five traditional Mongolia yurts on the site and they all had proper beds, comfy sofa, fairy lights and a real wood burning stove. The yurts were very cosy and warm inside but it was a totally different story outside when we had to go to the external bathrooms in the cold bitter pitch dark night!

Keld位於斯韋爾谷地,在約克郡山谷的北端,是一個非常漂亮的區域。我們第二天早上從營地走了幾分鐘到斯韋爾河,然後慢慢往山上走。宏觀的斯韋爾谷地和斯韋爾河徐地展現在腳下,一望無際的美景盡入眼簾,的確令人嘆為觀止。

Keld is located in the Swaledale Valley which is a very pretty area at the north end of the Yorkshire Dales. The next morning, we left the camp site and walked a few minutes down the road towards the River Swale, ascending gradually till the beautiful Swaledale Valley and River Swale opened up in front of us.

約克郡山谷有悠久的開採鉛礦歷史,高峰期於十九世紀,我們經過了好幾個鉛礦遺址。其中之一是Crackpot Hall,相傳自十六世紀這個地點已有建築物,當年可能是間狩獵者的小屋,然後是採礦辦公室,最終變成這座現已荒廢的農舍。

Yorkshire Dales has a long history of lead mining which peaked in the 1800’s, and we passed by some of the ruins on our walk. One of them is Crackpot Hall and it is believed that a building has been on this site since the 16th century, possibly a hunting lodge, then a mining office and eventually the disused farmhouse.


 

再走一陣子,我們轉入一個峽谷,這是一處叫Swinner Gill的老鉛礦位置。峽谷裡一座十九世紀破舊鉛礦建築物仍然傲然屹立,跟週圍的峽谷融為一體。房子前就是斯韋爾谷地著名的瀑布。從峽谷向下的旅程比我們預期中更具挑戰性及艱難,谷底有一條不太深,但水流頗急的小溪,而部份地方甚至沒有路徑而必須攀爬下山。最終我們花了大約一個小時才能回落到斯韋爾河邊,真的從沒試過如此興奮可以再次腳踏實地做人!

A little further on we continued to ascend and took a turn into a gorge called Swinner Gill. This is another old lead mine location and the crumbling old lead mine spelt mill from the 1800’s still stands proudly by one of the many waterfalls in the region. The downward journey from the gorge turned out to be a lot more challenging than expected and we literally had to scramble down parts of the valley sides. Eventually, it must have taken us about an hour to get back down to the River Swale, I don’t think we’ve ever been so glad to get back onto flat land!




 

我們在約克郡山谷最後一站是到Tan Hill Inn午飯。這是英國海拔最高的酒吧,從營地上山去只有很短的車程。酒吧在山頂上,四周只有白雪一片,沒看見其他建築物,好像去了一個超現實世界。儘管如此,這間酒吧卻相當繁忙,而很多顧客也不像是遊客。我們逗留了幾小時,吃過午飯,再四處閒逛,才告別約克郡山谷,回到山下的現實世界。

Our final stop in the Yorkshire Dales was to Tan Hill Inn for lunch, this is Britain’s highest inn and was a short drive up the hills from our bolthole.  It was just so surreal to see an inn in the middle of nowhere, and given its location it was actually quite busy. We spend a couple of hours there lunching and just wandering around before we finally bid farewell to Yorkshire Dales and headed off back to the real world.


當晚我們要到蘇格蘭邊區以南最大的城市Carlisle,停留一晚然後再繼續我們北上蘇格蘭的旅程。下一次,我會跟大家分享美麗的蘇格蘭湖景和James Bond電影Skyfall的超美拍攝場景。

Our stop for the night was Carlisle, the biggest city south of the Scottish border bofore we continue our journey up north to Scotland.  Next time I will share with you some beautiful Scottish lochs and the amazing Glencoe, the filming location of the James Bond movie Skyfall.

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