Tuesday, 18 February 2020
The Plan (there’s sometimes A Plan) was to once again recce the route from Hope to New Mills.
Judith had been pressed into proof-reading my written route description, checking that the words on the paper bore some resemblance to the actual route on the ground.
It proved to be nearly okay…..apart from the odd intruction to head East rather than West. Oh well.
Judith and I met up in Manchester and then hopped onto a train to Hope, arriving around mid-day.
Our route headed north from Hope station
Thursday, 9 January 2020
My usual camp spot, suggested to me some time ago by the very excellent Chrissie Dixie, proved to be impractical because of the high winds – so a lower and more sheltered spot was called for.
I wasn’t expecting the wind to be so, er, windy – in fact when I arrived in Edale there was just a gentle breeze, but as I climbed higher the wind got much stronger. After a quick squint at the map I dropped down and wandered up Grindsbrook Clough where I found a lovely flat spot, right next to a water source. Nice.
My tent was up and I was safely and cosily snuggled up in my Akto just as darkness fell. A cheating tea of bread & cheese and Heinz Tomato Cupasoup followed by mince pies & custard (well it WAS Christmas Eve!) sorted out my hunger pangs.
The evening was spent reading (Laurie Lee’s ‘As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning’) and listening to the Radio 4 type wireless. All was well.
Although it was a breezy, wet night I slept through it all, not waking until 7.30am. After a quick breakfast of porridge and numerous mugs of coffee, I packed up and headed back to Edale and my car.
I was surprised how many walkers and even runners I met on my walk back to my car. One runner passed me, having run DOWN from Kinder….he must have started early, wherever he came from.
I was back at the car by 10am, and home by 10.45am. Then it was Christmas Day with my family – great fun!
Tuesday, 29 October 2019
Now that I seem to have worked out a not-very-complicated Open LiveWriter method of posting photographs that works (for now), here are some more:
My Tarte Santiago – thanks to Rita for the recipe
6th October: Cheshire Hare & Hounds Tally-Ho! trail run from Sparrowpit. A cracking route but a not-very-good venue:
The Hounds…well, some of them
Wells & Injured Wislon returning to base
Only a couple of photos (and a Whinge Warning) from my bike ride to Lymm:
Car parking problems are becoming, er, more problematic. The TransPennine Trail car park in Broadheath is used by those working in the nearby offices and factories. There simply isn’t enough car parking space available, nor is there anything like a decent public transport system in place. Ironically the TransPennine Trail, at this point, follows the course of the railway line that was ripped up as part of the Beeching cuts.
Another sad sight (site?), a matter of a hundred yards or so from the car park above. The Bay Malton pub, once frequented by workers from the adjacent Broadheath industrial area, is now closed.
October is Warburton Souling Play preparation time. We always have a rehearsal, just to make sure that we remember the words and actions from the previous years. And then we retire to to Saracen’s Head in Warburton to compare notes….and drink beer. I couldn’t perform in the play this time round – I had to go to Florida. Again.
The Gang with a potential Souler on his first Play outing
Three generations of Soulers…probably.
And now for something completely different, a quick and tasty dinner of chicken and roast vegetables:
Another trip to Florida:
When it it rains in Florida it gets very wet:
I bought a couple of these filters from Walmart in Clearwater – I didn’t realise that Sawyer are based about 3 miles from our Florida apartment.
Some photos to remind me of our Florida apartment, prior to it being sold. Dad was never happier when he was here, he looked forward to his annual 6 month stays. It was good to see him so happy. I’ll miss the apartment for that.
Monday, 21 October 2019
Onwards to Portugal’s Douro Valley
It was at the end of 2017 that fellow musician Greta casually mentioned that she’d rented an enormous villa in Portugal for a week at the end of September 2018. She went on to ask me if I’d like to come along. After due consideration (about a nanosecond) I said ‘yes please’…and thus started a chain of very agreeable events.
I’d been wanting to finish walking the Via de La Plata Camino but just hadn’t got around to getting my A.I.G., this was the kick in the pants I needed.
Rob, also a musician (and English ceilidh dance caller of great renown) fancied the walk – and he’d also been invited by Greta to join in the Portuguese fun.
And so it came to pass.
Rob and I completed the Via de La Plata and spent a couple of days exploring Santiago de Compostela, staying at Rita’s wonderful AirBnB – definitely THE place to stay. Rita is a wonderful host….we were to return with The Olde Vic Band Ex-Pats, AKA the Olde Vic Band on Tour, a year later – but that’s another story.
Buskers abound in Santiago, entering the cathedral square we came across these two young ladies* playing Gaita Pipes and Pandereta – expertly and with great spirit. (Rob’s video).
Anyroadup, we dragged ourselves away from Santiago de Compostela and travelled by train and bus to meet Greta & Bill in Puebla de Sanabria, a small town that we’ve visited before. Rob, being the highly organised chap that he is, had arranged a really nice hotel for us for norralot of dosh.
A wander down the road to a bar / restaurant where we consumed much food, beer, wine and maybe something even more alcoholic – after which we were cajoled into playing music for a couple of hours. I have to say, we didn’t take THAT much cajoling!
It was a very merry bunch that wobbled it’s way back to their hotel that night.
Next morning we clambered onboard Greta’s bus and headed south-ish to the Douro Valley in Portugal where we were to meet up with Pete & Lynda who had driven down from Stockport to join us for the rest of our jolly.
The rest of the week was spent exploring the lovely Douro Valley, it’s vinyards, bars and restaurants.
Some photos of our musical week:
We came across this street entertainer, he was pleased, and a little surprised, that we joined in playing with him.
Playing steam trains in Porto*
Greta giving it some welly on her sax*
This band just appeared, walking down the street in Porto, playing…like you do.*
Collecting grapes on an industrial scale – to make Port.*
We chanced upon this little cafe bar up a back street in Porto. After our excellent meal we played, much to the delight of the other customers – some of whom joined in.
Rob’s pandereta being rather expertly played
A door for Rob. Rob likes doors.
Annoying the locals
Pinhao Railway station artwork:
Some interesting motorcycles. Well *I* think they’re interesting!
Okay, so that last one isn’t a motorcycle, but I still think it’s interesting.
A couple of Rob’s videos that I can’t get to embed in OpenLiveWriter or Blogger. I’m almost certainly doing something wrong….I usually am.
Playing on the waterfront in Porto *
* Rob’s photographs or videos
Wednesday, 9 October 2019
We left Ourense in the not-very-early(ish) morning, the day was forecast to be very hot so we wanted to get a move on.
…with cake! Ed kindly offered the use of his back garden to sit and play music whilst maintaining a safe and sensible distance from one...
Testing 1 – 2 - 3
It was all a bit last minute. I needed to get out for some serious brain-straightening peace and quiet, plus I had some new(ish) kit to test...
This is a test to check out a method of posting photographs using OLW. I’ve not been blogging recently, simply because of the amount of faf...