View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy
Showing posts with label Brain-straightening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brain-straightening. Show all posts

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Lleyn Peninsula Backpack, 28th July 2017

Just a few photographs taken last week / weekend whilst backpacking a section of the Wales Coastal Path.

This was a fairly last-minute expedition that worked out nicely – apart from the torrential rain and high winds on the first night. I rather unwisely decided to leave the Akto behind and used the smaller and more crapmed LaserComp – a fine little tent, but I really could have done with a bit more room considering the horrid conditions of the first night.

The Plan consisted of spending the first night at Llandystumdwy (Lloyd George knew my father and all that…), having a bit of an explore in the car the next morning, then leaving the car at Lloyd George’s place I wandered west from near Llanbedrog through Pwllheli (famous for Butlins, the Royal Navy and a fine Wetherspoons pub), Abersoch, Aberdaron and round the end of the peninsula before hopping on a bus back to the car.

It’s an excellent coastline although the Wales Coastal Path wasn’t that easy to follow. The path doesn’t religiously stick to the coast and some of the signposts were ‘misleading’ which made following the route rather difficult at times. also some of the paths and bridleways marked on the current maps didn’t exist on the ground. Nowt new there then. Consequently I didn’t cover the distance I’d planned. no matter, it was very enjoyable.

Water was a problem, the coastal farmland was heavily populated with livestock so rivers and streams were a no-no. A public loo (with a shower!) in Aberdaron plus a couple of pubs and a garden hose came to my rescue. Churchyards, unusually, didn’t have water taps….perhaps because of the higher rainfall levels on this coast.

The coastline is very dramatic and the area warrants another visit….in September actually. The route is yet to be decided but I’d be very happy to re-visit much of what I covered on this trip. Discussions on this matter with the Lucky, Luck’s Dad, Dawn and me are to take place soon.





Hell’s Mouth



Boots….but no dead mouse this time







An Ultra Marathon had taken place the previous day, a 63 mile trot along the coast





Barnsley Bardsey Island












Another brew with a view



Some of these photos are out of order….on account of M$ Windows funny ideas of file management. I gave up trying to re-order them, that will have to wait for another day.

Photographs were taken with my Lumix TZ70 and my Samsung S5 phone.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Timperley Sunset….

…and brain-straightening

Yesterday’s late evening walk featured loads of midgies (not the biting kind) and whole squadrons of bats and swallows, all eager to enjoy an in-flight meal.

There was a nice sunset too.

St Georges Pool 160530

St Georges Pool

Broadheath sunset 160530

From the Packet House road bridge

Only a short one last night: 5 miles / 8460 steps in 1hr 40m

Friday, 16 October 2015

Thursday 15th October 2015, A Tockholes Trot

6.5 miles with 1000’ of descent.

I was in dire need of a run.

There was a part of a trail route that I needed to recce, I’ve not been ‘out’ for a few days and it’s left me feeling quite lethargic, but more than anything else I’ve been shamed into pulling my trail shoes on by Old Running Fox a fine figure of a man if ever there was one.

This young man gets out virtually every day, rain, hail or shine. It’s only very rare bouts of illness that confine him to barracks – even then he manages to drag himself out into the hills more often than not. I really had no excuse.

I parked the car outside the very fine Royal Arms in Tockholes, deepest Lancashire. The area hadn’t seen rain for a while so the usually very boggy ground was only a bit very boggy in parts. Running through lovely woodland towards the Roddlesworth Reservoirs I passed a few walkers, and passed by a couple of runners…, well they passed me.

image The Upper Roddlesworth Reservoir

The track following the River Roddlesworth was a bit boggy but quite runnable.

imageAutumn leaves were really quite beautiful, unfortunately the dynamic range of the sensor on my Lumix DMC-ZS3 really wasn’t up to the job of displaying their colours very well. I should spend a few quid and buy a better compact. I must speak to Ian, he knows all about these things.

imageThe trickling River Roddlesworth

imageGreat Hill 

Across the busy A675 and a gentle uphill pull to Great Hill and rather more squelchy bog. By the time I got to the top of Great Hill my tootsies were a little waterlogged, and, as I was to find out later, dyed a dark brown. From the peat. Honest.

Interestingly, well I thought it was interesting, the cats eyes on the A675 are of the new electronic type. A solar cell charges a small battery which in turn powers bright white LEDs which switch on when traffic is detected. Clever, eh?

imageElectronic Cats Eyes 

image Darwen Tower from Great Hill

I ran trotted walked up to the top of Great Hill – then ran down t’other side. Getting even muckier. Then I ran back to cross the A675 again, this time to run by the ruins of Hollinshead Hall.

image Hollinshead Hall…..well it WAS Hollinshead Hall….once upon a time.

A mile of mainly tarmac took me back to the car. It was tempting to call in to the Royal Arms for a beer and a bag of chips but I resisted.

A good couple of hours – 1hrs 40mins actually, but I wasn’t racing….’cos I’ve got far better things to do with my time. Trail running is for enjoyment :-)

Where I went:

Tockholes 6

6.5 miles with 1000’ of downhill. And uphill.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

28th December, Black Lake, Lindow Common

Sunset today

imageI went out for a much-needed brain-straightener this afternoon and found myself wandering around Lindow Common on the outskirts of Wilmslow.

The name Lindow is derived from Llyn Ddu = Lake Black. The lake shot to fame in 1984 when the preserved body of a man was discovered by commercial peat cutters. The word on the street is that Pete Bog / Pete Marsh / Lindow Man may well have been a sacrifice of some sort. His body has been carbon dated to between 2BC and 119AD – so he’s quite old.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Spanish Spain, in the beginning.

This trip so very nearly tripped at the first, second, third, fourth,
.... hurdles :

Hurdle 1: On Tuesday my debit card was comprised so I needed to get a replacement pronto. I managed to get a replacement card later that day.

Hurdle 2: On Wednesday, the day I set off on my trip, I found that my replacement debit card had been blocked by the bank. This delayed the buying of my tram ticket which made me miss a tram to Manchester. Oh, and an 'incident' on the tram network was delaying all the trams. A lot of buggering about later and I got to Manchester by the skin of my teeth to catch the express coach to Liverpool. 

Hurdle 3: There was no coach. 

An accident on the motorway. They said. 

There was a 20 minute delay. They said.

Hurdle 4, part 1: The coach arrived one hour and ten minutes later....only a bit longer than the 20 minute delay.  

Hurdle 4, part 2: The journey was scheduled to take 50 minutes and there would be no delays. They said. 

1 hour 20 minutes later the coach arrived at Liverpool Airport. 

This left 10 minutes to clear security and run to the departure gate. Easyjet don't wait for anyone.

Fortunately I'd booked priority boarding which sped the process considerably. I got to the departure gate in time and boarded the plane. Others weren't so lucky. 

Things can only get better, eh?

The 3hr journey from Madrid aeropuerto (that's foreign for airport) to Salamanca passed without incident - things were getting back on track.

The weather is pleasant,  around 25degC and a bit overcast. 

The Revolutum Hostel is excellent,  more a hotel than a hostel. 

I unwound with some beer last night and then just crashed out. 

This morning I had an enormous breakfast of cereal,  toast,  cheese, croissants, coffee, juice and other stuff too - magic! All is rather better this morning. 

My good mate John Mc is under the knife this afternoon, he's having a hip replacement. This will be on my mind today.

Rather than set off walking today I've decided to explore Salamanca, it really is a beautiful city that just oozes history out of every pore.

Tomorrow I head north.  I'm not sure how far yet, it all depends.....

Pics are taken at low res to speed upload times.  I've duplicated the photos with my proper camera and these images will be replaced when I get back home. 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wednesday 17th Sept, off to Spain on an aeroplane

Via de la Plata – a bit of a walk

Arco de Caparra on the Via de la Plata

Later today I’ll be flitting off to Spain, on my ownsome, for some serious brain-straightening and a goodly amount of walking.

The Plan (Ho-ho!) is to fly to Madrid then travel by bus to Salamanca where I’ve booked myself into the flashy Revolutum Hostel for the night. I’ll set off north-ish the next morning.

I’m only over there for a couple of weeks so I won’t get to the end of the route at Santiago de Compostela but I’m not particularly mithered about that – I want to spend some time doing the culture-thing as well as the walking.

I’ll try to blog en-route although it depends whether I can get WiFi connections – mobile internet is an expensive do over there.

The Via de la Plata is one of the Camino pilgrimage routes and whilst it’s not terribly popular it’s an interesting route, there’s all manner of Roman remains to gawp at. I must buy extra film for the camera.

Watch this space.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

19th August 2014, Trying to get fit

The Original Plan (Plan A) was to go out for an evening trot with the Cheshire Hash House Harriers but other stuff came up that meant I had to give the Hash a miss.

Plan B was dreamt up instead:

I’ve done this route before – it’s basically from Timperley to the outskirts of Warrington. The outward leg is along the The Transpennine Trail, whilst the return leg is along the Bridgewater Canal towpath obstacle course….a section of the towpath is being improved, something to do with SusTrans I think.

The Plan was to jog 5 minutes / walk 5 minutes, then as I got a bit tired, the walking bit would be extended to 10 minutes….and by the time I’d hit around 13/14 miles I would extend the walking bits to 15 minutes. In my defence, M’Lud, the walking bits were very strenuous – I walked as fast as I could.

The straight bits are along the TransPennine Trail:


So….18 miles with about 300ft of upness: 3hrs 41mins. And tired legs. Must try harder.

Little outings like this are good for the head, I’ll be doing them more often.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Sunday 30th June 2013, Midlands Magic

Anyone who enjoys the great outdoors doesn’t need telling of it’s spirit-enhancing powers. Having had a particularly crappy couple of weeks I felt the need to ‘get out there’.
Ideas for a long trip are now being put together, but in the meantime a shorter, single day walk was needed as a matter of urgency.
Today’s little jaunt was c/o Outdoors Magic, a fine bunch of folks who inhabit t’interweb, hilly bits of countryside….and the odd pub. Or two.
Simon was the main instigator, and being as wot he lives in Leek a wander around The Roaches was deemed appropriate. Since the idea was first mooted, the list of those wishing to attend just growed and growed. Eventually eleven bodies (well it was eleven if you include the three doggies) assembled in the car park of the Three Horseshoes pub at Blackshaw Moor. The sun was shining a bit and my choice of shorts had proved to be a good ‘un – although my white and pimply legs stood out against the muscly, tanned legs of the other OMers.
It was good to catch up with Skip, The Teesdale Viking, and Ella – her doggy. The rest of the group were strangers to me – but there did seem to be a lot of Mikes in attendance.
P1020494First up of the day
The Roaches, Hen Cloud and Ramshaw Rocks are a rocky escarpment formed from gritstone and their appearance is quite spectacular. The area is very popular with rock-climbers, indeed we saw a goodly number out today.
P1020496 First stop of the day, Simon (our glorious leader on the Left)
Up and down we went. Then up and down again. To be honest I’m not at all sure where were went. I spent a good half-hour looking at my map this evening, and apart from picking out a few features that I knew we visited I just can’t be sure of the route. What I can say about the route with absolute certainty is that is was a bit good – not the usual trade-route along the Roaches to Lud’s Church and back.
So, anyway, I’ll just write less about the route – and put up some nice photos.
P1020500Posing on top of the escarpment
There are plenty of wonderfully-shaped tors and other rock formations in the area, imagination can run riot when looking at some of them:
P1020511 A face?
P1020521 Reptile Head
He’s got more bottle than me!
Crag rats
Even more Crag Rats
The Queen’s Chair
Although why the Queen’s Chair is so named is a bit of a mystery – especially as the spot was visited by the Prince and Princess of Teck a bit back:
P1020532I tink Teck is German or perhaps has some German connection. I dunno. I shall have to ask 'er indoors – she knows everything.
More views over the surrounding (and some quite distant) countryside:
P1020553 Alderley Edge
The pimple on the skyline is The Matterhorn Shutlingsloe
After not a lot of time we dropped into Lud’s Church, which isn’t a church – but a cave. and not really a cave because it’s not go a lid on it. It’s really just a deep and rocky gully. Because it’s so deep there are lots of ferns and probably a few rare plants down there, the conditions are moist and quite stable.
P1020568 The remains of a very rare money tree
Here’s a map with Lud’s Church on – highlighted with a little red flag:
image It’ll give you some idea of the terrain but it won’t show the mud in Lud’s church.
Lud’s Church behind we sort-of turned back, south-eastish through Forest Wood (isn’t that a bit like saying Wood Wood….or Tree Forest?) that followed the valley of Black Brook. A bit of a tug up to Roach End – and an ice-cream van. Well it would have been rude not to. So I wasn’t, and after parting with £2 I was presented with an enormous and delicious ice-cream. And it was none of yer Mr Whipee crap. Oh no, this was REAL ice-cream. Yum!
Some of our party chose to walk along the top of The Roaches, whilst others (me included)followed the very pleasant road back. There was very little difference, timewise – we were all back at the car-park within a few minutes of each other.
‘Twas a good day out, just what the doctor ordered. Thanks to the entire party for letting me come along, for sharing, for putting up with me – especially Meravingian for making it happen.
I think we ended up doing around 13.5 miles and we seemed to visit Hen Cloud, Ramshaw Rocks, Roaches Ridge and Lud’s Church – although we missed out the spectacular Hanging Rock. I’ve been to Hanging Rock loads of times, but it still takes my breath away from the top!  Hopefully some kind soul will tell be where we actually went today so I can put up a route map.
More pics, including some really interesting shots of the rock formations.