Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Friday, 26 October 2012

Wednesday 24 October 2012 – Another Curry Walk

JJ and Mick - Runners

We’ve been on Curry Walks before.  A couple of times in my case.  The reports, including route and other details, are hereJJ has been on many more such walks.  He’s a Professional.

Alan arrived first, after receiving invites from both me and JJ.  The carrot had been dangled, and he was selected to test my first attempt at a cake (carrot, of course) for some time.

Coffee and Carrot Cake

It was quite a large cake.

There’s only a sliver left just now.  (Pauses to eat more cake…)

JJ and Viv soon arrived, then Mick turned up on the train from Litchfield.  The walk had been Gayle’s idea, but the fact had escaped her mind, so she was left to work in the Midlands.  She came for tea though!

No sooner had we left the house than we bumped into Rick and Pete.

“Fancy a curry?” asked Rick.

“That’s a fine idea” – JJ led the chorus before setting off at a trot with Mick (see above).

Sue was soon lagging behind, out of breath.

The Bridgewater Canal, by Walton Park

The Sustrans improved towpath of the Bridgewater Canal in Sale is a pleasant place, even on a dull and overcast autumn day like this one.

The Bridgewater Canal in Sale

Striding seemed to be the order of the day – certain members of today’s team may be catching bad habits from their LDWA friends (not the Plodders, of course!).

I suppose it was too early to stop for a pint, though I know how many readers would respond to that comment.

The Bridge Inn

Autumn leaves

After passing through a shrubbery, over the River Mersey, under the M60 motorway, and alongside the Theatre of Dreams, we crossed to the other side of the canal near where a branch of the Metrolink system heads off to Salford and Eccles.

The Metrolink line to Eccles, at Cornbrook

“That’s one of Brindley’s Circular Weirs”  - someone observed - “it’s an overflow weir that takes excess water from the canal and drains it into the River Medlock (in a tunnel).”

This weir and it's companion at Potato Wharf were apparently the first of Brindley’s Circular Weirs, predating those found on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal.  It needed a clean!

Brindley's Circular Weir

We soon reached Castlefield Junction, where the futuristic Merchant’s Footbridge guided us in to our objective, with JJ rather lagging behind at this point.  The pace had got to him?!

Salford Quays

Here the Beetham Tower comes into full view, and the duck house pictured on earlier visits seems to have been moved.

The Beetham Tower Gypsy Ducks

The canal reaches an area that is unrecognisable from a few years ago, with many derelict buildings having been restored.

Lock 92

Eventually, as Oxford Road and Whitworth Street are reached, more modern tall buildings crowd in on the towpath.

Buildings in Manchester

We decided to leave the canal on reaching the Gay Village, as its route to Piccadilly is a little unsavoury at times (see previous postings).  There’s always some party or other going on in the Gay Village – a very jolly place.

The Gay Village

City streets then led inexorably to This & That, in about two and a half hours from Timperley.  The standard fare here is ‘rice and three curries’ – currently £4.40 – and very good it is too.

This & That

Sue had eaten most of hers before I took this photo.

Curry Sue

Alan then stormed off, with the rest off us hot on his heels, to one of his favourite Holt’s establishments, the Ape & Apple, for an alcoholic afternoon whilst he waited for Sheila to finish work.  His beer stained report on the walk is here.  The rest of us joined him for a while before embarking on a variety of tasks (eg Sue and I bought a new television) and reconvening later in Hazel Grove for Mick and Gayle’s excellent slideshow relating their adventures on the Pacific Crest Trail earlier in the year.  There’s no ‘label’ on their reports, but if you start reading here, then move to here and here, and even more recent postings, you could spend an entertaining hour or two…

PS JJ’s report is here – very good it is too.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Ramsoc Weekend at Kettlewell – 20/21 October 2012

Outside Kettlewell Youth Hostel on 21/10/12

This is the fifth Ramsoc weekend to be mentioned in these pages – it’s Sue’s University Rambling Club reunion, ably organised by Sue W, this year for the 12th and last time, and before that by Mark and Janet, who cleverly absconded to Singapore in order to avoid the organisational stress (largely caused by a single person who was absent this year).

Click here to view all the Ramsoc postings.

Saturday

By about 9.30, twelve of us were strolling through Kettlewell on a misty morning with autumn colours well on the way as we crossed the Wharfe to ascend gently above Knipe Scar, before heading down to Hawkswick and the River Skirfare.

A good path took us up beside Cote Gill, with good views back to Hawkswick and beyond.  Elevenses were taken on a grassy bank before a stream crossing, after which the cleft of Cote Gill deepened to our left.  We passed hundreds of slightly curious residents on the gentle ascent to Lee Gate.

Mother and daughter on Low Cote Moor

An old lime kiln came and went and we got a bit spread out. Great Whernside’s summit lurked in the cloud behind us.

Lunch was taken at a path junction by Goredale Beck.

Lunch by Goredale Beck

A splinter group then headed off in an abortive attempt to find a pyramid from which to view Malham Tarn, the day’s objective.

Others took the Monk's Road to get a view from there.

Malham Tarn

We soon caught up the main party again, beyond Middle House, having been delayed as much by an abortive lesson during which Mike failed to teach me how to plot a route on the Satmap GPS.  (Well, I did plot a route, but immediately ‘lost’ it!)

The party was led by three wise monks on the road to Arncliffe, leaving any thought of the need for a GPS seeming curiously stupid.

Three Wise Monks on the road to Arncliffe

Views up Littondale opened out as the skies cleared.

Llittondale

Arriving in Arncliffe at 3.30pm, there was no beer to be had as the Falcon’s landlady gleefully slammed her front door on twelve thirsty ramblers.  Earlier, other members of our party had managed to gain sustenance here, on the strict understanding that ‘no hot drinks are available’.  The feeling that soft drinks are also discouraged places this place into something of a time warp.

The Falcon, Arncliffe

Arncliffe, a village of quirky pub, chickens on the village green, and all manner of domestic pets.

Arncliffe pets

Soon we were labouring up the steep ascent of Old Cote Little Moor, and finally, with the exception of an exhausted backmarker, staggering in his Scarpa Manta winter boots under the weight of a fully laden 65 litre rucksack, the jolly band found themselves dancing back down to Kettlewell for much needed tea and cake.

Here’s our route - approx 23 km with 850 metres ascent, in 7.5 hours.

Our route - 23 km, 850m ascent, 7.5 hours

Sunday

The cloudless morning view from the YHA’s fire escape was stunning.

Morning view over Kettlewell

As usual in such circumstances, we got off to a slow start, but eventually most of the group assembled outside the hostel for a photo call (see header image).  I wonder how many of the group Mark and Janet will now recognise?

By around 10am, we were on the road to Grassington, soon stopping for views back to Kettlewell in the bright light.

We didn’t hurry, and there was certainly no need to do so, as a group of 20 of us lingered in Grassington’s car park for half an hour or so before the latecomers joined us at around 11 o’clock.

Sedber Lane, an ancient walled lane, leads down to the River Wharfe,

Sedber Lane

where a narrow suspension bridge and a series of weirs facilitate images of gleaming white water on a day like this.

Weirs on the Wharfe at Grassington

The riverside path to Hebden showed the river in a more reflective mood.

Wharfedale near Grassington

Soon it was time for a geocaching interlude – Horatio Puddleduck now has over 500 caches to his name -  and elevenses, with CCS and other delights.  Lots.

Elevenses by the River Wharfe

A Wharfedale tree

Then we left Wharfedale and passed a cafe at Hebden, where some chose to take a short cut back to Grassington.  It had already been a long day for them.

Seven stalwarts, freed from the constraints of distracted teenagers, chose to zoom up the lane by Hebden Beck to a convenient picnic table for lunch. Near here a bird of prey, probably a hen harrier, sat nearby, munching its own lunch.

Crossing the beck led to wet feet for some, but otherwise it was an easy stroll up through the debris of old lead workings to Yarnbury.

Lead workings at Yarnbury

Then Moor Lane, a quiet road even on a busy Sunday, led happily downhill all the way, past a strange skeleton, to the fleshpots of Grassington and our onward journey home.

Descending Moor Lane to Grassington

Here’s our route - 11 km, 200m ascent, 4 hours (feasibly quicker) – an easy half day stroll.

Our route - 11 km, 200m ascent, 4 hours

There are more pictures (and commentary) for anyone interested, in this slideshow.