Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Saturday 28 June 2014 - Summer Holiday - Day 2 - Wokingham to Montreuil


 
A lovely morning in Wokingham saw us bidding fond farewells to Jill and James and heading off to Woodley for my Saturday morning jogging 'fix' at the local 5km Parkrun. It was a fast course, resulting in my best time for a while - 21.35, only just outside my best. It's a shame that's my last such outing for over a month. Meanwhile, Sue went for a stroll around the course and shouted encouraging noises to some of the 235 joggers who had turned up to try their hands (legs, even) at this pleasant three lap course.

Coffees outside the Oakwood Centre, where I'm pictured, enabled any perspiration to vaporise before our (less tedious than yesterday's) 120 mile drive, via Ashford to collect some lunch, to the Chunnel terminal at Folkestone. 

If we'd known TGO Challenger Alan Sloman's address we'd have dropped in on him en route; luckily for him we didn't. (Hi Alan.)

As one who suffers from seasickness but not from claustrophobia, I find the Chunnel by far the most comfortable way to cross the Channel. Today we arrived at the terminal two hours early, but with their customary efficiency the Chunnel people got us to Calais within an hour of our arrival at Folkestone. 

After another pleasant 50 miles or so through French countryside littered with wind farms (I don't remember them from previous visits), we arrived in the flowery and ancient town of Montreuil, where we were soon in the familiar surroundings of La Fontaine des Clercs campsite and its friendly and memorably portly guardian. Despite having put our clocks on by an hour, we were enjoying a brew (again I'm pictured - wow, two pics of me in one posting - that's rare!) by soon after 4pm.

It's a lovely campsite, only €15 for the two of us including car and tent, situated just below the town walls. We strolled up to and around the walls - establishing via my Garmin gadget that the circumference of the walls, via the Promenade des Ramparts, is about 3km. At one end of the town is a 16th century citadel that was built on the site of an earlier castle. The lower image (if they all transmit) shows a view along the wall towards the citadel. Around the walls one species appears dominant - blackbirds, there are loads of them.

After walking around the walls, we took to the town itself. An interesting place with ancient cobbled streets. Dinner and beer was obtained from a small shop, and after a further 3km of wanderings we adjourned to the campsite for an alfresco meal in calm warmth outside the tent as we slowly lost the sun, which seemed to be synchronised with Chile and Serena, who at that moment both lost their respective jousts.

Here's a slideshow for the day (18 images)
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Friday, 27 June 2014

Friday 27 June 2014 - Summer Holiday - Day 1 - Timperley to Wokingham

Friday afternoon isn't the best time to undertake this journey, but we managed the 190 mile trip in Skippy in about five hours. Apologies go to Jill and James for arriving late and empty handed.

I know from a previous life that there are loads of good places to eat in this part of the world. Times haven't changed in that respect. The four of us enjoyed an excellent Thai meal in the restaurant above the Red Lion.

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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Friday 20 June 2014 – An Evening Walk from Beetham

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Last Friday Sue and I chose a lovely evening to set off from The Wheatsheaf in Beetham, through the colourful church yard.

The walk was due to start at 7.30, but with no others expected we started before 6pm.

Paths heading towards the Fairy Steps led through woods with deserted ruined buildings.

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New signposts in this area comprise solidly built cairns with direction markers on the top.

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Before long, we reached the Fairy Steps.

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On a perfect evening, tea and cake with a view towards Arnside from the top of the Fairy Steps was just what the doctor ordered.

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It's hard to descend without touching the sides. We won’t be seeing any fairies…

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From Haverbrack there's a fine panorama with the Kent Estuary, Milnthorpe, and the Lake District beyond, with High Street and other Lakeland summits prominent in the distance. It's a sharp descent to the estuary...

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... where a pleasant woodland path meanders beside the sands.

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Oystercatchers and many other birds feed here.

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We soon turned away from the estuary and up beside the River Bela.

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Then it was on across the Deer Park and back to Beetham.

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We soon passed another Cairn / Signpost.

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There were plenty of deer and sheep about. We are just outside Milnthorpe here.

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Soon we were back in Beetham, enjoying the last of our tea in the shade from the warm evening sunshine.

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Here’s our route - 8km, 200 metres ascent, taking 2 hours. Highly commended.

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There’s a slideshow with a few more pictures – here.

We go on holiday tomorrow, so I’ll be making a daily posting, wifi permitting, by way of a personal diary. I’ll try to make it vaguely sort of interesting, but given the need to keep on top of the writing (often done whilst enjoying a beer and chatting to others) I can’t guarantee anything. Your comments will be welcome, even if I don’t manage to reply to them.