Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Wednesday 17 August 2016 - A Dunham Massey Saunter

1702sue

We haven’t managed to attend many of SWOG’s Wednesday evening walks this year but Nigel and Sue had organised one on our patch. If they can travel here from Disley, we could certainly make it from Timperley!

So we enjoyed a leisurely departure from home – it’s just a ten minute drive to the Dunham Underbridge on Woodhouse Lane where there’s parking for a couple of cars. A short stroll along the towpath in lovely evening light took us to the rendezvous point outside the Swan with Two Nicks.

1703canal1704swan

There were just fifteen of us on this walk, which made it more ‘manageable’ than with the usual attendance of thirty or so, this being a bit of a trek from Stockport.

We started by retracing our steps along the towpath, past various canal boaters enjoying the evening sunshine, as far as Dunham School Bridge. It was a lovely warm evening.

1705canal

Turning down School Lane, I spotted the ‘Sausage  Lady’ to whom I was introduced by JJ and Rick last week, emerging from the Village Hall. She reiterated her desire to entice more people to venture down Cow Lane to her small farm shop. “If they come once, they soon become regular customers”, she explained. (The sausages I bought last week were delicious; ‘Lucky’ the pig was not so lucky though.)

1706shop

Lovely paths through narrow ginnels, beside fields, and around the edge of the golf course, drew us inside the boundaries of Dunham Massey Park, where large numbers of fallow deer and their youngsters were enjoying a frolic before bed-time.

1707deer

Nigel and Sue’s perimeter route gained great views of the rising moon, seen also, as we returned home in the car, by the GB women’s hockey players in Rio, who were probably too busy thrashing the All Blacks to pay much attention to it.

1709sunset2

On return to the Swan, the local ale went down well. Then we strolled back along the towpath to the car, in lovely moonlight, and went home.

8.4 km in a couple of hours.

1799route

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

From a Roving Correspondent: Random Tractors of Europe

1701tractor

“Spotted while I was waiting for the car-wash today. No fuel gauge on this model - the driver opened up the engine cover climbed up with the fuel pipe and peered inside the tank, watching until it was full.”

Thanks Nick, I’m sure Alan will provide a full analysis…

Tuesday 16 August 2016 – Cadair Berwyn

1604Llandrillo3

‘140319CadairBerwyn.arf’ - a route I planned back in 2014! This week’s superb weather meant I didn’t even need to put waterproofs or a fleece into the car!

An hour and a half from Timperley, Llandrillo is a good starting point for a walk over the Berwyns. There's a free car park and toilets next to the playground in the centre of the village.

My walk started off past the war memorial and followed the Tegid Way, an eighteen mile walk from Bala to Cynwyd, for the first 6 km.

It's a nice view west from the rising track, despite the wind turbines.

1606viewwest

Summer is now well on, as shown by loads of bright red berries on the trees lining the track.

It was a gradual ascent up a rough track. Once above the trees, the heather (ling) was in full bloom, as I looked past scurrying sheep towards the Berwyn summits.

1609track2

It was a t-shirt day, but there was a cool breeze – so whilst I was happy to have left my fleece at home, a light windproof top did prove useful.

After 6 km the Tegid Way turned sharp left and my path joined a route used by 4WD vehicles. At the top of the pass, at about 550 metres, there's a memorial to 'Wayfarer' and there’s a box containing logbooks and other items for the 4WD ers, for whom this may be a high point. I wonder who was responsible for all the litter around here? – lots of banana skins and toilet paper (I didn’t dare look under the stones)!

1613locker

At the memorial my path turned right and abandoned firm surfaces for most of the rest of the day. A small cairn pointed the way to the Berwyn summits, the first of which was the north east top of Cadair Bronwen. The summit of Cadair Bronwen was topped by a large cairn with fine views beyond Bala towards Snowdonia.

1618Bronwen

The route towards Cadair Berwyn continued over the boardwalk shown below, dropping to Bwlch Maen Gwynedd, from where an obvious contouring path led to the 742 metre summit of Tomle.

1621boardwalk

Whilst contouring, I could admire the excellent view down the Llawenog valley, but soon I was passing new fencing on the top of Tomle as I looked ahead to Foel Wen, a 691 metre outlier on which I enjoyed some lunch.

1625FoelWenlunch

Returning to the summit of Tomle, there were constant good views towards Cadair Berwyn.

1627Tomle

There were superb views down to Blaen-y-cwm and along the broad summit ridge. There’s a trig point at the north top of Cadair Berwyn, seen here looking towards the main summit.

1631berwynNtop1

There’s a massive windbreak on Cadair Berwyn - not needed today. Distant views were hazy in the heat, but there was a good view looking down to Llyn Lluncaws from Cadair Berwyn, and across to Moel Sych. Moel Sych was apparently once considered to be the higher point – and the highest in Denbighshire – but whilst both tops are thought to be 827 metres, Cadair Berwyn is now considered higher.

1635viewtoMoelSych

By now I’d met five people on the summits, but nobody else was seen until I reached the valley near Llandrillo.

A vague path path led me to a cairn at SJ 040 309, from where a yomp over very rough ground led to a wall/fence at SJ 037 316. Following the wall to a steep, rough track was nearly as rough. A couple of gates had to be hurdled on the private track to Rhyd-y-Gethin, where a ford was crossed in order to by-pass a route through somebody’s garden. On the descent the temperature rose considerably, and with the thistles now sporting seed heads it felt like a late summer heatwave had arrived.

1638viewwest

Three buzzards and a kite squealed overhead, with lots more buzzards scrambling from trees when I passed by.

I made the mistake of following an off-road route into Llandrillo. Whilst the gates and stiles were present, the actual paths bore a resemblance to jungle terrain – really tough to negotiate.

Eventually I muscled my way through the undergrowth to reach the village, and luckily the post office had a fridge full of cold drinks.

1643drinks

Here's my route - 29 km with 1220 metres of ascent, taking a little under 7 hours at a brisk pace (Naismith would have taken nearly 8 hours).

1699route

An excellent day out – and a great choice of day as it was pretty dry underfoot. It looked as if it could be wet after rain.

Here’s a slideshow – 39 images. Click on the first one, then click ‘slideshow’.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Around Timperley

1104ducks2

Time flies in between trips.

Just a few snaps have been taken since returning from Scotland and spending time planning future exploits and watching the Rio Olympics.

Meanwhile, some of our local ducks are looking after their second broods, and one of the rich people of Hale seems to have exited his Mercedes rather faster than his footwear permitted…

0901shoe

JJ and Rick joined me for a stroll in intermittent drizzle down the Bridgewater canal towpath to Dunham Massey and back. The majority of the old Linotype Works that we passed is being demolished to make way for housing.

1102linotype2

The local cygnets were staying close to their parents.

1105swan

These boys are causing trouble at Dunham. It’s rumoured that they have been foraging in the ornamental gardens.

1106fallowdeer

The following day, Sue and I enjoyed a trip to meet up with Jon and Eddie at a mutually convenient Thai restaurant. There were no tractors in evidence. Will a postbox do by way of a substitute?

1201postbox

Sadly, we didn’t have time to visit the opera.

1202opera

Enjoy the hot weather!