Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Saturday 12 October 2019 - Wythenshawe parkrun number 412

 
We were back at our 'home' parkrun today, where 272 of us enjoyed calm, warm conditions for a good workout, with the grassy sections a little waterlogged, so not many fast times.
 
It's nice to get some fresh air though, albeit I had to pedal quickly home after the run, to fetch my forgotten barcode. Oops! Despite the 12 km round trip, I was relieved to get back to the scanning area before the Tail Walker finished the 5 km event. Phew!
 
Full results are here.
 
 
Today's pictures show Oliver giving a lone participant his briefing, with the bottom picture, taken from the 'Finish Funnel', showing someone appearing to make a false start.
 
There were visitors ('tourists') from Columbia, and Nick Whyatt completed his 50th run, but there was, unusually, no cake!

Friday, 11 October 2019

Friday 11 October 2019 - A Walk to Dunham Massey

 
A routine Friday morning stroll, and the first outing for some Scarpa Delta GTX boots bought nearly two years ago before Josie, at Alpenstock, retired. Their predecessors, an identical pair bought three years ago, have managed nearly 2500 kilometres so far without significant leakage, but are now rather worn, so the new ones need to be broken in, to avoid uncomfortable ankle rubs, before my next backpacking trip.
 
You may notice from the above picture taken on Timperley Bridge that it was raining at 10 am this morning. JJ had cried off, but Paul S appeared from the Metro station, so surprisingly I was not alone for the walk to Dunham along the Bridgewater Canal towpath.
 
Building on the Linotype site in Broadheath continues apace. The next two pictures are just for the record. Paul was wondering how congested the traffic using the one road out of the estate onto the main A56 road would be when the buildings are finished and occupied.
 
 
 
As we approached Dunham we spotted a brown insurgence into the cleaner canal water. An overflowing stream through muddy farmland?
 
 
The River Bollin, viewed from the canal aqueduct, looked pretty brown, though not all that full.
 
 
Leaving the canal at the Swan with Two Nicks, we re-crossed the Bollin below a weir that was fast flowing, but hardly 'in spate'.
 
 
Meanwhile, Paul B had failed to intercept us at Dunham Town, so he had to run down the towpath to catch us up. Here he is, splodging his way over the meadows to Dunham Massey.
 
 
Within the park there is a project aimed at children. Find the Lost Words.
 
 
Such as ...
 

The avenue of trees by the Smithy Pool is showing distinctive signs of autumn, which season seems suddenly upon us despite the continuing warm days.
 
 
The Lavender Tea Rooms served welcome coffee and cake. They were surprisingly busy.
 
A stroll through the golf course followed, before we headed off to our respective homes, the Pauls both being within easy reach of an early lunch.
 
For me, a pleasant 11 km stroll in good company, followed later by a trip to a nice Greek restaurant, then Moscow.
 
Well, the Moscow Philharmonic at the Bridgewater Hall... (no photos I'm afraid - they aren't allowed).

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Thursday 10 October 2019 - Another 'Big Macc Ramble'

 
Another outing on this familiar route for me, but the first time for Paul and Greg. My previous reports on this 23 km loop with about 650 metres of ascent can be found here.
 
Today we enjoyed a dry ride in cool, breezy weather. After the long ascent from Langley, a rest outside the chapel at Macclesfield Forest was welcome, though I needed the time to replace a punctured inner tube.
 
I didn't reach for my camera until we got to the high point atop Danebower Hollow, beyond the still defunct Cat & Fiddle pub. The first two pictures were taken on the good track here.
 
 
Last time I reached the A54, Richard and I were foiled by roadworks and had to find a way round them. Sparkling new crash barriers and a good road surface now greeted us for a short section of tarmac before the long descent down Cumberland Clough. Technical in places, but great fun all the way down. Greg and Paul are pictured crossing the Cumberland Brook overflow, about half way down the hill. Note Greg's huge new 2.8 inch tyres.
 
 
 
By the time we reached Nessit Hill, there were drops of rain in the air, but we stayed dry all the way down to the car, which can just about be seen in the middle of the next picture, beside Ridgegate Reservoir, which we accidentally reached via a walkers' path, much to the annoyance of a man who had lost control of his dog.
 
 
Here's today's route, which took us three and a quarter hours, including two tea breaks and stops for my puncture, Greg's mudguard which kept falling off, a phone call, and lengthy waits for the others whilst I laboured up the hills...
 

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Monday 7 October 2019 - The Savannah Jazz Band at Eagley Jazz Club

 
Another night of great trad jazz at Eagley, featuring from L to R - Bill Smith (Cornet), Sam Ellis (Trombone and Keyboard), Tony Pollitt (Bass), Roger Myerscough (Clarinet and Sax), John Meehan (Leader and Drums), Chris Marney (Banjo), and in the foreground - guest singer Alesha Harris.
 
Alesha (I think that is her name), a student in Manchester, hadn't played with the band before and did very well with the St James' Infirmary Blues and another song, before retreating to the background and winning the raffle.
 
In a week that saw the demise of 80 year old Ginger Baker, who I remember seeing on several occasions when he drummed with Cream, John's enthusiasm with his drum solo (see below) had some of us worrying about his own health...
 

Well done, everyone, that was most enjoyable, after the long drive back from Newtonmore in the rain, on our escape from the bed bugs of the Balavil Hotel - don't use room 26 if you stay there! We just hope that they haven't hitched a lift back to Timperley with us.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Pyrenees HRP - 2004 - Day 35

 
The view back up to Colomers Refuge
 
Sue and Martin's Big Adventure
 
Day 35 - Sunday 29 August 2004 - Stage 27 (continued)

Postcard Summary (on yesterday's card)
Relaxing Camp to Salardu
Nice morning descent through pine forest – 3.7 hours, 12 km, 100m ascent
An easy and pleasant descent in trainers to Salardu – a small village where a suitable hotel is found and we spend the afternoon washing selves and clothes before adjourning to a restaurant (late for us, they don’t open until 8.30 in Spain).  In between – beers and ice creams, and on the way down we enjoyed coffees at another hotel, which had an outdoor swimming pool.  All very decadent!
 
Diary Entry (by Martin)
We were asleep by soon after 9 pm after a very relaxing evening. The extra hour gained from not having to wait for Julie made a big difference. We woke to a (surprisingly) clear sky, 10°C, but it soon clouded over.
 
We got away from our relaxing camp by the lake (pictured - top), on a big but deserted path. The day trippers had not yet arrived - Spanish eat late and start late. We were soon below Colomers Refuge on a soft path through a pine forest.
 
At 10 o'clock we emerged onto a road and the Bahns de Tredos Hotel - quite new - not in Véron's book. As we had used all our treated water a café au lait was most welcome, and sped us, both now in trainers, on our way. Quite a posh place with a heated pool outside. Sadly, we also saw a very woolly dog with a pigtail.
 
As we continued to descend in thin sunshine and increasing cloud there were an increasing number of cars with their day trippers. The road was easy, our packs were light, and we soon reached the place where we could take a narrow path to Tredos, and on down to Salardu by 11.50.

 
 
 
Hereabouts there are a few very old buildings, but many many new buildings in this developing winter sports area. We wandered around and chose a hotel - Deth Pais Hotel - they seemed very quiet. We were quickly installed and immediately washed most of our clothes and used our two spare guy lines to ring a washing line on our small balcony.
 
The room is very comfy, and a rare TV opportunity brings us to a motor race from Spa - Schumacher got his 7th championship - and the last day of the Olympics. An interlude at a bar - mid afternoon - got us beers and tapas, to supplement our meagre Tex-Mex (tuna salad) lunch.
 
Then a look around the impressive old church before returning to our room as it started to spot with rain.
 
Nice meal at Restaurant Cabillac - paella - we were the only customers. Now out of season.
 
Spaniards - smell of talcum powder and leave a trail of tissues.
 
Latest kit failure - an eyeet on the KSB 300 GTX boots - 'mended' using Swiss army knife to thread lace through hole. Also, Sue sewed up Sprayway trousers.  
 
 
Stats and route (Viewranger):
12 km, 100 metres ascent, 3.7 hours 

 
 

Pyrenees HRP - 2004 - Day 34

 
Sue and Martin's Big Adventure
 
Day 34 - Saturday 28 August 2004 - Stage 27

Postcard Summary
Orchid Camp to lake near Colomers Refuge

Journey continues through magnificent high plateaus with lakes – 8.2 hours, 12 km, 800m ascent
We see no-one until having climbed to and descended from our first col, to a lovely blue lake, Estany de Mar.  An undulating path alongside it, then a descent through pines to a refuge, Refugi de la Restanca, that looks austere but quickly serves lovely hot chocolate!  This sees us up to the next col, where we lunch in the Aigűestortes National Park.  There are small lakes everywhere.  From the highest col of the day, very clear views of the area we’ve walked through in the last few days.  Descend to another refuge which provides cokes to take us off route to a lake to spend the night.  Yoga in the sun whilst waiting for a party of kids to leave!

 
 
Diary Entry (by Sue)
Another sunny day but only 6°C at 7.30 ish.

On dry days, the morning routine is as follows:
My alarm - 6.50 am - ignored as we enjoy the warmth of sleeping bags.
Martin's alarm - 7 am.
We dress in our bags, and the inner door is opened to put water on for tea.
We start some muesli and water in bed whilst the water boils.
Tea is made, and cools whilst sleeping bags and liners are packed.
Martin usually gets out of the tent about now' and I pass his things out, followed by mine. Karrimats are last out and first into the rucksacks.
We pack, clean teeth, and this morning were ready by 8.15 am.

My toilet spot was an excellent one this morning - I could sit instead of squatting. We burn toilet roll, also effective today with a slight breeze. We had seen no one since pitching camp yesterday, and were to meet the first people nearly an hour into the walk.

Under a cloudless sky we climbed to the Collado d'Estany de Mar at 2468 metres on a bouldery path. (Pictured above)

From the col, a lovely view of Estany de Mar. 
 
 
'Estany' is Catalan for mountain lake, and this one was deep blue. A steep descent to a sandy beach and a stop to change film, don t-shirts and look up a flower.
 
  
Giant Bellflower
 
 
White False Helleborine

The walk along the lake was very peaceful, although the path undulated. At the end of the lake, a view of the Refugi de la Restanca on the shore of the Estany de la Restanca, with pines and a rushing river. The descent was steep and the pines smelled lovely.
 
 
Despite looking austere, the refuge was welcoming and hot chocolates on the first floor were made instantly.
 
Arnica

 
Part of the reservoir system, seen from Refugi de la Restanca

 Another climb followed, to the lovely Estany deth Cap deth Port.
 
 
This was another blue lake with a scenic backdrop, then a further climb to the Coll de Crestada.
 
In usual weekend form, plenty of people are out for the day, most moving quickly. This col marks the entry to the Parc National de Aigűestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici, a national park we leave again just an hour later! Lunch on a grassy slope just after the col.
 
With bread gone we're on to Tex-Mex tuna, a brew, and a bit of chocolate and mountain mix. Views of the Estany des Monges. Today, high cloud is visible and we don't want to linger too long over lunch as the wind is cool. Next, another climb to a small col, then down briefly to the two Mangades lakes, again clear and blue.
 
Then the highest col of the day (2560 metres) Port de Caldes, from where we can see the area we've walked from in the last few days.
 
 
A delightful descent on a nice path, near burbling streams, to the Refugi de Colomers, where two cokes see us revived for a short climb to the lakes we camp by.
 
Today is a well-deserved 'short' day, and we settle by the lake at 4.25 pm, in the sun. Whilst Martin fetches water, I enjoy a long yoga session. Soup is made before the tent is pitched (in Spain bivouacing is allowed outside the national parks but should be between 8 pm and 8 am).
 
 
The group enjoying themselves by the lake leave us in peace to cook pasta. Then we escape the mosquitoes by going inside the tent, where mint tea and hot chocolate is on the menu (7.45 pm). We then had the luxury of reading for an hour until the light faded around 9 pm.
 
Stats and route (Viewranger):
12 km, 1000 metres ascent, 8.2 hours