Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Monday, 8 August 2022

November 2004 - The Annapurna Circuit - Day 22


Monday 22 November
A Walk to Nagarkot
Itinerary: DAY 22 Depart Kathmandu (Tour ends - Monday) Transfer to the airport for homeward bound flight. 

[Diarist: Sue]
A 5:30am wake up call ensured we were downstairs by 5:45 to say goodbye to Mark, Mary and Lindy, who are flying home today. 

After breakfast, the remaining three of us loaded our day sacs into the bus for the hour's journey to Dhulikhal. Traffic was fairly quiet leaving at 7am on the slightly misty morning. Finally, suburban sights were replaced by terracing, farm buildings, and haystacks. 

We are accompanied by Mahesh, and would have had difficulty route finding if on our own. Climbing a track at first, this soon dwindled to a narrow path,  contouring between terraced fields. As we rose, the mist and the noise of the road were left behind. Bird song, and the ring of Mahesh's phone replaced the toots. Pretty pink flowers filled some fields, and the sun shone.

After one ridge we dropped into a small village, where a line of school children stood in blue uniforms with their teacher. Their faces lit up, and they didn't cry out for "One pen" or "School pen".

Hay was drying in trees and there were stacks of corn outside houses. Women seemed to be happy working in the fields.





Another pine covered hilltop was crested and a steep and potentially slippery descent was negotiated before a stop on a broad ridge at about 1700 metres. 

The Radisson lunch box provided a snack in the hot sun. Then, more climbing through pine trees with a brown autumnal hue, sometimes quite steeply, to reach a dirt road at the top, just over 2000 metres. Not only did this provide more level walking, but lovely views to the Himalayan mountains to the north. 

The only traffic was tractors loaded with sacks of potatoes. Some distance later, after this shady section, was an open col, with a shack one side and around ten men from the Nepalese army lounging on the grass, rifles in hand. Three goats sat around, one happily eating a chain of marigold heads. They made short work of our banana skins too. Seated on benches, we ate lunch, while lemon tea was prepared inside the shack. Children stared and three lads turned up carrying a piece of heavy machinery.

More climbing after lunch, through green woods, to a viewpoint. By now, clouds had completely obscured any snowy mountains so we just watched the antics of others climbing to the lookout tower. A glimpse of Everest can be seen from here on a clear day. 

It was metalled road from here on, past army barracks and checkpoints, to the village of Nagarkot. High on a ridge, views are excellent. Our destination - the Fort Resort, at the end of the ridge up a steep hill! It is a red brick building with stone and wood carving around the windows, and has a terrace lined with pots of marigolds and other plants.



Here was the first rain of the trip, a short but sharp shower. Having finished walking around 2:30pm, we enjoyed beers in the dining room until 4 ish, chatting with Mahesh. Then, hot showers and a chance to catch up with the diary, along with a short doze under the duvet. 

There were only another six or so people in the chilly restaurant, but we had a very nice dinner of soup and curries. Mahesh joined us for a beer, but ate his dinner somewhere else. We had offered to buy his dinner, but the etiquette seems to dictate that he eats differently and has a different type of room - probably of a 'dorm' type. 

We introduced Mahesh to Uno and played a few rounds with him under Martin's watchful eye. He came second! He also told us about his wife, 'by an 'arrangement' and children - twins aged four and a half, and a two year-old. Whilst we played, hot water bottles were put in our beds, as there's no heating, and we headed for bed soon after 8:30pm.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

June 1977 - Snowdon, Ingleton, Blackley, Welsh 3000s, Three Peaks Challenge, etc

4 June 1977 - and I'm back at Pen-y-Pass at the start of the Miners' Track (above) for another walk up Snowdon. I'm not sure who my companions, if any, were on this visit.

I'll continue by way of captions, as I've found no diary for this period. If you click on a picture you might find a slideshow of better images, but the captions won't appear.

Cloud on the summit of Snowdon

Snowdon's south ridge, from below the summit, in clearing weather

A view back towards the summit, with Glaslyn

Moel Siabod from the Pyg Track

Snowdon, from the outskirts of Capel Curig

5 June - a day out to Ingleton, and the Waterfall Walk

At Thornton Force, with Pete Hill, Graham Forder and Rob Corbin

Meanwhile, Jubilee bunting at home in Russet Road, Blackley - see also here

12 June - driving back from a visit to my parents in Sudbrooke (Lincoln),
a lovely sky had me stopping to get the camera out

18 June - an attempt at the Welsh 3000s, with Paul (aka Angus) Wightman, John Howarth and Frank Brierley. I think we attempted sleep in the stone shelter on Foel Grach,
before rising with the sun on the Carnedd ridge

Looking ahead, from the Carn Llewelyn area on a rapidly warming day

The cloud dissolved from one side of the ridge, giving Brocken Spectres
as the sun cast our shadows against the remaining mist

The Glyders cleared ahead, as we proceeded over Carnedd Dafydd

Heating up nicely now, after a relatively sleepless night in the stone shelter, even though we had gained most of our height the previous day, the heat was now getting to us as we traversed the Carnedd summits.

We must have left the Mini Estate (Frank's?) at a Llyn Ogwen lay-by, and we decided to call it a day at this point. Frank and John were happy to stop. Paul's memory has jumbled several Welsh 3000s attempts, one of which he assures me was successful.


We drove down to Porthmadog for some R&R. Subsequent to this I was involved in numerous Welsh 3000s attempts, often in a 'support' capacity. Success usually alluded us. Eventually, on 5 July 2003, Sue and I finally did it, ably supported by Alan Roberts. Report here.

We admired Cnicht and the Moelwyns from a short stroll around Llyn Bach

Porthmadog harbour - 1977
(current pictures can be seen here)

I took a picture of Linda, a powerful engine built as an 0-4-0ST by the Hunslet Engine Company, Leeds in 1893 for main-line service on the Penrhyn Quarry Railway, at a cost of £800. Linda was sent from Hunslet on 6th July 1893, named after Linda Blanche Douglas-Pennant (1889-1965), the daughter of Edward Sholto and Blanche Georgina Douglas-Pennant. She had a derailment on 8th October 1958 and worked her last trip at Penrhyn on 11th July 1962 (breaking down at Felin-Hen). Linda was initially offered for purchase with a price of £1,500, a price considered too high by both the Festiniog Railway and Talyllyn Railway.

22 June - leaving the pub in Glenridding at closing time, Jim Bradley, Laurie Marshall and I admired copious numbers of glowworms as we ascended to the summit of Helvellyn, to admire the mid-summer sunrise.

No tent is needed, just a sleeping bag to keep warm

It was a lovely morning on which we descended slowly back to the car

There were good views up the valley beyond Patterdale

Lanty's Tarn was passed on the way down. 
I remember a slightly scary (due to being tired) drive back to Jim and Cathy's house in Whalley Range for some breakfast, before heading into work in Brazennose Street

On 25 June I was joined by Adam and Phil Hyde (of the brewery, but at that time Adam and I both worked for Thornton Baker in Brazennose Street) for an 'assault' on the Three Peaks - Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis. We left Manchester at 10:00 am and Bangor at 12:45. In those days the Three Peaks challenge was timed from 'feet in the sea' (Caernarfon or Bangor) to 'feet in the sea' at Fort William. Our walk started from Pen-y-Pass at 13:10, and we departed from there at 15:20. In the meantime Adam and Phil found time to pose on the summit of Snowdon, where they are pictured above in a cloud.

We got to Seathwaite at 19:02, and left again - having climbed Scafell Pike - at 21:42.
Glen Nevis was reached at 2:27 am on 26 June, and we got down from our ascent of Ben Nevis, to finish in the sea at Fort William, at 6:21. The photo above was taken during our descent from the Ben.

We were back in Hale outside Adam's parents' house, suitably armed with glasses of champagne, by 14:00 on 26 June, after a round trip of 878 miles in the car and a few more on foot, taking 28 hours and 30 minutes, the bit between Bangor and Fort William having taken 17:36. We all did it, and we shared the driving.

I must have spent the rest of the afternoon in Hale, as this picture taken on Great Ancoats Street on my way home to Blackley indicates that the sun was setting on a very successful weekend

On 29 June some of us nipped up to the Ram's Head near Oldham,
and Pete Hill enjoyed a dip in a reservoir in between beers

So that was June 1977; I feel exhausted after jotting out those captions - it was an active month!

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Friday = Isabella Day (17)



Due to my lingering Covid infection (no remaining symptoms) I was barred from contact with Isabella this week, so Sue went to her house in Didsbury and looked after her for the day there.

A visit to her local beach was in order.








Happy Days!

Meanwhile, from a solo trip along the Bridgewater Canal towpath, a late clutch of mallard chicks.


And a major incursion from a collapsed tree just beyond the Bay Malton.


There's just room for boats to get through.