Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

15 July 1989 - Alta Via 2 - Day 2 - Bressanone to Wild Camp near Passo Rodella

Saturday 15 July (Diarist: Dave)

Woken by the resonating chimes of Martin W's alarm tower, against which the synchronised peep of my alarm seems puny.

Lots of repacking. John runs a bath for Laurie, but draws a line at scrubbing his back. Maps purchased at 5,000 lire. Good and varied serve yourself breakfast.

Final packing, then we set off at around 9 am. Laurie with his familiar grip not yet attached to his rucksack, but carried in his hand - makes it look very natural.
Cross river and lose Laurie. Martin W stays behind and the rest of us plod on.
We are aiming for the Seilbahn that will get us up the hillside. Dave gets a 1½ litre container of apple juice. MB looks for container to prevent his butter running over everything. John doesn't like the roads and traffic. Laurie looks for camera battery. The rest of us are given directions to the Seilbahn - we need to get need to get to San Andrea. This involves 500+ metres of ascent - very hot and sweaty.
Fortunately the cable cars are running and we rapidly climb from 1040 to 2040 metres, where we have an extended stop for food.
It's much cooler up here. Then it's a 400 metre slog up to Plose-Hutte.
Plose-Hutte (not pictured) is the official start of the walk, and our book was stamped thus:
At this point Laurie is struggling. Dave, Martin B and John go on ahead. Martin W and Laurie follow after a drink at the hut. Down route 6 to Sporthotel and along a road. gently rising. Many people. Gruss gott seems to be the favourite opening line, as in Austria.

Eventually go down a path through forest and find stream and campsite as per the Cicerone guide - 'possible wild camping'.
Here's our route - 14 km, with 550 metres of sweaty ascent. 
Next Day (tba)
Back to the start

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Tuesday 11 August 2020 - A Circuit from Drinkwater Park

Today's walk and its route were inspired by my desire to revisit the venue of a walk that Dave, Laurie and I enjoyed on 22 October 1995, the pictures from which outing I scanned yesterday. The sparse report and few images from that occasion were a bit meagre for a separate posting, so the old diary entry and pictures are appended to this entry.
Today the digital age ruled ok, and I took 79 pictures. I've managed to cull these to about 30, so bear with me... You can always click on an image and view the (not particularly exciting) slideshow.
The Drinkwater Park car park, at the end of Kersal Vale Road, seemed a good place to start, conveniently about half an hour from home. From there I crossed Agecroft Bridge, pictured above. The ornate waterworks bridge on the right was built around 1832 to house the Thirlmere Aqueduct.
My route took me past the massive cemetery, then past a chemical works. That works must be shut down, judging by the colour of the effluent. Past visits have revealed orange sludge the colour of the stone (if it is stone) under the grating in the next picture.
The Manchester skyline from the banks of the Irwell looks full of high cranes these days.
I crossed the footbridge that leads to Kersal. A dead crow languished under the girders, having got trapped in some wires.
The river was briefly re-joined. The familiar looking bridge is one that we cross on our bike rides to Bury. However, on this occasion I continued along the left bank towards The Cliff.
I was unable to find the boardwalk that I photographed in 1995. It was somewhere around here - it must have rotted away.
After entering mature woodland, dappled sunlight sprinkled the ground on the hot sunny day.
The Cliff is eventually climbed, past the debris from grand Victorian houses and their gardens that were the victims of a series of landslides in the 1920s and 30s, causing the houses to be abandoned.
Even some of the old tram lines at the top of the cliff have vanished into oblivion. The rubbish that I've noted on previous visits does seem to be slightly more under control today, with evidence of skips, and lots of 'No Dumping' signs.
The closest buildings to the cliff these days are some fine looking villas, like this one - Cliff House.
In the Speakmans' 'Best Pub Walks in and around Manchester' book, they mention the Horseshoe Inn and the Star Inn. Today, the former looks shut, but the Star is clearly open for business. I was too early.
I made my way to the delightful Broughton Park, in the centre of the area's Jewish community. Here, the swans and their two cygnets were lazily preening, before setting off on a tour of the pond.
There were coots, as well as these moorhens, and look at all that rubbish in the bottom picture, indicating there is still a serious 'rubbish' problem in this area.
If you click on the next picture you should be able to spot the swans.
I thoroughly explored the park, walking in a large circle, as I was seeking out the gothic spire of the United Reform Church and 'the sadly overgrown ruins' of the church. Here it is, much changed from the state it was in when we passed by in 1995.
After that pleasant surprise, I headed off past Crumpsall Metrolink station and on to the Irk Valley and Blackley Forest, near where I had my first house.
There was a sign regarding the boardwalk to the north of Blackley New Road.
Ignore the sign. It's fine.

At Victoria Avenue there's a fine bridge over the River Irk, with a plaque that remembers the councillors rather than the architect.
The Heaton Park Tramway looks pretty intact to me. It's a shame that they seem to have degenerated to little buses instead of the trams.
Having already stopped for a cuppa in Broughton Park, I was thirsty again on the ever hottening day, so I found a suitable bench. It turned out to be a new one, in memory of a parkrunner, Jim Smith. Heaton Park is a very well attended parkrun venue, in normal times, and Jim must have been a stalwart participant.

There were lots of people in the park; many families with children, and a good number of elderly folk as well.
A short stretch of tarmac took me past Prestwich Metrolink station and down Church Lane, where the Church Inn looked welcoming. A walk around the perimeter of St Mary's church led to a cobbled path down to Prestwich Clough, which was pleasantly cool and shady. 
A rat jogged along ahead of me.
After a section of path surrounded by 7 ft high Himalayan Balsam, the main cycle route number 6 was reached leading pleasantly back to Drinkwater Park and the small car park beyond a horse mounting stand.
Here's my route - 17.5 km, including a complete lap of Broughton Park and a few other extra bits. Without those it would be about 16 km (10 miles). There's only about 150 metres of ascent, and it took me rather less than 4 hours at a leisurely pace.
So how did we fare on a similarly sunny day in October 1995?
Here's my report:
Sunday 22 October 1995

Prestwich Forest and The Cliff

Another lovely day. 8 am start not really onerous due to clocks going back, and early rise to watch Schumacher win Japanese GP and his second F1 Championship running. I'd also recovered from the dampness of yesterday's Log Plume/River Rapids at Alton Towers.

Cloudless day; frosty early; autumn has arrived.Dave and I arrived at Laurie's in time for an efficient departure. Decided on a short walk as Dave had to return by 2:30 to get washed in time for the 5:30 train to his Gran's funeral.

Our chosen walk is 'Prestwich Forest and The Cliff', from Prestwich to Crumpsall via Prestwich Clough, Carr Clough, Prestwich Forest, Drinkwater Park, the River Irwell, The Cliff, Kersall Dale, The Star Inn (shut - we were too early), Broughton Park (a Yiddish enclave) and the sad remains of the United Reform Church.

(Walk 3 - Best Pub Walks in and around Manchester.)
This was a very pleasant six mile amble, with just a few strollers and joggers with dogs around. The only hikers were at our start at Prestwich Station, where ramblers were waiting for a coach to take them to their start from the place to which we had driven to start our walk!

Some sewerage/chemical smells on our route. Regeneration efforts in Prestwich Forest are well under way and to be commended. Lots of poplar trees, the white backs of whose leaves glinted cheerily in the sun.

The River Irwell section was a gentle stroll, but an upside down Vauxhall Astra did blur the river view. It looked recent, and as we wondered whether a call to the police may be desirable, two officers appeared.
Caption competition?
We passed the derelict ruins of the Victorian mansions on The cliff that have now subsided into piles of debris. A pair of sparrowhawks languished overhead as we progressed onwards to the delightful Broughton Park. The children's playground seemed a throwback to gentler days when there was no vandalism and life was sedate and sweet. (Was it ever.) The dog proof entrance gave the game away though, but inside the children played happily in the sun in a well equipped arena.

The Cliff - Boardwalk
Lost as ever - 'poor Laurie!'
 Broughton Park, and below 'the sadly overgrown ruins' of the United Reform Church
Remember these trams?
Our route on 22/10/95 - 10 km, taking a good couple of hours