Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 18 July 2020

TGO Challenge - Wild Camps (No 21: 15 May 2009)

After a dampish walk from Dalwhinnie, on a cold, blustery, showery day, we stopped in the shelter lee of a sparse copse, finishing our walk around 4 pm, about two and a half hours earlier than planned. That was due to the imminence of a storm that was soon lashing the tent.
The only people we saw all day were four more Challengers, all of whom have become good friends. We met them shortly before setting up camp - Heather, John, Peter and Barbara.
 Whilst Sue and I lounged in our tent, they all plodded on in the rain...

Friday 17 July 2020

Friday 17 July 2020 - A Stroll Around Lindow Moss

Whilst Sue went off to work, I was joined by Andrew, Paul, Graeme and Sue W, for this gentle stroll around Lindow Moss with plenty of time for 'catch-up' chatting. We hadn't seen Paul or Andrew since Lockdown in March, and it's a long time since I'd seen my former colleague Sue W.
We started by walking around Black Lake (below), repeating a (not)parkrun 5km route that Sue and I reccied last Sunday. The remaining photos are from that visit.

The path goes through a strip of woodland within the Moss area. Today there was a convoy of heavy machinery making a huge din in the area of peat next to the path on which Sue is pictured below.
Eventually we joined a tarmac lane with some pleasant front gardens in front of the houses. At one point this bank of Yellow Loosestrife provided a splash of bright colour.
Here's the 5km route, taking 40 minutes with Sue last Sunday, and an hour and a quarter on today's gentle stroll.
It's a great (not)parkrun route...

Thursday 16 July 2020

A Lockdown Project - TGO Challenge 2007 - The Book

My first TGO Challenge walk across Scotland was in 2007, before I started this 'Postcard from Timperley' blog. In those days I used as my blogging medium, and I reported on the walk here.
In addition to that, I wrote a detailed diary, and I took nearly 300 photos. So a nice thing to do during Lockdown has been to produce a book of the walk, using typed out diary entries and indexed pictures.
A few minutes spent every day for a couple of weeks resulted in a forty odd page book. After being disappointed with the margins of my previous (HRP 2004) effort, I chose the 'Lay Flat' option, and as you can see from the double page below, that eliminates any margin issues and allows more flexibility regarding the presentation.
I'm very pleased with the result.
About £40 from 'Photobox'. If anyone is thinking of doing something similar, I can provide a few tips if you care to contact me.

Wednesday 15 July 2020

TGO Challenge - Wild Camps (No 20: 13 May 2009)

After a great day on the Creag Meagaidh ridge, despite the cold easterly wind, Sue and I descended to camp at around NN512909 beside Allt Crunachdain, at about 430 metres (above).
The weather stayed fair, and we slept well despite a few lumps, waking to another clear, sunny day.
A short walk down to Loch Laggan brought us to fine views across the Loch, with the snow capped Ben Nevis range standing clear in the distance.
From here, we had an enjoyable walk to the fleshpots of Dalwhinnie.

Tuesday 14 July 2020

'Another Ardlui Amble' - 29 to 31 January 1988

I've reported on the equivalent 1985 trip here, and the 1986 trip here. There may be more reports in due course...
There follows the diary entry for the trip, written mostly by Ian and Laurie. I've added a couple of maps, and inserted the pictures roughly where appropriate. 

29 to 31 January 1988 - Another Ardlui Amble 
Friday (Diarist: Ian)

Everyone except JM assembled in Manchester at 4:30 to 5 pm to be picked up by Martin. That's Dave, Ian and Laurie. Reached Carlisle at 7:34, just as John walked out of the station.

After a swift Little Chef visit, we arrived at Ardlui just after closing time. Shame. Pitched tents in the dry, on the soggy campsite - it's very mild. Good drive by Martin.

Saturday (Still Ian)

Weather dry - left campsite about 9:15 and drove round to a parking space beyond Tyndrum to attempt Ben Lui. The stepping stones mentioned in the SMC guide failed to materialise so Martin Dave and John cross with boots on, while Ian and Laurie paddled across in bare feet. (See above.) Dave and John got wet feet  but Martin's 2-day old Scarpa Manta 5 Speeds didn't leak or give blisters!
The path then led up the side of Eas Daimh, where Ian misidentified the mountain we were aiming for.
The path then headed up the hillside beyond a deer fence.
Everyone was getting hot, and started to remove clothing. After protestations from the rest of the group, Laurie kept his trousers on but added visual pollution to the noise pollution of his Walkman by removing his shirt.

The trail got fairly icy as we overtook another party (they were psyched out by the sight of Laurie, who eventually put a shirt on after complaining of icicles under the armpits!)
The white out on top was such that everyone - especially John - was worried about inadvertently walking off the edge of the ridge. The white out also gave extreme trouble in identifying the summit. Dave still thinks we didn't reach it.
After a short rest we set off down to the col for lunch. Unfortunately we set out in the wrong direction (SSE) and only realised after several lunchtime cols had been passed - each lower than the last!

A long contour around the mountain solved the problem, ending with Martin almost walking over the edge of the ridge we were aiming for. We then descended to the col we had originally aimed for at lunchtime, during which time the party inadvertently split up when Dave, John and Laurie failed to keep up with Ian and Martin's slithering. So Ian and Martin slowly set off up Beinn a' Chleibh, looking for the others (who had stopped to put crampons on - so we wouldn't have seen them) and reach the top without a struggle.

The weather was getting unpleasant so we finished Martin's coffee and descended fairly rapidly, Ian nearly going over the edge this time, until we got back to the col. We then set off down to the Eas Daimh and saw the others almost immediately. (They seemed not too pleased at not being able to keep up!) An uneventful bum slide and walk back followed.
(Continued by Martin)

Dave and John adjourned to Martin's Vango Mark 4 in squalidity, whilst Laurie, Ian and Martin adjourned to Martin's Vango Mark 5 with extended flysheet in Lauridity.

At best the noxious vapours which jet propelled Dave up the hill were not present in our tent. However, the ubiquitous snoring of our neighbours which had given Ian a sleepless night on Friday was evident even at this hour (6 o'clock).

We had in fact had a pleasant splosh back across the river, this time Laurie being the only extreme person to remove shoes and socks to cross.

By this time our view of the red sky was accompanied by a tired Glaswegian who finished up in the boot of the Sierra, with all the rucksacks, for a lift back to Tyndrum.

Lots of nosh, Earl Grey, etc, Laurie being the most imaginative, and benefiting from Martin's condiments; Ian doing quite well despite a lack of stove. The Mark 5 occupants miraculously avoid any major spillage / disasters.

Also the Mark 5 is accompanied by resident, universal size type, WELLIES, not courtesy of Tyndrum's Green Welly Shop, but it still works, courtesy of Roger Freeman and British Rail, and not of wallies looking for donations to their pool fund, (which Martin and Ian willingly give).

Sunday (Laurie)

Quite a late start, with two brews and a truncated breakfast consisting mostly of biscuits. It started to rain heavily when we thought about de-camping - the pace picked up as the rain thinned. Ian pushed the packs into the back of the car with effective enthusiasm (perhaps he was assisted in this by the contents of a mystery package marked 'Produce of Colombia').

Once loaded, we decided on Beinn Narnain, the first Munro that anyone mentioned. Laurie realised he was navigating about 100 yards before Succoth, our starting point (just past Arrochar). There were a lot of cars parked by Succoth already.

Ascent of the valley side was steep and direct, following the remains of a mine-wagon hauling railway littered with interesting black glistening stones. Then a contouring track led round into the Allt a' Bhalachain valley which separates Beinn Narnain from The Cobbler.
Soon this became wet and boggy, so we ascended over soft ground and soft wet snow into a coire leading to the middle of the summit ridge. The snow thickened and the way got steep: progress was tiring with unpredictably sinking steps. The sun made faint-hearted appearances as we came on to the ridge. The final ascent twisted round blocks of rock and small crags, interesting enough in parts to discourage Dave from going to the top.

Laurie hacked the trig point number free of ice and recorded it in his filofax.

Careful descent to the col and Dave, then back along the ridge. The way off involved a climb down of about 20 feet with extremely cold handholds - which we put off a while by having our lunch first.
Back at the car much too late for John's Carlisle train connection - hence a more interesting journey to Manchester via Penrith and Darlington.

Monday 13 July 2020

Kayaking on the Bridgewater Canal

I was happy enough to go canoeing with Sue and Jenny last week, but when it came to sitting in a puddle in a kayak for a couple of hours, I was happy to leave them to it.
However, when I could just about see the tips of their paddles through our study window, I decided to pop out and say hello. As I suspected, they were immersed in puddles, but they looked happy enough until it became apparent that my visit was driven more by voyeurism than by a desire to supply refreshments.
The next photo was supplied by Jenny (thank you), taken before they adjourned to Jenny's house to hang their knickers out to dry.
As with the canoes, these kayaks were hired from the people who operate from the space under the bridge next to the King's Ransom in Sale.

Sunday 12 July 2020

Saturday 11 July 2020 - A Bike Ride to Bacup

A visit to the grandchildren in Bacup. I went by bike. It took a little over four hours, plus a coffee stop with Alan and Sheila in Slattocks.
It's a straightforward route along the Bridgewater Canal towpath, then through Manchester on the Rochdale Canal link.
Beyond Piccadilly, the Rochdale Canal took me past Newton Heath, where the maceration of a nice area of greenery that I'd seen on previous visits has now mutated into a fully blown building site.
Before long, the canal becomes a ribbon of green through an industrial landscape.
It makes its way inexorably up towards Rochdale, with many locks to be negotiated.
One small section of canal has been drained just now, and there were no barges in evidence.
I stopped at Slattocks to see Alan and Sheila. It was good to see you, and thanks for the coffee.
Soon after the next view, and shortly after passing under the M62 motorway, I left the towpath.
A signposted route towards Heywood took me down a very pleasant path beside a golf course, during which I stopped for lunch in a field.
A track past Crimble Mill led past an attentive mother and some foals.
Gently rising roads led to a steeper bridleway that led inexorably over Rooley Moor.
It took me ages to reach the high point, after a few false summits. Photography was used as an excuse to have a rest. I'd been over here before, when doing the Mary Towneley Loop. I was even more tired on that occasion.
Soon after the summit, I left the Mary Towneley route in order to make a more direct descent to Bacup. Beyond the section where the next photo was taken, it got very rough, leading to disappointingly slow progress down the hill. Even after tarmac was reached, there were aggressively deep drainage channels every 30-40 metres, so progress was still slow there. However, there were lovely clear views of the Pennines.
Having reached Bacup, Jacob insisted that I go for a ride around the estate with him. Luckily, he relented as to the urgency of this trip and allowed me to drain my flask of tea before setting off again.
Even more luckily, Sue was there with the car, so I didn't have to cycle home!
I forgot to take any family photos, so you'll have to picture us sitting on folding chairs outside Kate's house, playing on bikes / scooters / board games / iPads, whilst chatting to neighbours and eating fish and chips out of greasy paper. Wonderful!
Here's my route - 50 km (32 miles), with about 650 metres ascent.
The details up to Slattocks are obvious, and the route over Rooley Moor is also clear, but the map below shows my very satisfactory route between the two.