Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 25 July 2020

Friday 24 July 2020 - The Dream (2)

For my second visit to 'The Dream', a sculpture beside the M62 near junction 7, I was joined again by Keith and Carol, and by Paul S.
My first visit was on 17 January 2018, on which I reported in detail in connection with the 2009 sculpture.
Beyond Cranshaw Hall, a good path next to the A557 leads past an overgrown field path to the loopline that leads due north to pass under the motorway.
Today, the verges next to the A557 were laden with flora.
The disused railway (loopline) led all the way to the coal mining debris/spoil heap on which the sculpture has been constructed.
We paused here for coffee/tea/brownies, together with various other visitors on this fine, humid, overcast day.
Some active forestry work has closed some of the paths, but hopefully the relatively new (hilly) parkrun route will survive to welcome both residents and tourists in the not too distant future. Just 40 minutes from 'home', this is an obvious target for the Wythenshawe tourists, once that activity gets going again.
A field path led us deceptively away from the planned route, to this view back across a field, before entering tight woodland instead of the easy stroll down School Lane.
Across the A570, we passed a garden that is absolutely laden with flowers.
Around here there's lots of unwelcome Ragwort. Keith usually volunteers to clear that and other invasive species, but that activity has for some reason not yet been released from Lockdown .
Before reaching Pex Hill, a view across the fields revealed The Dream, poking out in the distance to the right of Keith's head.
Pex Hill is a small park based on an old quarry. It serves as a training ground for aspirant climbers from Liverpool, despite a plethora of warning signs.
Lots of vertical walls and hand and foot placements are smudged with chalk, and can you spot the climbers?.
Continuing problems with Garmin's websites have led me to download the route to Anquet OMN, which I still haven't mastered. It's shown below by way of a series of light blue blobs. We went anti-clockwise around the 13 km route, taking about 3 hours including our break at The Dream.
The obvious route back from Pex Hill was blocked by construction work, so we had to walk around three sides of a square to get back to the cars. (Click on the image for a better version.)
As an aside, I'm jealous of Keith's forthcoming 'Walker's Haute Route' trip. If it's any help, my report on a walk from Zermatt to Tasch a couple of years ago is here. If the Europaweg Hütte in Täschalp is shut for the season, a 500 metre ascent would take him up to Täschhütte.
As regards the suspension bridge, this posting offers an explanation as to why the bridge should have been extended since my last visit. The path beyond the bridge does look a bit susceptible to rockfall!

Friday 24 July 2020

Thursday 23 July 2020 - An Evening Stroll around Mobberley

For the inaugural 'Evening Walk in Deepest Cheshire' of the season, Andrew got a good turn out, as can be seen above, on a pleasantly warm evening. It was good to get together, as we are slowly released from Lockdown.
Andrew chose a route of about 4.6 km from the church in Mobberley. The Church Inn, opposite, was doing business, but we aren't quite ready for that yet. A couple of dog walkers and some farm vehicles were encountered, but otherwise we had the fields to ourselves.
Given his chronic hip problem, I was surprised to see such a formidable stile as the one below included on Andrew's itinerary!
Near the end, we passed the Bull's Head, an active hostelry with visiting cyclists and lots of space - an important commodity in the new world of 2020.
Across the road, whilst the Roebuck Inn proclaims that it is 312 years old, it wasn't open tonight.
From the Roebuck, we went round the corner to admire Bridget's garden, and in particular her hedgehog house and video recorder, which I'm told got good pictures of our legs, if no other wildlife  at the time. We do hope that Bridget gets some interesting sightings. We think we have hedgehog poo outside our own back door, so a similar recording gadget would be good to have. Who knows what fun is had in our garden overnight!
I recorded the route on my Garmin 35, but Garmin seems to be the victim of a ransomware attack that has blocked the usual processing of information from the gadget. I can find the .fit file that recorded our route, but I've been unable to convert that to a .gpx file that my Anquet mapping software will recognise. Further, I'm still struggling with Anquet OMN mapping (their latest and far from simple version), so the following image shows a rough guess at the route we took, by way of a pale blue line with no arrows. We went clockwise. I'll replace this with a more accurate route in due course if Garmin recovers its composure or I find a way of converting the .fit file.
We went 4.6km, taking 1 hour 20 minutes, so the following 5 km route is patently incorrect...
Anyway, it was a lovely evening, and good to at last enjoy a summer evening walk, in a series that usually starts in April. (Shame about the lack of beer, though.)

PS Garmin recovered after a week, and the actual route was this one:

Thursday 23 July 2020

26 and 27 March 1988 - A North Yorkshire Moors Backpack

Here's another blast from the past - rare visit to the area where I spent my teenage years and did my first backpacking some twenty odd years before this 1988 trip. I've tried to slot in the pictures in the appropriate places as per the hastily composed text of our diary, but I may not have succeeded. Never mind!
26 and 27 March 1988 - North Yorkshire Moors Backpack
First Backpack of 1988 (Diarist: Martin)

Due to work pressures, Martin's new walks program had not yet been distributed, but hearsay brought Martin to Burton Road by 6:30 am. And thence with Dave to Hurworth for 8:45. The anything but dynamic trio eventually left Grosmont soon after 10 am, after an extensive tour of an alleged car park there.

The riverside path to Egton Bridge was quite scenic, especially the part submerged tour bus which had come to grief in the ford.
Lots of Daffodils, Violets, Butterbur, Celandine and other earlier plants, and Catkins, Primroses etc.
Dave was nearly knocked down by a horse and rider whose path he blocked.
We missed the stepping stones first time, then had fun on the submerged one when crossing. The river is in spate.
On up paths around Egton Grange, and on to Pike Hill Moss via a long lunch stop at Grange Head in a sheltered spot out of the strong wind.
Dave's Tandoori chicken turns out to be Chinese chicken. Two brews for me. John eventually condescends to join us for lunch. Some weird self-timed photos - no handy rocks.

A tramp through the heather - we had lost the path - brought us back on course and we soon reached the road to Hamer House. John dived Into the woods whilst Dave and Martin rested in the shelter of the trees.
On to Hamer, where John gets his directions confused and tries to leave the road from the wrong side. There is not a Lyke Wake walker to be seen. We head cross country in the unrelenting gale towards Northdale Farm and down a muddy valley to Rosedale.
The campsite welcomes us at 4 pm, with a fee of £1 each and a 2-page set of rules. There are several others on the large site. It's a good pitch.
Dave kips listlessly, after being frightened by Martin's stories of (mystery, intrigue and) higher rates of taxes.

John snores comfortably; hard working, knackered, and with no such concerns.

Beef stew for Dave and John. Soup with frankfurters and tuna (very filling) for Martin, and at 8:30 the merry band awakes, to venture in the FRESH conditions to the Milburn Arms, which is an active pub.

"Juke" box is initially uncomfortably close, but Animals / Moody Blues classics are later appreciated.

Dave laments the non-eating of his pristine pudding. Martin took lots of photos on this dull day. 400ASA rules ok!

John describes how to eat beef stew (Campbell's): " Wait till it gets dark so you can't see wot you're eating; borrow a tin opener. Eat. (Saves on washing up)".

Dave describes his addiction to sleeping ("kipping") whilst camping.

We agree that backpacking is our bizarre excuse for a rest and lots of sleep, with intermittent but brief periods of exercise.

No one else seen out walking all day.

Lots of regenerating heather about.

Birds: Robin, Blue Tit, Lapwing, Mallard, Grouse, Pheasant, Skylark, Dipper, Carrion Crow, Magpie. 

Sunday: (Martin) 

First people seen are at Wheeldale, where we stopped for lunch in the sun by the stepping stones after a pleasant, mainly woodland, stroll from Rosedale past St James's Farm. John has another forest diversion in aid of bowels.

The last bit before the Roman Road was a bit of a drag with cars present on the track. Thankful it wasn't summer - no dust problem today. Spanish Pyrenees style of track, but not so dusty.
People come and go at the stepping stones (far right in the above picture) whilst Martin enjoys Tandoori chicken again, and Dave and Martin savour second brews.

Finish lunch at about 3 pm - partly due to losing an hour last night.
On to Grosmont by 5:30, along the scenic West Beck and Esk Valley. A bit of mud wasn't deterring the day trippers on this delightful afternoon stroll. The sun shone, and I easily got through my second film of the weekend. Lots of pictures of the photogenic Mallyan Spout.
There were at least two locos in steam on the North Yorks railway, plus some derelict ones looking for volunteers to commence some mammoth tasks.
Here's a rough approximation of our route - 40 km with 900 metres ascent. Another one that I'd be delighted to repeat.
Uneventful drive to drop off John (who forgot to pay) at Hurworth, then on to a Little Chef at 7 pm. It was doing a roaring trade on the A1, but the road wasn't too busy.

All fairly tired, and feeling our feet. 

Dave's Report:
Dave used his old Totem Senior rucksack due to his Jag being in for repairs. This rucksack had not been used for walking since late 1979.Fortunately, like Martin, I was very lightly laden and it wasn't too uncomfortable, but having a bog with a split compartment made carrying the Vango Mk4 tent poles interesting, as they towered above me and kept hitting trees.

We decide not to believe a story in 'The Great Outdoors' magazine about a couple who keep their trousers immaculate by ironing them with rocks heated on their stove!

Nor do we believe stories about:

1. oxygen starvation in tents, and

2. 'Head-Pak' - the new way of carrying gear (April '88 issue).

Dave is still having blister problems with his new boots - large plasters needed to prevent trouble.