Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 19 June 2021

Friday 18 June 2021 - A Walk Around Marple

This was the last in my current series of Friday morning strolls, and no more are planned at present as we will be away quite a bit over the next few weeks.

It was good to be joined by John B on this occasion, and as all the other 'regulars' had one excuse or another, it was just the two of us on a route that I had devised some weeks ago, based vaguely (and inadvertently) on a section of the Cown Edge Way. Anyone wishing to do the full 18 miles, let me know and we can sort something out.

Starting along the Middlewood Way from Rose Hill, we soon took a right turn towards Marple Wood, along paths I'd never been on before. 

After a while we entered woodland next to a golf course. At this point my digital mapping 'crashed' and we discovered that one bit of wood next to a golf course looks very much like any other bit of woodland next to a golf course! However, with the map reinstated on my 'phone, and with the aid of a friendly signpost next to which John (in his natty and very suitable footwear) posed for the picture above, we extricated ourselves from the wood after crossing Torkington Brook.

The path led us back to the Middlewood Way, not far from where we had left it for this minor exploration. John spotted a tree, below, that apparently is known as the 'weeing tree', to which junior rugby players with weak bladders are apparently directed in times of need.

These pages are littered with such interesting anecdotes!

Crossing the track of the old railway, we proceeded gently to the Macclesfield Canal - much older than the railway but still in use. (Which I suppose the railway is as well, in its way.)

After a walk along the towpath and leaving the canal at the bridge pictured above, we continued through pleasant countryside, with a pause for elevenses, towards Strines, coming across the Peak Forest Canal at a lift bridge from where the next picture was taken.

The Cown Edge Way soon left this towpath and headed through a buttercup meadow to our next obstacle, the River Goyt.

Luckily, there's a fine old footbridge at Strawberry Hill by which to cross the river. I was amazed that I don't recall being here before.

More meadow paths saw us proceed easily to Linnet Clough, where we said goodbye to the Cown Edge Way and descended to Bottom's Hall on a rocky path that I know well from mountain biking in the vicinity of nearby Roman Lakes.

At the bottom of the hill near Bottom's Bridge, we passed the fairly recently preserved remains of Mellor Mill, now nicely tidied up and home to various information boards such as this one. (Click on it for a bigger image.)

We enjoyed lunch here, before heading back up to the Peak Forest Canal via an excellent suspended path next to the (very much in use) modern railway.

A short walk into Marple, past the junction where the Macclesfield Canal joins the Peak Forest Canal, brought us to the interesting bridge at Brabyn's Brow, where there are two separate pedestrian routes under the road. Can you spot them both?

From here, a mainly off-road route using a series of convenient ginnels past back gardens, allotments and a cricket ground, brought us safely back to Rose Hill after a most satisfying, if not particularly strenuous, jaunt.

Here's our route - about 14 km, with around 250 metres ascent, taking us approximately three and a half hours.

Thanks for your company, John. It was good to see you and I hope we can get out together again soon.

Friday 18 June 2021

Thursday 17 June 2021 - A Sale Sizzler

It's a while since our last running race in September 2020 (at Tatton Park), so it was a pleasure to be able to cycle along to Wythenshawe Park last night to say hello to old friends and take part in the first of this year's 'Sale Sizzler' races, organised by Sale Harriers and by Fechin McCormick in particular.

It was good to see Mark Hunter, masked above, looking fit and well. I'll add a photo of me and Sue at the finish, if Kate will let me have it...

We arrived in plenty of time. There were lots of marshalls. Here, they are being briefed.

It was a lovely evening, with conditions pretty much perfect for the 500 participants, and the organisation went very well. "Don't warm up on the track!" (That doesn't affect me as I warm up by way of a slow first kilometre.)

We lined up in rows of five and groups of 30. The start went well and nobody seemed to be baulked as the faster runners started first and the slower ones like us were near the back. Here we are, approaching the start.

We both ran faster than expected. Here's Sue striding out to the finish.

And here's Fechin, about to announce the winners in each category. The winner flew around the 5 km route in 14:09, a course record I think.

Sue and I came home in our usual positions. I seem to make a habit of coming second in my category, but that's not bad for a 'jogger'. Sue judged things perfectly to finish 6th out of 13 in her category, in the position indicated by her number! Click on the image to see it properly.

That was a lovely event, and great to see so many people enjoying themselves.

Here we are at the finish, with thanks to Kate Holloway.

Thursday 17 June 2021

Some Birds from Cornwall

Neither my Lumix camera nor my Samsung phone are suitable for proper bird photography, but I did take a few pictures during our Cornish holiday, some of which I reproduce here.

The Wood Pigeons behaved much as they do in our garden.

Luckily we don't have Herring Gulls in Timperley. I fear they would be more of a nuisance than our resident - comparatively shy - Black-headed Gulls.

Not a bird, but a good spot - this little chap looked from a distance like a lump of sheep's poo.

As I sat on a bench at Lanhydrock, this couple nearly got tangled in my boot laces.

On the coast path, this Tiger Moth was very reluctant to move.

Leaving Boscastle, we couldn't help but notice a Herring Gull trying simultaneously to snooze and to balance on the top of a telegraph pole.

On the coast path, this Whitethroat seemed quite curious.

The Chiff-chaffs were more visually elusive, though we hardly ever seemed to be outside the zone of their constant chatter as we progressed along the cliff tops.

As we approached Tintagel, this Herring Gull had a more sensible resting place than the one photographed in Boscastle!

In addition to these, we saw the usual common garden birds, and an assortment of gulls that we find hard to identify. In addition to numerous Kestrels and Buzzards, we spotted a pair of Peregrines near Trebarwith Strand - sadly too high above us for a worthwhile snapshot.

No Choughs were seen. I think they live further along the coast towards Lands End.

Wednesday 16 June 2021

The Cantilever Rock

I'm short of time today, so a quick rummage through my pictures folder drew me to this, one of my favourite places. I posted the picture nearly a year ago at the height of Lockdown, here, but I'm more than pleased to return to the happy memory today.

Tuesday 15 June 2021

Coleton Fishacre - some flowers

It doesn't seem like nearly two weeks ago, but here we are on 4 June, enjoying lunch with Helen and Paul on the lawn at Coleton Fishacre.

The flowers, some of which are pictured - mainly by Sue - below, were in fine fettle.

Monday 14 June 2021

TGO Challenge - Wild Camps (No 66: 13 May 2016)

This was the second time I'd camped at Bealach Bhernais, the first time being on Day 1 of my TGO Challenge experience - the starting point for this series of postings. See here.

Sue and I took the same route as I'd done on 11 May 2007, but we pitched camp facing west, whereas on the earlier visit I'd used the other side of the bealach due to a brisk westerly wind.

A lone figure slowly made its way up the valley to the col to which we had descended. It was Humphrey. Sadly, our brew wasn't yet on, and he proceeded over the bealach towards a better party.

A little later, Richard Fuell appeared, looming over the tent with menaces. We gave him tea and pointed to a distant spot where he could set up camp outside the 'snore zone'. (He has a reputation!)

After a restful night, we woke in the old Nallo tent to another fine day at 580 metres (NH 058 448).