Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 21 August 2021

Saturday 21 August 2021 - Another parkrun, Another Wedding, and Another Visit to Porthmadog

Today it was stalwart run director Dan and his partner Amanda who were the Wythenshawe parkrunners to get married. 

Congratulations to them - we hope you had a great day.

The 'likely lads', Nobby, Sheila, Jan and Ron were also in attendance.

As was another star amongst Wythenshawe parkrunners - Owen.

We didn't hang around with the 321 participants, as we soon headed off to Porthmadog, where we were joined by Mike and Sarah and Isabella. 

Friday 20 August 2021

Friday 20 August 2021 - More Blackberries

For the second time this year, I couldn't resist the lure of the blackberry bushes next to the canal towpath, just a few minutes walk from home. They will continue to ripen in huge quantities for some time, but I think we have enough now for lots of jam.

I wondered about the identity of the plant that at times obscures the blackberries. I think it's Russian Vine (Fallopia aubertii), probably leaning over from a garden that backs on to the towpath.

Thursday 19 August 2021

18 May to 6 July 1980 - A Compendium of Trips

It's raining outside, so I'm returning to 1980, and Volume 1 of the diary that was typed up in its entirety by Nick. This entry will take me up to the Lechtal Alps trip, after which there are fewer than a hundred more slides to scan from 1980. There were about 600 in total, most of which have now been disposed of. Let me know if you want any slide boxes, I have lots of them. The smaller boxes take 100 slides and the larger ones - which I'll come to in due course - take 1000 slides. I'll never scan them all!

'An Ingleton Investigation'

On 18 May a few of us went up to Ingleton and enjoyed the Waterfall Walk on a hot summer's day. There was a 20p charge for access to this walk. I think they charge a bit more than that now!

The picture above is of Beezley Falls, and the one below shows our gang crossing stepping stones near White Scar Cave.

A lone tree often provides foreground for the view towards Ingleborough, but on this occasion I appear to have substituted that with a lone cow...

Maggie, Ruaridh and Nick enjoyed a paddle en route.

We enjoyed the spray behind Thornton Force before wending our way back to Ingleton village.

The 'diary' was Nick, and he transcribed his jottings thus:

A few days later, on 24 May, some of us were admiring the Roman remains at Chollerford.

Bob and Annie were there, but the diary had been left at home.

However, the purpose of the trip - I think we stayed in Hexham for a couple of nights - was made clear from the next picture.

We haven't seen Dave and Linda for far too long, but coincidentally we plan to meet up in the Lake District in a couple of weeks time.

Whilst D and L embarked on their honeymoon, a visit to Peel Crags and Crag Lough seemed appropriate.

Then we visited Vindolanda, and went home.

'Wet Wales Weekend Wander'

On 31 May five of us - me, John, Dave, Nick and Ruaridh, set off on what was named the 'Wet Wales Weekend Wander'. Our Friday night camp at Llyn Tecwyn-Isaf certainly looks a tad damp - what a contrast to the recent Glencoe weekend!

The next picture re-emerged regularly in the 1980s. I'm sure Nick can provide an appropriate caption!

We spent Saturday bumbling about the northern Rhinogs in the rain, recorded below in five lines of diary entry. Here's Nick on a Nature Trail near Dinas.

On the Forestry Trails, this weekend's pictures are very poor, even with the help of Photoshop.

After a march across forestry land to the east of Rhinog Fawr, Dave catches up with yesterday's diary entry, as Nick is champing at the bit to get going with the entry for 1 June.

Boggy  paths led back up to the ridge.

Here's John ascending towards Clip

We reached the 1937 ft summit of Clip, admiring views towards Snowdon to the north.

Here's the view in the direction of Porthmadog.

The weather had cheered up by now, and we found a good spot for a relaxing lunch.

After that we ambled back to the car at Llyn Tecwyn-Isaf at a steadily increasing pace due to John's worries about catching his train back to Darlington. He missed it so was home very late. The rest of us adjourned to Rusholme for a curry - a very common conclusion to a weekend in those days.

Here's our diary entry. The walk seems to have been based on an article by Mark Richards in Climber and Rambler magazine - April 1979 (I can't find my copy!).

The route appears to be roughly as shown below - 19 km with 850 metres ascent on the Saturday; 17 km with 700 metres ascent on the Sunday. (Click on the image for a better version.)

Sometime in June, I must have escaped from work to take a few pictures of the Mayor's Procession. Such events were quite common back in those days, and a procession of 'floats' always passed through town, fundraising, during Rag Week. 

Times have moved on.

'Lakes and Other Water'

The next diary entry, for 14 and 15 June - the last entry in Volume 1, and the last of Nick's typing marathon of all that diary's entries, is shown below. It's not illustrated as I wasn't there, and I don't have pictures from any of the participants, one of whom remains a mystery 'Ian ?'. However, I've included it here for the benefit of the participants, who will no doubt remember it well.

'Mucky Marshy Muker March' or 'Tanhill Trundle'
Dave, Nick, Colin, Ruaridh, Martin

"Don't expect anything fancy at the start of this diary - Dave did it." - N (I've edited it - Ed)

Met in Cox's Bar. Colin late, Nick and Martin early. Set off for Muker. Stopped at excellent food pub, the Boar's Head, somewhere on the way to Settle. Set up camp mainly in the dry!!!! at Muker, 308 yards west of the westside Muker signpost. Excellent sleep.

In the morning we had a Mrs Beeton style breakfast - take 12 eggs, 1 pig, 1 loaf of bread, etc etc.
Re-packed tents in the rain. Nick and Dave demonstrating their amazing technique of packing rucksacks and tents without getting wet. Meanwhile in the other tent they had just finished washing up.
Ruaridh produced an ice axe!! Had a rucksack weighing session. Nick's was heavy, and I quote "I'm a man, I can take  it" (to laughter in the background).

Set off for Gunnerside. Got lost in Muker.

Lost in Muker

An old lady set us off on our way. On the wrong footpath. [20 items of wildlife listed.] Crossed a good bridge, 3' wide. Nick, Dave and Martin sped on to the pub in Gunnerside and therefore avoided the rain. Colin and Ruaridh lagging behind, arrived 30 minutes later, looking very wet. Excellent beer.

Sometime during the proceedings I took this picture and captioned it 'Yellowhand Ruaridh'

The River Swale near Gunnerside

Outside the pub in Gunnerside

Walked up a valley and stopped for dinner. Martin and Nick killed a rabbit. A sumptuous feast was eaten. Met some Dutch people ("You can tell by their waterproofs" - Nick).

Turned right after some old mine workings. We all declined to go down a tunnel. Came upon a Dr Who landscape with three abandoned diggers in various states of decay. [More flora and fauna listed.]

Turned left onto another moor. Then more moors. Dave zoomed off in front. Nick lagged behind. Ended up going across bumpy ground. Colin nearly got five broken ankles. Eventually arrived at Tanhill Inn, half way along the Pennine Way.

Pitched tents away from noisy generator. Colin, Ruaridh and Martin in Vango Mk4, Dave and Nick in TrampII. Had meal. Chicken, rice, onions, peppers, mushrooms, mixed herbs and grass. For the second time, Dave was not allowed to use his plate. Got all five of us into the Mk4 for dinner and a discussion on people's dirty habits, especially Colin's. [All bizarre, except for 'sleeping on roofracks - Ed]

Went to boozer.

Woke to a cup of tea from Nick. Sun pouring into the tent. Breakfast of bacon and tomatoes. Martin showing the cool sophisticated look with his half pair of jodhpurs. Lots of inquisitive hungry sheep. Inter tent warfare involving tins being chucked at each other. Dave was allowed to use his plate for the first time. Once again Nick and Dave were ready to leave 30 minutes before the others.

Set off down groove at 10:07. Quickly got lost in the groove 3½ miles out. Regained the track but went wrong yet again. Kept on path into Keld. Met our first people of the day here. Decided that there was no pub in Keld. Turned left (east) to go down Swaledale. Stopped by river for a brew up. Martin got attacked by midges and moved uphill, followed by the other two Mk4 people. Nick and Dave, being 'men who can take it' stayed behind, whereupon the midges left and followed Martin up the hill.

Nick and Dave found the others on top. Still eating and being eaten. Nick found a map in the river at Malham Tarn. [He must have been teleported there!]

Dave [solely responsible for this trip's diary entry] walks in front, giving rise to moans from the rear of the party. It seems he can't do anything right cos when he lags behind they also moan. Life's not fair, aaargh.

Set off down valley. Slight breeze cooled us down. Ruaridh got left behind looking at wild flowers. Saw farmer rounding up sheep. Hit the road to Muker, then returned to Manchester via Colin's house and an Indian meal.

Here's a very rough guess as to the route - about 32 km, with 900 metres ascent.

TGO Challenge - Wild Camps (No 70: 22 May 2016)

Our fifth and final wild camp on our 2016 crossing was at NJ 214 046, at 820 metres, on Cairn Sawvie, by Brown Cow Hill. Another comfy spot at the top of a mountain.

This was three days after our previous wild camp, as we had enjoyed the luxuries of Kinross House B&B in Grantown-On-Spey, and Argyle Guest House in Tomintoul.

From here we would be camping all the way to Montrose, but staying at recognised camping places in Ballater, Tarfside and North Water Bridge, before heading for the coast at Kinnaber Links, via the delights of Charleton fruit farm.

So that's goodnight to the entries for 2016. Next up - 2017, and a solo crossing for me.

Wednesday 18 August 2021

Spring Gentians

Spring Gentians are a common sight on alpine hillsides, with their five-petalled blooms with a white centre. Colours vary from pale blue to a vibrant deep blue. Bright green lance-shaped leaves are clustered around the base. A distinguishing feature is the calyx with narrow wings. They are commonly found in meadows, and on rocky terrain up to a height of around 3000 metres.

The specimen pictured was seen on 19 June 2006, on the ascent of Pimene, near Gavarnie in the Pyrenees. (Another trip to write up; another place to revisit!)