Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 18 September 2021

Back in Porthmadog, and a parkrun, etc

We are back. Supping tea on the deck, after a two and a half hour journey, with a view of the harbour. 

On Thursday we had a 'canal by moonlight' walk home from Sale, where we had enjoyed a presentation by the climber, "I cut the rope", Simon Yates.

Earlier today Sue and I volunteered at Wythenshawe parkrun, where about 330 folk ran, walked or stumbled around the 5km course.

The occasion was overseen by recently liberated Oliver Cromwell, the graffiti accusing him of crimes against slaves (he perhaps has a lot to answer for, but slavery?!) having been removed as well as the fence around him.

Starting in a field, the runners nearly obliterated Sue, who was positioned in a hole that could have been an ankle wrecker had she not been there. Anyway, she survived the ordeal and the runners were soon paying homage to Oliver.

Later, Welsh Pony was being lovingly cared for just a few metres away from our abode in Porthmadog. 

Friday 17 September 2021

19 and 20 February 2005 - A Lake District Weekend

These pictures must have been taken with early digital cameras, in our 'textures' phase if the snap above is anything to go by. Two cameras were used, and I've tried to get the pictures and the text from my diary in roughly the correct order.

A Weekend based in Ambleside

Saturday 19 February 2005 - The Fairfield Horseshoe
Andrew, Sue, Richard, Jenny and I enjoyed the Fairfield Horseshoe, starting in Ambleside, ascending via Rydal Fell, and descending via High Pike and Low Pike on a sunny winter's day.

Andrew was staying at a nautically themed B&B - The Anchorage, and Richard and Jenny had booked the rest of us into a luxurious B&B, Brathay Lodge - £80 per night per room. We ate in a good nearby restaurant on both nights - The Priesthole.

Leaving Ambleside, note the 'fence slabs'

The Fairfield Horseshoe was a chilly place to be, with a sprinkling of snow on top, and a brisk northerly breeze.

With the wind chill it was about as cold as I'd recently been in Canada, although the actual temperature here was hardly as low as 0°C.

There were superb views on the frosty morning up to the horseshoe, and on the way back down over the Pikes.

It was a really clear day and most of the high summits were in view, Helvellyn appearing last as it was hidden. Only Skiddaw was not visible. There were good views back along Windermere and across to Blackpool Tower and some large 'vessels' far out in Morecambe Bay - oil rigs perhaps.

We reached the summit at about 1pm, in line with Naismith's timings, with which Andrew usually has trouble keeping up going uphill. But he was fine today and it was me if anyone who was lagging behind.

Finding a sheltered spot for lunch was hard, but we managed to find a space at the col before the ascent to Hart Crag.

There were lots of people about - probably 100 to 200 on this hill alone. Our ten minute stop reflected the conditions, and we had a much longer break later in a more amenable spot.

We ambled down, alternating the side of the wall and covering (Sue and me, anyway) all the little bumps on the way.

There was a bit of unexpected scrambling towards the bottom, but that didn't really hold us up on our way to a tea shop in Ambleside where apple pies were served - to Andrew anyway.

Then window shopping, jacuzzi at the B&B, and another nice meal.

Today's route - 18km with 1000 metres ascent (9:40am to 4:10pm)

Sunday 20 February 2005 - Loughrigg Fell and Silver How

Again, we walked directly from Brathay Lodge (a 'gold mine') [our one and only visit] who kindly let us leave our cars there, whereas Andrew was forced at great cost to move to the main car park (this allows a maximum stay of 9 hours, thereby prohibiting a long summer walk from Ambleside!).

It was another lovely clear, but bitterly cold, day, so we chose the lower climes of Loughrigg and Silver How. It took us an hour to reach the trig point on Loughrigg at 335 metres.

We then found a sheltered spot for elevenses. 

Then down and past High Close YHA, after which we lost most of the crowds for our pleasant ascent of Silver How - 395 metres - on firm ground.

On the summit of Silver How

The chill wind thereabouts soon had us heading off to the south, where we found an excellent spot for lunch high above Chapel Stile before descending steeply to the west of Raven Crag, in occasional snow flurries, to the tranquility of the Cumbria Way, past Wainwrights Inn and along broad, well populated, paths to the Honey Pot of Chesters tea shop - so full that we were forced to stay outside with our hot chocolate and cakes. This was no great hardship, and after more window shopping (some nice things to buy here, fortunately rather bulky!) we embarked on the last lap back over Loughrigg to get back to Brathay Lodge by 4:30.

Here's our route - 17km with 850 metres ascent (9:40am to 4:30pm)

Despite our worst fears, the line of traffic was steady, with no hold ups, and we were home by 6:30.

So that was an excellent, not too energetic, weekend in superb weather and with good company. We don't even need to wash our boots.

[I wonder whether this was the occasion when Andrew got stuck with cramp whilst negotiating a stile, rather hilariously causing a 'traffic jam' on the descent from Low Pike. Or was that on a later visit?]

Thursday 16 September 2021

The London Marathon 2021, and some Fundraising

Here we go again! I've started fundraising and would like to thank all those who have already donated - it's the charity that I've been supporting for many years - the Levana School Partnership, which raises money for pupils at two Primary Schools in a deprived area of Cape Town.

Click on this line to go to my JustGiving page.

Alternatively, click on the image above, or on the image that will appear on the right at the top of this blog whilst I am fundraising.

The picture shows me at the end of last year's 'Virtual' London Marathon (reported on here) that involved running around a local park for five and a half hours. That's about how long I expect to take on 3 October - old age is taking its toll and I'm 'running' rather slowly these days. The cap has gone as well, lost in the Lake District last week, so it has a garish replacement to go with some new Brooks running shoes. A sore heel has limited any 'training' to 5km a day. I've been walking or running 5km every day for over 450 days - maybe that's why I have a sore heel - so I'm planning to pootle round the course and simply try to enjoy the occasion.

Thanks, in anticipation if you haven't already donated, for your contributions, and hope to see you soon.

Wednesday 15 September 2021

More Pictures from Porthmadog

Day 1 - Morning Walk at South Snowdon Wharf

Here are just a few pictures from our most recent trip to Porthmadog. I've spent today indexing the photos - about 250 of them - a nice set of images, some will find their way into a 'Porthmadog 2021' Photobook in due course, but we'll have a couple more visits first.

Day 2 - At Portmeirion

Day 3 - On the New Precipice Walk above Mawddach

Day 4 - Looking down to Llyn Crafnant after descending from Crimpiau

Day 5 - The Footbridge across Llyn Trawsfynydd

Day 6 - Looking towards Birds' Rock

Mystery puffball - does anyone know what this is?

Day 7 - Lunch at Dolbadarn Castle

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Another Day, Another Summit

I'll not try to get anyone to guess the location of this much visited summit. It's Beinn an Dothaidh, just above Bridge of Orchy, on 1 March 2004. I seem to be equipped with three walking poles. (It does appear to be windy!)

Monday 13 September 2021

Saturday 11 September 2021 - Wythenshawe parkrun 439, and a visit to Bacup

While Sue went bellringing and the Barbers went to Alex Park for a head to head race that Laura won, I joined the usual gang at Wythenshawe Park for a relatively gentle 5km run.

After finishing I went back to boost Owen's support network, led today by Jan, in a pretty good time (36:27). These pictures show them on the way to and at the finish.

Then masses of folk adjourned to the Courtyard Tearoom. Our group of friends is expanding. Multiple tables are required...

Full results for the 289 participants are here.

Later, I went armed with a few portions of lasagne to see Kate and Jessica and friends, in Bacup. They have worked out a pleasant 2.7 km walk from Kate's house on the edge of the moor. The excuse for it being so short is Oscar's old age, and he still hasn't learnt how to pose for a photo!