Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 9 July 2022

Alderley Park parkrun #2

Sue and I had the pleasure today of being some of the 210 participants in just the second parkrun at Alderley Park. It was a lovely warm morning, and around a dozen familiar faces from Wythenshawe parkrun could be found tasting this new undulating course through pleasant woodland.

Some of the Wythenshawe 'team' are pictured below.

The course was delightful. I wasn't after a fast time, so was happy to stop and take a few photos that I hope capture the ambience of the occasion.

After finishing, some of us backtracked to find Owen and rescue him from the clutches of the Tail Walker.

He was cheered in accordingly, and then some of us enjoyed coffee and cake outside the restaurant.

What a lovely way to start the weekend!

Full results are here, but none of us was trying particularly hard today.

Friday 8 July 2022

Friday = Isabella Day (13)

Isabella is still suffering pain from her emerging back teeth, but we had another lovely day with her, including a trip to Walton Park for football, swings, roundabout, slide, rocking horse, latte, etc. 

Here are just a few of the less embarrassing pictures...

"Now then, who can I be impersonating!?"

"The wheels on the bus go ..."

Back at home, Grandma Sue had to leave early for a cream tea appointment, so Izzie and I had a nice time together, with some favourite nursery rhymes being just one of our activities before she sat obediently on a table in the garden while I pegged the washing out. As always, it was a pleasure to have you, Isabella.

Thursday 7 July 2022

Thursday 7 July 2022 - Gwastadros

Walk number 21 in Alex Kendall's 'Snowdonia: South' book was conveniently situated on the way home. It was just 3km and a couple of hundred metres of 'up' to get to this modest 360 metre summit with wide ranging views.

The final bit of ascent was a bit tussocky and boggy, but we managed fine in our trail shoes and kept our feet dry. There was lots of Bog Asphodel, but no people of any description. Sue proudly found a Common Red Soldier Beetle (aka The Hogweed Bonking Beetle!).

Whilst Alex suggests a return by the same route to the starting point near 'Mary Jones World' near Bala, we decided to follow a path via Penlan Farm. This was easy, even without a map, and it made for an excellent two hour, 6km, circuit - including a lengthy lunch break on the summit.

Sue has proudly revealed that observations made during this short trip have taken her Seek App statistics for plant species identified from 50 to 122.

She also identified a fine specimen of Agaricus augustus (aka The Prince), without realising that it was one of the tastiest mushrooms that can be found. (Shame!)

Here are some more pictures from this walk:

Elevenses on a rock above Llanycil

Despite our being on a 'Leisure Network' path, the going up Moel-y-Garnedd was filled with Bog Asphodel, and was somewhat 'lumpy'

However, it was a lovely grassy summit with fine views for our last picnic lunch for a while

This house in Llanycil was being renovated

Our clockwise route was a little more than 6km, with 200 metres ascent, taking 2 hours or so

Wednesday 6 July 2022

Wednesday 6 July 2022 - The Fairy Glen and Conwy Falls, and Gwydyr Forest

Today we drove to Betws-y-Coed in fine weather and parked roadside by a Cotswold shop, for two of Alex Kendall's walks from the same spot.

We started by visiting the Fairy Glen, then we moved on, along a pleasant track, to the Conwy Falls. Both these beauty spots involved a modest payment into an honesty box, and a short walking loop from which to view as much as could be seen of said beauties through the dense July foliage.

Coffee and carrot cake at the Conwy Falls café went down well, then we returned to Betws-y-Coed on paths to the west of the river, passing at one point the 'Roman Bridge' pictured above. The bridge may be 'Old', but not that old!

After that 12km outing - Walk number 7 in Alex's Cicerone guide - towards the end of which we enjoyed a picnic lunch on some logs, we set off again without much of a break. We didn't even unlock the car...

This time it was Walk number 6, a 9km walk in the Gwydyr Forest, rising high above Betws-y-Coed. It was waymarked with blue arrows apart from a short cut in the forest and a scenic detour to Llyn y Parc, a small lake.

Our flask was emptied here, as we sat on a bench admiring the view, before we continued on excellent paths that led down a lengthy ramp (pictured below) to the Miners' Bridge that had been washed away at the time of our last visit. The 'bridge' has now been restored by way of handy staircases to and from some slabs of rock that are well above the normal river level.

And so, another successful outing courtesy of Alex Kendall's Cicerone guide, and this time we got home in time to watch some exciting tennis from Wimbledon (Nadal v Fritz) before tucking into one of Sue's tasty salads.

Here are some more pictures from these two walks:

The Fairy Glen - we are not alone - it was difficult to avoid intruders into the pictures

There was a circular route and a £1 honesty box for admission. 
Across a lagoon at the end of the circuit was a rather splendid bench

Continuing upstream in pretty woodland, we soon reached the entrance to Conwy Falls (£1.50 this time). We got to it via coffee and cake in the cafe

The falls must be more visible in the winter - today they were very much obscured by foliage

Common Cow Wheat was present in abundance just here

After returning from the falls path, we exited past the cafe and continued along a minor road to cross the Afon Machno
The 'Roman Bridge' over Afon Machno isn't Roman except in name - it's certainly festooned with plants

We returned along the quiet lane next to the river, along which we had set off earlier from 
Betwys-y-Coed, pausing on some convenient logs for lunch

Approaching Betwys-y-Coed, a train rumbled past above us

This first walk of the day was a little over 12km, with 300 metres ascent, taking us about 4 hours

We carried on into the second walk without a pause - here are more pictures from the Gwydyr Forect walk:

The Vagabond Bunkhouse looks like a decent place to stay

Navigation was easy - our route simply followed the blue footpath signs, apart from a small diversion to Llyn y Parc

There's a bench overlooking the high lake - Llyn y Parc - from which we admired the view whilst finishing of our tea and other supplies

The path wound around in an anticlockwise circuit, occasionally skirting the edge of the forest

Bell Heather brightened our surroundings

A delightful wide ramp of a track eventually led down to the recently replaced 'Miners' Bridge' that had been washed away last time we were here

Now very much on the Tourist Trail, we ambled back into Betws-y-Coed and an easy drive back to Porthmadog

Our 9km route included over 300 metres ascent, and it took us 2.5 hours