Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Friday 26 August 2022

Friday = Isabella Day (20)

Today was spent in the cheerful company of Isabella, at the RHS Bridgewater gardens. It was an altogether lovely day. Here are a few of the photos, principally for Great Grandma Dot, and other family members.

There was a display of about 19 birds of prey, but sadly no flying or commentary due to illness

It doesn't look it (as we've eaten it), but lunch was a sumptuous affair on my old traveling rug

There was a village for fairies, around the time that we stopped for a coffee, and bumped into Pam and Paul (and Hilary), who we hadn't seen for ages

Worsley New Hall can no longer be seen from this position - it has gone

Isabella loved the gardens, especially where there were ripe strawberries!

All too soon, time to go home after a lovely outing - just a short drive from home - we'll go again

Tuesday 23 August 2022

Monday 22 August 2022 - A Bollin Valley 10 km

I've reported on this route before - here (26/12/21) and here (9/11/21), and have failed (so far as I can see) to record other visits to the route, which was originally devised as a 10km route for a sponsored run for Bollin Primary School. [Step by step instructions are available, but most folk should be able to follow the route plotted on the map below.]

I'd been planning a 'Cicerone Lancashire' outing, but the weather forecast was poor. So, needing to get out somewhere, I donned waterproofs and jumped in the car for a four mile drive to Ashley Mill Lane, and set off along the track towards 'Into the Wild'. By now the sky had cleared and the waterproofs were superfluous.

'Into the Wild' had not yet opened - not a big surprise at 7:30 - and it was a bit early for a coffee break anyway.

Some of the crops have been harvested hereabouts, as per this typical Cheshire scene near the river Bollin. Wood pigeons and buzzards are overhead, with many smaller birds pecking in the stubble.

The sweetcorn has yet to fully mature, but the path left by the farmer through this field is impressive.

Just beyond the sweetcorn, the Bollin is crossed again. The river is very low compared to its level on my 2021 visits (see link at the head of this posting).

Something is going on next to the path by Ryecroft Farm. I couldn't work out what work is being done.

Very soon the path re-entered woodland near the M56 motorway, which was soon crossed by way of a convenient footbridge above the Monday morning traffic.

A good path continues beside the motorway, before heading beside a tall hedge towards Birkin Farm. This often boggy path was bone dry today. The prediction of rain had clearly been erroneous, and I wondered what it would have been like on my aborted 'Deepest Lancashire' planned walk.

I also wondered where the path went before the M56 was built. I wish my old 'quarter inch' maps from 1945 and 1946 showed a bit more detail.

Soon, a tree lined lane led me to the Ashley Hall complex.

There's even a tea room here that looked as if it was just opening up - 9am on a sunny morning. Being so close to the end of the walk, and a ten minute drive home, I passed by on this occasion.

At the entrance to the Ashley Hall estate is a small building with a door at the back. I've noticed this on many occasions and am still puzzled as to its use, and why the entrance should be at the back.

It's just a short stroll from here beside Ashley Road to Ashley Mill Lane, reaching the car after exactly 10km.

Here's the route, with a strange loop by the start, where my GPS must have been short of satellites. As usual, click on the image for a better version.

Monday 22 August 2022

November 2004 - The Annapurna Circuit - Day 23

Tuesday 23 November
Nagarkot to Changunarayan and Kathmandu 

[Diarist: Martin]
The hoped for 6 am wake-up knock did not occur - it was misty. Instead we had some Indian(?) children playing outside our room. It had been a comfortable night, the coolness of the room being enhanced by the welcome hot water bottles. 

We all assembled for breakfast at 7 am. Mahesh was allowed to join us this time! Then we resumed our walk at 8 am in weak, hazy sunshine.

Down through a highly populated area with lots of goats, chickens, a few cattle, schoolchildren in pristine blue uniforms, sweetcorn drying high up on stands.

Past bamboo fences and small fires, women washing themselves and their clothes, friendly greetings from all. 

We passed, after a couple of hours, a small temple from which we descended 100 metres to around 1550 metres. There were small yellowish birds - smaller than yellowhammers but otherwise similar.

Then we rose again up the final part of the ridge which leads eventually to our terminus for the walk, the ancient pilgrimage site of Changunarayan. On the way we pass lots of army boys on a manoeuvre - strange to have loaded guns pointed at us. But friendly 'namaste' greetings. Battle plans are set out on small plastic sheets, using toy vehicles and leaves and grass and model men. Mahesh has relatives and friends in both the army and the Gurkhas - the latter are a revered breed and are relatively very wealthy.

Misty views over green hills beyond steep multi-coloured terraces. A solid green hillside is opposite us to the south, and a nice little town lies below to the north, beside a river. The place is Sakhu and has an Alpine look to it, though the buildings are bound to be crumbling Nepalese.

View to the Kathmandu Valley

We rest for a while above the army area; Mahesh has his lunch. Then the final half hour of our stroll down the ridge, past firs and aloes, and a magnificent swing constructed from four bamboo poles, lots more children and goats some with triplet kids.

Lush vegetables, especially cabbages, on the last section of today's walk. Mahesh had not done this route before, but he was able to ask the way, and he was impressed by the temple at the end of the walk.

Hindu temple at Changunarayan

Also noted - frisky goat kids, children asking for pens and money, blue skies, smells of spices, circling kites, Maoist paranoia, Sanjeev's efficient organisation. 

And so, by 11:30 we are at our destination, Changunarayan - an ancient site with a small bus park (we have had a traffic free morning on nice paths) and lots of adoring visitors. Only a handful of westerners here, so we get hassled to buy things. That is actually stopping me from buying anything! The slight disappointment of the shortness of the walk was soon forgotten when it started to spot with rain for the second time this trip, the first being yesterday afternoon. So we headed back to the old Toyota minibus - an ancient, leaky, turquoise beast - for the 30 to 40 minute drive back to the luxuries of the Radisson Hotel. 


 22 Nov

23 Nov



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Ascent (m)





Descent (m)





Finish (m)





Time (hrs)





Stops (hrs)





Walking Time (hrs)





Before Mahesh left us we gave him a 1500 rupee tip (£25) and the old UNO cards - he had enjoyed last night's game and seemed pleased with this. 

Then a lazy afternoon - first we all meet to consume our packed lunches, than we laze in baths/sauna in front of TV whilst the rain falls outside. We pack our bags in preparation for tomorrow's departure. 

Then downstairs to meet Andrew, who is in the midst of a Japanese briefing session! before a short 15 minute stroll, avoiding mud and puddles, to the Chimney Restaurant at the famous Yak and Yeti Hotel. This is an old converted palace and is a magnificent building. The food was excellent, served by white-gloved waiters, enjoyed in the company of a Canadian couple from Montreal. It was her 30th birthday and the superb cake was shared with us. They had been up beyond Everest Base Camp, a tea house trek in good weather - with just one porter - to carry her pack. Very sensible, we thought. 

Back in time for bed by 10 pm, after a stroll through light rain, to the disappointment of the taxi drivers.

Next Day
Previous Day

Sunday 21 August 2022

Another Postcard - 30 July to 21 August 2022

30 July to 9 August - Covid and self-isolation; nothing more to report.

10 to 17 August - a visit to Eccleshall to provide 'Live-in' care for mother, whilst Gennie had a week off.

I managed a 5km walk every morning before Dot's breakfast had to be prepared. The first few days were very hot, with clear blue skies.

Meanwhile, on 12 August, Sue was in control of 'Friday = Isabella Day (18)'.

They enjoyed a picnic in Phillips Park, and had an exciting time with Isabella's new friend, Eddie, and his truck.

Back in Eccleshall, my library of church pictures was further extended on 13 August, on another hot morning..

Mike and Sarah and Izzie turned up, and the playground near Dot's house was visited. Sadly neither Mike nor I was able to fix a toilet cistern that had detached itself from the wall of Dot's bathroom.

By 17 August, the weather had changed. My 5km route passes new housing that can be accessed from a pretty ginnel - the next two pictures being taken from the same spot.

Gennie returned refreshed from her week's holiday, freeing me to return to Timperley then dash out with Sue to join about 30 SWOG walkers for a stroll from Woodbank Park, in Stockport.

Here's the 6km route. A lovely evening, and good to catch up with a few folk.

Friday 19 August: 'Friday = Isabella Day (19)'.

Bananas were 'off menu' in an effort to avoid her turning into a banana (she'd already scoffed some at home) but we thought banana cake might just be permitted!

After her snack, we went to Walton Park, where sadly the barge cafe was on holiday. Isabella also had a problem when she got trapped in the centre circle of the five-a-side pitch.

Grandma assisted with the escape...

Nap time should be after lunch (sausage bake). It didn't happen. The monster child wanted to stay awake for a full two hours, watching the bread making machine produce an afternoon snack for her.

Monkey! She was still going strong when we took her back home.

Mike and Sarah's new shed looks a bit hobbity to me, but I'm sure it'll house a very nice Christmas nativity scene.

Saturday 20 August - and this postcard draws to an close with a view from near the back of over 300 parkrunners at Wythenshawe. Just 14 of them finished behind me, as I accompanied Owen (seen in the lower picture) around the 5km course in a little over 41 minutes.

Sunday 21 August - I was pretty slow on the Wythenshawe Community run - 29 minutes for the 5km. Perhaps Covid took more out of me than I thought.

So that brings me up to date after quite a long break. August hasn't been the most exciting of months!