Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 17 September 2022

Saturday 17 September 2022 - A Walk Around Harlech

This was a lovely walk in bright sunshine; walk number 5 in Alex Kendall's 'Snowdonia South' Cicerone guide. 

The route is described by Alex in fine detail, and concentration was needed to stay 'on course'. It was a similar route to one with which we are familiar, plus a very enjoyable woodland start on good paths that had recently been trimmed, and an ascent through fields and over stone stiles that seemed to be little used. Sue is pictured above on this ascent.

Blackberries are still filling the hedgerows here, and there are lots of sloes to be harvested. A few field mushrooms were collected to enhance our supper, and I pocketed a few shells for Isabella as we strolled for over 2km along the beach from Llanfair to Harlech, and the end of a very pleasant afternoon in brilliant weather with fine views to both the Rhinogs and the high summits in the Snowdon massif.

We had enjoyed a flask of tea out of the wind at the highest point of the walk, before Sue poured some of her share over her arm, then we descendents slowly to the beach.

Harlech Castle loomed large ahead of us after we left the beach and walked past the golf course. 

Here's our 10km route, with 350 metres ascent, taking 3 hours. Our track is dark blue (can you spot where the software crashed?) and Alex's .gpx file is in light blue. It's worth downloading that in order to check you're in the right place. Our diversion to the left of the Resr was intentional, though we didn't quite go where we intended.

That's it for now. More pictures will follow next week, but with no Wi-Fi here, loading images etc is a tediously slow occupation. 

Thanks also for your comments and good wishes, not to mention donations (see top right of my blog).

Saturday 17 September 2022 - Pwllheli parkrun #81

Our closest parkrun when in Porthmadog is 25 minutes away on the beach at Pwllheli.

This was our first visit to the scenic 'there and back' route over sand of varying softness. It was not a fast course!

Just 37 participants and four volunteers. Sue was second lady and we were both in the top four 'age related'.

Great views back to Snowdonia. We hung around chatting to Peter from Birmingham, who was added to our parkrun fraternity.

We arrived last night, when the next picture was taken, after abandoning Isabella with her dad, and before joining Sue's parents for a meal at Y Banc, now sadly not doing tapas.

Friday 16 September 2022

Friday = Isabella Day (22)

Today an old toy that Kate and Mike (my children) may well remember received its first outing under Isabella's delicate hands.

Thursday 15 September 2022

Wednesday 14 September 2022 - A Walk Around the Dodds

Click on any image for a better version or slideshow

This team last met up in September last year, for the Kentmere Horseshoe walk. (Report here.)

So it was good to get together again and celebrate Sue and my 20th wedding anniversary with a classic walk in the Lake District. Don and Liz, and David and Linda, provided excellent company and entertainment.

We set off on our anticlockwise perambulation of nine summits:

Clough Head
Calfhow Pike
Little Dodd
Great Dodd
Watson's Dodd
Stybarrow Dodd
White Stones
Hart Side
Birkett Fell

We started on the track by Barbary Rigg - cycle route number 71. No bikes were seen.

Blencathra was in cloud (top picture), and Wolf Crags glowered above as we strolled past.

After a couple of miles, David, navigator as he'd done this 'three times before', led us over a barbed wire fence and then brutally (for a septuagenarian) up the steep slopes of White Pike.

A minor celebration was tinged with the disappointment of discovering that we were not much more than half way up the thrutch to Clough Head.

However, there were good views towards Keswick, which appeared to be enjoying a sunny day.

They kindly waited for me at Clough Head.

Continuing on past two horses and up to the slowly rising cloud, Thirlmere appeared in our view to the south west.

After Calfhow Pike we marched on into the clag, soon reaching Great Dodd, from where we strolled off in the wrong direction, thanks entirely to the cloud, as there was nothing wrong with David's navigation!

Eventually we descended from the heights (and mists) of Stybarrow Dodd to a comfy lunch spot on some interesting rocks. David unearthed one that had one of those OS benchmarks!

The next summit was White Stones, from which there were more good views.

They all rushed off, but I knew Sue would soon pause. She's addicted to identifying stuff. Today it was an assortment of fungi and fox moth caterpillars (aka 'Big Hairy Caterpillars).

There were nice views and warmer air as we descended past Hart Side.

And on we trudged, afternoon tea being postponed until we reached Rush Gill, where we discovered that only David and Linda had any tea left.

Never mind, after finishing the walk on the gentle descent on which Linda is pictured below, Sue and I headed off to the warm hospitality and large pot of tea at Mike and Marian's abode in Patterdale. It was great to catch up with them.

Here's our route (click on the image for a better version), starting on the right, from High Row.
A little less than 20 km, with over 800 metres ascent, taking us six and a half hours.

Then Sue and I had a very average Indian meal in Windermere (all the good restaurants were full), and ambled off down the M6.

Thanks to everyone involved in the organisation and execution of this little outing. We must have another one soon. It's on my ToDo list!

Tuesday 13 September 2022

10 and 11 September 2022 - A Weekend of running and visiting

Saturday morning at Wythenshawe Park - 293 runners and walkers assembled under the guidance of run director for the day, Dan. Sue dashed round the 5km course in a respectable 25:12, whilst I jogged round in 28:47, still weary after the Dales High Way walk.

Then Sue went bellringing and I caught up with a week's house admin etc.

Sunday morning found me at Wythenshawe Community run, where we vied for position with a 100km cycle ride. The cyclists won - we runners were directed around the side of their impressive starting tent. My jog was even slower than the previous day, but this time I was ahead of fellow septuagenarians Michael and Colin, who had exhausted their reserves of energy on Saturday!

Meanwhile, Isabella was enjoying her new pram, without which (we are told) she refuses to leave the house.

It was the first week at 'Big School' for Jacob, who today took part in a running relay race in Ormskirk - well done Jacob - and Jessica started a new year in a new uniform. We visited them in Bacup later.

Others were enjoying a coffee break on a bike ride in Cheshire.

After the run, Sue and I dashed to Cornbrook to pick up Julia (88), who I met on my first trip to the Himalayas in 1997, and her granddaughter Megan. We paid a leisurely visit to the RHS Bridgewater gardens, and enjoyed an excellent picnic, compiled earlier by Sue whilst I was trying to run. 

Here are a few snaps from the garden.

The picture below shows where the Yan Bo Zhi Shuang Pavilion, delayed by Covid, is intended to be built.

Then we dropped Julia and Megan off at a convenient Metrolink station (Whitefield) and headed to Bacup to briefly visit Kate, J & J (all rushing maniacally around) before continuing to Halifax, where Susan and Roy, our friends from Connecticut, were spending the night whilst on a Lands End to John O'Groats bike ride. It's a shame that they are whizzing along the route so fast that they don't get much time to appreciate the passing attractions.

Anyway, a trip to the town centre did give them a brief break. Halifax has an impressive Town Hall.

It's good to see that a golden postbox celebrating local girl Hannah Cockroft's olympic success in 2012 is surviving the rigours of a town centre position.

The two cyclists nearly had a nasty accident on a street bike that they found!

On the way to an acceptable Thai restaurant, we passed this ornate gateway.

It was good to see everyone today. Hopefully it won't be so long until next time.