Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Saturday 11 February 2023

Friday 10 February 2023 - The Wells of Silverdale

I had the pleasure of the company of Carol, Keith and John (aka BC) for this stroll on an overcast, slightly drizzly day. I'd done this walk before (see links at the foot of this posting), but not for a while.

We met at Leighton Moss RSPB, where Keith and Carol (not members) were treated with disdain and told to leave the car park. Martin and John (both members) to the rescue - "they are with us".

A short walk past Silverdale station brought us to the small pond formed by our first well of the day, Bank's Well.

The house opposite has a quaint letterbox.

Dogslack Well was our next objective, along a path with an unknown destination (the pamphlet says 'retrace' but I think we should have continued along the path). Anyway, the pump has lost its handle since we were last there.

Retracing our steps to The Row, we continued to a good parking spot (especially for RSPB non members), then a path across a traffic lighted railway crossing (that's new) to Waterslack and around Middlebarrow Quarry to Arnside Tower.

John and Keith plod their way up to the remains of the tower

Through a mobile home site and then pleasant woodland, to Elmslack, and our third well. Elmslack Well is situated under a litter bin that was carefully removed by those wanting pictures of all seven of today's wells.

Next, we wandered down to the cove, in search of Cove Well. The next picture confirms that there is now little (no) trace of the old well. Here the well would comprise a spring arising from the main water table, whilst most of the other wells on this walk are in essence springs rising from perched water tables. It's all to do with the differing permeability of the layers of rock.

Here's the view to Grange over Sands. (Honestly.)

I tried walking along the beach - the tide was out, but the beach surface comprised glutinous mud, so we changed tack and went past the blown woodland pictured below, then through the fields known as The Lots, to Silverdale village.

Bard's Well, pictured below, is on the beach beside the car park. Clothes used to be washed here. The well (spring) doesn't flow in dry weather. The weather is dry(ish).

In search of Bard's Well

The walk back up to Silverdale village took us to a path to Wood Well, where a special tree provides a habitat for hawfinches (we didn't spot any). Water drips from the roof of the small recess in the base of the cliff - clearly shown in this picture.

The water is collected in the small trough shown below (it's empty due to the dry weather). Then it flows into the large basin visible in both pictures. This was used in the past for watering cattle.

With Wood Well at our backs, we surveyed the next section of path.

I'd included this path on our route in order to try to please John (BC - 'Bowland Climber). He is sadly not at the peak of climbing fitness, but we did all make it up safely.

Our route then progressed through Silverdale Green and along a signposted path to Burton Well, which was just as green as it had been when Sue and I visited it in December.

Burton Well supplied water to the local residents for many years, until they fitted gutters and downpipes to their homes and collected rainwater, stored in basement tanks.
Beyond this last (seventh) well of this visit, lies the rather damp expanse of Lambert's Meadow, a haven for wildlife and home to orchids. Our path, on the right, took us back towards Bank Well and the start of our walk.

Earlier reports on similar excursions are here (21/11/08) and here (20/2/13).

Here's today's route - about 11km with 200 metres ascent. It took us nearly three and a half hours.

Then I enjoyed lunch in the RSPB cafe with Keith and Carol, before paying Conrad a visit in Arnside, whilst BC visited another friend who lives nearby. 

A very pleasurable morning stroll... - BC's excellent commentary is here.

Next Week - Friday 17 February:
Bollington - a 10km circuit via White Nancy and the Saddle of Kerridge. Meet at Adlington Road car park in Bollington (SJ 930 780) at 10am

Friday 20 July 2007 - Via Ferrata Marino Bianchi and Cima di Mezzo

Friday 20 July 2007 - Via Ferrata Marino Bianchi - Cima di Mezzo

I've just clicked on a random day of 'unprocessed' photos and this is the result.

The pin landed on the last day of a trip to Cortina. I've now 'processed' the pictures and digitised my diary, so I'll try to slot in the pictures in roughly the correct places.

Here's the edited transcript of my diary entry: 

We awoke to a clear blue sky. Sue and I waited as usual for the sun to hit the tent at about 7:45, before brewing and breakfasting with Julia. Gary and Jenny had  been up for some time.

So we were away in the bus (my Renault Espace) soon after 9 o'clock. First to deposit Julia at the Tre Croci pass for her to walk up to the pleasant Rifugio Vandelli in the Sorapiss area. Then we went down to the lift station for chairlift then 'buckets' up to the high refuge on the Cristallo range (Rif Lorenzi).

We enjoyed coffees at the halfway station (Rif Son) before the old bucket lift, and this place also has excellent toilets - another reason for stopping.

We had decided not to do the Ivona Dibona via ferrata as Gary and Jenny didn't want a long day, and Sue and I fancied the shortish grade 2B via ferrata - Marino Bianchi - from Rif Lorenzi. But the route was crammed full of people, so we chose first to do the first section of the Ivona Dibona VF, across the suspension bridge then over to the minor summit - 3008 metre Cristallino d'Ampezzo. This had a few folk on it but it wasn't as crowded as usual. Perhaps we were later than usual. It was very pleasant, with superb if slightly hazier views than of late.

Kitting up before the start of VF Ivano Dibona 

Ascending above Rifugio Lorenzi, across the longest suspension bridge in the Dolomites

Coming back down after visiting Cristallino d'Ampezzo

Sue descends back to Rif Lorenzi and lunch

This excursion took from 11:00 to 12:30, then we lunched in a sheltered spot behind the bucket station. Our last cheese and tomato / processed meat and tomato and rolls of the trip. I'm 'peached out' so declined that delicacy. Sue saved hers till later.

The Marino route was now free, apart from a few descenders, but the guidebook says it takes 3 to 4 hours and we discover the last 'bucket' is at 4:20. It is 1:10.

So we hasten up the route, which turns out to be easy, despite having to negotiate quite a few people coming down.

A ladder on VF Marino Bianchi

After 50 minutes the downhill route leaves us, though we do meet a few people reversing our route. Anyway, we reach the fairly spacious summit (Cima di Mezzo (3154 metres), before our planned 'turnaround' time of 2:30, and take pictures for a German tourist.

The German sets off down, leaving a trail of blood. Gary and Jenny arrive at the top, and we soon follow on behind the German, who Gary overtakes.

It's quite a quick descent, as the descent loop goes over scree rather than down rock.

Descending back to Rif Lorenzi, seen here in the distance

And so we are down by 3:40, in plenty of time to descend slowly by 'bucket' and chairlift to reach the car park where Julia is waiting.

Looking back up to the suspension bridge from the buckets

A last view from the buckets towards Rif Lorenzi

Then a trip to Cortina to get ingredients for a final lovely pasta meal. There was even enough left over for Julia to feast on tomorrow, as she stays at camp on her own until Sunday morning.

After the nice meal we adjourn to Camping Cortina's bar for beers etc before being chucked out at 10pm by the campsite boss. It costs an extra €5 for three of us to drink in the bar, but at least we aren't pestered by the midges - I used my repellent on them for the first time tonight.

Quite tired - I need a rest day.

Cort 6 to Cristallino (3008 metres) - 11:00 to 12:30
Cort 5 to Cima di Mezzo (3154 metres) - 1:10 to 3:40
Total: 3km, 300 metres ascent, 4 hours - all pure Via Ferrata.

Wonderful. When will we be back?

Thursday 9 February 2023

Monday 6 February 2023 - An Evening with the Night Owls

We were treated at Eagley Jazz Club to the inaugural paid performance of a new jazz band from Salford, The Night Owls. They were led by Dan Price, hidden above behind his tuba, accompanied by Diane Hammond on reeds, Ben Richeton on trumpet, Duncan Winfield on trombone, Robin Dewhurst on piano, and James Wilson on drums.

The band specialises in music from the 1920s, '30s and '40s, their most modern offering tonight being from 1949. We very much enjoyed the show, with the band's interpretation of early-jazz standards, tin-pan alley, second-line melodies, and more.

I'm sure they have a web presence, or will do soon, but I couldn't find it. There are lots of similarly named bands. Whilst looking, I came across a piece about John Meehan, drummer and main man in the Savannah Jazz Band, whose music we've enjoyed many times at Eagley. It seems that John suffered a stroke on his way to a gig in Ayr in October. The story is here. John is trying to recover at home but may never play again, and Savannah Jazz Band have pulled out of gigging for the time being.
We wish them all well.