View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Camping in Keld with Knackered Knee Knipe….

….and Dawn. And LTD too. Just to add some sobriety and sensibility to the trip.

That Dawn had organised a static camping visit to Keld, famous for not having a Youth Hostel anymore so that Pennine Way and Coast to Coast walkers would have to struggle to find budget accommodation in the area. Clever or what?



The last time I was in Keld was when No2 son and I did the Coast-to-Coast. He was 8 and I was just a bit older than him. We stayed at the Youth Hostel and very pleasant it was too. The loss of yet another hostel in a remote-ish area is grievous to say the least.

Anyroadup, Mike & Dawn had arrived at Rukin’s Campsite before me and had gone for a wander and a swim. This left me to set about fighting (single-handed) Keld’s famous ferocious midges whilst putting up my tent. My chosen tent for this little adventure was my Sil Hex Peak V4 – a nice and spacious shelter.


What the well-equipped Ultra-Light Backpacker carries this season

By the time KKK and Dawn had returned, the midge attack had subsided. But this wasn’t a retreat, the cunning buggers had merely regrouped and called in reinforcements to launch an even more determined attack.. Little sods. Anyway, all was not lost: they hadn’t reckoned with Dawn’s very effective joss-sticks, a good dollop of Deet, and a very smoky fire. And then we had a beer to calm our nerves.


Our Midge Repellent Machine (Pat Pending) & the KKK shelter


A dog and his dad

Mike had arranged a slightly huge stew-type thing for tea, it was a bit good but there was rather a lot of it. This was where Lucky stepped in to help out, there was no way that we 3 mere mortals could eat all that lovely grub.

Then it started to rain.

So me and KKK had another beer, a good chat to put the world to rights and a not particularly early night. During the night it rained noisily and heavily.

The following morning, and after all that energetic nocturnal snoring, we surfaced with an enormous appetite for bacon butties – fortunately I’d packed the necessary.

The rain had stopped, the sun was sort of shining and most of the midges seemed to have vanished – drowned probably.

A great packing up of the tents followed which in turn was followed by a wander Swaledale to a rather pretty waterfall where neither KKK, LTD or Dawn would swim.


River Swale waterfall: Wain Wath Force….probably.

Two children were having a ball in the water, the young lad was having a great time leaping into the water:




I’m still learning how to use my Lumix TZ70 and hadn’t got to grips with the ‘Burst Mode’ setting – hence I only managed to take these 3 sequential shots. A shame, the camera is capable of taking more….I now know for next time.


Free Range Egg’s

A couple for Alan R:



A decision was taken by someone to go and annoy the delightful Amanda Owen, famous for being a shepherdess and having lots of children. Her family live just 3-4 miles from the Tan Hill Inn – where we didn’t go.



A sometimes quite muddy path led us to Ravenseat, the Owen family’s farm.


Amanda & family live what appears to be an idillic life, miles away from anywhere (if you exclude the Tan Hill Inn) and a wonderful playground for the children. In reality I suspect

that life in that remote spot must be quite hard at times. For all that, they make excellent scones (with cream and raspberry jam they’re REALLY yummy) and brew a fine pot of tea.



Swaledale Field Barn




River Swale (Currack Force?)

The return route to Keld avoided the muddy horribleness of the outward leg and we were soon back in Keld and back at the car park….and then it was time to go home. I couldn’t be mithered cooking so a visit to the Timperley Fish Bar, my favourite fish & chip shop, was called for. I ate too much. Again.

Thanks to Lucky, KKK and Dawn for inviting me along – it was good, in spite of the midges…..and my own knackered knees.


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Lleyn Peninsula Backpack, 28th July 2017

Just a few photographs taken last week / weekend whilst backpacking a section of the Wales Coastal Path.

This was a fairly last-minute expedition that worked out nicely – apart from the torrential rain and high winds on the first night. I rather unwisely decided to leave the Akto behind and used the smaller and more crapmed LaserComp – a fine little tent, but I really could have done with a bit more room considering the horrid conditions of the first night.

The Plan consisted of spending the first night at Llandystumdwy (Lloyd George knew my father and all that…), having a bit of an explore in the car the next morning, then leaving the car at Lloyd George’s place I wandered west from near Llanbedrog through Pwllheli (famous for Butlins, the Royal Navy and a fine Wetherspoons pub), Abersoch, Aberdaron and round the end of the peninsula before hopping on a bus back to the car.

It’s an excellent coastline although the Wales Coastal Path wasn’t that easy to follow. The path doesn’t religiously stick to the coast and some of the signposts were ‘misleading’ which made following the route rather difficult at times. also some of the paths and bridleways marked on the current maps didn’t exist on the ground. Nowt new there then. Consequently I didn’t cover the distance I’d planned. no matter, it was very enjoyable.

Water was a problem, the coastal farmland was heavily populated with livestock so rivers and streams were a no-no. A public loo (with a shower!) in Aberdaron plus a couple of pubs and a garden hose came to my rescue. Churchyards, unusually, didn’t have water taps….perhaps because of the higher rainfall levels on this coast.

The coastline is very dramatic and the area warrants another visit….in September actually. The route is yet to be decided but I’d be very happy to re-visit much of what I covered on this trip. Discussions on this matter with the Lucky, Luck’s Dad, Dawn and me are to take place soon.





Hell’s Mouth



Boots….but no dead mouse this time







An Ultra Marathon had taken place the previous day, a 63 mile trot along the coast





Barnsley Bardsey Island












Another brew with a view



Some of these photos are out of order….on account of M$ Windows funny ideas of file management. I gave up trying to re-order them, that will have to wait for another day.

Photographs were taken with my Lumix TZ70 and my Samsung S5 phone.

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