View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy
Showing posts with label A bit out of order. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A bit out of order. Show all posts

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

October 2018

Now that I seem to have worked out a not-very-complicated Open LiveWriter method of posting photographs that works (for now), here are some more:

My Tarte Santiago – thanks to Rita for the recipe 


6th October: Cheshire Hare & Hounds Tally-Ho! trail run from Sparrowpit. A cracking route but a not-very-good venue:


The Hounds…well, some of them



Wells & Injured Wislon returning to base

Only a couple of photos (and a Whinge Warning) from my bike ride to Lymm:

Car parking problems are becoming, er, more problematic. The TransPennine Trail car park in Broadheath is used by those working in the nearby offices and factories. There simply isn’t enough car parking space available, nor is there anything like a decent public transport system in place. Ironically the TransPennine Trail, at this point, follows the course of the railway line that was ripped up as part of the Beeching cuts.

Another sad sight (site?), a matter of a hundred yards or so from the car park above. The Bay Malton pub, once frequented by workers from the adjacent Broadheath industrial area, is now closed.


October is Warburton Souling Play preparation time. We always have a rehearsal, just to make sure that we remember the words and actions from the previous years. And then we retire to to Saracen’s Head in Warburton to compare notes….and drink beer. I couldn’t perform in the play this time round – I had to go to Florida. Again.

The Gang with a potential Souler on his first Play outing


Three generations of Soulers…probably.

And now for something completely different, a quick and tasty dinner of chicken and roast vegetables:


Another trip to Florida:


When it it rains in Florida it gets very wet:




I bought a couple of these filters from Walmart in Clearwater – I didn’t realise that Sawyer are based about 3 miles from our Florida apartment.


Some photos to remind me of our Florida apartment, prior to it being sold. Dad was never happier when he was here, he looked forward to his annual 6 month stays. It was good to see him so happy. I’ll miss the apartment for that.




Ho hum.



Monday, 21 October 2019

September 2018 Pt 4

Onwards to Portugal’s Douro Valley


It was at the end of 2017 that fellow musician Greta casually mentioned that she’d rented an enormous villa in Portugal for a week at the end of September 2018. She went on to ask me if I’d like to come along. After due consideration (about a nanosecond) I said ‘yes please’…and thus started a chain of very agreeable events.


I’d been wanting to finish walking the Via de La Plata Camino but just hadn’t got around to getting my A.I.G., this was the kick in the pants I needed.


Rob, also a musician (and English ceilidh dance caller of great renown) fancied the walk – and he’d also been invited by Greta to join in the Portuguese fun.


And so it came to pass.

Rob and I completed the Via de La Plata and spent a couple of days exploring Santiago de Compostela, staying at Rita’s wonderful AirBnB – definitely THE place to stay. Rita is a wonderful host….we were to return with The Olde Vic Band Ex-Pats, AKA the Olde Vic Band on Tour, a year later – but that’s another story.


Buskers abound in Santiago, entering the cathedral square we came across these two young ladies* playing Gaita Pipes and Pandereta – expertly and with great spirit. (Rob’s video).

Anyroadup, we dragged ourselves away from Santiago de Compostela and travelled by train and bus to meet Greta & Bill in Puebla de Sanabria, a small town that we’ve visited before. Rob, being the highly organised chap that he is, had arranged a really nice hotel for us for norralot of dosh.

 
A wander down the road to a bar / restaurant where we consumed much food, beer, wine and maybe something even more alcoholic – after which we were cajoled into playing music for a couple of hours. I have to say, we didn’t take THAT much cajoling!


It was a very merry bunch that wobbled it’s way back to their hotel that night.


Next morning we clambered onboard Greta’s bus and headed south-ish to the Douro Valley in Portugal where we were to meet up with Pete & Lynda who had driven down from Stockport to join us for the rest of our jolly.


The rest of the week was spent exploring the lovely Douro Valley, it’s vinyards, bars and restaurants.


Some photos of our musical week:


We came across this street entertainer, he was pleased, and a little surprised, that we joined in playing with him.

Playing steam trains in Porto*



A beautifully ornate church in Porto


The River Douro




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Greta giving it some welly on her sax*

This band just appeared, walking down the street in Porto, playing…like you do.*


Collecting grapes on an industrial scale – to make Port.*




We chanced upon this little cafe bar up a back street in Porto. After our excellent meal we played, much to the delight of the other customers – some of whom joined in.

Rob’s pandereta being rather expertly played

A door for Rob. Rob likes doors.

Annoying the locals


Pinhao Railway station artwork:


Some interesting motorcycles. Well *I* think they’re interesting!

Okay, so that last one isn’t a motorcycle, but I still think it’s interesting.


A couple of Rob’s videos that I can’t get to embed in OpenLiveWriter or Blogger. I’m almost certainly doing something wrong….I usually am.

Playing on the waterfront in Porto *

Seranading a tourist cruiser on the R Douro *


* Rob’s photographs or videos




Wednesday, 9 October 2019

September 2018 Pt1

Via de la Plata from Ourense to The End
We left Ourense in the not-very-early(ish) morning, the day was forecast to be very hot so we wanted to get a move on.

Ourense is known for it’s knockers
We breakfasted on coffee and a bocadillo each at a roadside cafe, after which we followed footpaths and very quiet country lanes for a good few miles. And even more kilometers.
A tired hórreo
No idea
To Cea….and a most magnificent lunch:
 …at a very odd but very welcoming eatery that not only served excellent food, but also Scalextric sets, and quite a lot of other stuff that you’d not expect to see in a restaurant!
Leaving the restaurant behind was something of a struggle, we more than full which made for even slower walking.
We were now heading to our bed for the night at the Cistercian monastary at Oseira.
The monastary was very large and very old, it dates back to the 12th Century. Sadly it only housed 11 monks – I wonder how long it can continue with such low numbers. In days gone by I expect it would have been home to 100+.
On approach to the monastary

The monastary albergue:



Our digs for the night – it would easily sleep 60+
The dorm had showers and a washing machine. It felt damp and was unheated – it wouldn’t have been much fun in the winter. In busy periods it wouldn’t have been particularly restful, every burp and fart echoed around the cavernous hall.
We attended Vespers in the evening – a quiet affair with maybe 20 – 25 in attendance.
A few more photographs of the monastary:


Rob leaving the monastary and looking for breakfast
There was nowhere near for breakfast next morning, so we were away for around 7am and so began a search for food….and coffee.
Anyway, enough of this drivel, here’s some photos from this next section of our walk into Santiago de Compostela:

For Alan R:
Our bedroom in the albergue that night:




More to follow in Pt2


Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Via de La Plata – few more photos up to Ourense

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Self-Service at Casa Ultreia

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We never did find out what the fiesta in Ourense was all about, it huge fun though.

Smile

Saturday, 10 November 2018

4 Days, 100 miles, Part 3

Day 4: The Day of Cuijk, 42.8km, Friday 20th July 2018


Route Day4

Another uncomfortable night, not just due to the heat but also because of my poorly leg*

Another late start, 6am, meant a bit of a lie-in until 4.30am. It was getting quite light as I washed down a couple Ibruprofen with my first coffee of the day.

I hobbled off to the start, all the time wondering whether walking nearly 47km on hard tarmac was such a brilliant idea. The (nearly) 47km = 4km to the start and back + 42.8km for the actual day’s walk.

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En-route to the start

Other than cyclists and pedestrians, there was little road traffic – it made for a beautifully peaceful walk to the start.

I managed to get close to the front of the start queue and I was on my way by 6.10pm. My leg had eased somewhat but I didn’t want to push it so I just ambled along for the first few miles, just to see how it coped.

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By 8am it was cookingly hot, this last day was forecast to be the hottest day of the event, 30+degC. I’d managed to pick up the pace to around 3mph, my leg was okay as long as I kept moving – it was really when I stopped and then had to restart that it hurt like hell…..so I vowed to keep my stops to a minimum. It worked.

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Linden

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Linden

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Linden

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Ladies in Linden


The walk from Cuijk over the pontoon bridge across the River Maas is particularly special. Every year the Dutch military make sure the 45,000 or so walkers keep their feet dry by constructing this impressive bridge – it’s one of the day’s highlights for me.

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Crossing the River Maas on the pontoon bridge

As well as international military involvement, there are other government department staff taking part in Vierdaagse: Police, Customs officers and more.

In past events I’ve spent time walking with UK bobbies, including Spike and his wife from Macclesfield, and so it was this year.

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A Dutch policeman invited Spike & Co on board his police boat where they were royally received and maybe treated to the odd beer and jenever. Not a very clear photograph I’m afraid – sorry Spike!

Approaching Nijmegen things start to busy up. Even more bands, more en-route entertainment and spectator support – an Ibruprofen top-up kept me moving through this party.

And then I came across….

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…dressed in Dutch colours

We walked together for a few miles but they we moving faster than me (nowt new there then) and off they went, Via Gladiola-bound.

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Approaching Via Gladiola in blistering heat

One of the popular sights on the Via Gladiola is that of a Dutch police officer trying to control the ‘traffic’. I took a video but it wasn’t good enough to paste here, so this is one nicked from YouTube.

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Marching in


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The civilian finish line – the military had a few km further to go to their finish at Heumensoord.

So that was it, another Vierdaagse completed. I’m not sure if I’ll do another, they really are great fun but 100 miles on tarmac is hard on the body. I’m fairly certain that my leg pain was down to the hard surface.

Vierdaagse isn’t a cheap do: air fares, train fares, entry to the event itself etc. If you’re on your own, as I was, accommodation can be prohibitely expensive….made even worse by Brexit buggering up the £/Euro exchange rate.

The Numbers

Daily distances:

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Start & Finish numbers:

Barometer


*Subsequently, after a visit to my GP, it was diagnosed as either a stress fracture or a shin splint. The good news was that it was just a shin splint – damned painful though.







Fireworks Avoidance, Bonfire Night 2019

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