View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy
Showing posts with label Beer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beer. Show all posts

Monday, 4 June 2018

TGOC2018, Day 8, Sexy clothing on the TGOC

In which Mike finds a phone. He was after a new one anyway.

It had been a cold and very clear night although I had been quite cosy in my cold-weather sleeping bag.

Awake at 3.30am for no good reason so made a cuppa and spent the next half-hour or so picking heathery bits out of my socks. Then I read for a bit and listened to the BBC World Service-type wireless. I think I need to get a life.

A lovely windfarm appeared in the East as dawn approached.

P1050415

I drifted off to sleep and then woke again, this time with a thumping headache. Up and about at 7.15am and eventually set off on the leisurely walk to Abergavenny Aberfeldy, initially on a good LRT.

Mike spotted a big fat otter, it was quite a sight. We’d obviously startled it. It skitted around a pool and the scuttled off, up a bit of a waterfall and vanished under a river bank. I took photos but they weren’t much good – I can pick out it’s tail. Just.

P1050416

P1050417

P1050418

P1050419

Spot the otter

It was a long descent to the road and then we were on a very minor road, and a few short miles later we arrived in Aberfeldy in time for lunch.

P1050420

Another Man in a Kilt

P1050422

Fishing hut on the banks of the Tay

P1050423

P1050424

P1050425

Yet another bridge over the Silvery Tay

P1050428

Two fish & chip filled Challengers. Note my sexy garter.

We’d been warned not to expect much in the way of shops in Aberfeldy, yet all the essentials were there if you had time to look for them.

P1050430

P1050431


As it happened we managed to get (slightly greasy) fish & chips, cups of tea, pies, bacon and a few other odds and ends. And beer…or maybe it was vinegar. Although the landlord changed it for something fizzy without fuss I’d have preferred something proper.

P1050434

Leaving town, initially by road, we were soon on paths – a mix of riverside paths and disused railway line. All very nice really.

Met up with a couple walking the Rob Roy Way and enjoying every minute of it. So they said.

Mike had earlier spotted a (locked) mobile phone hanging on a fence – nobody around, maybe it belonged to a Challenger? A bit of detective work later and we discovered that it belonged to one of a group of anglers from Ireland, up to their wotsits in the silvery Tay and trying to catch something. A cold probably.

Their gillie (Douglas – a nice bloke who makes walking sticks for beer money) helped us locate the phone-less fisherman and once again all was well in my little world.

Feeling thoroughly decent, having done The Right Thing, we trundled our way eastwards once more along the banks of the Silvery Tay and more disused railway.

image

Tempting, but we didn’t.

Our overnight stop was in Grandtully (pr ‘Grantly’. Obv.) at the Canoe Club campsite. The site was at the old railway station, now converted into a nice little place to stop….although the gents were a bit whiffy. Our footpath delivered us nicely straight into the site.

20180519_083440

20180519_083612

I’m not sure how this lot fitted into my Exos58

Grantly has a chocolate shop (that we didn’t visit) and a pub….that we did visit. Douglas, the gillie from earlier in the day, called in for a pint and ended up buying us beer too – I think he was grateful for us finding his client’s phone.

I was hungry (nowt unusual there then) and ordered a nice bar meal whilst Mike kept on his carefully calorie controlled diet and stuck to drinking beer.

We’d had quite a nice day. Apart from the tarmac and the smelly bogs, but there you go.

Cuckoo count: 3 (not very good really)

Other wildlife: 1 otter, a load of rabbits (on the campsite) and some random birds – not a clue what they were. No Wild Challengers…not even any tame ones.



Friday, 15 September 2017

Trotting around North Cheshire, Sat 29th April 2017

Point-to-Point 2017

I was all a bit last minute, but I volunteered to help plotting a little running route, the Hartley Folly, the Cheshire Hare & Hounds Tally-Ho! end of season run – always a bit longer than the Club’s regular fortnightly runs.

Tim, the original plotter had been inundated with so much work (the sort of work that people go out to) and family stuff that he was rendered unable to get stuck in and sort the job.

I had the following parameters to work within:

Start point: The Griffin in Bowdon (a rather posh part of already posh Altrincham)

Finish point: The Swan with Two Nicks, Little Bollington (a lovely pub in a lovely hamlet)….around 1.5 miles from the start

The route should be a long(ish) one – and definitely be predominantly cross-country.

There must be a tea stop.

If you’ve been keeping up and not fallen asleep (yet) you’ll have noticed that the 1.5 miles between the start and inish doesn’t constitute ‘long’. Or even ‘long-ish’.

Tim had come up with good start and finish points, so that was something I didn’t need to worry about – it was just the bit in between.

After much studying of maps and loads of recces I settled on a pleasant 19 mile route that took in some interesting bits of local countryside.

The recces, and there really were many, were carried out with the invaluable assistance of Mssrs Coatsworth, Banfield and Norman, plus the Ms Fairley who provided much in the way of (constructive?) criticisim. Atcherly, having those extra pairs of eyes proved invaluable in tweeking the route and it’s description – thanks guys….and gurl.

Anyroadup, the route wasn’t particularly original, more a tweek of a route I’d walked / run in the past.

19 miles of clockwisery:

Tally-Ho Hartley Folly 2017 full map Rev4

On the day itself I set out alone but armed with a bag of sawdust to mark bits of the trail where runners could have lost the intended route. I was probably the first to start – I wanted the extra time to drop sawdust where I thought it might be needed. And I’m a bit on the slow side. Rather a lot on the slow side actually.

The route left Bowdon and so did I, initially on quiet suburban roads and paths before heading down to follow the River Bollin upstream. The river passes the back gardens of some enormously expensive and expansive houses on one side and the uber-posh Hale Golf club on t’other. Apparently the odd famous footballer / manager can often be seen walking their doggies on the river bank. I wouldn’t know an odd famous footballer or a manager if they bit me.

P1070448

I dropped a few clumps of sawdust along the way, nothing conspicuous, but enough that runners following me would spot the stuff.

The weather was ideal for trotting along, dry and bright but not too warm – a hot day wouldn’t do at all for a 19 miler, however slow I was.

P1070427

It was still early in the year so whilst undergrowth was quite verdant, the trees were lagging behind – few were in full leaf.

P1070428


P1070429

The River Bollin close to Sunbank Wood

My original route was to take me through Castle Mill but the previously good footpath had been illegally diverted through a mud-bath that really was quite impassable. The obnoxious land owner has been reported to the local authority who are taking action against her.

P1040149

Castle Mill’s mud-bath …and electric fence. Photo taken on a recce.

My alternative route bypassed the quagmire and entailed passing our local trig-point, looking a bit forlorn. I have a plan to brighten it up….


P1070430

The rather sad trig point at SJ796837 marking the dizzying altitude of 60m ASL

The sound of aircraft now became noticeable, I was approaching the end of one of Manchester Airport’s runways.

The River Bollin proved a bit of a problem to the contractors charged with extending the airport with the addition of Runway 2. The problem was solved by culverting the river under the new runway:

P1070449


Doggy walkers were walking their doggies and birdies were tweeting in the hedgerows, it was only the occasional roar of aircraft taking off that spoiled an otherwise very pleasant trot alongside Runway 2

P1070453


There was just a bit of tarmac beyond the airport (sorry guys, even the best trails often have SOME tarmac!) but the trail was soon back on field paths that skirted the north side of Mobberley. It was on this section that the first runners caught me up (and passed me…of course), I was beginning to wonder if anybody had turned out to follow trail.

P1070459

Here they come…

P1070460

….and there they go

Numbers weren’t great on the day. Excuses for absence were many and vairied, Hon Sec had the best one – he’d broken his arm whilst on the Lakes Weekend trail run.

P1070456

Approaching the tea stop

Whatever, it was good to catch up with Tim & Rob at the tea stop:

P1070461

Tim’s wife and family had provided a very splendid spread for us, it was easy to eat and drink too much – Not A Good Thing To Do when there’s still another 9 – 10 miles to run.

As we guzzled and slurped our way through the feast more runners appeared:

P1070462

P1070464

Fast Taylor – going remarkably fast considering he was nursing an injury

P1070463

Hon Prez Park….say no more

Dragging ourselves away from the tea stop we plodded off along more tarmac to enter Tatton Park at it’s southern, pedestrian only, entrance. The trail now changed direction, turn north on the eastern shore of Tatton Mere. The run through the park was very easy running, we were treated to a toilet stop and a herd of curious onlookers.although they weren’t watching us at the toilet stop.Probably.

P1070465 

The next point of note was the No 1 Parachute Training School monument in the park. Ringway Airport (now Manchester Airport) was the site of the training school and parts of Tatton Park were used as a landing zone. Tatton Mere was used to practice water-landings.

P1070433

P1070468 

Poseurs at the monument, L>R: Mssrs Taylor, Park, Bell, Jenkinson, Riley & me

Turning west(ish) towards Tatton Hall, Hon Prez Park was delighted to see that we’d arranged for his own personalised route out of the park:

P1070469

More northness followed, this time to Rostherne, along a church path – reputed to be the path used by the Tatton Estate workers to get to St Mary’s Church at Rostherne.

P1070435

Taken on one of the recces: Martin at Rostherne Village Water Pump


P1070439


P1070440

P1070470

The church grave yard had some interesting, er, features 

A concessionary footpath, not marked on the OS map, takes you nicely past the church and allows views over Rostherne Mere:

P1070441

Rostherne Mere

In the two weeks leading up to the run one of the field footpaths had seen a significant diversion to allow for ploughing. This lengthened the route – but just two days before the run the diverted path had been re-instated and all was well.

P1070443


More tarmac followed, although it was less than a mile and along very quiet lanes before once again getting onto the (slightly) rough stuff. The ground was generally quite dry although the odd bit of wetness muddied the legs – giving just a bit of credibility to our cross-country run.

Once over the M56 on the footbridge to the east of the Lymm roundabout we were on the home leg. We once again met up with the River Bollin, now on the outskirts of Bowdon….home to the Club’s esteemed legal advisor.

P1070471

River Bollin bailiff’s shed near Bowdon

We ran west along the north side of the river, passing the site of the Motte & Bailey castle at Watch Hill. It’s well worth watching this YouTube video.

P1070472

Taking our lives in our hands we crossed the very busy A56 and continued to follow the River Bollin along another concessionary path to the Swan with Two Nicks and the end of the run.

I took about 5 1/2 hours to complete, I was quite happy with that considering I’d spent around half an hour at the tea stop and spent additional time laying trail.

The pub was unable to provide bathing facilities – or even a room to change in. The Club’s tin bath was once again pressed into service in the pub car park. Pretty Quick Riley opted to cool his legs off with the pub’s hose pipe before diving into the bath. At least that what he said he was doing:

P1070473


Tim & Co had arranged for a gazebo to preserve the dignity of the runners and to spare the blushes of the pub’s customers.

P1070474

Our luxurious bathing facilities

An excellent nosh followed. Runners, helpers, guests and partners enjoyed a fine meal supplemented by beers from the Dunham Brewery. And I wasn’t driving.

Thanks to all who helped with recces and planning the route, in particular Tim, Andy, Martin and Joules. Your inputs really were invaluable.

Thanks also to Tim’s family who fed and watered us so very well, to everyone who ran the route – and to The Club for letting me plan the route.

Smile

Monday, 20 February 2017

Trotting around Saddleworth, Saturday 18th Feb 2017

18 runners (well some of them were runners) gathered at the Cross Keys in Uppermill on a pleasantly mild afternoon in order to drink lots of JW Lees go for a run around some of the hilly bits of the area.

Only 17 runners actually set off on the trail, Merciless deciding to go home when he realised he’d be better off putting his feet up in front of the telly.

I set off with Whitworth and Bell, always good company, and after a good 10 minutes of faffing about trying to locate the route we finally set off in a muddy direction, sort of northerly.

Running parallel to Running Hill Gate (a misnomer if ever there was one) through Running Hill Head and then by Big Rough (about right) our trail led us to Diggle. The ground wasn’t too bad, being only a bit incredibly muddy, but there you go. My tastefully coloured brand-new pair of La Sportiva Raptors (yellow & black) will never be the same again.

We tried to run but the ground wasn’t too good here-abouts.

image

No idea, it just seems to be an odd place for a statue (about a mile E of Diggle)

P1070233

In the middle of nowhere…situated almost directly above the Standedge Tunnel

Built in 1859, this building may have had something to do with the reservoirs, Brun Clough Res is just to the east.

The route became moderately runnable, the mud wasn’t as squelchy as on our last little outing 2 weeks previously – although there were some quite bad bits. Hon Pres Park came into view, he’d set off 10 minutes after us and was making good time.

P1070234

P1070235

Whitworth & Bell keeping their distance from Park

The running on Standedge was good. We were afforded excellent views over Delph, Oldham and Shaw. The breeze was quite chilly on the tops, it was good to keep moving. The edge was popular with walkers, we met a goodly number – all going the other way.

Park stopped to chat to a sweet young thing at the trig point, obviously attracted to the pack of egg sandwiches she was trying to hide from him. Foiled by her determination not to share her lunch, we continued on our way – still heading north, and still not always too sure that we were on our route. Nowt new there then.

P1070236

Millstone Edge, Standedge

P1070237

Marsden Moor, Castleshaw Reservoirs in the distance

P1070238

Park burning off the opposition

P1070240

Still keeping to the high edges, and still enjoying good ground, were began changing direction – bearing over to the west. We kept Park in view for quite some time but he was determined to avoid our company (wise man that he is) – at least we didn’t have to worry about going wrong as long as we could see him….assuming that he was on the right trail.

P1070241

Castleshaw Reservoirs

No photos, but the faster runners were now coming into view. It would be a while before the caught us but spotting them spurred us on. But only a bit.

P1070242

Oldham Council Waterworks stuff at Castleshaw

According to the O.S., Castleshaw is the site of a Roman Fort. Interestingly, when I lived in Newhey, a few miles to the west, locals often referred to a local footpath as being a Roman Road.

We were now heading south, downhill too, on Moor Lane. This was (is!) a very good track although the trail we were following wasn’t always that obvious, the trail-layers were probably yakking and had forgotten to put sufficient sawdust down for us to follow. Oh well.

The trail-layers were Taylor & Wells, Wells being a stand-in for Old Markham who needed to stay at home to deal with ill-health in his family.

P1070243

Daisy

Faster runners now caught us up. Wilson and Burston being the first. They stopped to chat, we stopped to chat….and then the Fast Pack caught up with us. And still we chatted. Well, it had been two weeks since we last saw them, there was a lot of catching up to do.

Downhill and more downhill, eventually reaching the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and Standedge Tunnel. The running now was very easy….having said that, Bell took a tumble at one point. Being the finely honed athlete that he is he was soon back on his feet.

Standedge Tunnel is over 3 miles long, running from Diggle to Marsden – the site of the tea stop on the Point-to-Point route from Newhey to Holme a couple of years ago. The tunnel was dug over 200 years ago which means it’s even older than Taylor and Wells’s ages combined. Just.

P1070246

P1070245

A bit of muddy up and downery needed to be traversed before we got back to the Cross Keys….and because we weren’t, er,  the fastest runners, the bath water was a bit gritty. I needed a shower when I got home.

P1070247

Riley relaxing. That’s what he said he was doing anyway.

image

Chillin’ after the run…and waiting for dinner.

We were relegated to the barn, not only for changing and bathing, but for dining too. We were served meat & potato pie, or more accurately patato and a bit of meat pie and chips. Apple crumble & custard finished the job. It would have been nice to have our meals served on real plates and to be allowed to use real knives & forks. Perhaps they don’t think we’re ready to eat like the grown-ups yet. Plastic utensils and polystyrene chippy-type plates aren’t brill.

Whatever, it was cheap, and the food was warming and plentiful. The JW Lees MPA was on fine form.

Around 9.4 miles with 1450’ of ascent. 

Tally Ho Uppermill 2017

It would have been less than 9.4 miles, but some silly sod laid a nice clump of sawdust right by the way we normally leave the venue. We wasted a good bit of time trying to find the right way.

This was a really excellent route, hard enough but without being stupid = very enjoyable. We missed the company of Old Markham of course, he probably had more than a little influence on the route choice – being as wot he lives in the area. Thanks to Whitworth & Bell for their very entertaining company, Taylor & Wells for laying a damned good trail (even if we couldn’t always find it!)…..and John Willie Lees for his Manchester Pale Ale.

Thor's and other caves, Sunday 3rd March 2019

A very, very nice bunch of outdoorsy-types had issued an invitation to join them on a gentle bimble in the Derbyshire Dales. Well, it might ...

countercounter