View from Oban Bothy

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

Monday, 11 June 2018

TGOC2018, Day 10, Bridies

In which we meet Rowan

Firstly, missed from yesterday’s entry:

Cuckoo count: 1 (yes, just one) – VERY poor

Other wildlife: Not much at all really. No wild Challengers - although we met two very civilised Challenge virgins.

So, on with Day 10….

I surfaced around 7am with a mouth like a well-used flip-flop.

My tongue felt like a breeding ground for cactii. Copious quantities of coffee helped disguise the ghastly taste in my mouth. Heaven knows what that was all about – it’s not as if I’d been drinking alcohol.*

Oliver & Jo (you don’t mind me calling you ‘Jo’ do you Joanna?) had been up for a while and were well on with packing. They needed an early start because they were due to hit the East coast on Wednesday….plus they probably didn’t relish another day walking with a couple of strange blokes in kilts. Understandable really.

Off they went, via Kirkmichael, which just happened to be where we were initially aiming for.

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A man in a kilt – in deep thought. The man, not the kilt.

It was only few miles to Kirkmichael, but what a pleasant little walk it was. We only got lost a little bit – probably because we were just enjoying the pleasing scenery. Or maybe it was because we were gabbing too much and forgot to look at the map.

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Kirkmichael’s Kirk…closed and up for sale


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The Village Pump

Whatever, we arrived at Kirkmichael’s Village Shop, purveyors of fine bridies, pots of tea and nice chocolate cake. Oh, and cheap whisky for Mike. So rather unsurprisingly we ate bridies, drank tea, ate chocolate cake (not Mike ‘cos he’s not allowed, so I had his) whilst I explored the contents of the food parcel the shop was holding for me. I was more than a bit relieved to find that I’d packed my maps – at least I’d know where we were going for the next few days.

Anyroadup, if you ever go through Kirkmichael you can do much worse than calling into the shop. The staff are lovely, they sell cheap whisky, chocolate cake…and they’ll hold a food parcel for you. Norralot not to like really.

Heaving our rather heavier packs onto our backs we nearly jumped out of our skins when a campervan, piloted by none other than our Toby, blasted it’s horn, left about 6” of rubber on the road and swerved onto the shop’s forecourt – scattering young children who’d been playing innocent young children-type games – like pulling legs off spiders, teasing dogs and taking the mickey out of kilt-clad Challengers.

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Toby was ably assisted by co-pilot and chief navigator Vicky (who I suspect is responsible for ensuring everything goes to plan) and flight engineer and lovely smile-generator Rowan.

What a lovely surprise that was! This was the first time I’d met Rowan, a delightful little boy, a trainee Challenger in fact, and I’d not seen Toby & Vicky since the TGOC a couple or three years ago. They’re lovely people and the Challenge is the poorer for their absence.

Bidding our farewells, they headed north whilst we continued in a sort of easterly direction. Mostly.

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After some interesting navigational decisions we passed by Ashintully Castle’s ‘Keep Out’, ‘Private – we don’t want your sort here’, ‘Go Away’ and ‘Welcome to Scotland’ signs.

It’s nice to feel wanted.

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We walked through some very pleasant countryside to camp at Coire a ‘Bhaile (NO115627), a nice spot that was almost flat and had a nice stream running close-by.

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Tea was an experiment: I’d found a nice recipe for Lentil Soup on an American cookery website I subscribe to. The soup was delicious, but being American, the recipe made LOADS. I ate loads of the soup, froze loads and dehydrated the rest. Tea tonight was that soup. The good news was that the experimental meal was successful. It was tasty, nutritious and very easy to dehydrate & rehydrate. The recipe now resides in my little red ‘Backpacking Meals’ recipe book.

It mizzled a bit during the evening so I stayed put in my tent to write up this diary, listen to Mike slurp his Kirkmichael Single Malt blend (Bells) and subsequently drift off into an alcohol-induced snory sleep.

I drank camomile tea.

The day’s sunshine (and there wasn’t THAT much) had charged my solar charger, the charge level had gone up from 3 LEDs to it’s maximum of 5 LEDs – it must be doing SOMETHING right.

Cuckoos Count: 2 (better)

Wildlife: Nothing of any note today. No wild Challengers either – although we did meet the very civilised Jo & Oliver who we’d camped with the previous night.


*I’d eaten a Mars Bar (=loads of sugar) before bed the previous night – maybe that contributed to having a mouth like a lavatory pan.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The Rain in Lleyn…4th Sept 2017

(Not) Backpacking

I’d prepared two dehydrated backpacking meals, different stuff to what I’d normally take so I was looking forward to trying the new stuff out:.

The main meals consisted of:

1) Remains of a Shepherds Pie. All mashed up and mixed prior to dehydrating. It was supplemented with 50gms of Smash.

2) Remains of a chilli con carne + rice. The rice and chilli were dehydrated separately and bagged separately.

3) This wasn’t all dehydrated, but consisted of some smoked Polish sausage, 50gms of Smash, and 1/3rd tin baked beans – dehydrated.

As things worked out the stuff didn’t get used. Read on….


In the beginning:

The Plan was for Lucky the Dog, Mike, Dawn and me to backpack a section of the Lleyn Peninsula coast in glorious sunshine.

Even the best plans fall apart sometimes.

The weather forecast was for a bit of damp followed by a few days of overcast dryness – quite acceptable backpacking conditions.

What ACTUALLY happened was that a huge amount of wind-driven wetness descended on Llanystumdwy….famous for Lloyd George and my dad. And a pub that only opens 3-4 nights of the week. It was quite a nice pub though.

We had two cars and with this in mind Plan B was quickly concocted: instead of backpacking through the wetness we’d go out for linear day walks. Plan B was put into action – it worked quite well. Mostly. Apart from getting lost.

Day 1

It was still raining. So we breakfasted hugely on egg, bacon & tomato butties – washed down with lashings of tea & coffee. After which it was still raining but not quite as much. The Afon Dwyfor at the back of the campsite had risen by about 4ft overnight – the roar of the water thrashing about was impressive.

Dwyfor in spate


That was supposed to be an embedded video but Open Live Writer and YouTube don’t seem to like to talk to one another. Kids, eh?

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If the video clip doesn’t work, this photo may illustrate the state of the river.

Some random photographs taken in Llanystumdwy:

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Anyroadup, we went to Llanbedrog and dumped a car there in the National Trust car park. Then we went to Abersoch and dumped another car there in the hugely expensive car park. Not having any more cars to dump we thought it would be a bit of a wheeze to walk back to Llanbedrog, and that’s precisely what we did.

The rain had stopped by this time but it was rather grey and only a bit miserable.

We walked east, often a good direction, passing the harbour / marina before dropping down to the beach.

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For Alan R:

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The tide was out and apart from a couple of dog walkers and a defunct jellyfish that resembled an enormous blob of lumpy wallpaper paste, we had the sands to ourselves.

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Anybody recognise this plant found growing on the edge of sand dunes? The leaves are hugely thick – perhaps to store water?

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Looking back over Abersoch

As we bimbled along eastwards the clouds lifted and the sun made a welcome appearance – Snowdonia appeared out of the murk:

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On the descent to the beach we came across this interesting sculpture:

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Aberdaron’s ‘Tin Man’ – it looked more like a woman with a babe in arms to me

I gather that the original statue was a wooden ship’s figurehead – but that suffered malicious fire damage many years ago.

The route down to the beach was seriously steep, it took an age to get down – ask my poorly L knee. It wasn’t too happy.

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Llanbedrog’s colourful beach huts

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Llanbedrog Beach

Then it was back to the cars and back to Llanystumdwy (via Pwllhelli’s Asda) for far too much to eat and a comfortably large amount of beer. Bottled Hob Goblin Gold seeing as you asked.

The pub was shut.

Day 2

Even though the weather had improved Plan B was still in operation: one car was left at the Aberdaron NT car park, the other at the Whistling Sands NT car park. We wandered off in a nominally south-ish direction, following the cliff-top path as much as possible. I was surprised to come across a young 80+ year old couple from Knutsford, just down the road from JJ Towers. This couple, clad in finest Paramo, were clearly made of the right stuff – it was a pleasure to stop to chat with them.

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Looking north over Whistling Sands

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Dramatic coastline, similar in character to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and part of the the South West Coast Path.


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On Mynydd Mawr:

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The former Coastguard lookout at Mynydd Mawr.

The sun was shining brightly and warmly, good conditions for backpacking – apart from the lack of water. Running water was scarce, any that we discovered was decidely iffy. Much of the coast was used by cattle.

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Over the sea to Bardsey in the late afternoon sun.


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I’m still playing with my Lumix TZ70 camera – in reality the colours in the hedgerows were very vivid than is shown here. I must try harder.

Navigation was a little <koff> difficult, the paths on the ground often didn’t coincide with what appeared on the three different maps we were carrying between us. Being as what we were nominally following an official Long Distance Path this was all a bit of a poor show. You couldn’t even rely on the Coastal Path signposts – on more than one occasion we came across signposts that just pointed into either undergrowth or ground that was clearly impassable.

Whatever.

Back to the cars, Asda and the campsite – for lots of lovely grub (c/o Lucky’s Dad) and more beer. The pub was still shut.


Day 3

The day began with more egg & bacon butties. The eggs came from the farm where we were camping – they were a bit tasty.

It was a windy morning, and that was just the weather. We parked up at the NT car park at Plas yn Rhiw and proceeded to wander off, up what we took to be the coastal path. We had it on good authority that we really were on the coastal path, the Coastal Path signposts should have aroused our suspicion.

As it happened we only got a bit misplaced a few times.

Mist and clag descended a few times, severely curtailing our views.

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Hell’s Mouth

Foolishly(?) following signposts we passed a lovely little hamlet overlooking the sea. We  suspected that we were on the right path – but there was always a nagging doubt.

Even more foolishly I suggested a change in direction of travel. This change entailed a bit of a scramble. Okay, a LOT of a scramble. I’m not very good at scrambling. Oh well.

Eventually, and blindly following Lucky, Dawn & Mike, I got to the top of an Everest of a hill, Mynydd y Graig I think. There were signs of a Hill Fort and a Standing Stone. I didn’t look too hard, I was more concerned in not falling off this mountain of a, er, little hill.

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Lucky & Mike, climbing without oxygen

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The Tenzing moment

Once at the top the walking was much easier, we even had some views when the cloud lifted.

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Another hill beckoned. This was either a Munro or a Marylin or something. Whatever it was 177m ASL and Mike needed it for His List. Penarfynydd was actually a bit non-descript, but what the hell. It would probably be better on a sunny day.

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Time to turn round and return to the car. More misleading signposts successfully misled us. In spite of this we managed to find our way back to the car and a far easier navigate to a nice little car park at the east end of Hell’s Mouth.

Dawn had planned a dip in the sea at Hell’s Mouth but the wind was far too strong and the sea currents looked a bit perilous.

Instead she rolled up her trouser legs and went for a paddle with Mike. Lucky didn’t play with a ball very much. I flew my kite, the one I use to support vertical aerials when I play radio. The wind was so strong that I began to wonder whether the line was going to be strong enough to hold on to the kite. It was, but I’ll be more careful in future.

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Once back at the ranch more lovely grub followed, again c/o Lucky’s Dad. Dawn had an early night, so did LTD, Mike & me, but our early night involved a visit to the pub which was now open. The beer and the welcome were both good.

There were only half a dozen customers in the pub that evening. It’s good that it stays open, even if it’s only for a few evenings in the week. I hope it survives, we’re losing too many pubs.

We had a good few days away, it wasn’t what we’d planned but it worked out well in the end. Thanks to Lucky, Mike & Dawn for a fun time…we must do it again soon. Next time we’ll do it in an area with less confusing paths.


More photographs are here.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Friday 13th (ooh-er) March, Tracksterman’s Flapjacks

Backpacking food

The size of my girth is testament to my enjoyment of food – the more I enjoy my food, the more I expand. Funny that, I wonder if there’s a connection?

Tracksterman has been a man on a mission of late – trying (successfully) to lose some weight. His blog has detailed some of the stuff he’s been eating in his quest – what caught my eye was a recipe for flapjacks.

For some reason I can’t load a link to the relevant page on Tracksterman’s blog, but if you look at the entry for 9th March 2015 you’ll find it.

The recipe copied directly from Tracksterman’s blog:

200g oats (I used ordinary porridge oats)
3 large desert spoons black treacle
100g dessicated coconut
100g chopped nuts
1 jar of good quality apple sauce
(I used a jar of Aldi apple sauce)
3 desert spoons olive oil
Mixed spice
(I used a level teaspoonful – not enough)


Warm the treacle, oil and apple sauce. Mix in the dry ingredients then transfer to a greased baking tray. Cook for 15-20 mins 180C (Gas 4), or until firm to the touch and golden brown.
This makes 6-8 pieces, approx 350 Kcal each. They’re good, healthy energy bars - protein from the nuts, slow release carbs from the oats, potassium and sugar from the treacle, quick energy from the apple sauce.

You can freeze them for future use.

I baked them in an aluminium foil lined 8” square tin, 1.5” deep.

Anyway, they were dead easy to make and they turned out well:

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They have fairly dominant flavour of apple although the mixed spice flavour is noticeable too of course. I’ll make them again but next time I’ll double the mixed spices and perhaps add some grated root ginger.

Thanks to Tracksterman for the recipe. Unfortunately his blog doesn’t have any contact details or any means to leave comments or thanks – so I hope he’ll accept my thanks and appreciation here.

Anyroadup, these bars are good – they’ll be coming with me on my next backpack…which might just be next week.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Annabel’s High Energy Flapjack Recipe

Seriously yummy, terribly unhealthy, packed with energy, easy to make….what’s not to like?

This recipe is from Annabel, a fellow LDWA walker and all-round good egg. Not that she’s round of course. Or an egg.

Annabel (who has a Blog) dished out these flapjacks whilst on the CarpetBaggers 50 walk, it’s like rocket fuel.

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High Energy Flapjacks

310g Oats

250g Holland & Barrett Breakfast Sprinkle (A very fruity, nutty, seedy mix)

80g Roughly chopped nuts

170g Dark soft sugar

230g Butter

4 tbsp Honey

2 tbsp Sweetened condensed milk

100g Roughly chopped dark chocolate

½ tsp Powdered ginger

Melt butter, honey, sugar & condensed milk.

Mix in dry ingredients.

Press into a baking parchment-lined shallow baking tray

Cover with a layer of baking parchment or foil if you prefer it to be softer rather than crunchy.

Bake for 20mins @ 170degC / Gas 3.

Leave to cool.

Cut into 2” squares and wrap in either foil or baking parchment. I store mine in the fridge….right at the back so I’m not tempted to dive in and grab a piece when I walk past. 

Obviously this recipe isn’t suitable for those with a nut allergy. I recently made a nutless batch for a friend with such an allergy, it tasted fine and had a good consistency. Rather than use the Holland & Barrett Breakfast Sprinkle, used a mix of dried fruit, more oats, seeds etc made up to the same weight. This worked out very well – although I don’t know if the seeds would cause an allergy flare-up.

I didn’t get round to giving it to my allergy friend so I ended up eating it myself.

image A chap can’t have enough flap-jack in store….can he?

Anchor Inn session

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