Out the other evening with the walking group.
I don’t normally go to evening walks, but Hilbre Island is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit.
In a previous life, I was at a party in West Kirby, and people were talking about an Island you could walk too, only if the tide was out. That’s the stuff that adventures are made of.
To my eternal shame, it would be 6 years between that conversation and actually walking there.
There are a few private building there, and a sort of museum, but overnight stays are forbidden. I wish someone would build a youth hostel or a bunk house there.
Apparently they couldn’t get a park ranger to stay on the Island, as they couldn’t cope with no running water and no electricity.
I’d love it.
This weeks featured friend is Alison B.
I met her through Chester IVC, and since then we’ve become good friends.
Of special interest is her work with Saint John’s ambulance service. The work is entirely voluntary, and she was photographed here at Chester races (this picture actually featured in the Chester Chronicle).
About this time last year, I was invited to stay at Wild Boar Clough. The offer came around again this year, and I couldn’t resist.
I should point out, that quite a few people who said they’d go, dropped out at fairly late stages, and as a result, the event was nearly cancelled at 4pm on the evening we were due to set off. I’m not perfect, but if I say I’m going to do something or be somewhere, then a visit to the hospital is the only thing that will stop me.
No matter. We drive to Macclesfield (passing by Rainow, I think about Lyndsay, and the Gritstone trail I walked last year with Tony), then walk over with our gear to our now familiar dwelling Cumberland cottage.
Leanne has been to China since we were here last and has acquired some skills of equipment selection and packing (so our walk in, doesn’t look like Younghusband’s trip to Lhasa this time).
Once set up, its off to the Crag pub for dinner (before setting off, I was disappointed that my kettle was no longer there !).
Next morning, I sit outside with my mug of tea and breakfast bars, and contemplate the day ahead.
I do most of my walking now around Snowdonia and the Clwydian mountains, so its nice to be somewhere a bit different.
It’s shaping up to be a beautiful day.
I’ve brought a packed lunch, but Aidan had arranged it so we’d be at the Cat and Fiddle pub (the 2nd highest in the country) in time for lunch.
I’d always wanted to visit the Cat and Fiddle, but never had the chance before.
Pub turns out to be fab.
There’s a ramblers bar with a fire and stuff like that, but its packed. We head to the back bar where its quieter (In the above photo, I’m standing in the back bar, and Aidan is ordering Food in the ramblers bar).
I was delighted to see that they had a jar with Black Jacks and Frutella’s. They were 5p each, and it you wanted, you could have your change in Black Jacks.
I had sandwiches with me, so I decided to eat them later on the trail, and instead had 2 pints (this is johnsunter.com after all !).
It only rained once the whole day, which was otherwise mostly sunshine. Amazingly, as we were sat in the pub, the heavens opened. For 30 minutes there was a monsoon, which luckily, we just sat through eating and drinking, and by the time we came to leave it had finished.
We carry on along the trail, and spend some time walking through the woods.
I chat do Leanne, and we discuss (among other things) how appalling the bar service is at the Church, Newgate street in Chester.
On the subject of church’s, we sit in a church yard and I finish of my sandwiches, before continuing.
From here we finish our walk with an ascent of Shutlingsloe (nicknamed the Cheshire Matterhorn).
For some reason, when we get near the top, I decide I’ve enjoyed the day, and will instead circle around the peak. Lately, I’ve started to “stop short” on some walks. I almost feel like I’ve got enough out of the expirience, and just want to relax. Its not that I cant do it or anything, and I’m lucky to have walking companions who understand this.
Back at the hut, we pack up our stuff, sweep up etc and then walk down the trail to get some dinner and head for home.
Another smart time away from home.
Would it have been more convenient to stay at home, and spend Saturday watching tv ?. I’m reminded of a quote by Kahlil Gibran.
The lust for comfort. That stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, then becomes a host and then a master.