More adventure & old friends

Me on a weekend walk

Well, just some random things before get into the blog post

I’ve been enjoying catching up on TV recently. One show I really like, is Sleepy Hollow (set in the present day, it features a tough female police officer and a latter day English gentleman, Ichabod Crain.

I wonder sometimes, if there’s a balance, in the universe. Is there a correlation of how an excellent series like Black List improves, and the otherwise classic series homeland is deteriorating ?.

Walking group weekend away in 10 days. Really looking forward to it. Full breakfasts in the morning, hillsides in the daytime, bath then dinner and pints with friends in the evening.

As I’ve always said. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I really cant tell you what I’d do, but I know that the day afterwards, whatever the circumstances, I’d be out hill walking 🙂

A return to former glory.

In 2009, 20010 and 2011 I only did 1 overseas trip a year, and they were both 3 day European city visits.

In 2012 I visited 4 countries and up to this point, I have visited 7 countries in 2013.

Next year, I’m booked on a 15 day trip to Cuba. Its a return to the big trip, other-side of the world type adventuring that I used to do frequently.

I’m also off to Cyprus for 10 days on the 21st of December. We’ve rented a car and are staying at various places on the Island for 2 and 3 night stays. I really wanted to rent a Landrover, but I’ve been outvoted, and I believe were now getting a Micra. No matter, whatever gets us around.

Had a meeting with Henry (the amazing guy who’s responsible for all the tech stuff on this website). We’ve finally got a blueprint for ver 3.0. The main goals of the new site are:

  • Simplify site. Improve ease of navigation.
  • Easily viewable on all types of media and browser (especially tablets and phones).
  • Return of embedded twitter for real-time blogging.
  • Update content in many of the older pages, quotes and stuff like that.

Might not sound like much, but there’s a massive amount work involved and were both working frantically to get it ready.

Oh, for those that have noticed, sorry there’s been no update about Dubrovnik yet. I just haven’t had a minute lately, but it will be complete in the next 10 days.

The Chester Globetrotters

Well, loads of things have happened/are happening, that convince me life is returning to normal.

Last Saturday, I attended a meeting of the Chester Globetrotters.

2 superb talks, one about an overland trip across Mongolia, and another about budget travel in Tokyo.

Both fascinating talks. The 2nd one was interesting to me, as having visited Tokyo, I was convinced budget travel there was practically impossible.

Yet no. Hotel accommodation for 2 people at £34 per night was common and using a 7 day bullet train ticket, travel across the whole country could be achieved (in significant comfort) for a reasonable amount.

It was also nice to catch up with Hanna and Kevin and all the other organisers of the group, who I haven’t seen for months due to work commitments.

Later in the pub chatting about travel, it was enlightening to talk to Kevin, as I had just recently completed reading his book Inshalla, Odssey to the middle east.

The CDWG (which I heard about through the Globetrotters) are also having an AGM on the 21st, so should be a chance to catch up with old friends there as well.

Some friends growing Moustaches for Movember

Last Wednesday, I went out to an IVC club night (haven’t seen as much of Glenn as I’d have liked recently, so it was a double celebration).

We had a couple of drinks in a pub called Artichoke.

A few friends (Alex, Giles and Andy) are all growing moustaches for Movember.

I don’t like moustaches, so I’m not taking part myself, but I’m contributing to the charity.

Alan Davies

Next Tuesday, I’m going to see Alan Davies at the William Aston Hall in Wrexham.

He’ll be doing stand up comedy, which I’ve not seen before.

It will be interesting, as to me, he’s always been Jonathan Creek, a series I think is absolutely fantastic.

Doug Scott & Chris Bonnington

Following Monday, I’m going to a talk by Doug Scott at the Catrin Finch Centre.

Scott and Bonnington’s mountaineering feats are legend, but I’ve always been fascinated by their first ascent of the Ogre (a fascination that’s spanned 25 years).

I’ve met Chris Bonnington on Skiddaw.

He’ll be talking about his life in mountaineering. I’ll write more about once I’ve been.

Curry at Barton Rouge

I’ve always been lucky with my suppliers (that’s if you completely remove BT from this conversation 🙂

The other evening Vaughn, an ace provider of printers and MFD’s invited us out on a social event.

Vaughn, has never let us down, supplies top notch equipment, keeps it working, keeps a constant source of consumables and is very flexible in the delivery of the printing service.

N and I went along to the wine tasting at the Ramada in Wrexham, where we met some of his other customers and his lovely wife.

Afterwards, we jumped in a minibus and headed to Barton Rouge in Chester. One of the city’s best Indian restaurants.

We finished of with a few pints in Harkers arms next door.

We had a lovely evening, so a quick thanks to Vaughn and everyone else who attended.

Me at Buttermere

I’ve lately been accused of prevarication (PREVARICATION !. me ???).

As Picard once said. Belief systems are based on experiences. A disciplined mind is never afraid to re-examine and re-evaluate the conclusion’s reached.

What that’s got to do with the price of fish, is it was N’s birthday and it was time to get back out adventuring.

A weekend in Keswick in the lake district beckoned.

Walla Crags near Keswick

We arrive at our B&B in Keswick.

Very comfortable, spotlessly clean place that will be our home for the next 2 nights.

We headed out for the evening, and had a couple of drinks in town (also visiting the Inn at Keswick, previously the Keswick lodge. A shadow of its former self now, but a place I’ve had many good times).

In the morning, we have very civilised breakfast, organised with a questionnaire from the night before (fab idea in my opinion. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been served breakfast, knowing that fried eggs and tomatoes are just not going to be touched).

Our host offers advise on the days walking (that’s the reason were here).

Were both keen to do Helvellyn and Haystacks. Its pointed out, that frost is at 700m and Helvellyn is well above that. Also, the weather that day isn’t good, but on Sunday it will improve.

He recommends a walk, which is a circuit of Derwent water lake, but takes in Walla Crags.

Reminded me of Rick Waller.

We set off.

Ice at 700m

It was raining as we left, but just as our B&b householder had said, the walk began literally outside the front door.

We followed the path up to the crags. From the top, there were spectacular views (despite the weather) of Derwent water.

As we look across, we could see the mountains with snow on them. It re-affirms the decision, not to do Helvellyn that day.

Lodor waterfall

We drop down to the path around the like.

Its easy, but one of my favourite walks of all time.

Although I’ve done the walk dozens of times and have even stayed at the Lodor falls hotel, for the first time, I actually visit the Lodor waterfall, photographed above.

Nearby, we stopped for lunch at the Mary Mount. They did really nice sandwiches there, and the extra chips we ordered weren’t even necessary.

One surprise we got when we arrived was what to do about our walking boots. They had really nice carpet inside. Seemed only natural, to take off our boots at the door and wander around in our socks. But what would the staff think ?

As it was, they seemed fine. Loads of other walkers appeared, and as we left, dozens of pairs of boots were laid next to ours at the door.

Gigantic pie

On our 2nd evening, we had dinner in town. It was a sort of fusion restaurant, so I had Broccoli and Stilton soup to start, and Madras curry and naan bread as a main. Not every restaurant is so flexible.

Above, I’ve included a photo of the famous “Gigantic pie” which they server in the George hotel. Really popular, it was standing room only at the bar, and the restaurant were taking bookings, several days in advance !.

Tragically, the famous curry house in Keswick has now closed down and is looking for a new owner. I real shame I thought.

Arrivingt at Buttermere

Next morning, up bright and early, eat breakfast and pack up the car.

This time we’ve decided to do Haystacks. It has significance to anyone who’s a fan of Alfred Wainwright, as his ashes are scattered over Innominate tarn there.

Its in a place called Buttermere, and initially, we had problems with the Sat nav. In the end it took us there the shortest way, missing out the best of the views. That’s technology for you.

Buttermere really is a beautiful spot. I’m going to come here again (Black Sail youth hostel is near here, similar to Skiddaw house where I’ve stayed previously.

Buttermere lake from Red Pike

We decide to make the trip a bit more exciting, and wander up Red Pike, rather than taking the easier route (which later, would have consequences).

Exhausting work, but the view back to Buttermere was the best one of the weekend.

Walking along the tops

We continued along the tops towards Haystacks, bagging 3 fells along the way.

As we reach the foot of Haystacks, its pointed out to me that we’ve spent so much time on the tops that its now 3:25pm. It will be dark in less than an hour.

Unfortunately, well have to had home.

No matter, Buttermere is a truly beautiful place, and I’ve just been handed an excuse to come back here !.

Sunday dinner on the way home, and another weekend over.

Near and far, the search for adventure continues…

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