Friday, 18 January 2019
A day out in Dunbar on the far east coast of Scotland. Bass Rock above. Bus from Glasgow to Edinburgh then green bus X7 to Dunbar from Princes Street, an express run to Dunbar via Haddington.
Dunbar is where John Muir grew up and where he formed his lifelong love of nature The John Muir Way starts here and retraces his childhood early rambles along the coast, up towards Edinburgh before cutting across the central belt to west coast Glasgow and then Helensburgh. The stretch from Edinburgh to Glasgow was not walked by the Muir family as they travelled by train before setting sail for America. The John Muir Way retraces that journey on foot.
A popular German band singing Irish speed folk. And very good at it they are. Lively stuff to match a seawater traverse under cliffs in a dance with the incoming tide.
Friday, 11 January 2019
Yesterday, the Saturday, we had climbed the two peaks while Gail had been geocaching on her own with her dog at lower levels but today, due to the weather, she would have human company. I had already picked a lower level balcony trail as a possible wet weather alternative on the map running from Buckden and Wharfdale up to the tiny hamlet of Cray then along the limestone cliff edge to Yockenthwaite through Langstrothdale, returning via the river and part of The Dales Way long distance path through the National Park.. As regular readers will know I have little interest in climbing invisible hills in the rain so had intended doing this route myself anyway- on my own if necessary, if the weather was bad.
Geocaching can be as easy or hard as you like to make it. Just a gentle stroll in the countryside finding little plastic boxes or a hunt through tunnels, caves, old mines, caches hidden on remote islands, or up mountains. There's even a cache on the space station I'm told. Or as this video shows it can be an athletic day running on into night time- a tour de force endurance test of stamina and energy by the looks of it on a crazy traverse line across cliffs and in caves in darkness. I'd love a go at this as long as I still had sufficient arm strength to make it all the way around. Not a problem 10 years ago but with declining upper arm pulling power and increased belly size I'm more uncertain if I would find it hard lifting through the overhangs. You would certainly know you'd had an epic day out after this geo hunt.
Link to that entertaining video here.
Saturday, 5 January 2019
A weekend club trip in late November down to the Yorkshire Dales saw us stop at Penrith first, seen above, and the wonderful 'little chippy' where they serve the most amazing Cumberland Sausage suppers. ( the mighty Cumberland- the King of sausage folk, which makes a standard jumbo sausage look like a human pinkie by comparison, size for size, on the same plate.) The last time I visited the Yorkshire Dales, many years ago, and munched down a mighty Cumberland without it putting up a struggle, it was another club trip in November and we were camping near Horton in Ribblesdale. During the night, either through a rain shower or heavy dew the tents got soaked then froze solid to the ground creating sparkling flysheets that stood up by themselves even after the pegs and poles had been removed. In the morning it was around minus 5 below but bright, sunny, and clear.
Yorkshire husband waving a piece of paper in vindication. "See! I always told you Elizabeth- these buggers are different from us here." (wife (78 percent Irish, waving her own slip)- "I want a divorce! we're incompatible now! I always knew it!")
Up here I had to retract my earlier statement that Yorkshire appeared to be all grassy delightful paths around the hills. Although still not raining it was very wet underfoot with miles of bog trotting between summits. Thankfully only ankle to knee deep in places rather than the waist deep mud holes on The Cheviot, which I sampled a while ago. (Waist deep there and still going down before I grabbed the edge of the seemingly bottomless pit of mud.)
This is another group that should be better known by now. Been a fan of these two for many years. Genuine original artists making music are still out there but seem to be marginalized, and in the shadows much more, barely scraping a living at it through live touring. Any album and singles sales are much diminished compared to pre-internet levels. It is what it is though. Great back catalogue of original songs, fine harmony singing and intricate guitar melodies are usually a feature of this duo. Hopefully every plug helps to spread the word, however small. Gutted when Alisha's Attic broke up, another fantastic close harmony UK duo, after three great albums worth of original catchy material. Much harder to last these days and reach iconic status without a strong music industry promoting you and those that do survive are often not the most talented or best examples of original sparkling entertainment... going by recent trends.