Monday 29 July 2013

The Pennine Way

      Well the first 70 miles or so of it! Ian and I walked this in some of the hottest, most humid conditions I've experienced. Although Ian had over a number of years had walked some of this section, I have only walked an odd couple of miles here and there.
      But the most vivid memory for me will be the apparant lack of use of this our first National trail. Much of it overgrown, even by rushes between the stone flags.

Ready for the off, although by now it was well gone 1pm

The foot of Jacobs Ladder before the climb on to Kinder. We saw more people here than the rest of the walk!

We were enveloped in mist from the top of Jacobs Ladder, a shame as I was looking forward to the walk along the edge to Kinder Downfall. Here Ian consults the map at Kinder Low.

Kinder Downfall shrouded in mist, much like last time when I was here probably 20 years ago.

Devils Dyke and the search was on to find water and a spot to camp.

The following morning as we descended from Bleaklow Head the sun started to burn the mist away. The path above Torside Clough wends itsn way through the heather.

It looked a long way down to the reservoirs in Longdendale from here. The path hugs the edge for much of the way.

After crossing Longdendale we climbed up towards Laddow Rocks, this seemed hard work in the humid conditions around midday.

The summit of Black Hill, this must have been purgatory before the flags were laid. But today it was an easy walk. The trig is slowly but surely slipping away, Ian is leaning in sympathy!

After a very hot day we found a great place to camp beside Black Moss Reservoir. The humidity had built throughout the day, thunderstorms were forecast for the next day.

Sure enough the thunderstorms arrived early in the morning. It was a wet walk over Standedge. Here we're approaching the A672, and a burger/buttie van! 

Once across the M62 we were soon on Blacstone Edge, lots of interest on this section for a Cumbrian lad.

The trail leaves Blackstone Edge by the "Roman Road" (not actually Roman) The paving is in remarkably good condition. Lots of feet/hooves/carts must have travelled this way.

After a refreshment at the White House pub which was very busy, the going was the easiest so far as the trail follows reservoirs and water catchment drains

Stoodley Pike, which had been in view for a long time was eventually reached. A milestone indeed.

A long descent into Calderdale to Callis Bridge (Hebden Bridge is bypassed!) Then a stiff climb out of the valley using lots of confusing paths and bridleways.

It does feel like you're going against the grain so-to-speak. After the climb out of Calderdale you immediately drop into Colden Clough to cross this spendid old clapper bridge. 

Our campsite for the night was at "May's Alladin s Cave". Only available to Pennine Way walkers!

A fresher morning and after a short climb we crossed under Standing Stone Hill.

This Warland Reservoir and this view of a drawn down water level was a common theme throughout our time on the walk.

In spite of what appears to be a lack of use of the Pennine Way, there were lots of new flags being laid on the section from Warland over to Withens.

Top Withens, and we start to see people again. Even the footpath signs are in Japanese!

Here at Ponden the heat was incredible and once more the humidity was building. Sure enough it would rain within the hour.

Our camp at a basic site in Cowling, shared with lots of Hen's. The brollys had kept the worst of the rain off.

Looking back from Cowling Hill to the hillside where my father played as a child, before his family moved to the Lakes.

The last proper hill of our walk, Pinhaw Beacon. This small hill has a cracking view, and for the old and infirm is only a short walk from the road which crosses its flanks.

After a long gradual descent from Pinhaw, and lots of field paths the Leeds-Liverpool canal is reached.

The famous "double" bridge at East Marton, and a bit of welcome shade.

Gargrave and the end of our walk on the Pennine Way....I'll be Back!!


Thursday 18 July 2013

It's ALL about the Bike......

Last Sunday, the 14th I had a great day out on the BMW. I had almost come to the point of selling  it due to lack of use/time, but Sunday confirmed what I have probably known deep down all along. Bikes are in my blood and I love 'em! But this one in particular. I can't explain it, its just how it I make no apologies for lots of self indulgent motorbike photo's. (and one or two of the trip)

All packed, checked and ready to go

After a short spell on the M6, it was up and over Orton Scar with the Howgills laid out to the South

Minor roads through lots of sleepy villages including Crosby Ravensworth, Temple Sowerby, and Melmerby brought me to Hartside. The early morning mist was starting to clear as I reached the cafe at the summit.

Through Alston and onwards towards Haydon Bridge the road crosses the South Tyne here near Langley

Having crossed the Tyne proper at Hexham, I stopped near Wall to have a look at a part of Hadrians Wall at Brunton at Brunton a section I've not explored in the past.

These four chaps are in front of  Wallington Hall, a Natioal Trust property

Hello "Beaky"!....I'd arrived at the North Sea at Alnmouth, and it was now scorching!!

My loose plan now was to head North along the coast, passing through Boulmer, Craster, Newton, and Beadnell. Seahouses was as usual packed, I passed through to a more peaceful stretch  and walked through the dunes to get a view of the Farne Islands

Here in Berwick-on-Tweed I could see tha Haar coming in off the sea, but inland all was blue sky. 

Through the town walls, just the other side (although you can't tell from this picture) all was covered in Haar.

A thought provoking sculpture on the harbour wall at Burnmouth. It commemorates a fishing disaster from 1881

As I walked round the small harbour at Burnmouth the Haar began to disperse.

The geology is very contorted here, the layers of rock on end. Not to friendly to boats of any size.

Next stop, Eyemouth. Lots of folk about here, many attracted by the seals in the harbour it seemed, four of them I thought. Home to two lifeboats, testement to the wild North Sea.

St Abbs was only a few miles further up the coast, this is the lifeboat staion within the harbour

St Abbs is a mecca for divers, drawn here by the clear waters of the Marine Conseration Area. I seemed to be the only person not going diving!

I chatted to a couple of divers who said the visability was as good as they'ed ever experienced here. There was no wind to speak of and little swell, but apparently alot of currents running with the tide.
St Abbs had to be my turning point, so I plotted a rough route back avoiding busy roads as much as possible and headed back.

I passed through Duns, sadly "The Jim Clark Room" was closed. I shall have to make a return visit.

The roads here in the Borders are very quiet and generally well surfaced, so this is the sign I like to see.
 Always proceed with caution mind. 

Here in Kelso my tummy was I sat in the Millenium Viewpoint and had a snack. Looking over the town enjoing the early evening sun.

I paused to photograph the abbey in Jedburgh, although the low sun (in the Wrong Place) baffeled my compact camera.
Perhaps I was in the wrong place? Or in the right place, at the wrong time!

Down through Bonchester Bridge, past Kielder and through Newcastleton and Canonbie to arrive at Longtown. This is the River Esk. it ALL about the Bike?, for me its about the journey, the places I see and the people I meet. But the Bike is the last piece of the jigsaw which completes the experience.
It had been a grand day out!