The Vault Regulars

Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Duddon circular.

18th November 2017

We support the Duddon Valley as much as possible, whatever events are community run we try and be there.
This weekend we arrived at our friends place in Seathwaite with the purpose of seeing John Otway perform at the Ulpha rooms, the village hall.
It was one of the most bazar evenings we have ever witnessed. We now understand what "off the wall" means.
All i will say is that if you have never seen John Otway perform then you don't know what your missing.

We managed to get a short walk done as time was limited but the weather was lovely except extremely wet underfoot. On the return leg and on one of the easiest sections Sheila slipped and landed heavily on her elbow. Conrad came into mind. I had a bit of a chuckle as Sheila was sat in the mud clutching her elbow and wincing ever so much. 'Get up ya daft apeth" i said "ya coats all slimy with mud" don't forget its me that to wash this stuff.

I should have videoed the event but i didn't fancy going for a swim.
Here is the walk slideshow anyway.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The last of Autumn

With the recent gales and heavy rain of late our usual autumnal colours have almost gone for this year. We did our 10km walk today hoping to photograph the remnants. No words are needed as the slideshow is self explanatory.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Marple Mudlark

DIY, DIY, DIY, that's all i seemed to have been doing at the moment. Preparing and rushing to get things done before winter arrives. There's the reason the blog has been very quiet.

I have had a few offers from Martin B since he arrived home from Canada to join him and others on Friday walks. However i have had to decline. But thanks very much for the invites.
Then i got an email saying they were doing a Wednesday walk around Marple if i could make it.
I had nothing on that couldn't be put back a day and so set of at 6.12am on a bus into Manchester with Sheila. Sheila was going to work but we had time to have a super breakfast in Katsouris.
Absolutely stuffed we parted company. I slowly made my way up to Piccadilly train station taking time to look into shops that were open, i had bags of time.

It was a surprisingly warm and sunny day with a good ongoing forecast, i didn't need a coat. The awful Piccadilly gardens were quiet, still too early for the Manchester hoardes to be racing across town, heads down, earphones in place, faces without a smile. I stopped for a few minutes to watch the water fountains dance and change colours whilst one tourist (he had a suitcase) took selfies of him and the fountains.

The station was busy but not overly so and the excellent information board told me my train was on time and on platform 4. I had an hour to wait.
I think Piccadilly station is pretty good and well laid out although 30pence to use the loo is a bit much, especially when you don't have 30p in change and the machine only accepts the right money.
I just went to a coffee shop on the station approach and used their loo, it was free, and as i still had 50 minutes to kill i rewarded them with a purchase of a coffee.

All was calm as i passed through the ticket gate onto platform 4, the Bournemouth train had just left a little late. A tannoy told me my train was coming in on platform one and so i had to find a staff member to let me out and change platforms.

A sunny day at Manchester Piccadilly, on the wrong platform.
The journey to Marple in my Northern service cattle truck was uneventful as i was the only person in my carriage. At least we were on time, no leaves on the line, no stray cats, no signalling issues, no staff shortages. I alighted just 2 minutes late to find Martin, Sue and Graham Brookes waiting patiently for me. Thank you. 

After the usual greetings we set off. I have walked around some of Marple before but i cannot say i know it well and so this was all pretty new to me. Up onto the tow path of the Peak Forest Canal i got nettled and it is still stinging 24 hours on. We headed north towards Marple locks. 
 The Peak Forest Canal
 The two modes of transport, narrow boat aqueduct and the railway viaduct. Two fantastic structures.
We wondered if it would be possible to jump the canal at this narrow section but there were no volunteers to try it. The drop off the far side was scary.

We left the tow path just after the photo above and dropped down left to join the footpath where the mud was glutinous and created a good vacuum with my boots. Care was needed picking the right place to tread otherwise it could well have been knee deep.  


 The Marple countryside.
At this point the route became a bit vague as it approached farmland where a number of paths had been created by man and beasts. We had a bit of a meander/detour which eventually led us to the muddy route in the photo below. 
 Heading straight on trying to keep as far right as possible where the ground was a little firmer than the rest i touched the electric fence and found out that it was indeed electric. Still, Martin said the path gets better a little further on. Ha.
 Once the mud path had been successfully completed we entered a field of horses. Thankfully they were good horses and seemed pleased to see us, well Martins biscuits anyway. Martin now pondering the map decided that we had made another little meander and that we would have to go back through the muddy footpath and electric fence and do a detour to get us back on track.

Back at Lower Watermeetings Farm, an apt name btw, we found our correct route. It lead us over a main road and then crossing Gigg Beck where a wonderful mass of mushrooms presented themselves.
Edible i wonder?
Across another wet field brought us to a pleasant lane which we took for a short distance before heading on another muddy path down into Etherow country park. With it being school holidays it was quite busy with kids and dogs. There was plenty of bird life around and a few splendid Mandarin Ducks were spotted, both male and female, as well as Mallard, Cheeky ducks, swans, Canada geese and more.

 Colourful Male Mandarin Duck
 Female Mandarin Duck
At the park cafe we took the opportunity to have a coffee, thanks Martin. The park has large mill ponds which have now become fishing and wildlife reserves. It was a very pleasant walk and on exiting the park back into Marple town the old mills which would have utilised the pond waters are still here.
 The last section of the walk back to the railway station was through Brabyns park, our route following the swollen River Goyt. I left the other three on the car park below the station and made my train back by ten minutes which was again only two minutes late.
 Are they advertising the books or Marple?
Our muddy but pleasant route, 9.47 km.







Friday, October 13, 2017

FAME, Well i wouldnt go that far, but still.....

Isn't it a nice feeling when you get complimented in a publication.


I'm also on the front cover of the book.HERE
The book is called "Memoirs of a serial hiller" by Alan Butterworth.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mammut Creon Lite 45L plus rucksack for sale.

For sale is my Mammut Creon Lite 45L plus rucksack.

This is quite a rare sack in the UK, it took me ages searching to find it. This one happens to be my second one and is only being sold due to a birthday present of a new and different sack from Sheila.

Its in very good condition and shows no sign of wear on any straps, zips, hipbelt, pockets etc.
The only tiny marks are on the base as you would expect from a used sack.
The marks as i say are very tiny and do not detract from what is an excellent piece of kit which has been looked after and not overly used.
The photo of the base shows the tiny marks.

It weighs just 1.1kg.
Colour, predominantly Red and Grey.
The back length is adjustable, see photo.

There's a decent review of the sack HERE if you would like to read an independent one.

I would like to get £35 for the sack and postage, TO UK ONLY, i guess would be in the region of £6.




Friday, September 8, 2017

Walk to British Cemetary

Another scorcher of a day and so humid, we should have stayed around our pool but we decided to walk the 5 or 6km to the British Cemetery across the bay of Argostoli.
It's another steep start before an even steeper drop down into the town square.
Once on the waterfront we decided to have a second breakfast at the Grand Hotel. Walking down the waterfront where plenty of folk were searching out the turtles we stopped at the fruit market which is fantastic.
The bridge across the bay is 1km long and has been recently refurbished. They've done a good job.
At the other end of the bridge I spotted what I at first thought was a Renault tractor but it was an old Zetor painted orange.
There is a good cafe just before the cemetery but we chose to pass it and call in on the way back.
Would you believe it! The cemetery gates were padlocked with a notice to ring a certain telephone number. We were so disappointed.
Well we now had time on our hands. A quick discussion and we were on our way to the ferry terminal. The crossing to Lixouri and back with the sea breeze would be wonderful.
On our way back down the waterfront we spotted a lone turtle and got to the ferry just as it was arriving. Great timing.
The crossing only costs €2.80 each way and is great value. The breeze was delightful.
Parked outside the terminal was a Willis Jeep in superb condition.
We got back into Argostoli at around 1.45pm and had lunch at the Premier restaurant in the main square. Fantastic service and far too much food, we won't need tea or supper that's for sure.
Dorothy has a few blisters which were hurting a bit now that we had stopped so she got a taxi back with Sheila.
I walked back up the hill and across the headland back to Lassi.
A hot but rewarding walk.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Evening promenade

Much money has been spent in Argostoli rejuvenating the town square and tourist areas along with the earthquake damaged water front.
The Greeks say the Germans built it due to the bale out money Greece had to borrow recently.
I won't take this story any further because of the history between the two nations but if I just say some here are not happy you will get the picture and everyone we have spoken to are with UK leaving EU.
On the other hand the work that has been achieved is a credit, no pun intended, to the council. It's beautiful and a pleasure to walk especially now that it's all pedestrianised and well lit at night.
We did have to stop of at one point to do a quality control check on a Greek white wine in a taverna. It passed from what I remember. Ha.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Today's walk

Yesterday's 12km walk took it out of Dorothy so today I decided to do a shorter one.
To get a good start we chose Mels cafe to have breakfast. It was ordered at 9.30 and it arrived at 10.45. We should have walked out really but we were so hungry.
The walk as per yesterday was on a good track up to Grand view and then on back roads to Kalamatia beach for late afternoon lunch and a dip in the sea.
There is a cafe up at Grand View but we walked past. Good to see lots of improvements are ongoing.
Down by a narrow track we crossed the main road through Lassi and headed for the facilities in the Med hotel.
The back roads are quiet and full of colour from the Hibiscus and the multi coloured Borganvillia.(spelling ?) and very pleasurable.
We picked up the coastal path which passes the Lassi hotel and shortly dropped down to Kalamatia beach.
Here we had a fine simple lunch. Unfortunately I forgot to photograph it but believe me it was great and we capped it off with a rewarding swim.
About 8km and 2.5 hours.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Photos from Fanari trail

Had to send photos on separate post. I guess the post size was too big to send all at one go. Sorry.

Find it Here