Thursday, August 27

Gathering in the Glens.

The Craigs of Loch Brandy

22nd of August 2009.

Gathering in the Glens, is a geocaching event that been going on for a few years now in Glen Clova. We have only been going for the past two years but the event seems to be gaining in popularity and attendance. Its a wonderfull setting with lots of geocaches to be found, there is the opertunity to camp out which the kids will love, some people stay at Glen Clova hotel's bunkhouse, a quieter alternative, we stay at the campsite just ourside Kirriemure.
I tackled a fantastic little walk, about 4 hours with a snack break, around Brandy Loch, a circular walk that starts just out the back of the hotel, was six and a half mile, maximum hight 850 meters or around 2800 feet in old money. Some great views of the glen from up there as well as Mt Keen and Lochnagar 22nd of August 2009.

Sunday, August 16

My First Munro

11th August.

Lochnagar - Meikle Pap, a Munro top at 980 meters (3215 ft)
not the hardest hill walk I have had but the highest, for about an hour when I reached, Lochnagar - Cac Carn Beag, 1155 metres (3789 feet). Will have to do it again as I couldn't see a thing.

Saturday, August 15

Seeing family and friends.

28th July to 6th August.

Saltburn pier and Huntciffe.

A quick trip across to the other side of England to see the family and friends, in the form of people and places we hadn't seen for a while, just in case we were feeling home sick.
On our way to Loftus we had fish and chips on Redcar seafront then on to Saltburn where by a stroke of luck we bumped into my brother. An evening in the pub was followed by a visit to Staithes, nothing had changed much.
On returning to see the grandkids we took them out for the day, a trip in the campervan with ice creams can be a big adventure, especially if a little geocaching in the offing, all that done we decided a visit to Dorman museum may be a good idea, put it into the satnav and off we went. We were a little surprised to see the satnav trying to take us into the River Tees, as we turned a corner we heard here say "And now board the ferry", it was the transporter bridge, something I hadn't ridden since I was about 5 or 6.


Next day we left for Oswestry, where!, no I'd never heard of it and it was a bit of a "dart in the map" destination. Seemed kind of central for exploring a few places and handy for Derbyshire which was to be our next stop.Oswestry was an interesting little town to walk around and the following day we went off to Portmeirion, North Wales.
The Peak district, Light and Dark, visited Cassington Water, an extremely popular place for a family day out. Dovedale seemed to be popular as well but you could get away from the crowds a little. A walk from Castleton to Hope, that was a very interesting area with its crags and caverns so I must visit again.

Over Hayfield.

Finally Hayfield to see a friend I hadn't seen for a good long while, didn't get a great opportunity to do any big hill walking but I must revisit Tom and do a lot more walking and photography in this area.
Have been to some great places over these hols most I would certainly go back too, the drive back was arduous but very do able.

One thing I learnt on this trip, strong coffee and driving in town doesn't mix.

Friday, August 7

Oban and The Lakes.

Deer in Glen Etive.
20 th - 27th July.

We set off for almost three weeks on the road, Oban then down to the Lake District, across to Teesside seeing family and friends then down to the Peak district. We started off with a satnav adventure where the Garmin took us down Glen Etive only to find the forrest "track" she intended taking us down was closed, the upside being we saw a Golden eagle and the scene above.
Oban is a quaint little port, fairly busy with tourists even though it rained most of the time, so much so the windscreen wipers packed up, but were sorted by a very helpful garage even when they were snowed under at the time. A few geocaches in town and a visit to a waterfall, An Rhuadh Darach which was only discovered recently.

Off then to the Lake District and Keswick, We have both visited the "Lakes" a few times in the past and did try to go at Easter but left it to late, being all booked up. It is a very busy place and the poor weather (still raining) didn't seem to put the crowds off. Thats the problem with the lakes, too crowded and I think the landscape of Scotland has really spoilt me for this area, pretty as it is.

Castlerigg stone circle.

We visited Castlerigg stone circle, The Bowder stone in Borrowdale and Ambleside tried to find Kurt Schwitters grave in which I had found 8 years ago but couldn't re-find but that was very much a spur of the moment thing.
We did go out for a few ales in Keswick on the Friday night, it was very nice being in a town with none of the usual Friday night ruckus, however we made it an earlyish evening but it did all seem very civilized.

At the time I wasn't that enamored by our visit to the lakes, it could have been the weather or perhaps that whenever we have visited its always this particular area, next time I will go further south.

Talking about a few ales, as we left to take the short drive across to Teesside, we felt there was plenty of time to take in a walk somewhere along the way, so as it had been in the news recently we wondered if we could find Sleddale hall which had been, Withnail's uncle Monty's country cottage in the cult classic "Withnail & I". We found it and found it worthy of a cache placement.

One thing I learnt this trip, you don't get your money back if it rains whilst camping in the Lakes.