Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Supporting Cancer Research UK on my Channel to Med ride

It's in the title really.

As with my LEJOG ride back in 2015, I'm hoping to raise some cash for Cancer Research UK whilst I'm, admittedly, having fun on my summer excursion across France.

I've already detailed my plans in this post so I'll not go over the details, save to say it's 1000 miles through France this June and July.

Here's a link to the JustGiving page I've started.

I'm well aware that everybody and their aunt is begging for money for charities nowadays so I'll try not to be too intrusive about this and I'll understand if, for whatever reason, you might choose not to support this cause. But, there again, I'll be really happy if you do.

So that's it.

And here are a few random pics from my LEJOG by way of reminding me of what I'm capable of...when I get off my arse.

Smile, and thanks for reading.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Ghost camp 3; Kinder

It's Saturday, in April, and Spring is threatening to bloom after the longest winter in the history of everything.
Crowther Towers is invaded by DaleGordon and James, accompanied by the waggy-tailed Reuben. Bacon and egg butties, coffee, tea and chocolate muffins are devoured by all, before the eight of us (including Pebbles, Islay and Reuben) set out, laden with backpacking kit, for the hills. 

We're a raggedy looking bunch.

Photo by Dale

Chrissie points out all the places she and I have been "misplaced" over long years.

                                                                               Photo by Dale

It's overcast, but, by the time we arrive at our chosen, haunted location, the fog is down and it's damp and murky.

Tents are chucked up, willy nilly, 'til they're scattered all about in the mist.

Chrissie goes over our itinerary with the pups, focusing on their role as Primary-Ghoul-Alarms.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," says Pebbles.
Islay, however, is taking this VERY SERIOUSLY.

Night draws in. The wind is howling, and the five human adventurers are forced to resort to Twitter as a means of communication.

As the wind begins to die away the ensuing silence is shattered by the sound of a woman, wailing mournfully (it's not Chrissie). The Primary-Ghoul-Alarms do not stir.

But there are some weird goings-on in Dale's tent.

 Photo by Dale

                                                                                                                       Photo by Dale

                                                                                                                              Photo by Dale...I think

The rest of us are much too frightened to go to Dale's aid, for fear of falling into the grips of the horrors in his tiny abode. 
"Sod 'im," we cry as one.

I'm far more concerned about the inedible concoction I've brought for my dessert. It is truly foul. I'm not normally a fussy eater, but I can only manage a few spoonfuls before giving in. Yeuk! And yes, Pete, I KNOW it's a breakfast, but most of us eat rice pudding for dessert. The lack of sugar in the recipe makes it taste like coloured gruel!

But, back to the paranormal activity. Throughout the evening there are more sounds; variously of howling dogs, bleating sheep and wailing women. They may, or may not, have something to do with the warped sense of humour which hides in the darkest corners of James' brain (or what passes for a brain). Reassured by the lack of concern by Primary-Ghoul-Alarms, we eventually give in to tiredness...and drift into fitful sleep.

Morning brings brighter weather. The mist has demisted itself...a bit...and there are views.

Breakfast is taken, lazily...

...and the dogs awake, bleary eyed.

We're amazed to see Dale has survived the night. But he appears to have been wandering abroad in the darkness and can find no trace of his tent. James gallantly offers to help him look for it...sadly, to no avail.

Gordon, meanwhile, is gobsmacked at waking to find his new tent is still standing, him being used to flimsy, tarpy things which don't withstand "weather". I point that out that this is normal for a "proper tent".

And soon, we're packed, (except for Dale, who's sobbing, uncontrollably, at the loss of his shelter) and away, down the hill.

All along the way Gordon is waving his arms and shouting prayers of thanks to the Almighty Terra Nova, while Dale puts on a feeble attempt at a "brave face" and James farts, silently...Chrissie, quietly practises her modelling pose.

As the "friends" return, Mother Nature places all manner of obstacles in their way. But being Epic Adventurers they battle, and survive, wild river crossings and treacherous stiles, and Dale (such a hero) still thinks he's fooling us. Bless 'im.

Finally, having conquered Mount Doom and flung the ring into the depths of hell, our heroic band return, weary but happy, to the safety of Crowther Towers, there to consume vast quantities of toast, tea, coffee and lashings of strawberry jam, before finally wending their ways home to their little homes under the hill...

Islay says, "Bollocks!"

Monday, 2 April 2018

March backpack; Bleaklow and Kinder

I'm feeling too busy to write this but it needs documenting, quickly, before other adventures take over. We've just picked up a new van, so a bit preoccupied.

Anyway, me an' Dale were supposed to be cycle camping last week, but neither of us fancied the forecast, so we decided to hike instead. The following's a rattle through pics.

We walked from Hayfield up over to a bowl on the lower slopes of Bleaklow. It (Monday) was a glorious day. Once camped, we lazed in the sun.

Tuesday was crappy weather. It mizzled mercilessly all flippin' day. We battled across the moors to Alport Castles, crossed the Snake Pass road and climbed up onto Kinder's far eastern edge before finding a camp spot on shorter heather.

Wednesday brought snow...again...fed up of it now. But we enjoyed the tramp around the southern edges before dropping down via Edale Cross, to Hayfield...and cheese on toast.

We actually had a great time...talking rubbish...grumbling...and laughing.

Thanks for a good trip Dale.

PS Can't compete with Dale for brevity...