Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Wednesday 10 June 2015 – Historic Marple (2)

1001canal

This was another of Jack’s guided walks for SWOG. His previous outing, on 20 August 2014, is recorded here.

Today Sue and I would have set off from The Navigation if we could have found it (it’s in Marple on the main road by the canal), but we soon caught up with the twenty or so folk from SWOG who were ambling along the towpath in Jack’s delicate care.

We soon passed a converted mill building near where various short side branches of the Peak Forest Canal, to now disused mills and lime kilns, have been blocked off for some time.

1003marple2

However, it’s good to see the main canal, part of the 98 mile circuit that is the ‘Cheshire Ring’, in fine working order.

1004marple41005canal2

We wandered along to the aqueduct that dates from 1800. This is the highest canal aqueduct in England and the highest masonry-arch aqueduct in Britain. In the 1960s it was faced with demolition, but was saved with the help of a politician, Geoffrey Rippon.

1006aqueduct1

This is a route that I used for ‘pushchair walks’ with my children back in the 1980s. Until recently views of the arches have been obscured by the uncontrolled growth of self-set trees, but these have recently been felled and the path has been upgraded, allowing easier access and good views through the arches of the aqueduct to those of the more recent railway viaduct.

1007aqueduct2

It’s the time of year, as readers may already have noticed, when fields in this part of the world that aren’t being used for other crops are a yellow riot of buttercups, as here on the approach to the Watermeetings Farms.

1008field

After a pleasant stretch alongside the Goyt, and an illustrated history of Compstall from Jack, we turned towards Brabyns Park, past The George, which until recently was a vibrant pub with a fine bowling green, utilised on various occasions as a start and finish point for our evening walks.

But not today…

1009george

By contrast, the old iron bridge that leads into the park now sports a viewing platform and an impressive information plaque.

1010brabyns11011brabyns2

The bridge dates from 1813 and is apparently the only remaining cast iron bridge in the north west of England.

1012bridge

A little way upstream is one of many weirs built when the River Goyt provided power for numerous mills hereabouts.

1013weir

A walk in the park saw us pause beside this mill pond for Jack’s final speech.

1014pond1015lecture

Thanks go to Jack for his informative efforts, the highlight of his commentary being to point out the curious nature of one of the occupants of the cemetery that we passed before adjourning for an excellent beverage in The Navigation.

1016cemetery

Here’s our route – 7.5 km in well under 2 hours. One of many options for a short walk in this area.

1099route

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Monday 8 June 2015 – Jacob Visits Chester Zoo

0813meercat5

Sue and I enjoyed a lovely day out with Jacob. It was his first visit to a zoo, and our failure to visit the lions and alligators was for good reason. We didn’t want the four year old to have nightmares.

He didn’t seem seem to be bothered by the meercats though, whose main threat here seemed to come from a persistent band of magpies, whose diet maybe matches that of the meercats.

This rhino seemed curious, but posed no threat.

0808rhino3

The monorail afforded us good views of zebras and other inmates.

0816train1

Two types of flamingos were separated by a low fence. These are the dark orange variety (as opposed to the light orange variety).

0826flamingo3

We whizzed through the aquarium area, pausing only briefly to admire the seahorses.

0835seahorse1

By way of contrast, we spent an age with the penguins, who were fascinated by Jacob’s lollipop stick, which must have looked to them like a tasty little fish.

0880penguin

I was the only one to catch a proper sight of the giraffes, who were allowed out briefly, but their usual viewing points were closed as one of them had given birth the previous night.

0843giraffe

The jaguars are housed in a large enclosed area, but they looked quite happy.

0863jaguar1

The day passed all too quickly. The four year old showed good stamina and was a pleasure to be with. He’s pictured below with his reward for good behaviour.

0877giraffe7

We can’t wait to go again. In the meantime, here’s a slideshow (36 images plus any added later from Sue’s album). Click on the first image and then click on ‘slideshow’.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

TGO Challenge 2015 – Index of Postings

0949ClachanGeald

This posting is by way of an index to my daily entries, with links at the foot of each entry to daily slideshows that should open in a new window, and a link to the next day’s posting if you wish to continue reading without having to scroll back up the pages.

The majority of readers may prefer a single slideshow covering the whole crossing, so I’ve selected a few images from each day, giving a 119 image captioned slideshow – click here, then click on the first image and then click ‘slideshow’.

INDEX

Getting to the Start

Day 1 - Dornie to Coire na Breabaig

Day 2 - Coire na Breabaig to Garbh-choire

Day 3 - Garbh-choire to Kerrow House B&B, Cannich

Day 4 - Kerrow House B&B to Loch nam Meur (north)

Day 5 - Loch nam Meur to Aslaich B&B, Drumnadrochit

Day 6 - Drumnadrochit to Allt Cailtidh confluence at NH 612 207

Day 7 - Allt Cailtidh confluence to Carn Caol - NH 770 155

Day 8 - Carn Caol to Vermont Guest House, Aviemore

Day 9 - Aviemore to Glen Luibeg (NO 020 937)

Day 10 - Glen Luibeg to Thornbank Cottage, Braemar

Day 11 - Braemar to Broom Hill (NO 281 798)

Day 12 - Broom Hill to Tarfside

Day 13 - Tarfside to North Water Bridge

Like Lemmings to the Sea!

Day 14 - North Water Bridge to Nether Woodston

Finally, here’s a reminder of our route – 327 km with 11,100 metres ascent.

tgocrouteactual1

Enjoy!

That’s it. I should do the same for previous years, but I have other priorities just now…

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Friday 5 June 2015 – Buttercups in Deepest Cheshire

0508buttercups1

This was the first of four ‘Deepest Cheshire’ evening walks organised by Andrew.

Six of us turned up early, intending to enjoy a pre-walk tipple at Sam Smith’s Olde Park Gate Inn. It’s not the first time that our planned rendezvous in Deepest Cheshire has proved to be drier than expected!

0501Parkgate

There was a minor conflab re our route, but I’m sure Andrew had it planned to a high degree of precision.

0502Parkgate2

This is the map they were looking at….

0598route1

We were soon strolling along the good path by Foxfield Wood, on a lovely sunny evening.

0503foxfield

Jodrell Bank rose above the flat landscape, as on many most of Andrew’s excursions into Deepest Cheshire.

0504jodrell1

One of Cheshire’s principal crops just now appears to be Buttercups.

0507byWoodend

The light was starting to fade as we crossed a footbridge over the Peover Eye that eventually runs into the River Weaver.

0510PeoverEye

Towards the end of our walk we passed the locked gates of the private mansion that is Peover Hall.

0512hallgates

Lengthening shadows heralded a cloudless sunset.

0513byhall20514byhall3

The Whipping Stocks (a hostelry) was beckoning, hence the blurred figures in the evening light, with the hall in shade behind us.

0515byhall40516peoverhall

Here’s our 8 km (5 miles) route, all on good paths and quiet lanes, taking well under two hours.

0599route

Well, that was a good way to spend an evening. Unfortunately I can’t get to the next three walks on Andrew’s programme, but he and Sue will be there to well anyone who cares to join them. Details are below:

Thursday 25 June
Deepest Cheshire (2) - starting at 7.30pm from the Bird in Hand, Knolls Green, Mobberley (SJ 803 795).

Thursday 16 July
Deepest Cheshire (3) - starting at 7.30pm from the Crown Inn, Main Road, Goostrey. (The one furthest from the Church, SJ 778 700.)

Thursday 30 July
Deepest Cheshire (4) - starting at 7.30pm from the Egerton Arms, Chelford (SJ 807 752).