Friday, May 29, 2009

Final day.

Wow - what a scorcher! Just as we all have to return to work and travel home, the sun comes out to play!
A final walk today returning to Gunnerside and Mucker which is one of our favourite areas for diversity. This time we played safe and followed the river up, across and then back again! Not technically difficult but lengthy anyway.
Beautiful banks of bluebells..
...and sheltered glades....
....returning over the hills for a final BBQ before the trip back home for pudding!
One final shot. I couldn't possibly end the holiday without a picture of these little critters...
They epitomise the Yorkshire Dales.
Tomorrow, back home and my next post will be from on board Khayamanzi hopefully!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

More walking....

So the weather wasn't great when we woke up this morning but the hills beckoned none the less. A quick stop at Ingleton for some BBQ meat and off towards Gunnerside for a magnificent walk over the hills with the cloud rolling in and large expanses of featureless moorland frequented only by the occaisonal grouse. Half way up, (1300ft above sea level to be precise,) and I saw this outside an old barn that was being converted into a luzury house.
I can only imagine that it houses an external mains hookup point amd that the unit was either bought or nicked from some part of the Leeds to Liverpool or Lancaster canal.
It was lovely to see old mine workings all over the place as we walked today. 'Lovely' for 3 reasons:
  1. It made interesting punctuation marks on the route,
  2. It was lovely to see British industry in previously successful days doing something well,
  3. It was incredible to see buildoings and structures built to last even though the engineers must have always known they would be temporary.

One such example left unwanted after it had finished its job was this stone crusher.

Here is Simba contemplating if we really have to walk along all that winding track!

Although when we arrived back to the car it was 21 degrees and shorts and shirt sleeves were the order of the day, as we ascended into the hills for a BBQ, the clouds rolled in and the BBQ was forced to become a spag. bol. back at the caravan - we'll try again tomorrow on what is to be the last day of the holiday.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Real Yorkshire weather.

VERY heavy rain overnight and during the first part of this morning accompanied by strong winds - not a day to be up in the hills so we decided to be a tourist!
A leisurely start this morning and on to visit Lancaster, (what a dump!) in order to buy some clothes and bits that I need for the new school term when I return. We then went to Hawes to visit the Dales Countryside Museum and had a walk around Hawes looking at the local shops during which time I bought a new pure wool throw for my sofa back on the boat!
A quick visit to the Wensleydale creamery only to find that the viewing gallery and museum was shut so we had to put up with a visit to the shop and the purchase of some amazing Wensleydale cheese with ginger - of which half was eaten by the time we returned back to the caravan!

Back home the sun was attempting to push through for the evening although the winds are still just as strong. The forecast for tomorrow is almost as bad as today with the impending heatwave beginning on the very day we plan to drive back home! We can't sit around and so we plan to go walking again for the final two days of our holiday regardless!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another one in the bag!

Another lovely day - very windy to say the least but lovely sunshine. A fried breakfast set the day up and off we went to Kettlewell for the start of our walk. A popular trail but one we had made up and tracked using Memory Map last night. I swear by my handheld GPS running Memory Map software. Although most of the trails are well trod, the summit of any peak can often get confusing and my GPS has made life simpler on many an occasion!

A steep climb up towards Hag Dyke at the start of the trip and then the short scramble to the summit of Great Whernside with the wind steadilly increasing until the arrival at the 'trig' point when it was a hard job standing still and jumpers and jackets were quickly unpacked. It makes you have a greater respect for these hills when you witness first hand just how quickly the weather can turn.

Lunch was had sitting in a totally wind-proof and very impressive sheep fold before the continuation on towards Black Dyke and along Starbotton Road returning back to Kettlewell via Top Mere Road and Cam Head.
The arrival back to the car park was greeted well and none less so than for Simba....
The day ended with another BBQ, (dodging the showers and using the car as shelter from the wind,) along a stunning litle beck with scenic views all round.
It's not hard to see why I find myself feeling so at home here - just take a look..'s so remote and rugged!
Typically, the weather is set to turn from tomorrow for the next 2 days so wlaking may be limited and we may have to become more of a tourist for a while. Another good day is forecast for Friday with temperatures set to soar for our return journey home on Saturday.

Monday, May 25, 2009

2 out of 3!

Hardly the 3 peaks challenge but last time we were walking here in the Dales we ticked off Ingleborough and today we 'done' Pen-y-ghent. Tomorrow we plan to 'do' Whernside' weather permitting.

A very pleasant walk which was almost too hot today with only a gentle breeze as we scrambled up to the top, pausing for lunch by a lovely little moss covered beck.

The clouds gathered and the wind was blowing up by the time we reached the car in the car park at Horton in Ribblesdale. Undeterred, we made our way over a particularly scenic route that we had marked on an old imperial map from many moons ago for a BBQ.

....only just in time as the last mouthfulls were accompanied by the patter of rain and by the time packed away and started the return journey home, the rain was heavy and steady. A stop off at Ingleton to the late night Co-op for some provisions and to save us time tomorrow and then home for pudding!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A million miles away.....

Well, this post comes from very sunny and warm Inleton in the Yorkshire Dales. Travelled up on Friday evening and had an excellent journey taking only 3 and a half hours. A short 10 mile walk yesterday to ease us into the swing of things - a walk that took us along the Carlisle to Settle railway line and the famous Ribblehead viaduct.
Not a particularly stunning walk with the only exciting feature being the viaduct and much of the walk along well used metal roads or tracks but good none the less. The next walks will be a little more 'off the beaten track' and up in the moors more!
The caravan is amazing! More luxury than my boat and wondeful scenery 360 degrees. Spectacular views out of every window including looking right across over Ingleborough.
Very little internet signal so posts may be erratic and pictures will certainly have to be small, (although they are a little larger when you click on them!)
Sunday roast lamb now before heading for the hills. This little lamb is for all those running around us who get under the caravan at night and keep us awake or who make us break sharply by leaping out of the roadside hedges in a Kamakazee fashion!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Simba has a new mate!

Here she is....

.....her name is Lyra and she belongs to Andy, (or does Andy now belong to her?) from NB Hilton here at Brinklow. She is stunning and so full of life! Simba loves her and they play for ages 'pretending' to be tough with teeth snapping but it's all for show and they get on so well with each other. Hope you don't mind me 'stealing' the picture from your blog! I need to get some pictures next time they're playing together.

Today, I managed to finish mowing the grass, (although I did get wet at the end!) The weather has been foul but the forecast tells me there is a chance it will get warmer and dryer towards the very end of the week - they had better be right as I head off to the Yorkshire Dales for my walking holiday.

I have been looking for a chance to get a pump out this weekend but the wind has simply refused to subside. I will now need to look for the opportunity one evening when I get home. Another busy week beckons. I have to clean the boat before leaving on Friday, sort out the lizard ready to be left, do the washing etc etc. We have a Victorian day in school on Tuesday. Rugby Theatre have loaned us some awesome costumes and props! They loan things FOC to local schools and they have an absolute Alladin's Cave of a wardrobe and props department. It should be a great day with the whole day being 'in role'. Sadly I believe it is now illegal to cane children!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

OK - start breathing again!

I thought it was about to time to post an update! A whole 2 weeks with no post, but then nothing's happened. Work has been absolutely frantic, in fact Friday lunchtime was the first time I stopped and had any sort of break whatsoever in the whole week. It's that time of year where every teacher will know what I mean, especially if they teach Year 6 who are now well and truely the top of the school and ready to move on!
Sats all last week but hopefully they might be the last. Report writing every spare waking time other than. Spent the morning writing reports and I now have the teacher comment and a comment and grade for English and maths done - only another 9 subjects to do plus the targets!
This afternoon I attempted to mow the grass. Got the tractor out - it poured with rain so I waited, started the engine - it poured with rain so I waited, put the cutters into gear - it poured with rain so I waited, cut the first few rows - it poured with rain so I gave up and put the tractor away again and went up the railway shed!
Talking of which, I'm starting to think about the lock and canal scene! Here is the lock:
Hopefully, it will be installed during June by my father when he comes up to 'Simba sit' whilst I'm in France with the children.
Spent a lovely evening last night with Derek & Sheila on board NB Clarence. We put the world to rights and helped the British economy with the imports of fine wines in traditional boaters style. It was long overdue as the invitation came some time back but for one reason or another things just didn't work. It was a lovely evening but it did mean a slow start to this morning as I didn't return to Khayamanzi till around 2.00am!
Now, there will be another slight pause in posting unless I get a signal in a weeks time. Next Friday, I'm off to the Yorkshire Dales with my father for our annual non boating walking holiday. I love the Yorkshire Dales and given fine weather the holiday should be wonderful. The fine weather bit is a worry however as I type this with the rain lashing down and the wind buffetting Khayamanzi back and forth into the jetty!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Making up for it!

Well a weekend of no blogs so I thought I'd make up for it tonight! Friday night and I, (eventually,) managed to get out of school and head down south to London for the weekend. Saturday saw me at the seaside! Well, where else will you see a seagull visiting the bird table?!
A great day with some lovely weather and a good weekend generally. I returned this afternoon to get jobs done and even managed to spend a short while in the railway shed.

Speaking of which, my father has completed a pair of railway workers cottages and I spent some time at the weekend building and painting a playground scene which now adorns the corner of the village green, well as the cricket figures for a match of crisket which now takes place on the green.

My father has developed an amazing little diarama involving the post office and another corner shop. You will notice the people having a good old natter on the pavement whilst a pair of cheeky children have opened the window to reach out for a cat on the roof. The local policeman seems oblivious to the danger as he watches the passing traffic from underneath the street lamp

One of the railway workers cottages with the front garden developing slowly!
The back of the other railway workers cottage. Clearly water saving is important as the butt collects rain from the outhouse. A corner patch in the garden is being developed as a flower bed and has recently been dug over.

Eric came up to visit me as I was working and I mentioned to him that I needed a small vacuum with a pipe to suck up bits of scatter and flocking that have strayed into 'un glued' areas. Shortly after, he arrived at the shed with this little beauty...
Someone was throwing it out and it was down by the dustbins in the marina. A huge thanks to whoever it was but it has gone to a very good home!
One thing we did do at the weekend was plan all the walks that we want to do in the May half term, (only a few weeks time!) This year, my father and I are heading up to the Yorkshire Dales again as it's one of my favourate areas. The farm that we camped on last time we visited the area in 2006 have a static caravan for rent and so we are using that this year to save having to tow our own caravan. It means we should have a nicer and warmer place to stay with rooms, decent heating etc.
I use Memory Map software to plan my walks. An awesome bit of kit that runs on my laptop for planning and then I create and print off a route card as well as send the overlay of the route to my handeld Pocket PC. When using this for the walk, it is very simple to use and shows a little compass to tell me which direction to walk in! It was a life saver, (possible literally,) up Kinder Scout when the mist rolled in - we even helped to get a bunch of very lost D of E treckers off the top!