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Cheap Accommodation Cairns
ld172 + Roger's Log
Lake District, - October 12th -16th, 2009
Photo Gallery below
Participants: Nick Ashton, Roger Ellis, Simon Fishburn, Neil Macalister,
Mike Smith, Tony Ward
Accommodation: Smallwood House, Compston Road, Ambleside, LA22 9DJ
Tel: 015394 32330, Props: Anthony and Christine Harrison
(?36 per night). Ranking: 8 out of 10 (small bathrooms/difficult parking).
Depart Ingatestone 9.30 am, arrive Ambleside via M6 (and The Beeches Brasserie, Standish) at 3.15 pm for total distance of 305 miles. Bright sunshine all the way.
Afternoon walk around Rydal Water and Grasmere. 6? miles (2? hours).Pass Wordsworth’s abodes at Rydal Mount and Dove Cottage, Grasmere. Several parties of Japanese ladies in Grasmere, either Dove Cottage and admiring Japanese maples. Nice pint of Hawkshead bitter at ‘The Badger’ in Rydal. Meet up with Simon and Mike at Smallwood House in the evening and select ‘White Lion’ for dinner. Rump steak tests Tony’s teeth and Ella’s beard tests Nick. Manage third place in pub quiz.
Plan is to climb Bowfell (2,960 ft) and Crinkle Crags (2,816 ft). Arrive at start point - NT car park at Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, Langdale - and set off in bright sunshine at 10.15 am. A steady plod up The Band for 1? hours and overhaul (briefly) another group of ‘summer winers’. Simon keeps on path to Three Tarns where we hope to rendezvous for lunch. Rest of party take the Climbers’ Traverse, an exhilarating high level walk towards Bowfell buttress and Cambridge Crag. Cloud and mist developing but still good views of Harrison Stickle and Pike of Stickle across the Langdale Valley. Enjoy the spring at foot of Cambridge Crag then negotiate the River of boulders up the side of the Great Slab. Cloud and mist makes visit to the summit of Bowfell rather pointless so head down to the col at Three Tarns for lunch. No sign of Simon.
Set off to traverse Crinkle Crags around 2 pm in thickening mist. Meet Gretchen from the Alps who is wearing Bond Street gear rather than Milletts stuff and who complains bitterly at lack of cable cars and restaurants. Her partner is unhappy and unable to locate himself - a sign of things to come for us. Cairns difficult to locate and progress is slow. Reach what we think is the highest crag but few signs of distinct path. Eventually arrive at the Bad Step, which looks a bit tricky, with no clear means of avoidance. Wainwright says to proceed 140 yards west and descend a grassy rake but party decides to return to Three Tarns as visibility is so poor. (Wainwright describes the Bad Step as “the most difficult obstacle met on any of the regular walkers’ paths in Lakeland” and says that in mist on Crinkle Crags “go nowhere unless there is evidence that many others have passed that way before”.)
Descent of The Band is arduous and involves several unscheduled stops (Tony 2, Mike 4, Nick 2). Knackered party eventually assembles at Dungeon Ghyll car-park at 6.45 pm for a total distance of 10.2 miles in 8? hours. Tony receives invitation to join the National Trust.
Meanwhile Simon (who descended The Band like an ‘arthritic crab’) has returned to Ambleside and has booked dinner at Matthew’s Brasserie for 8 pm. Wild boar, duck and beef bourguignon on the menu, washed down with some pleasant Chilean merlot (?170 including tip). Nightcap in The Sportsman.
Opt for a ‘rest day’ and a boat-trip across Lake Windermere in the mist and murk. Arrive at Wray’s Castle (Victorian Folly). Skipper of the ‘Princess of the Lake’ insists that our plan to start in the south and walk north is not the right way to do things so party disembarks (Nick is thrown off). Pleasant 1? hour woodland walk to Ferry House. Extend walk on gentle circular route via Far Sawrey and a drink at The Craife Crier. Return to ferry landing stage for crossing to Bowness and return to Ambleside aboard SS Swan. On return, Tony finds car has been bumped by Smallwood’s owner. Enjoyable meal at the Jade Garden Cantonese restaurant before repairing to The Sportsman to catch the second half of England v Belarus. Late stayers surrounded by short skirts attending the Wednesday disco.
Party fully rested and recovered and ready to climb the Old Man of Coniston (2,633 ft). Depart Coniston village at 10.15 am in misty conditions. Squeals of excitement from Church Beck where a party of girls (probably from last night’s disco in Ambleside) are ‘gorge walking’ or ‘ghyll scrambling’. (from ?25 per half day including wet suit, hard hat etc). Good progress towards the Old Man via the mining and quarrying areas below the tarn of Low Water.
(NB Copper mining at Coniston began in 1599. Early miners were Germans brought over by the Elizabethan ‘Company of Mines Royal’. Mining was initially opencast, with the first tunnels driven in the 17th Century using fire and cold water (prior to gunpowder). Coniston’s heyday was in the mid 1800s. Hundreds were employed (mainly Irish) and mining reached down to depths of more than 1,200 fe
lmrk008 Cairn on Rabbit Mountain
This surely stretches the label of Rock Art but this cairn on Rabbit Mountain near Lyons, Colorado seems to have made the leap from simple landmark to a true sculptural art piece. It stands near the path of one of the trail loops. It may be a fine piece of collection art where it collects elements as people go by. I wonder how really different that might be from the traces of the ancients?
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