Archive for September 2011

The Great Escape   15 comments

I was a man with a plan!

On our regular trips to Porth Towyn you can always see the Snowdonia mountains yet we’ve never taken the chance to catch up on some walking there. Time to change that. I asked the better halves of ED and EWO whether they could “come out to play” and like the angelic creatures they are they said yes. The boys were mad for it and agreed with suggested plan to the Nantlle ridge especially ED as he’d never done it before and had heard good things about it. The weather had been great and looked settled so we were up and away by 7:30am before anyone was up and faithfully promised we’d be back lunchtime (yeah right!)

I first did the Nantlle ridge with Jane back in the distant past of the mid 1980’s – yes I’m that old. I hadn’t sussed that there was a circular route so ended up battling through the fields at the far end of the lake and walking back along the road on a seriously hot and sultry day. I was young and inexperienced in those days. And I had hair. And I was skinny and lean.

Sorry, where was I. Yes 2011, Nantlle ridge. Many years later Uncle Fester showed me a cunning circular route that only missed out the last peak so I thought I’d share this with the boys this time around.

As we set off there was still mist clinging to hills and filling some of the valleys. Not quite the cloudless skies we had hoped for but atmospheric nonetheless.

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Cnicht and the Moelwyns

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The hard work begins

As we approached the start of the steep climb to Y-Garn we noticed a large bird of prey. Fortunately we had our resident nature expert with us but he wasn’t able to identify between a buzzard or a marsh harrier. My guess was the latter as it was large bird that flew out of, well, a marsh. I have my own theory on flora and fauna nomenclature. Be much easier if we stopped wasting time trying to give names to every variation of plant and animal life and remember them. Keep it simple. Birds for example. Wouldn’t it be easier if you just said there were 4 birds of varying shapes and sizes and hues: Seabirds, Birds of Prey, LBJ’s and Other Birds. Now isn’t that easier. Works for trees too (Oaks, Poplars and Conifers). You know I’m right. “Time for a lie down Mr Jones”

Anyway, back to the walk. Y-Garn is not an ideal first hill of the day, especially for a me at 8:30am.

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EWO takes a breather – a rare occurence

A steady plod with numerous stops to play name that hill helps with the effort.

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Moel Eilio

ED in his post has accused me and EWO of just making it up – I’m outraged. I may not have a bloody clue but I never make things up. Well almost never. Actually I make alot of stuff up. My kids don’t believe a word I say any more. Never forgiven me for convincing them that Trig Pillars have salami inside them.

Lost the plot again. Y-Garn, yes, steep that was it. The summit looks quite sharp from the start and indeed it does have a precipitous face. The summit however has a plateau-like feel to it.

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Moel Hebog

We’d earned a rest so a long stop for a late breakfast and some stories was in order while we contemplated the day ahead. I mentioned before that I’m not a fan of the route march approach. If you can’t stop long and often on a good day then I don’t see the point. Fortunately ED and EWO share my love of a good long rest so we chatted, identified peaks, stuffed faces and took the p**s out of each other as always. Does life get better than this.

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ED and EWO enjoy breakfast

Time to move on to the next and best part of the ridge, Mynydd Drws y Coed. The northern cliffs are spectacular and the ridge narrow, rocky and interesting with some great situations.

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Mynydd Drws y Coed

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EWO and Mynydd Mawr

Alas it’s pretty short and over all too soon and despite the fact we’d only gone about a mile we felt it appropriate for another rest on the summit. The views around were awesome with the main Snowdonia mountains to the west, Anglesey to the north and the Lyn Peninsula to the west.

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Mynydd Mawr

We watched the trains on the newly completed West Highland Railway now linked from Portmadoc to Caernarfon, EWO got very excited – he’s a train-spotter you know, he has the satchel to prove it.

On to Trum y Ddysgl, a much grassier peak.

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ED enjoying the ridge

We toyed with the idea of and out and back to Mynydd Tal y Mignedd but we felt yet another long stop was a more profitable use of our time. The route then follows a broad grassy ridge above Cwm Dwyfor with excellent views across to Moel Hebog, a wild outlier and one marked as definite hill to do another time. The valley below, Cwm Pennant has some interesting mine workings which look worth an explore. Maz over at The Journeyman Traveller has a great post about this route and the mines area. I strongly recommend you check out this post and his blog,  he’s a great writer.

Down at the col of Bwlch y Ddwy Elor, the path turns NW and heads back towards the start point through the forest. The slopes here were thick with bilberries, more than I’ve ever seen. ED and EWO gorged on them but I declined. Fruit with seeds in are just wrong. Except strawberries. “Time for your medicine Mr Jones”

We watched a large Bird of Prey for a while from the col. ED reckoned it was a buzzard and tried some photos. I was more than happy with the “Bird of Prey” name. We were just left with a walk through the trees past a rather impressive stream before we got back to the car. We were surprised (well not all that surprised really) to see it was past 2pm and that we were not going to make it back for our promised lunchtime return. I did suggest we could celebrate a good day with a cheeky pint in the pub. I was persuaded otherwise on the basis that:

a) It would be a betrayal of the trust shown in us by better halves and therefore wholly inappropriate
b) Jane would cut off my b******s and put them in jar on the mantlepiece

Seeing as I was happy with my dangling appendages to remain in their current location we swiftly headed back for a brew and more time on the beach with the kids. ED has his own blog for the day here so you can get his more coherant version of the day. 4.5 miles and 2,400 feet of ascent

I already have a plan for next year……

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“Didn’t we have a loverley time……”   8 comments

As I mentioned in my Nether Wasdale post we have a few gatherings every year of all my old university friends and families. Every July (first weekend of the school holidays) we all meet up at a campsite we’ve discovered on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales. It’s a large site and the facilities are quite simple but it’s a no fuss sort of place, very relaxed and the lady that runs it is really friendly and welcoming. Most people camp in a large field where there is plenty of room for games and for the kids to run about and there is always a nice relaxed friendly atmosphere.

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The Jones family canvas home

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Lunch in the sun

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"The Next Generation"

However the best bit is the beach, a cracking sandy spread that’s just a 10 minute stroll across the site and fields.

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Our own private cove

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Where's the kitchen sink?

Whenever we go to the busier coastal areas you have to plan a day out with military precision; packed lunches, all the beach paraphernalia and timed so you get a space on the car park. Here we can just wander to and from the beach as we please and if your forget a much-loved bucket a sentimental spade or you’ve just brought the wrong-shaped biscuits you can just pop back and get them. For me not using the car is an absolute god-send and it’s a real chance to just chill out and relax. I’m extremely lucky that I’ve been to some stunning places but this particular weekend with my family and my friends in such an unassuming place is my favourite holiday place.

Needless to say the kids just adore the beach. It’s the perfect mix of clean sand for building castles and playing sports, rockpools with loads of fish and crabs and rocks to scramble on.

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Fun in the sun

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Fun in the waves

The kids all get on famously so the adults can just sit back and relax (apart from the youngest who even though he’s only 4 still insists on climbing the steepest, sharpest rocks much to his parents despair and fear)

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D practices his coasteering techniques

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EWO goes fishing

Building a sandcastle and then watching the tide try to wash it away it also a big favourite. I missed out this year – everyone stays for the week while I have to go back to work for a few days.

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It's a serious business

It’s all hands to try to build various walls and towers to divert the incoming tide and it never fails to make me smile at how middle-aged professionals (like me) instantly become children again with beach spade in their hand and take the whole business so VERY seriously. I’m not in my second childhood, I’m still in the first one. I hope never to grow up and be a serious adult

This year the weather was stunning and warm so there was plenty of chance to swim, play in the waves and with the various boards and inflatables.

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The simple pleasures

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Inflatable fun

Even the adults are allowed in on the action. Mind you I suspect that ED (Beating the Bounds) may need a slightly more robust surfboard to support his ample frame. If you enjoy the image check out the video footage in the slideshow at the bottom

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Drowning with style

Beach sports are also a great way to expend some energy. We had some great (if rather unskilled games of cricket – you’d think some of the adults had never caught a ball before). Me, EWO and his daughter E are also big fans of beach tennis – I find it much easier to play without the distraction and inconvenience of things like nets and lines.

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Sport played at the highest level

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It's here that future champions are born

It was also warm enough for an evening BBQ on the beach. Tell me if there is a better way to spend an evening than sitting on the beach with a cold beer in one hand, burger in the other watching the sun-set while the kids enjoy the simple pleasures of sea and sand. Magic

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Feeding the hungry mob

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Toasted Marshmallows - always a hit with the kids

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Eating is also a serious business

Just like every year this holiday was one of the highlights Even though we’ve since been to Provence this is still my fondest holiday memory of the year. Can’t say more

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Peaceful

Enjoy the slideshow below and if you want to check out an alternative perspective, head on over to Beating the Bounds and his beach related post. Further posts on our walk on the Nantlle Ridge and the local Carn Fadryn to follow soon

Posted September 29, 2011 by surfnslide in Family Trips, Llyn Peninsula, Wales

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Guest Post – Marches Way – July 2011   6 comments

I’ve been thinking that I need to broaden the appeal my blog, expand the readership, cover new ground, appeal to a broader cross-section of the blogosphere. Perhaps give a new, upcoming writer a chance to shine. I sat down and drafted my criteria and performed an exhaustive search of suitable candidates. After reviewing each one in turn I’ve settled on what I feel is the best person to give the blog a much-needed dose of new ideas and perspectives. So without further ado let me hand you over to the one, the only…..

Mrs Surfnslide, also known as my lovely wife Jane who will proceed to show up my own limited writing skills with her account of a trip along the Marches Way in Herefordshire with my son D during July this year. Over to you dear…..

I thought I’d like to write about our adventures on The Marches Way but haven’t really got the inclination to keep a regular blog going like Andy has, it seems quite a commitment to me and the ‘techie’ bits put me off. I think I may just ‘guest blog’ occasionally and let Andy do the hard work.

For the last three years or so D and I have spent weekends walking sections of The Wye Valley Walk. Lovely as it was, we fancied a change this year. Whilst looking at a map one day, D happened to notice that The Marches Way comes to within a couple of miles of our house. That observation grew into an idea; “Mum, do you think we could walk home from Abergavenny?” It seemed like a good plan to me.

The weather forecast for our weekend was appalling and when we awoke to torrential rain on the Saturday morning, I was beginning to wonder if it was a good idea after all. However, D wanted to go ahead so I was not about to disappoint him. We dug out some over-trousers he’d never worn and I borrowed some enormous ones from Andy and we set off for Ysgyryd Fawr. (Abergavenny itself was too far, we thought the Skirrid would be a neat place to start.)

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Ready for the off

 

Unbelievably, when we got there the rain stopped and the sun came out. We soon began to roast in our cagoules and over-trousers so took them off, packed them away in our rucksacks and that’s where they stayed. I still can’t believe how lucky we were.  I put it down to finding a four-leafed clover; luck had to be on our side.

D was pretty keen to get off the summit ridge ASAP and so was I. I know it catches the wind up there, but both of us are quite slight and had difficulty staying on our feet, I’ve been up there a few times and don’t remember it ever being quite as windy before.

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D on the way to Ysgyryd Fawr summit

 

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"It's windy up here"

 

D spotted a possible shower heading our way so, anxious to avoid it, we cut down off the side. You could hear the wind roaring through the valley below, but on the flanks of the mountain it was sunny and still. Feeling warm and serene, we enjoyed the view as we took the gently sloping path down.

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Heading down into the shelter and the sunshine

 

According to Wikipedia, The Marches Way goes from Chester to Cardiff. I have walked parts of the route in North Herefordshire as sections of day walks, where I seem to remember it was clearly marked as ‘The Marches Way’ on every stile.  This does not appear to be the case in South Herefordshire or Monmouthshire, although it was marked on our maps. Part of the route was signed as ‘The Beacons Way’, part of it as ‘The Herefordshire Trail’ and parts of it as nothing at all. And I mean nothing at all. In many places we would come to a clapped-out old stile or rusty gate hanging off its hinges, with no indication of a footpath whatsoever. It’s quite disconcerting even when you’re sure you’re right and always a relief to spot a stile with a little yellow arrow on. D had his work cut out with the navigating and, considering how bad the way-marking was, did an excellent job. I did hang my head over his shoulder occasionally just to double-check, but he was always right.

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Handing over the reins

 

We made a mental note of where we crossed the main Abergavenny to Hereford road so we can bore anybody with that fact every time we wiz through in the car, then stopped for lunch in a sun trap at Llanvihangel Crucornay church yard.

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Lunchtime

 

Eighteen years ago I passed through this area with my friend, who Andy refers to as The Yorkshire Gardener, when we back-packed our own route from the Severn Bridge (the old one and the only one then) to Conwy. I can remember the walk as a series of snapshots (probably because the only souvenir I have of the walk is a series of snapshots, having lost my diary) but don’t remember too many specific details. I racked my brains to find some things familiar, but just couldn’t. Andy would be able to remember details such as what we had for tea each night and whether we were able to supplement it with an onion or a carrot. Such minutiae were lost to me years ago.

At Llanvihangel Crucornay we passed the ancient, and supposedly haunted, Skirrid Inn. A moment after telling this to D, we glanced in the doorway and were both startled by a character with a green face dressed in 17th Century costume.  How tempting it would be to say we had seen a ghost, but I would be lying, it was only a model.

Several pleasant fields later, we were stopped and admonished by a woman (Mrs Farmer?) who informed us we should be walking round the field edges and not diagonally through it. Well, I’m sorry, she was wrong. If the map shows the path going diagonally through the field and if the yellow arrow points diagonally through the field, then you are perfectly entitled to go diagonally through it. There, I’ve said it and I feel better. D told me I didn’t look cross, of which I am proud.

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Across to the Black Mountains

 

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Quiet Lanes

 

We camped at Rowlestone Court. Now I’m a bit past carrying enormous back-packing rucksacks weighed down with tent, stove etc. so here was where a bit of planning and a phone call during the week really paid off. Living nearby also helps, of course.  So, when we arrived, the tent was already up and ready for us, with sleeping bags, stove, food etc. I’d come the day before, put up the tent, filled it with stuff and had some locally famous Rowlestone Court ice-cream.

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No pot of gold - a tent will have to do

 

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Peace and quiet

 

Unfortunately for D, we arrived too late for ice-cream, but as the tent was ready for us we could start faffing about making our tea on the Trangia. They say the sense most closely linked to memory is the sense of smell and as I began to unpack the stove, the smell of meth’s reminded me of back-packing trips of twenty or more years ago; camping by a remote lake or stream, when my level of fitness meant that I was able to carry enormous rucksacks and when I was much less concerned about comfort, cleanliness and being warm. I really didn’t mind discomfort then, I do now. I wish I didn’t, but there you go.

Now, as I was unpacking the stove and its bits and pieces, we hit upon a major problem. We simply could not unscrew the cap to the burner unit. We tried warming it up, using damp cloths etc., but it was no good. It was time to ask for help. When a burly man in a campervan couldn’t unscrew it either, I thought I’d have to ring Andy to come and rescue us. However, campervan man produced a tool kit and eventually got it open. I was so very grateful!

If it hadn’t been for the Trangia crisis, we would never have found out about the adventure playground. Campervan man and his wife pointed in the direction of the woods and told us about an excellent zip wire they’d been on earlier. This had to be sampled, so after tea we set off to find it. Wearing crocs now, we slopped our way through mud and God-knows-what and found the adventure playground. The zip wire was excellent – a proper adult one – and we played on it until it started to get dark.

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All campsites should have one

 

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All adults need to play

 

We slopped our way back again, cleaned our feet on the wet grass of the camping field and got ready for bed. D wanted to read ‘Mind Trap’ (lateral thinking) questions to me but my mind felt like mush, the words started to swim together and not mean much and I think I went to sleep as he was still reading questions.

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For EWO: "where do they bury the survivors?"

 

Well, on to Day 2.

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A carpet of flowers

 

Now, I’m a little reluctant to start describing what happened next as I know my reputation when it comes to sense of direction (yeah, I know, I lost the skiing flat that time in Val Thorens), but I do know how to read a map. Right, imagine the scenario; you are faced with two stiles right next to each other. One leads into a field and is the right of way because your map says it is, but the stile is in a poor state of repair and is marked with absolutely nothing. Right next to it is a lovely new stile leading into the woods, marked with a ‘permission path’ sign. The path through the woods is not marked on your map but you assume this is the way they want you to go and that it would eventually join up with the right of way. You head off into the woods in a direction roughly parallel with the right of way. And then it begins to meander. Your son pipes up. “This is bending round too much, I told you we should have gone the other way.” Eventually you emerge into a beautiful flower meadow that looks remarkably similar to the one you left half an hour ago… In fact, it’s the same one… Please tell me anybody would have done the same…

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So good we went back for another look!

 

After a few moments of head-in-hands despair, we recovered and took the stile we should have taken earlier and made our way to Ewyas Harold and its lovely common.

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Ewyas Harold Common

 

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Ewyas Harold Common

 

We felt very close to home here as we come here a lot, but still had a long way to go. I came up here once with a class of children who were being introduced to snakes by ‘the snake man’. The class teacher didn’t like snakes so arranged the snake man trip for when the supply teacher was in. Sneaky, but it was fine by me. He was really interesting, very knowledgeable and knew exactly where to find them; he impressed us all by disappearing into the bushes every now and again and returning with an adder or some other kind of snake.

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Abbey Dore

 

We came down past Dore Abbey, through some fields to Kerry’s Gate then ended up walking along the road for longer than we wanted to. Some of the footpaths, we attempted but retreated; they were so appallingly lacking in signs and so badly overgrown that it was becoming  torturous.

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"Fields of Barley"

 

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Kingstone - the final stretch

 

The lanes are pleasant and relatively quiet, but our feet were pretty sore, so it was with some relief that the huge satellite dishes that mark our home village started to loom overhead. You can see these for miles as they are so distinctive and, strangely, I don’t really consider them an eyesore. They are a back-up to the more famous ones at Goonhilly in Cornwall. D is quite proud of them; he believes they put our village on the map. I think I agree with him.

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Madley Satellite Earth Station

 

We were home in time to wiz back up to Rowlestone Court to pick up the tent, L coming along for the ride. Unfortunately for D the ice cream place was shut again and unfortunately for L it was getting a bit late for zip wires. I promised them both that we’d be up there again before too long for an ice cream and a play.

It came as a surprise and, I guess, a disappointment to me that ‘The Marches Way’ only seems to exist on maps. Obviously someone thought it was a good route but never got round to marking it out. I’m not really sure who maintains all the long-distance footpaths that seem to criss-cross every map we’ve got but it seems ‘The Marches Way’ has been put on the back burner. It’s a shame really as the route is always scenic and often exhilarating.

There is little slideshow of our adventure below, lovingly created by Andy

Posted September 27, 2011 by surfnslide in Local Walks, Walking

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Wipeout!!   14 comments

As promised here a few more photos and an extensive collection of video footage of my surf kayaking  antics taken when I was in Cornwall earlier this summer (the more genteel family photos are here).

 

Me and GM went primarily to Perranporth where almost all the footage and shots are taken. The first couple of days the weather was pretty awful but the waves were clean and easy to catch making for some long rides. Later in the week the wind picked up and the waves were bigger but messy making for short but more bouncy rides in the sunshine.

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We also had a day at Crantock although due to a serious schoolboy error the batteries went flat on both cameras and I forgot the spares. We did catch some decent waves and found a handy spot on the extreme north side of the beach where we could paddle out without being hit by the waves and then pop out from behind the rocks and catch the surf.

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I’ve now fixed up the attachment on the kayak so these are the first clips of yours truly in glorious action and I have to admit I think they are pretty cool. The shots are much better than those with camera perched on my head as the camera is a long way from the water and you get exaggerated movement so it looks a little unnatural.

Still need to iron out some problems with the camera. How to stop the lens misting up in warm sunny weather when the water is cold (same problem with my waterproof camera). How to stop the camera being pushed over by the waves. How to set and frame the picture. Still all part of the fun.

Love the surfing, love the camera, love the footage

Posted September 19, 2011 by surfnslide in Cornwall, Kayaking, Surf Kayaking

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Surf, rest and play   3 comments

I needed a holiday! It was already June and apart from a few weekends through the winter and spring I hadn’t had a break since August last year so I was ready. The Jones family like to make the most of holiday time so within a couple of hours of shutting down my laptop on a Friday night we were off to Cornwall. First night spent in the Premier Inn in Liskeard so we can make the most of the first Saturday before heading to our Caravan home for the week.

We spend most of our time on the north Cornish coast so for a change we decided to take a look at the south coast at Looe and its a splendid place. The quintessential fishing village with a cracking beach. We had to dodge some serious showers but they did create some memorable views as we strolled between the squalls across the beach.

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Looe Harbour

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Looe Beach

There is also a really good play area down the river which the kids really enjoyed. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of J making a complete fool of herself on the rope swing!

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Tarzan Jones

We headed over to our caravan at the Perran Springs site in Goonhavern. A lovely quiet site with really friendly owners who always make us feel welcome. The site has some fishing lakes which double as a nature reserve and makes a nice spot for a quiet wander at the end of the day. GM also joined us for a few days (he’s the less than handsome chap in the photo below) to join me in some surf kayak action (click the link for the post with photos and video)

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Our holiday home at Perran Springs

On our first full day the weather wasn’t very summery but we did have a very pleasant walk on the coast at Porth Joke – no joke – it is a joke – Porth Joke. We were lucky enough to see a couple of seals playing in the surf.

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“Sammy” Seal

Porth Joke is a lovely quiet beach well off the beaten track between Crantock and Holywell Bays.We had a great time exploring the rock pools, nooks and crannys until persistent drizzle drove us back to the caravan.

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J having fun

Perranporth is one of the major tourist beaches on the north coast and one of the kids favourites as well as mine. We spent several days there as its easy to park next to the beach and it has all the ingredients needed (sand, river, caves, surf). J got some bodyboarding in while me and GM surfed the kayaks

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J having fun and posing for the camera

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Showing off now!

The south end of the beach has a whole host of caves and arches which the kids (and me) love to explore. One goes right through the headland and out the other side which makes for a great adventure.

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Chapel Rock which sits in the middle of the beach has one of those old Victorian man-made pools which the kids normally like to swim in but it was just too cold.

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Perranporth Beach and Chapel Rock

When we mentioned to the site that we were staying in another hotel at the end of the trip to make the most of the weekend they very kindly let us stay in the caravan an extra night at no charge. This allowed us to make the most of the Saturday and we went for a stroll along the Gannel estuary in the morning. The river runs onto Crantock beach and when the tide is out you can walk along the sand. The houses of Pentire in Newquay overlook but it’s a really quiet spot and one of Newquay’s best kept secrets.

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Gannel Estuary

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Gannel Estuary

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Crantock Beach

After a picnic in the dunes overlooking Crantock beach, I sat and snoozed after a hard weeks surfing while the kids played and J bodyboarded. The kids had a great time running the dunes

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The river Gannel creates a great environment for crabs and we spent the last couple of hours plucking them from under the seaweed and then watching them swim downstream. L in particular loves this and Crantock is one of the best beaches I know for crabbing (It’s worst feature is the tide goes out for the best part of a mile – long walk with a heavy kayak)

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Who needs Attenborough!

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Teamwork

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“Freedom!!”

The weather had been promising to clear for a couple of days and on our last day it finally delivered. After packing up and leaving Perran Springs we headed to Treyarnon Bay up near Padstow. It was windy but hot and from nowhere the waves were huge. Treyarnon is too narrow for the kayak but its superb for body-boarding so me, J and “Isabelle” (One of L’s dolls!) had a great time

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Anyone can body-board

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Showing off again!

There is always a decent burger van on the beach so we had a nice lunch on the cliffs overlooking the beach

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Treyarnon Bay

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Constantine Bay

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Treyarnon Bay

At low tide there is a superb natural rock swimming pool on the beach and we all had a great time swimming and jumping. It’s a great place to get the kids used to snorkelling in a nice clear calm pool and there is loads to see. It had the added attraction on this day of being about 3 feet from the massive atlantic breakers just below

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D enjoying the natural rock swimming pool

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L enjoying the natural rock swimming pool

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Now who’s showing off|!

I also decided it would be good to sit on the rocks and watch the waves crash onto the rocks from close up. If you watch the slide show below you’ll see the video clip of what happens when you get cocky! I also took some underwater shots with the new camera (Panasonic FT3) – very nervous about using it underwater for the first time but it is indeed as waterproof as claimed and great fun.

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Finished off the holiday with a pasty and chips in Padstow harbour on warm sunday evening. Cracking finish to great holiday.

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Cornwall has it’s tourist fleshpots but if you make a bit effort there are plenty of spots where the crowds are bearable and at places like Porth Joke pretty well unspoilt. I’ve put together a video & photo slide show below or you can look on YouTube – looks better in HD if you have a decent broadband connection and my photos are here on Flickr

Coniston Coppermines – the underground bit   2 comments

Every Xmas all our old university friends and their families rent a Youth Hostel for a weekend for some walking and socializing. For a couple of years we stayed at the wild and lonely Coniston Coppermines hostel up in the hills. It’s a sensational location (once you get past the rather bumpy track you have to drive up) and we’ve experienced some pretty wild weather, including really heavy snow on the second trip. I have some photos on Flickr from our first trip and second trip if anyone is interested.

Back to the reason for the post. The whole area was extensively mined and everywhere you walk there are old adits and mines and things that look interesting but far to dangerous to explore. I have dabbled in caving in the past and me, GM in particular get quite tragically excited when we see a dark hole to explore (smutty comments to yourself PLEASE!). We’ve had a look inside a couple of the mine entrances but they look seriously unstable with dodgy planks of wood covering the holes in the floor. GM has now come across the following website which has some really detailed articles about exploring this underground wonderland.

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/mines/Coniston-Copper-Mine/

If you ever plan to or have been walking in this fantastic area, wondered what all the mine workings are about and what’s under your feet then these articles are fascinating. The one about the guy who dived into the depths for look around is particularly amazing. It’s a bit technical but still a fascinating look into one of the most dangerous sports on the planet

Enjoy!

Posted September 3, 2011 by surfnslide in Coniston, Lake District, Other

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I’m back!   5 comments

I’ve been sadly neglecting my blog over the last few weeks as the Surfnslide family have been on a few holidays to Cornwall, Wales and France. I’m so far behind with my blog updates that I need to put in some serious hours work to catch up. Expect to see some posts coming soon about my surfing antics in Cornwall, the family trip to Provence and even a guest post from Mrs Surfnslide about her walk on the Marches Way with D.

It’s good to be back!

Posted September 3, 2011 by surfnslide in Other

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