For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

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Friday, 28 June 2013

PS

Sorry about all the typos but there is not much I can do about it. Typing these things on the iPhone is a real pain and there is always the fear that you are going to loose the whole thing in the ether.

Sent from my iPhone

I was only kidding

Not really last night, but after a good night's sleep and a study of the map I reckoned I could walk out to Whitchurch today despite the poor forecast, and it wouldn't matter how wet I got.

I was off by 6:45 after packing up in foul rain. Initial walking was tedious until I climbed up onto the sandstone ridges again. Here there was a brief interlude in the bad weather and the red sandstone outcrops mixed with silver birch, pine and heather, and massive panoramic views accross the Cheshire plain made the whole trip worthwhile

After that the route degenerated into farmers' crop fields, long wet grass, overhead branches in the face and endless, endless stiles encased in nettles, thistle and hawthorne. I don't want to see another stile again for a long time.

At one point I had no altermative but wade through a huge swamp of cow muck and mud, that stuff that has rainbow oily appearance, and I was right up to my knees. Later I found a galvanised cattle water trough and just stood in,footwear and all, to get cleaned off.

At long last I hit the canal and had a brisk 5km walk into Whitchurch. There was a cafe canalside and I had my first food of the day, a buttered scone and a pot of tea for two.

I arrived at the station about 5:30 and there is a train out at 6.09 so I have just had time to type this up while waiting.








Posted by John to conradwalks at 21 June 2013 10:42 type this up

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Delamere to Beeston

I am at The Shady Oak on the Shropshire Union Canal north west of Beeston, there is a camp site. I was told that the station cafe at Delamere opens at 9:00 so sacrificed an early start. It turned out not to open until 9:30 so I pressed on to the visitor centre cafe another half km up the road. I didn't leave there until 9:45. The rain started about 12:30 and hasn't stopped since. The walking has been nondescript: walking round three sides of a square for field boundaries, crop fields with no proper path, and often overgrown with sopping vegetation. Some of the time I was fighting through chest high nettles, grass and hogweeds, all drenched with the rain, and overhanging branches to be negotiated at head height.

Arriving at this pub I put the tent up in the rain and the good old Terra Nova is doing its job; all is dry and secure inside and all my rucksack contents are dry, but maintaining that through consecutive days of rain is a losing battle. I am now in the pub having a meal. Unfortunately the forecast is similar for tomorrow and, I think for the day after, so I have decided to make for home tomorrow. That might not be easy, I am in the middle of nowhere, with no bus service. Hitch hiking to civilisation may be the answer.

This has been a most enjoyable and interesting trip. My objective was to have a pleasant holiday backpack, and lightening the load carried, by dispensing with cooking gear etc. has certainly made a huge difference to daily comfort. I know it is boring, but the knee has been much more troublesome since I vacated the canals, enough to take the edge off the pleasure, and that is disappointing.
Sent from my iPhone

Frodsham to Delamere

The walking is now more up and down and more tiresome for the knee. A steep pull up onto the top from Frodsham reveals stunning panoramic views of the Dee estuary and all the chemical industry of Widnes and Runcorn.

The walking from there is varied through shaded woodland and fields all on good paths. There was a farm B and B just at the right distance ( tea and scone).

JJ, fellow blogger who walked with me last Sunday knew I was heading for Delamere where there was no provision for an evening meal. He plays squeeze box and sings on a music train that runs through Delamere I joined them at 7.20, destination The Golden Pheasant at Plumley. Music prevailed throughout on the train there and back and at the pub where I had a good meal, and I was back at camp about 10:30. A brilliant evening. Thanks a lot JJ

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Travellers' Rest, Frodsham

Northwich to Frodsham

Breakfast-in-a- box this morning left outside my door you can order this for any time you want 24/7. Travel Lodge are very good except they don't do evening meals.

I was off for 7:15. Good walking got me to Anderton by 8:30. The cafe near the famous Anderton Lift was not open until 9:00. Shortly after that I turned off the Cheshire Ring route to pick up the River Weaver to take me to Frodshsm from where I intend to follow The Sandstone Trail to Whitchurch.

Some of the Weaver was on established cycle path but a lot of it was on badly overgrown riverbank paths and hard going.

Frodsham has no accommodation and the best I could so after racking the brains of some people in. pub was to walk 3km south east of Frodsham to Lady Heyes camp site which means I will have to walk back to F in the morning. I will also have to walk a km of so to the pub up the road for my meal tonight

Monday, 24 June 2013

Elworth to Northwich

The tow paths are not as good from Sandbach. They are by no means dire, but more overgrown (hogweeds) and lumpy

I've chatted to a few proper boat owners now who either live on, or spend perhaps four months at a time touring. They are obviously adventurous types and good to talk to. I was cross with myself at one point. I reckon to be reasonably proficient at French language. This guy's boat was called "pecheur", "Ah" I said, "fisherman", only to be corrected with the correct translation, "kingfisher", which I then realised I had known.

This has been an interesting dayI have ended up at a Travelodge a mile's tramp out of Northwich so clothing has been washed using the traditional towel twisting technique to dry. Fortunately the tent is dry so I didn't gave to resort to methods of one guy I heard of who removed all the pictures in his hotel room and draped his wet tent round suspended by the picture hooks.

My target for tomorrow us Frodsham. That will mean peeling off The Cheshire Ring Canal walk and walking up the navigable River Weaver. I hope to walk the Sandstone Trail from Frodsham south to Whitchurch.
Sent from my iPhone

For Mick and Gayle

Sunday, 23 June 2013

A day with friends

Fellow blogger JJ has been arranging to join me for a day on my walk for the last couple of days. This morning he turned up at my camp with old friends Mick and Gayle. We set off at 8:30 in rain which persisted well into the afternoon, so it was a bit heads down and not much to see, but the conversation never flagged for a minute.
We had a pub stop for tea. Gayle had minor hair problems before we entered. JJ took a photo which may get posted on his blog. I took a few photos on my camera but I omitted to take any on this gizmo, so sorry folks, no pics for this post

I am now eating in The Fox Inn at Elworth near Sandbach. I arrived almost too late for the Sunday carvery, so rushed off fifty yards down the road to pitch my wet tent from last night, and then back to the pub. The site is on a farm and really grotty. The loo is the same hole caravaners empty their chemical toilets into - I may give that a miss in the morning.

It was good to walk with friends today, but a pity the weather couldn't have been kinder. The last time M and G walked with me on my Broads to The Lakes we battled giant hogweeds On a hot day following the Teesside Way.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Breakfast

I meant to include this pic with today's post. A contrast breakfast today for you TGOers

Sutton to Congleton

The perfect weather arrangement. Rain in the night. Fine during the day.

Yesterday was great walking but a bit marred with the navigation error creating a certain amount of pressure.

Today relaxed walking. . Ever changing scenery. Chatting with boating people. Watching narrow boats going through locks and no pressure. I think I'll sell up and live on a narrow boat.

Arrived Church House Inn, Congleton (camping) about 1.30 - a short day.
I've just had an excellent sandwich. The camping garden at the back is perfect. I have got. 3G signal, the pub does cash back when I was looking for a cash machine. This has been a good find which I found out about from the pub last night Collecting info along the way js part if this way of life.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Marple to Sutton

What a start. I found the canal at Marple and marched off determined to get in some quick miles, so it was a a bit heads down for a couple of hours until I came to a sign that said Disley. I was on the wrong canal, the Peak Forest instead of the Macclesfield. I hardly dare tell of this but there you are.

I had to trek across country to reconnect. The only consolation was that I had been travelling more or less in the desired southerly direction.

The canal walking has been interesting and perhaps just about the right number of people encountered with a few interesting chats. I reckon I have done about fifteen miles. I am on the Caravan and Camping Club CL at Jarman's Farm, Sutton about twenty kilometres south of Marple.
Sent from my iPhone

Off again

I am on the train again.

Destination, Marple, (south east of Manchester)

Objective: walking the Cheshire Ring Canal Walk.

I have cut kit down to the minimum. I have the tent but have kicked out cooking gear. My pack is ten pounds lighter than it was on the Suffolk coast trip.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Photos recovered

I visited my computer man this morning and after an hour's fiddling between his pc, his laptop, and my iPad we have managed to restore the photos to my blog. The photos were contained in a file on Google+ . Why they were wiped out in the first place I will never know.

I can't explain how all this was achieved because we went through so many trial and error exercises, but the essence of the problem was related to flagging photos or albums as private or public. That may sound elementary but nothing about Google+ is user friendly, and the fact that it took my computer man an hour to sort bears that out.

I just want to be sure that I can still insert pictures from my Mac in the same way I did before all this Picasa/Google+ nonsense, so here goes.

I hope to be off with this again within the next few days, albeit with a lighter load physically and mentally. Watch this space.

Thanks to all who have sympathised and made suggestions through this unpleasant problem.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Picasa and Google+

Anybody who may think that my experience is a bit of a one off, probably caused by my ineptitude should have a browse here:

http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/picasa/9ttGjFI6GS4

Make sure you scroll to the top of the page to get the first entry.

Is there a Google+ expert out there?

I have now completed the backup on my new, huge external disc and deleted Picasa with no ill effects.

I have found two files in Google+ with a total of 1107 photos relating to my blog. I reckon these are the ones which have been blanked out on my blog.

I have no idea if it would be possible to reinstate them, and I do not understand how all the various privacy settings work, and fear that if I meddle I might miss a slim opportunity to get my photos back.

What I need is somebody who knows Google+ like a London cabby knows The Knowledge, and I would be prepared to pay such a person good money if the objective was achieved. Anybody got any ideas?

I will be speaking to my computer man tomorrow and I hope he may be able to help, but I believe this needs somebody with very specific knowledge.

Picasa, Google+ update


All - I am awaiting delivery today of a larger (2tb) external hard rive. This has twice the capacity of my iMac's hard disk. The plan is to plug that one in to replace the current external hard drive which is more or less full. Next I will do a full back up of my whole iMac (EXCLUDING PICASA), then unplug the external hard drive and uninstall Picasa. After that I'm not sure.

I've had a look at getting rid of Google+ which I have no use for, but somehow it seems to have become part of the blogging infrastructure on my iMac, and I suspect has been a contributor to my problem, but as far as I can understand that would wipe out the whole of my blog, so no go there. It seems that Google have got us by the whatnots. I have looked at starting a new blog in Wordpress, but guess I will probably continue with the present one if I can get through the above mentioned procedures satisfactorily. In that case I may then look at SmugMug as means of posting slide show links and videos.

I enjoy blogging and using the computer for writing and playing with my photos. I am by no means a computer nerd and don't get any satisfaction from all this stressful stuff. I would gladly pay somebody to sort all this out for me so I can get back out into the fresh air and the real world, (I do have plans), but who?

Saturday, 15 June 2013

PICASA - DON'T USE IT

I have now found that if I delete a folder of pics in Picasa it deletes it from my hard disk as well. It does not even appear in the Trash file.

I am still waiting for my computer man, but it looks as though I might loose all the thousands of pics on my hard disk if I uninstall Picasa. I reckon the whole of my pictures on the hard disk are on the edge of a crumbling cliff at the moment.

I do have an external hard drive backup, but have just had a look at that and find it is almost full and seems to have stopped adding the latest files. First thing I think is to get a much bigger external hard drive and backup everything again then disconnect it before doing anything else.

ONCE AGAIN, EVERYBODY, BEWARE OF PICASA. USE IT AT YOUR PERIL 

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Picasa drama continued

On checking further I now find that I have lost all the pictures on my blog from its inception right up to 18th February this year. This is a direct result of using Picasa, and from what I have learned trawling Internet forums this is not an uncommon problem, and I believe has no solution, other than going back into the computer, finding the photos, resizing again and manually replacing them in each post, but there are literally thousands I think, certainly many hundreds and it would take forever.

I STRONGLY ADVISE ANYBODY OUT THERE TO AVOID PICASA AT ALL COSTS.

I have got my computer man coming to advise me, but I think the best that will be achieved is to uninstall Picasa properly and put the rest down to experience. I am gutted.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Drama

I have had to withdraw the Slideshow.

At one point Picasa erased all the photos from the whole of my blog. It now wants to make all the photos on my computer available in the public domain. Picasa is the most unfriendly software I have come across for a long time. I think this is going to take some sorting.

Has anybody any advice about posting slideshows on the blog by other means?

Back Later

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

South East Coast Walk - aftermath


The walk from Lowestoft to Clacton-on-Sea traversed attractive countryside, reedbed, and coastal scenery. In particular the heathland between Dunwich and Sizewell was enough to make the trip worthwhile. All that I much enjoyed

At the outset I thought I would walk 14 miles per day. I was always conscious of the niggling pain and clumsiness of the knee which was not bad enough to stop me but sufficient to take the edge off the enjoyment. After ten miles or so each day I was well tired, and the pace at which I felt comfortable was not equal to the distances I wanted to do in order to achieve my objective within a sensible time frame. This became apparent at an early stage. I thought I would become fitter after a week but the irritation of the knee, and also some pain in my foot only increased. In my own mind I modified my parameters and hoped I may get as far as Folkestone which would have been reasonably satisfying.

Arriving at the site south of Clacton on Sunday which turned out not to take tents despite what I had been told, was a blow, but I was allowed to stay in the end. Finding accommodation on this trip had been much more tiresome than on any other. I had an intruder youth from a nearby caravan come and unzip my tent when I was inside, but I frightened him off, and then later they were playing loud beat music when I was trying to sleep. The site was run down and depressing and populated with undesirables.

Next morning (Monday) it was cold and dull and I marched, or rather hobbled off at 7:30 on the road towards St Osyth. I arrived at a point where the sidewalk finished and the road was far too busy to walk on. I decided to catch a bus to Colchester and try and cut out some of this urban Essex sprawl, but I knew there would be more of this to come before crossing the Thames. The concept of this route was a mistake on my part, which at this point I was beginning to admit to myself.

A nearby garage chap told me about the buses and I waited for ten minutes when a bus for Brightlingsea arrived and the driver told me the Colchester bus would be only ten minutes. I was seriously cold wearing only a shirt and my very flimsy Pertex top and shorts, but spare clothes were at the bottom of the sack and I couldn’t risk getting at them in case the bus came. I ended up waiting 50 minutes by which time I was perished.

At the bus station in Colchester I found myself walking badly and slowly, and there is no doubt I had hit a low point, and I decided to abort.

Interestingly I bought tickets from Colchester to Arnside at 11:30 am at Colchester station, travelled into London, changed from Liverpool Street to Euston, caught the Glasgow train, and changed at Preston and was home in Arnside by 4:30pm. The time from Euston to Preston was only 2 hours and 8 mins. Why do we need anything faster than that with all the disruption this new high speed proposal will cause?

I hope to post some proper pics linked to Picasa when I have sorted them instead of the poor images from the iPhone I posted during the walk. 

Monday, 10 June 2013

Continuation of Alderton to Ramsay

I only posted half of that day. The second ferry from Felixstowe to Harwich involved a 45 min. wait, but there was a convenient cafe.

Mixed road and river dyke walking brought me to Great Oakley. No camp site, no B and B, but there was a pub, but no accommodation. I employed the often successful tactic of providing a challenge for the regulars round the bar. Eventually, a little guy suggested The Castle pub in Ramsay who he thought permitted occasional campers. Although some distance by road it was only about twenty minutes by footpaths. The guy said, "just say Little Andy the plasterer sent you". Well it worked.

I camped in the back garden. The pub was run by two Essex body builders, brothers I think, with tattoos all over, and a dear old mother - it was just like Eastenders in the country. I ate there and the evening crowd drifted in for a singer coming on at 9:00 (long after my bedtime). What a noisy shrieky lot they were, but it was all good fun. The food was good, thoughtfully prepared with attention to detail throughout. Whitebait, pork steak with well balanced cream and mustard sauce, and an originally presented caramel and and vanilla cheesecake, and all for £14.95 - the best value on the trip.

Sent from my iPad

Monday - from the train.

I'm on the way home. Had enough for various reasons, but all ok in general. Will post more detail from home and update replies to various comments.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Ramsay nr. Harwich to Clacton-on-Sea

All road walking today. Alternately dull and dangerous.

I had identified a site am hour's walk the other side of Clacton. The tourist info office was closed in C , they always are when you need them. On the OS map sites are identified with a caravan and or a tent symbol. This one had both. The trouble is the map ies years old and things change. I asked three different people in C and was assured by all the site still existed and took tents. On arrival they proved not to take tents, and it was 4:00pm and I had nowhere else to go. In the cafe at the site which was just closing there were two guys (employees) having a meal before going home. They all made various suggestions and I was playing the weary traveller. One of these guys went off to the owners house and pleased my case and I have been allowed to camp. A bi weary after a long day to give mores details.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Saturday from

Just waiting for 12:35 ferry Felixstowe to Harwich. A day of downs and ups so far.

The village shop twenty yards from my stay last night was not open at 7:45 but the door was open, and just as the surly guy was telling me they were not open I was inside, and he reluctantly served me - a sausage roll, a croissant and a bottle of Lucozade.

Arriving at Bawdsey Ferry at 8:46 the notice said no go till 10:00. Meanwhile my last email post had failed to go with a message saying my iCloud password was wrong . I sat on a bench with a heavy heart anticipating trying to reset that password, then I looked up and saw the ferry was on its way across.

At the other side the cafe had just opened so I went for a coffee and was given a free piece if lemon drizzle cake for being the first customer. I set about the password problem then all of a sudden found the email had gone and the post was posted. From there I've had a long march down Felixstowe prom with kite surfers, golfers, and the crashing sea for company. Now waiting for the ferry.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Blaxhall to Alderton

For Bowland Climber

A post for Bowland Climber who enquired, "what is the walking like?"

I try to avoid blow by blow accounts of the route so apologies for not being more descriptive.

The first thing is that all the walking so far has been flat without exception. The parts on the coast are on sandy well established paths with occasional short bits of soft sand and awkward shingle. There is much gorse in bloom and its scent is almost hallucinatory. Most of the time I have been following The Suffolk Way. Paths and tracks have always been good with no cow trodden farmers' fields and no stiles. Coming from the north to Sizewell I came through wonderful rare heathland with mature trees, heather, and gorse. Other paths inland have been varied and interesting including reedbeds and good paths through mature old woods with dappled sunlight. There has been a cold wind most of the time from the north, but at least that has the advantage of being behind me.

There has been some Tarmac but not enough to irritate, and a couple of short, scary sections of less than half a kilometre on busy, vergeless roads.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Photos

Have started blogging through email link to the blog after loosing a whole post in the ether with this wretched BlogPress, but photos not possible as far as i can work out.

I am now on the pub's full WI fi so here goes.




Looking back to Sizewell




Thiny Hambling's sculpture in stainless steel - Aldeburgh




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sizewell to Blaxhall 2

Well after waiting till 4.00 pm. at the YHA I found they were fully booked with a party of schoolchildren. This not the first time that has happened - I think it is unfair to fully a book a place like this - I have never been a big fan of the YHA. . A nearby B and B was also full. At the pub their whole booking system is on the Internet with Late Rooms and it took the lady half an hour to get on line to find if she had accommodation in her own pub. Anyway I got the last room as the telephone rang with a request for accommodation. I have got a bed that looks like the deck of am aircraft carrier.

Sent from my iPhone

Day 4. Sizewell to Blaxhall

First of all last night in the pub. On a timber wall at head height as I was sitting there were four pictures of assorted size but no more than twelve inches square in wildly differing frames. An Avro Vulcan photo in colour flying over the Houses of Parliament, a mediaeval engraving in orange tint of a gathering and someone being blessed by a man of religion, a sepia painting of highland cattle in a loch, and another I can't remember. It was like the find the link competition on Have I Got News For You.

The comfort of the wooden bench I was sat on expired even before the meal was served.

At Aldeburgh of festival fame I viewed ? Hambling's sculpture of a huge sea shell in stainless steel on the shingle north of the town. Some of the locals object. I don't know why, I thought it was fine

My map and info had not identified anywhere for me to stay tonight, but along the way I met a couple who told me about a YHA hostel a couple of kilometres off my route at Blaxhall - something always turns up. I arrived here at 3.30 - they don't open until 5.00.

I stopped off at the pub in Snape - no sandwiches so whitebait instead. Rooms are £90.

Will reply to comments that I see by email when signal permits, but for the mo thanks to all.
Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Day 3 Southwold to Sizewell part 2

The last bit down the coast from Sizewell was all sea, blue skies and a fresh wind. This has been the best day's walking since my walk round Wales two years ago.

My attitude to this walk has changed today. Poole doesn't matter, ok if I get there but I am enjoying sauntering steady 10 mile days with no pressure other than finding somewhere to sleep.

I know from experience it takes several days, maybe a week to slot into the routine, and at the same time gain some fitness.

Last night my meal included a disgusting disappointment. Others may not concur, but I enjoy cup-a-soup, and I duly prepared my mug of golden vegetable. It tasted like, and had the consistency of the liquid you drain off a tin of peas. I looked more closely at the packet and saw I had mistakenly bought slim-a-soup; never again.




Sent from my iPad
Wednesday. Southwold to Sizewell (I hope)

No radiation jokes please.

A better day. A bit fed up last night. Great walking through reed beds and established footpaths. Met a guy cutting and bundling reeds. Says he can sell as much as he can cut in the short time permitted, a thriving, but very seasonal business.

Glorious rare heathland followed, a bit like Cannock Chase with more trees. Now at N trust coastguard tearoom near RSPB Minsmere and plodding on to Sjzewell. Knee much better today . Getting into routine now after yesterday's gloom.

Posting seems to go better without pics, but may use some later when I have better signal.

Sent from my iPhone

SE walk. Tuesday

Done about 10 miles today - 7:30 to 2:30. Great weather. Varied tracks and paths with the sea not far away. I am certainly not fit and the knee is suffering. I was well tired arriving at this municipal caravan and camping site south of Southwold where they have charged me £17.50.

Cooking in the tent tonight. Cup a soup, instant potato and corned beef. And tinned pineapple chunks.

Sorry. Have not been able to get on line well enough reply to comments, by I do see them as they also arrived as email. Will reply when I can.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

SE Coast Monday 2

I've survived the first six miles from Lowestoft to the Camping and Caravan Club site at Kessingland. There is a pub nearby so I shall eat there.

I met a guy along the way who rather irritatingly identified my accent as northern. I didn't know it was that bad, anyway he originally came from Bramley near Leeds but he and his wife taught at Milton Keenes and they have very thankfully retired to the Suffolk coast. Milton Keenes sounded like a bad experience for both of them.




Looking back to Lowestoft





First night's camp

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my iPhone

Monday, 3 June 2013

SE Coast Walk. Monday

I AM ON THE TRAIN!


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