Sunday, March 27, 2016

Kinder Downfall a Fell Race Route

Louis and myself went on a reconnaisance walk of the Kinder downfall fellrace, this race is part of the Hayfield fell races. There is an interesting blog describing the route and the experience of one runner (A runners experience). We drove over the Snake Pass and headed for Hayfield village (famous for Arthur Lowe and Captain Mainwaring in Dads Army). Our walk headed out of the village soon we were on our way to the Kinder Downfall. Louis describes some of the photos and our experiences.

We saw a green sign near the Shooting Cabin. People who  shoot animals meet up
in the cabin.                                                                                                                

We crossed a  William Clough  a lot of times.  

We finally reached the top of the Clough we  liked this view towards Manchester.

It was a really rocky path. This is a picture  of Kinder Downfall. I thought it would be nice to climb.
The water and my hair  went in the air.

This is Kinder Low, I went on a Bolder that was easy to climb.
 As we were going down the ridge  a storm came luckily there was no lightning just really hard hail that  stung like a Bee sting and strong wind it kept moving  me.

                       We saw  some cute Lambs in a large   field.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Robin Hoods stride

We discovered an excellent route today starting from the village of Middleton (near Youlgrave) we walked across the fields to Elton and the on towards the well recognised rocks of Robin Hoods stride also known as Mock Begger hall.
We then followed the limestone way. This path follows an Anglo-Saxon path to market known as the Portway. Our route lead us back to Youlgrave and along the beautiful Bradford Dale in the cool of the afternoon and back to Middleton. The route was 7.5 miles.

From Middleton we headed along the path to the caravan site at Hopping Farm.
We took a quick break on the rocks near Mawstone farm.

When we reached Robin Hoods stride we were quite tired but after some sustenance full energy levels were restored. We all enjoyed scrambling the rocks and investigating the strange alien flutings in the rocks.

Returning towards Youlgrave on the Limestone way.
When walking along Bradford dale we were reminded of a swimming experience a few years ago with Keisha. Some of the pools look good for a swim there is a sign indicating this. Our two heroes are keen to return and take a dip. By  now we are starting to tire... of course after a relatively short car ride home K and L both have recharged batteries. Happy days!

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Sun, Fire and Ice

I had the great privilege of attending the Dynamic Sun Conference which took place at  Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. This ancient and holy city of India also goes by the name Banares. Our host for the conference was Banares Hindu University. I was collected from the airport and driven to the Diamond Hotel. Arrival in India with its crowded, colourful, noisy and chaotic streets is quite a shock to the system. On arrival I was eager to wander round and explore. I had a lot of people asking me if I needed transport in a cycle Rickshaw. The streets were confusing and I got lost, even the cycle Rickshaw driver seemingly got lost!

Street view from the cycle rickshaw

The vibrancy, hustle and bustle of Varanasi streets.

It all happens on the streets, street repairs, street food and a street shave.

Work wise, the conference was very busy, excellent trips were also laid on. The first excursion was a boat trip along the Ganges at sunset. Our boat stopped at  Dashashwamedh Ghat here priests celebrate Agni PujaRitual of the fires  ). Dedications are made to Lord Shiva, River Ganga, Surya (the sun), Agni (fire) and the whole universe.

Priests celebrating Agni Puja.

The following morning we enjoyed another boat trip along the Ganges as well as experiencing a splendid sunrise we  saw the different ghats of Varanasi where people wash in the sacred waters of the river Ganges.

Dashashwamedh Ghat is the most spectacular and main ghat of Varanasi, it is here where we saw Agni Puja.

Bathing and laundry drying on the Ghats.

A visit to Varanasi is a humbling experience people process through the streets with the bodies of their loved ones to some of the Ghats, Manikarnika is one such Ghat near here cremations are performed. The ghats of Varanasi are an auspicious location for this rite of passage.
 Prayers before, The Dhamek Stupa.

The final day of the conference was a half day and in the afternoon there was an excursion to Sarnath. Bhuddha founded Buddhism at Varanasi around 528BC, at Sarnath Bhuddha gave his first sermon "The setting in motion of the wheel of Dharma".
Varanasi is famous for muslin, silk, perfumes, ivory and sculptures. I'm pleased that I didn't see ivory but I certainly visited a couple of shops eager to sell silk and cotton fabric for sari. There was a wonderful variety of colours and intricate decorations.
My final day in Varanasi I wandered along the Ghats and observed the vibrant happenings of the Ghats at closehand. Rituals, Narrow street markets, Shaman, An Ancient observatory and cricket, I had it all what an incredible sensory overload.

 Man Singh Observatory, Varanasi
Valuable piles of timber for funeral pyres.

Amongst the smiling faces I saw many enthusiastic games of cricket. I've been told that a trip to India can change you true, but what I realised is the importance of traveling and appreciating different cultures.

Photgraphs of India should include shots of cows, here they are enjoying the ghats. I took a detour to the markets.

Cows like the market too!
A few days after returning home I enjoyed a walk in the snow around Lawrencefield and Surprise view with my two youngsters wow what a contrast. It was great to have a quick wander through Padley gorge before returning to Surprise view via Lawrencefield crags.