The road to Ben Nevis Nov 2009

The road to Ben Nevis Nov 2009
The road to Ben Nevis Nov 2009

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Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Lulworth Cove to Kimmeridge in Dorset

It is hard to resist re-taking the same photographs on each trip along the Dorset coast. The scenery is spectacular and quite unlike other parts of the country.

The coast path to the east of Lulworth crosses an area used by the military and sometimes a red flag flies high and the area is closed. Down below the path here is some of the hardware they use in their games.

This route makes a good day-trip; 3 hours out and 3 hours back. Then add some time for stoppages. Over Christmas week a 10:30 start saw me return around 5pm in the moonlight.

Near to Lulworth is the 'fossil forest' - see the very obvious remains of trees as circular bole shapes. Apparantly it's not the tree that is fossilised but the algae that grew around its base when the forest was flooded. The picture below is from where you can get more information.

The image above looks across Kimmeridge bay and shows the Clavell Tower on the cliffs to the east (click on the image to enlarge it). Orginally built not so long ago in 1830s, this unremarkable folly became famous in more recent years. This as a result of millions of public money taken from the lottery fund and spent by the Landmark Trust to dismantle the tower brick by brick and rebuild it 25 metres further inland.

On the left - uncropped cabbage. On the right clean stripped stalks. In the middle a row of fat Dorset cows.

One of several oil wells in the area operated by BP. This one yields around 80 barrels a day.

The beach at Kimmeridge.

Moonlight over Lulworth Cove.


Pictures: reduced to 'JPEG Low - 4' quality for upload. Reduced from 5mb to <1mb.

Boots Asolo Fugitive GTX

Rohan Uplander trousers
Paramo Velez Adventure Light smock
Merino wool base layer
Intermediate Paramo Mountain Vent Pull-on shirt

Thursday, 24 December 2009

The Morning After - Snow in Caversham, Reading part 3

Local residents take this opportunity to build an extension.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The Morning After - Snow in Caversham, Reading part 2

By morning the beer barrels are gone and this has now become an official police incident. At 10am St Peter's hill is still a no-go area.

In the Heights above we guess that those in yellow are paid to be there and have no cars to worry about.

The others either have a problem or have come to watch.


Some hope arrives by 11 as a gritter reverses up the hill.

And eventually frantic activity on the steepest part of the hill - lead by the yellow jackets, shovels scrape the snow aside.


Snow Holiday in Reading Caversham

Eventually a row of beer barrels and a police constable protected Caversham  Heights from the frustrated and foolhardy commuters intent on following their fellows to a night of fun and abandon on the side of St Peter's Hill.

Abandoned cars on the usually busy main road of St Peter's Hill.

 Probably the last attempt of the night. Despite snow chains, it is likely to end in failure because of the narrow passage between cars and trucks on the usually clear road.

The route ahead.

Truck drivers bed down for the night in their bunks while others hope for a midnight thaw!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

The Jamon truth

This fellow and many of his friends and relations are running around the hills of Northern Andalucia. We met more than a few on a two day trip to the Aracena national park area north of Seville.

Jabugo is a name well-known in Spanish ham, and our stop-off at Alajar was just a few kilometers away. Lucy and Angel at LaPosada made good hosts.


Their friend Juan Carlos has a place around the back of the Posada where he stores the legs of pigs from which he makes his living. Angel modestly says he doesn't know if the local Jamon is the best in the world because he hasn't eaten every kind of ham, but I have to agree with him that the very best I have ever tasted comes from here.

You can see my leg from Juan Carlos below. Does this ham have the same flavour as that from Ramon's bar (he who keeps his own pigs)? Well not exactly! But is there anything to be found in the UK supermarket to come close? I don't think so.

At first I felt resistant to the costs. 18€/kg for a front leg or 30€ for the more meaty rear leg.  On the journey home however we had a disappointing last night in a "special" hotel, and this lead me to compare a the cost of a pig's leg to a night in a hotel room. The value - the pleasure given by the pig's leg far outweighs even a good night in a hotel.

So here it it!

Opening Lines

The virtues of blogging and where to do it are subjects in themselves probably well covered by more knowledgeable than me.

My blogging history is slight. But my small record of a trip to Bhutan and some snippets of life around Berkshire and the white squirrel disappeared earlier this year when an early adopter of social networking went out of operation.

"Best blogging place" on google led to a site comparing wordpress and others. This destination from Google seems maybe OK. So, here we go ...