30 April 2015

Annapurna Panorama Trek - Part 2, 1 - 17 December 2013 - The hard bit!

As we booked our holiday to Nepal through K E Adventure Ltd I have decided to support the charity that they are involved with which is  The Juniper Trust.  If you feel you would like to support this charity by donating some money to help with the rescue and support of the Nepalese people, please click on the link above to find out more about the fantastic work they carry out.  Their fundraising page is https://www.justgiving.com/JuniperTrust-Nepal-Earthquake-Fund/.  Please give generously.  

Onwards and Upwards!

Hopefully you've had the chance to read the first part (the sightseeing bit) of my account of our holiday in Nepal which I posted here a couple of weeks ago.  I always intended to write this second part this week but deliberated about it due to the terrible tragedy of what has happened in Nepal this week.  

I've decided to go ahead with it and let you share in the fantastic journey we had which was in the most part due to the brilliant local trek and tour guides that looked after us.  Nothing was ever too much trouble for them and the attention they gave us was always gratefully received.  

Tshiring Sherpa - Agency Representative
Kami Lakpa Sherpa - Trek Guide
Hridaya Shrestha - Tour Guide
Narayan Shrestha - Porter
Hari KC - Porter

We are thinking of you all and hope you and your families are all well.

 L to R - Gavin, Me, Mary, Kami and Hridaya

22 April 2015

College Valley, Northumberland - a trip up to the Schil - 20 April 2015

For quite some time now it's been on the cards that my friend Carol would take me for a walk in the College Valley, a place in Northumberland that is stunning and heart-lifting, and that day was Monday 20 April. Please click on the link above to find out more about the fascinating history of the area - it's amazing!  

With boots and rucksack packed in the car, Carol and I set off with our trusty hounds - Heidi and Phoebe. The journey from home to the College Valley is quite a long one and should have taken about 1½ hours but unfortunately on the way, while I was driving, I started to have a migraine! Not good!! We pulled over at the Catspaw picnic area and I sat with my head in my hands trying to will the "flashy lights" away and after about 20 minutes they subsided but as usually happens after I get a migraine, I was ravenous. Fortunately for me there was a burger van in the picnic area so I bought a bacon buttie which really did hit the spot. We set off again and I was quite mesmerised at the views as we travelled along the track in the valley past North Blackhaggs to the parking place at Mounthooley Youth Hostel which was as far as it was possible to drive a car.

Border Ridge, here we come
Anyone wanting to walk here has to buy a permit from the Smith's Gore office in Wooler before arriving in the valley as they limit the number of cars allowed in the valley to protect the environment which can't be a bad thing.  

14 April 2015

Annapurna Panorama Trek 1 - 17 December 2013 - The Sightseeing bit

As we would be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary on 9 July 2013, the Hubster and I decided that we would like to have a special holiday somewhere we would never normally go to.  Our friend Carol and her husband Ian had been on a holiday using a company called KE Adventure based in Keswick and rated them very highly, so I loaded up their website for a look-see.  We had often said we would like to go to the Himalayas so I started looking at what they had to offer in Nepal.  

As I've no doubt already mentioned I hate camping so our choice would have to be somewhere that we could at least have a basic bed and as far as possible our own shower and toilet, and the one that fitted our requirements was the Annapurna Panorama Trek.  

Our journey took us from Newcastle - Heathrow - Istanbul - Kathmandu.  It was a long journey but was worth it just to see the mountains coming into view on approach to Kathmandu.

The Annapurna Range

We were met at the airport by our guide, Kami Sherpa, who would be with us for our whole stay. After we dropped our baggage off at the hotel we decided to go have a look around Kathmandu and boy what an eye opener!  To say the place was chaotic is an understatement - I've never been anywhere like it.  The place was dusty, dirty, busy, noisy - almost EVERYONE just had to honk their horn and they drove like lunatics!!! but was a fascinating place to experience.

5 April 2015

Rough Crag, Haweswater - 17 March 2015

Having done a walk in this area a few years ago with our friends Janet and Ian, we thought it would be nice to come back to do another as it is a beautiful and serene place to walk. 

We chose a route from one of our walking books - Pathfinder Guide to Eastern Lakeland and find their routes and maps fairly easy to follow. Having said that I sometimes wonder where they get their distances from because we always seem to walk further - or does it only feel like that haha.  The title of the walk was actually "Rough Crag and High Street" we didn't quite make it to High Street.

We parked at the small car park at Mardale Head and set off in high spirits - who wouldn't?  It was a gorgeous, sunny, but cold day.  

Wow, we might see an eagle if we're lucky

The route was clear to follow and we worried that we might struggle as it was quite a steep incline up to a wonderful ridge walk that would  take us over Swine, Heron and Eagle Crag, leading us across Rough Crag on to Riggindale Crag.  The latter was where it was said we might see the eagles but unfortunately they must have been having a lazy day and stayed in their eyrie, out of sight.