Archive for December, 2011

December 14, 2011

Turbines and the risk to reindeer

by backpackingbongos

December 12, 2011

A snowy winter’s night on the moor

by backpackingbongos

During my trip to the Yorkshire Dales this weekend there was a twenty-four hour period when the weather was perfect.  A combination of clear skies, snow, a bright moon and sub-zero temperatures meant that I spent a perfect winter’s night on the moor.  For the first time I have attempted to capture one of my backpacking trips on video and talk into the camera.

The sound quality is not always brilliant with the wind sometimes obscuring what I am saying, no worries as I spent most of the time talking nonsense anyway!  The usual trip report with words and photies will be along in the next few days.

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December 8, 2011

Plan B

by backpackingbongos

Plan B stands for Bongo and Bothy.  Seeing as the title of this blog is Backpackingbongos I thought that I should get in a bit of Bongo action!  Therefore in the morning I am heading for the Yorkshire Dales with Reuben the mountain Staffy.  The plan is to spend the night in a hut high on the moors, fingers crossed that it is still unlocked.  My rucksack is rather heavy with all the wood and coal that I have stuffed in it along with my winter gear.  It will be great to spend the night in glorious isolation high up in the middle of nowhere with the wind whistling around the rafters.

The rest of the weekend is unplanned which is unusual for me.  The Bongo will be my hotel for the night on Saturday and I will plan my walks according to what the weather throws at me.  If the worst comes to the worst my kindle is stocked with books and there is never a shortage of good pubs in the Dales……………….

December 8, 2011

One turbine down………..

by backpackingbongos

……….but many more yet to go!

At least there is a positive ‘spin’ on the winds battering Scotland today as one of the turbines near Ardrossan exploded.

December 7, 2011

Sometimes the odds are stacked against you

by backpackingbongos

Somehow I managed to swap some days around at work and I ended up with 5 whole days off in a row, without taking any annual leave.  Opportunities like that do not come around very often so I started hatching plans of daring do.  Initially they involved hiring a boatman to deposit me on an uninhabited island off the West Coast of Scotland for a few days.  In the end I saw sense and realised that this may not be the most sensible thing to do in mid December on my own.  Finally I set my heart on a trip to the far western Highlands to ‘a bothy that shall not be named’, a place so magnificent that it looks like the Grand Designs teams did the decor.  A ferry would still be involved in getting there, so the adventurous mid winter spirit would still be kept alive.

Illness very nearly scuppered my plans though.  When I was Blown off course in the Yorkshire Dales I did not feel very well.  On the Sunday when climbing back over to Austwick I got very wheezy, struggling over the hill slowing the lads down a bit.  The wheezy / chestiness continued throughout last week but being allergic to doctors I avoided making an appointment.  Then on Sunday I was taking Reuben for a walk up my local hill which reaches a whopping altitude of 40 metres.  The wheezing came back with a vengeance and I really struggled to breathe, a really frightening experience as I made my way home to collapse on the sofa.  A kick up the arse to visit the doctor the next day.  Turns out I have developed Asthma which is a complete bugger considering I gave up smoking nearly two months ago.  On the positive side the drugs that I have been given made a huge difference and the far western bothy plan was back on.

Until this afternoon.  The weather has decided to throw a spanner in the works, have a read of this work of art.

It’s rather special isn’t it?  Even trying to get to the bothy via the coast (and you can’t get more low-level than that) involves crossing several waterfalls where ropes are in place for safety.  An eight mile hike over the hills is most definitely out of the question with winds like that.  It looks like my plans are have finally been relegated to the back-burner and filled under ‘another time’.

Plan B is needed.