Tag Archives: Weekends

Helvellyn Circuit


With a weekend of spectacular weather on the cards and a wide range of walks across the Yorkshire moors, Dales or the Lake District to choose from we were certainly spoilt choice. After much debating over these options and gaining some local knowledge we set our sights on Helvelyn in the Lake District.

With a choice of routes to go up Helvellyn including the famous striding edge it was set to be a fantastic outing.

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Our Final Route

Waking the next morning and rushing for the curtains I was welcomed to a view of low cloud and overcast hills. Not quite what we expected. Stepping outside the cool weather was perfect for walking and so I began filling a couple of flasks with hot water in preparation for some cooler ascents.

As we headed out along the a66 with awesome views over the Pennines the cloud began to lift. As we drove down onto the western side of the pennines we were greeted to glorious sunshine. The temperature began rising and the thought of no sun cream along with the hot flasks of water all began to seem like daft ideas.

Arriving in Glenridding the car parks were jam packed with rucksack and map carrying hikers. Brilliant to see but dashing our thoughts of being in the wilderness. Gathering a few final essential supplies including the sun cream and chocolate bars we were ready to begin.  The chocolate unfortunately did not make the journey as it was eaten in advance before we started.

We headed on up the valley.

Wondering along side the stream that flowed through the village. Huge chunks of it were missing and the foundations of some houses completely exposed showed just how powerful this meandering stream had become in the floods over the winter. There was still a decent amount of work to be done before everything was back in order. Still evident from the number of trucks, diggers and reinforcements being put in place.

The route up was a path that carved its way up the hillside with only a short detour taking us away from the swathes of groups heading up the hill. In front and behind of us were a steady stream of harden walker to enthusiastic opportunist, young and old, tourist and local as well as a few dogs thrown in for good measure.

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As we reached a small plateau in front of us we could see striding edge with the silhouette of walkers making their way across it. The sun was beaming down on us and it’s safe to say the sweat was beginning to stream off me at least.

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Striding Edge

The edge itself was great fun, certainly in this weather. Despite being occasionally exposed it wasn’t like tryfan or crib goch in Wales and in this dry and sunny weather it made for a great outing. Despite this you there were reminders to tougher times with a memorial to Mr Dixon who fell off it in 1858 whilst running with hounds, as well as  the occasional scrape from crampons left over from a previous winters. It would certainly be a challenge in cold, wet and icy conditions. One for another day! Darting over the rocks we paused occasionally to soak up the views and let some of the blockages on route ease up. The final chimney proved to be the biggest pinch point of the ridge yet despite this we watched as one guy virtually ran along the length of the ridge swerving round people while a rather elderly looking gentleman made this chimney look a piece of cake. There were of course many others for whom this was not quite so simple but seeing the elation and satisfaction from everyone on conquering striding edge was awesome to see.

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Memorial to Mr Dixon, 1858

Making the final ascent up to the summit which flattens into a great plateau we reached the top. To beautiful views over the surrounding valleys. Sitting down with our feet dangling over one of the slopes we munched on some sandwiches as we watched the start of some fell runners coming up from the other side looking remarkably fresh. We briefly joined the throng of supporters cheering on the competitors before they made their descent.

Surveying the surrounding routes we opted to not go for the well trodden path up Catstye Cam but to meander round along a flat ridge line. The sights and smells brought back memories from many a previous trip up into the hills.

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On reaching what we thought would be our final summit, with us both still feeling pretty fresh and the day still young we set our sights on a further peak and ridge line. Passing school groups and walkers relaxing on the slopes whilst soaking up the afternoon rays of sunshine. It was definitely far too hot for the still steaming bottles of hot water I had packed in the cool yorkshire morning.

We made our way along a final ridge with hardly a soul about. It felt much more like the walk we had both expected being slightly more out in the wilderness. With the sun beaming down on us the occasional sip on cool stream water was incredibly satisfying.

The final descent into town was through a field packed full of blue bells lit by the soft evening sunshine. It was a pretty spectacular find for the end of the day, especially as this bit had been an unplanned extension to the day. Before the final descent into town.

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Sitting down to a plate of chips and a pint of coke was a delight. We could relax enjoying the evening and the feeling you get from being outdoors all day. A mix of tiredness and satisfaction at what has been achieved. All that was left to do was get some flip flops on, essential after any walking trip and head back to yorkshire for the night.

 

Scambling Tryfan


Following a better nights sleep due to us not sliding down the hill, we woke to a beautiful morning, unfortunately it was not due to stay that way.

LLanberis Mine Opposite the campsite
LLanberis Mine Opposite the campsite

Heading into Llanberis and we hadn’t decided exactly where we would head but first thing first was breakfast and sorting out some new boots due to the fact that they had completely stopped being waterproof. Not ideal during the welsh summer. Joe browns outdoor shop turned out to be a great place for kit and advice. We had soon narrowed down the selection on both the boots and our route for the day. We had decided to go for the classic Tryfan ascent which I had described to Laura as not much of a path and a bit of a scramble. The whole thing can be a good scramble if you choose the right route and equally certain parts can be a full on climb or a gentler route up. So there is something for all levels.

Our route to the car was slightly diverted to a shop packed with honey, I had never realised there was so much choice. We found ourselves being given a master class and tasting by one of the bee keepers from numerous different jars that covered the counter. Each one had its own distinct flavour and he could tell where the bees had sourced it from as different flowers had come into blossom. Not being able to resist I came away with some tasty souvenirs. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. You can check the place out on the link below.

http://www.snowdonhoneyfarmandwinery.co.uk/

The weather started off not looking to great with a bit of a shower but it soon cleared enough that the heat of being in waterproofs far outweighed the slightly damp weather as we scrambled further up the route. We started at the same point as another couple but within moments had opted for different routes each preferring the look of a different part of the mountain. Its part of the beauty of tryfan there are a huge number of different routes you can take depending on how adventurous you are feeling.

Tryfan a head
Tryfan a head

Each turn we took we could choose a variety of different routes which made the journey all the more fun, sometimes heading up a section to turn back and sometimes forging on. What became very noticeable was the degree of adventurousness improved as the rock dried out and our appreciation of what we could do changed. We also invariably kept crossing paths with the original couple at the bottom of the hill. Making parts of it seem a bit like a race. I am not entirely sure they were thinking the same thing….

One of the first highlights of the day was coming across this huge sticking out rock that we decided to clamber on (find out what it is called)

Yoga on the Mountain
Yoga on the Mountain
Having a closer look
Having a closer look

Heading on up and the ground flattened out before sharply rising upwards. The route we took skirted round the side of this. It followed a small track round the side with a steep ish drop to our left down grassy gullies. We could watch climbers coming up the side of the mountain which was amazing to watch as the occasional head poked above a rock.

With dog in tow
With dog in tow

Weaving our way round we found ourselves at the bottom of a gully with a number of people and quite unexpectedly a Labrador. As we clambered up finally passing them we ended up having to go back and give the couple a hand getting the dog up the route. It wasn’t an easy situation with both the route ahead and behind being very difficult for the dog.

Coming out the of the gully and we were at the top confronted with the stones of Adam and Eve. People were already on top of them and jumping between them. After a drink and some well needed food it was our turn. Looking down from them and they certainly felt a lot higher and the gap wider!

Preparing for the Jump
Preparing for the Jump
Adam & Eve at the Summit
Adam & Eve at the Summit

We continued on down the mountain scrambling away as we picked our way down to the path off the hill. You can link it together with the glyders which would be a really good walk but that would have to wait for another day. The environment and surroundings constantly changed as we descended; from the craggy rocks, to heather and finally to a well trodden path with streams merging together. We found ourselves coming out further from the car than we had wanted so finished up along the road before that great feeling of switching boots for flip flops.

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Our search for food that night started at pizza and a pint but due to it not being open settled for a fantastic pub filled with people and massive portions.

The next day we woke to a cleared out campsite as people had left due to the weather turning bad. Due to me mixing up the breakfast order we found ourselves on breakfast round two. Back at the honey shop for welsh cake! Certainly not a disaster.

With the rain set to continue and a long drive a head we detoured to the slate mine with some huge zip wires. Unfortunately both that and the tours of the mines were full. We found ourselves wondering around checking out the area before making the long and incredibly wet drive back down south.

Check more of my photos out from the trip below:

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Mountain leader training stage 1


Having been on the cards for a while I had the opportunity to go on mountain leader training with peak mountain training who are based up in the Peak District. Driving up with forecasts of rain and relatively high winds wasn’t the most appealing to be out in the Peak District but it would certainly make for a more interesting experience!

My room in the bunk house, with beautiful views onto the hills
My room in the bunk house, with beautiful views onto the hills

After the long drive I reached the bunkhouse at Pindale Farm where it turned out I was the only one in my room out of a possible 7 others. So with kit spread out I began making myself at home and although relatively basic it had everything I wanted and was comfortable enough. I woke early the next day to get all my kit ready and have a look over the map to see where I could head on my first day. Normally the course is a 6 day course but for a number of reasons outside of my control I could only start it after the first day. My plan for the day was to make a loop around the local hills before heading back. The forecast hadn’t improved as I sat with my coffee cupped between my hands viewing the map but with a plan, lunch packed and kit ready it was time to go.

Planning time
Planning time

The initial section was heading up a valley with a castle overlooking the area; the recent weather had turned the path into a wee stream as water swirled between the rocks and my feet.

The Castle overlooking the valley
The Castle overlooking the valley

The day was certainly one of all seasons with patches of sun mixed with rain, strong winds and hail that stung any patch of skin that was exposed to it!

One of a couple patches of sunshine
One of a couple patches of sunshine

While I saw quite a few groups hunkering down behind stone walls avoiding the worst of it.

My turn to hide behind a wall
My turn to hide behind a wall

I made my way round admiring the view from each of the peaks despite it being slightly imposed on by a rather large cement factory. I finished up at a cafe full of cyclists, motorcyclists, walkers and runners enjoying a final blast of coffee and a sugar hit before heading back to make homemade pizza.

another wet evening
another wet evening

The next day was much more classroom focused with us learning about risk assessing both before and during an expedition, understanding weather patterns and looking at emergency situations involving mountain rescue. This was quite appropriate given the wet conditions outside. The afternoon was spent out in the hills to put into practise the risk assessing we had been doing in the classroom into practise. Heading to some of the steeper areas I had been on the previous day where we would consider the potential for an accident and the severity of it. We also practised the art of walking slowly and I mean really slowly to the point where one bystander stopped to witness the event. Stopping for a bite to eat we tried experiencing how it would feel just needing to wait around in a relatively cool day to see how quickly we would start feeling the cold. The results were quite surprising in terms of the speed by which our body temperature fell and certainly highlighted the need for the right equipment in the mountains. Heading back for some cold pizza, soreen malt loaf and setting my tent up to make sure it was all ok ahead of our expedition phase.

Day 1 sunshine
Day 1 sunshine
Day 1 rain and hail
Day 1 rain and hail
Day 1 strong winds
Day 1 strong winds!!

The next day was our last day in the Peak District and it was due to be a pretty interesting one. The morning began in the classroom, planning expeditions before we decided to head to an area called Stanage Edge to do some scrambling and rope work. The emphasis of the exercise was that rope work within mountain leading is definitely a last resort but if the terrain, group and/ or conditions require it then we need be to able to do it safely. Soon we were all tying ourselves in and climbing up and down areas. For those interested it was using the remote belay using a rock as an anchor as it is designed to be safer method if anything goes unexpectedly wrong.

Remote belaying and the challenge of finding a suitable anchor
Remote belaying and the challenge of finding a suitable anchor
Finally in a suitable spot
Finally in a suitable spot

Whilst standing admiring the surroundings we could make out bands of rain rolling towards our position as it rain began waterproof trousers and jackets were donned. The area is very popular with climbers particularly in the area and you could certainly see why with options of bouldering and climbing on shorter pitches. The final exercise was leading an individual down and up steep slippy terrain which was now in perfect condition thanks to the recent rain. The idea wasn’t to create the impression of danger but more act as a confidence rope. With the exercises all done it was time for a quick bite to eat and driving over to Wales for stage 2 of the training.

Stanage Edge on my way to Wales
Stanage Edge on my way to Wales

Running the Chilterns


Myself, Si (tent mate from Marathon des Sables and a few other adventures) and his friend Chris finally got round to running a section of the Chilterns earlier in the year. Despite the horrific conditions that had been devastating the country and flooding parts of it we had managed to choose a weekend with a break in the weather, as sunshine was the forecast for the day.

Bridgewater Monument
I was a little apprehensive as my running training had not been ideal over the previous months but the prospect of getting out and kicking starting my trail running again was very exciting. The route for the day was due to finish at Ashridge estate visible from miles around by Bridgewater monument, after sorting out the logistics for the day we headed to the start. Packs at the ready I had definitely too much stuff and my pack was more suitable for a few days rather than a quick marathon ish distance.

The wet conditions soon revealed themselves as we found ourselves with wet feet, skating and sliding through the mud and that was within meters of starting.

We were soon eating up the miles along sections of the Chilterns way through woodlands across fields and along some of the other paths that crisis cross it which did result in a few unexpected deviations from the route. Although some of the trails were so slippy it was hard keeping a decent pace whilst running and so our pace slowed to a quick walk in places.

Checking our deviations

With the sun out we were meeting all sorts of people enjoying the outdoors from mountain bikers to Duke of Edinburgh groups all dressed in the standard green or black waterproofs with tents, sleeping mats and all sorts of other items spewing from their rucksacks. It was great to see them all out and about.
The Chilterns
Some large sections of the trail were flooded still which we tried to avoid as well as one section where it looked like a mudslide had occurred before setting solid which we had to cross. It turned it was not set as my foot sank into it ankle deep thick, gluppy mud. The most interesting of all was passing through a field full horses which in the conditions had opted to stand on the hay they were due to eat, looking slightly sorry for themselves. As we crossed the same field I think we all had similar looks on our faces too.

The remainder of the run was a lot drier and we managed to pick the speed up as the patches of blue sky and sunshine seemed to be diminishing and rain began to look more likely. The Bridgewater monument came into view high up on a ridge that we were due to finish at. Despite being a bit of a distance away still, it was a welcome sight. There was the final short and steep section just to kick us into gear at the end before arriving at the top to a welcome cup of hot chocolate.

The biggest relief being my legs felt surprisingly good, even after the drive back which can be a slightly uncomfortable experience. Now that the summer is getting into full swing have you got any routes your running, walking and exploring?

A Rarity, Sunny Snowden


Firstly if you have some stories or photos from the bank holiday adventures it would be great to get a selection up as inspiration for the next adventure, long weekend or Monday morning blues.

The previous time I headed up Snowden in Wales was at the end of a four day trip doing the British 3 peaks under pedal power with a couple of uni mates. Its safe to say that other than a brief encounter with the sun on our first summit Ben Nevis it had not made a huge appearance. In fact water had poured out of my camera during the second summit writing it off for the remainder of the trip.

The same definitely cannot be said about this weekend trip. The country was basked in sunshine. Reading the weather reports the night before heading off and some last minute packing it was looking like not only might we have a clear summit but it might be dry and potentially sunny. Despite reading this I still shoved in numerous jumpers and waterproofs to cover ever eventuality.

A group of rowing buddies had decided to organise this trip leaving London Friday afternoon before making our way to a hostel near Snowden. Following a slight detour via reading due to becoming trapped in a relatively new one way system thanks to our sat nav’s decision on the best route. We made it across the border high on a classic motorway car journey mix of sweets and a burger from some fast food place just as night began to set in. Preventing us from seeing any of the evenings backdrop. Arriving at the hostel later than planned the place looked fantastic and we soon crashed out in one of the most comfortable bunk beds I have been in. I would definitely recommend staying at the hostel which was ideally located, had great facilities and staff. Check them out on the link below.

http://www.snowdoniahostel.co.uk/index.html

Plas Curig Hostel
Plas Curig Hostel

We were woken early thanks to a well-timed fire alarm. Due to all of us moving too slowly we never did see the culprit with the burnt toast. We opted to go for breakfast just down the road at a wee café. I can’t say I would be rushing back to the place but the breakfast certainly filled a hole along with a big mug of coffee and a few cups of tea, we were certainly set for a day in the hills.

The morning view
The morning view

As we arrived at the overloaded car park for the start I was already regretting the trousers as you could already feel the day heating up. The initial walk up was pretty relaxed as it begins with a gentle well-trodden path. I came to a cross road where we could choose the miners track or a slightly more interesting route which I found out was Crib Goch. Only two of us opted for this route on the grounds that the two of us had some sort of reputation for taking on challenges or something a long those lines. Unperturbed we started scrambling up the hillside breaking every now and then as we got stuck behind a couple of larger groups. Sweat was soon dripping off my forehead and my shirt soaked.It was however a fantastic route up and our occasional stops showing some incredible views down the valley.

Beginning the trek up
Beginning the trek up
Quick break
Quick break

Reaching the top we soon found ourselves heading a long a ridge where you suddenly have to face the sheer exposure of being up there. Despite it not being particularly high it still felt quite a vulnerable position. You could make out scrapes on the rock from crampons used during the winter by mountaineers. I think it would be a very precarious position with winter weather up there although probably an incredible experience. One certainly worth going back for. We met a few people who were clenching the rock on all fours possibly slightly unnerved by the whole experience but they were still making progress in the right direction.

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The exposed Crib Goch

Perching on a ledge we munched on a bag of goodies including chocolate, sweets and some dried bananas provided by my climbing buddy. We sat there relaxing in the sunshine trying to make out the rest of the group on the lower slopes to no avail. The route continued along the ridge before a couple of scrambles up and round a small rock face before traversing the hillside quite cautiously over shale like rock.

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We joined the now much busier main track towards the summit. As we ascended the crowds of people began to increase till we round the corner at the top to find heaps of people. It was fantastic seeing so many people out and about enjoying the outdoors but not what I anticipated seeing. Still we found a quite spot. We watched a paraglide floating in the sky a long with a number of seagulls and crows flying and swooping to the deck to fight over debris left by some people  who couldn’t find a bin. This I find slightly difficult to understand as these beautiful places certainly don’t look the same strewn with wrappers, cans, bottles or anything else that apparently cant be transported off the hillside by the person. Although we probably set a bad example when it is accepted normal practise on the likes of Everest which is the pinnacle for many a high altitude mountaineer.

A Scramble up
A Scramble up

Rant over. It was a fantastic day and I would certainly recommend the trip. There are so many other great paths, woodland trails, summits and Munroe’s to explore and despite being a Snowden being a very popular destination next time I think I will choose a slightly quieter a less trodden path.

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To a good weekend in the hills
To a good weekend in the hills

Questar – Isle of Purbeck Adventure Race


I am massively behind on writing this up but quite a few weekends ago a friend of mine that I met in the Marathon des Sables and I headed for the Isle of Purbeck to compete in an adventure race. I was certainly looking forward to it and hoped that I could make up for my previous attempt at doing one and getting horribly lost.

It all began with a very early start for a Saturday, luckily meeting at my house, for bacon baps and large mugs of coffee before making up for lost time shooting off down the motorway to the south coast. We were leaving London early in the morning and according to the thermometer in my car it was already reaching 20°C. It was certainly going to be a hot day and as we drove down catching up over what had been happening over the last wee while the car was heating up considerably.  Just towards the end my gps decided to stop working completely and we were left following a car in front hat was kitted out with some good mountain bikes and a load of kit in the boot, we could only assume they were heading to the same place. Luckily they were and we were soon at the start area getting ready and making sure we had plenty of sun cream.

The race was to be a slightly different format to usual with us carrying all the kit we needed for the day and switching between foot and bike at various stages depending on each teams strategy. It was a bit disappointing this as our mid race plan of stuffing our faces with pasta salad and other goodies were quickly stopped. Instead we had a pre-race munch.

Our strategy was pretty simple cycle to the nearest running section, get that done and dusted before picking up a load of cycling points with the aim of making it to the coast for the second run. Then all that would be left is a quick sprint back. Easy.

With all our kit we headed for the start point, we had the map ready and were soon going to be told which points were worth what and which didn’t exist. We dibbed in our electronic tag and were off. First part of any adventure race is route planning, we sat down and worked out where we wanted to go. This is almost the hardest part as every part of you just wants to get started but without a decent plan you are stuffed before you even start.

Onto the bikes and we were soon on our way to the 1st checkpoint and the transition to the running stage. We made it without a hiccup and dumped all our kit as we didn’t think we would be out long enough to need water or anything else. Picking up the first couple of checkpoints easily enough was a great start to the race. It took us through a village and past many onlookers who were enjoying the sun by a river and slightly shocked as runners came past in varying degrees of sweatiness and lycra covered athletes. The second section of it took us round a lake before heading towards the transition zone again. It started with almost overshooting a checkpoint before a good mile or so run along the riverside with thigh high stinging nettles and an ever increasing feeling that my legs and knees were covered in a new version of prickly deep heat. The day was certainly heating up and we both wanted a big drink as we ran it in back to the transition trying hard not to think of our thirst or stinging legs.

1st Running Stage of the Day

We were soon on our bikes and flying along the country roads and tracks. We could make out in the distance the ridge that we had to climb and could make out a huge set of ruins that resembled a church or similar. Now the interesting thing with some adventure races is that you can never tell how you are doing till the end of the race as you constantly pass people heading in the same and opposite directions, even at the same checkpoint you can head separate ways as your strategy, physical fitness and ability to map read can all vary greatly. It is still slightly disconcerting as you pass people travelling in the opposite direction to you. We were now on a mixture of farm tracks and single bike tracks some of which were impossible climbs. It was just lucky that the weather was good otherwise it could have been much harder.

We had been going for a few hours and our legs were beginning to feel it. My water was almost out and we came squealing into a village as my disc brakes needed some work doing to them. A pub with 2 other races topping up with water was a tempting stop but we kept going. Chasing down some cyclists in front and heading up towards the where the coast would be and our next transition.

A Quick Cycle Break

It was here that the mountain biking got very interesting we were coming along a ridge with beautiful views of the coastline and the sea beyond. We were picking up speed on the downhill sections which felt great but soon it became incredibly steep. Our arms, teeth, bodies and bikes were all being shaken over the hard rocky ground. My bike at this point started to sound incredibly bad but I assumed this was down to the terrain. At the bottom was our next checkpoint and I checked my front wheel which swayed from side to side. Not great at all but explained a lot! It turned out it had shaken itself loose.

Awesome Views of the Coast

We had a quick stop for some food and water before the run as again we wanted to travel light as possible. We headed to the closest checkpoint which turned out to be a bit of a tactical error as it was down a steep hill and the next was to be back up and along form where we had just come. But never mind it was great being back on our feet. Making our way along a ridge into a military zone open at weekends with an entire cove opening up beneath us was a fantastic sight. The water looked a cool blue colour and small boats and sea kayaks dotted its surface. It is certainly a place to go back to.

Ice-Cream Cove

Heading down to the coast and we were soon at the sea front smelling the salty air and passing an ice-cream van wishing we carried some change for an ice lolly.  Our final checkpoint on the run was at the end of the beach and we hoped it wasn’t up the small but steeply stepped hill that was there too. It turned out that it was and after a quick look round its bas ewe had no option but to head to the top where we picked it up. Running back to the transition and I could tell my legs had done enough running; I was glad that all that was left was a good hard cycle back.

Some more food including a recent addition to my race pack of jelly cubes and we were ready to go. We knew there would be a hard climb but looking at the map after that it would be pretty much all downhill to the finish. We weren’t wrong, after a good climb before deciding we could get some more points and a bit more of a climb we started making our way back down. We absolutely flew down a road trying not to touch the brakes too much and just letting the bike go. Adrian on his slick commuter style tyres was flying a long easily and my knobbly wheeled bike couldn’t really keep up without putting in some extra leg work too. The steep section was all over so quickly and at a cross roads we found ourselves standing in front of a path leading down to what looked like Bruce Waynes house from Batman. After a couple of pictures we were off again, it was looking pretty tight so we really started picked up the pace and drafting off one another like something out of the tour de france.

We made it with loads of time to spare (5 mins or so) and could final get a decent lunch in. After almost 5 hours running and riding we could shower and relax with a bbq before the prize giving. We caught up with some friends and it turned out we had done really well coming a very respectable 4th in our category. All that was left was to head to an awesome pub called the Square and Compass looking out over the coast with a pint of lemonade and a pasty.

The Square and Compass

The journey back was slightly unusual after placing our full confidence in my GPS system which decided to take us on a route that included a ferry crossing to Bournemouth whilst listening to the euros.

Views whilst waiting for the ferry
Attempt at and Artistic Sunset

What Happened on Your Jubilee Week?


What have you done over the last week? Travelled anywhere special or did you soak up the parties around the UK or further a field?

Well the last week has flown by, I was up in Scotland last weekend meeting up with The Captain Leven Brown commodore of Ocean Row Events (just added the commodore bit to go with the sea theme) which was inspiring as expected and I came away with many plans and ideas but more on that later.  The rest of the weekend was spent soaking up the rare but incredible Scottish sun on the beach at St Andrews with our good friends from the Blown Away team. They took myself and my brother out on the Zap cats check out the video below:

I am pretty sure they said I could drive it next time too…

Check them out at:

http://blown-away.co.uk/

And of course checking out what was happening at the Jubilee weekend back in London where some of the team I row with each week were out on the river paddling in front of the Queen. I believe the TV didn’t do it justice and that being in the middle of it especially with the lashing rain was certainly an experience.

I managed to have with a segway experience with the family before shooting back down to London for the remainder of the week.

To top it off was a pretty speedy bike ride to Windsor with Ful-on tri and some great headwinds to battle, where we stopped off at the Chocolate Theatre for another fantastic hot chocolate and slice of carrot cake. Both were devoured pretty sharpish before a slightly more casual pace on the way back pushed along by our nemesis of the winds from our outward journey. Followed by a spot of rowing down in Richmond today. All in all a pretty awesome week!