Sunday, 3 June 2018

A bit of fun at Nibon with the lads...

It's seems that as my knee replacement approaches (still no date) I'm doing more than ever; certainly I'm making the most of it before a few months of enforced time off the road and rehab!

It wasn't the best day, but some friends from work made plans for a bit of fun on and in the water at Nibon in North Mavine.


We started with a kayak around both Nibon and Gunister looking in the coves and caves along with trying, but failing, to film the puffins and seals. It seems a basking shark was a little further north near the Drongs while we were there, and a walrus is on Skerries today!


This was followed by a bit of exploring and a few cliff jumps; the one through the cave roof being the favourite. And finally a bit of a swim about with snorkel and fins before I got too cold and my leg too painful.

A stop at Frankie's for fish and chips on the way home made the day complete!

And here's a video of our bit of fun...



My knee's not talking to me today, but it hasn't stopped me organsing one 'last hurrah' with a bike trip via Orkney to the north of Scotland at the end of June; that's assuming that I'm not in for the chop by then... Watch this space...



Wednesday, 23 May 2018

5 days of Scottish Gravel



Well, it's been sometime hasn't it?! As regular visitors will know I've been out of it a bit for a long time due to knee issues stopping me having fun. Anyway, I've now been told I'll be getting a knee replacement around the end of June, so what better way to celebrate than to get away and make the most of it while I can?

In case you're wondering what some who needs a knee replacement is doing going for long bikes rides, it's about the only thing that doesn't seem to bother it too much. I can ride 100 miles, but a walk to the local shop isn't any fun.

So, a friend and I planned a trip in the Cairngorms of gravel riding. A fair distance each day, but not too rough a route, so that I can handle it. The weather Gods shined on us and we had a brilliant time!


After cycling to Lerwick for the overnight ferry day one took us 91km from Aberdeen to Ballater via back roads, the Durris Forest and the Deesside Way. 


Banchory riverside...


Bridge of Potarch...



 We were staying at the Ballater Hostel, but being early we decided to have a (32km) run up to Loch Muick until opening time. We headed up forest tracks on the west of the valley and sped back down the road on the east. I've been there once before years ago, it's a stunning place...



Day 2 saw us then ride an adventurous 105km through Balmoral, Braemar, Linn of Dee and Glen Feshie and around to stay at Badaguish Wigwams for 2 nights.


Glen Feshie was a toughie, particularly with my knee as there were some bits that couldn't be ridden, but the dry weather made it less tiresome. Still that was slow going with a number of fords to cross.

Queenie was busy with some wedding eslewhere...



Looking towards the Linn of Dee...


White Bridge...


The ruins of Geldie Lodge made a good lunch stop...


Impressive falls on the River Eidart...


Foot cooling moments!


We spent 2 nights at the wigwams and had a day doing an 80km loop around the area including a massive climb up 'The Burma Road'. We even saw Chris Boardman in the cafe in Aviemore at breakfast and got a nod 'Hello' from him!



Cairngorm Club Bridge...


Loch An Eilein...


The top of the Burma Road...


And down towards Carr Bridge..


Day 4 saw us cycling 83km via Tomintoul and Locg Builg back to Ballater and the hostel again...


An Lochan Uaine on the Ryvaon Pass...



Glen Avon is lovely and has some ace bridges...




The water shed is at Loch Builg and from there is was down hill (ish) to Ballater...




The final day of the trip was back to Aberdeen, but we took a longer way of 100km including a climb up the Cairn O Mount, why? Because it's there and I'm daft!


 The top of the Cairn O Mount. Also known as the Cairn O Vomit by some after they've cycled up there.


 And you can see it all in glorious hand held HD video below...


And here's links to my strava recordings of the rides...



Saturday, 3 March 2018

Nice day for icy photos!



As the rest of Britain has been at a stand still with snow and ice Shetland has just had a cold spell without much snow at all really. 

I've still not been up to much due to my knee. I tried to get up to some off road riding last weekend, but 400m from the car took at dive over the bars to land on rocks. Not only did I land on my knee, but onto my already bad knee. As you can imagine it didn't go well and a week later this is the majestic colour scheme of my still very swollen knee...


Despite the obvious after we'd dropped Beren off at orchestra -and had a sneaky breakfast at Fjara- Clare and I went for a walk to some falls on the Burn of the Glen of Quarff (HU410345) for some icy waterfall photos. It was too nice a day not to...


I love this little concrete bridge...


The scale of these hidden away falls is deceiving.



A nice, if not nippy, spot to sit...

 


Looking north from above the falls...


So, yes we've had snow and ice and it's very pretty, but not really caused any issues on Shetland itself.

Later I popped out again with a friend to look at the icy falls on the John Boyne's Burn (HU 430413) just off the Brig O Fitch.


Icicles of death!


We wandered up the burn, west across the hill and back down the Burn of Gills to the car.


Looking back across to the Burradale turbines reminded me that the whole of the hill top across to Lerwick is possibly going to be turbines one day if Mossy Hill wind farm happens. Not a nice thought.


 As you can imagine my knee hasn't thanked me for today! Hopefully it'll not be so long before I post again. 

Thanks for looking in!


Saturday, 16 December 2017


I'm still no nearer getting my knee sorted out despite a few false hopes, hence the lack of posting on here. I did get a cortisone injection in my knee last week, which helped a lot for a short while, but it's now loosing it's effect. The latest news is I should get seen by an orthopaedic consultant by the end of February. Here's hoping that I do and that I get a resolution to the pain.

Today was a beautiful day so I made a slow wander across from Hamnavoe to the Smuggler's Cave to play some didgeridoo near the Winter Solstice with the sunlight streaming in the cave mouth.


Cold, but nice with a golden light...


And I made a bit of a video when I was in the cave from clips from my phone and camera. The sound's not the best with the competing noise of the sea, but I had a nice time down there playing didge and bathing in the winter sun.


Thanks for popping by.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Ultralight stove kit


I'm a big fan of alcohol stoves and rarely use anything else. Being bored I thought I'd do a short video of the ultralight weight brew kit I've been using for some time for solo camping trips. Stupidly easy to make, only 200g in weight (plus fuel) and very convenient. 

Obviously make sure you balance the pot carefully and use just enough meths, though an upturned cup over the stove will snuff it out if you have used too much and then the excess can be poured back into your bottle.

The stove itself is based on this one, but made with a small can from an energy drink.


Just add water! Well, OK, maybe some hot chocolate and dehydrated meals!