You didn’t think I had come all the way out to St Helena just to work, did you? Not a chance, not when there is some great walking to be done. Like the hike out to Great Stone Top, here on the right — and its smaller (but less accessible) brother, Little Stone Top as well. (More detail and photos on my other blog.)
Random African country, 2/2, although unlike Ethiopia, this one — Namibia — was on the original schedule. Walvis Bay is where the Johannesburg to St Helena flight stops to refuel. On the approach, over miles of utterly barren desert, it is inconceivable that there could, or should, be a town of over 60,000 people here, but it seems that Walvis Bay is the one natural harbour for hundreds of miles in either direction, and so is the principal port for the whole country, not to mention handling traffic for landlocked Botswana and Zimbabwe as well. What the construction visible on this shot is, I have no idea for sure, but it might be the top of an artesian well, as almost all the water supply for the town comes from underground.
That’s it for my 3-day perambulation around two continents, and six airports (Manchester, Geneva, Addis Ababa, Johannesburg, Walvis Bay and St Helena). Two weeks on St Helena will now follow.
Until late morning yesterday, if you’d have suggested this blog might feature the capital of Ethiopia at some point in the near future, I would not have treated you seriously, but it’s amazing where one ends up (at 7 in the morning) when airlines are obliged to work out alternative routes of travel for passengers let down by non-optimal handling of local weather conditions (see yesterday). In fact I have always quite wanted to go to Ethiopia, it’s definitely on the bucket list — but a 90-minute stopover in Addis Ababa airport won’t really count when I come to sum up the itinerary of my life at some future date. It looked good from the plane, though, and one day I might come back. I like the flash of sunlight off the building to the right. Always get a window seat — always.
No apologies for returning to a theme touched on yesterday — this is the better shot. This was the view I saw on opening the curtains in the bedroom this morning. As it’s the last time I will do that at home until at least February 6th, this will keep me going for a while. The rising sun tinges the higher woodland on the Heptonstall hillside.
Took a different road home, at least between Edinburgh and Carlisle, and was rewarded with many magnificent landscapes, particularly with the mix of sun and cloud that characterised the day. Not that there were always places to stop the car and take advantage. Had I been able to stop on the Forth Bridge, I might have been able to capture the photo of the year (OK, I know it’s early in the year): sun rising behind the other two bridges, wreathed in mist etc. But this one will do, taken from the point at which the A701 starts its drop down into Annandale and the town of Moffat.
It was a nice sunny morning in Dundee, some 20 miles, as the crow flies, from where this picture was taken. I was not the only walker lulled into a false sense of weather security as a result. The damp splodges on this shot are unfortunate but, really, unavoidable. Anyway — here we all are on West Lomond, the highest point in the county (and ancient kingdom) of Fife. In the background, East Lomond, which I may haul myself up one of these days — but in better weather, I can assure you. (For more detail feel free to consult my County Tops blog.)
2023 starts with a walk, not strenuous (I was somewhat tender in the morning) but picturesque — at least, if mudflats are your thing. The River Lune debouches into Morecambe Bay not far to the right of this shot. On the far side, Glasson Dock, still a working port and marina. Taken from Sunderland Point, which is unique as the only settlement on the mainland of Great Britain which is still cut off, twice a day, by the high tides: though these were not due until some time after this was taken, which is why I was able to be there.
The family’s annual concession of a bit of exercise, alongside the eating and drinking that is also to come. We were only about another fifteen minutes from the pub at this point. Happy Christmas to you all.
What small part of the world can be seen from our house, all looked like this today. With no reason to leave the house, I did not; picture opportunities were limited to using the long zoom to see what might be going on over the other side of the valley. They had their fires burning, anyway. This is also one of those shots that looks like I’ve taken it monochrome, but really have not; if anything I have beefed up the saturation a little.
A day when it was hard to pick one single photo, but that is why — for such occasions — I have my other walking blog, where I don’t submit myself to such silly rules as one pic per day. The weather conditions for a walk in the Lake District were marvellous today, not just because of the blue skies above but the clouds below, filling up the valleys all day and allowing even the most humble of mountains to float above giant lakes of whipped cream for a while. The parts of Loughrigg Fell that are on the left cannot be more than about 400 feet above sea level, at the points where they emerge from the clouds. Wansfell Pike, the prominent rise in the background, is about 1,500 feet.