Tag Archives: mountains

Sandy Bay, and Lot

Saturday 27th November 2021, 1.20pm (day 3,747)

The spectacular scenery of St Helena is enhanced by the fact that the pattern of vegetation one sees in the UK is reversed. It is the coast, the lower levels, that is rocky and barren, and the mountains which are covered in lush vegetation: all down to the fact that the rain falls high up, but not low down. This is taken from the Blue Hill area, looking down to Sandy Bay, past the basalt pillar known as ‘Lot’ (and his wife is somewhere over to the right of this image).

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A burned bit of Iceland (not the UK!)

Sunday 10th October 2021, 2.40pm (day 3,699)

Iceland view, 10/10/21

Yes folks, after 615 consecutive days on the island of Great Britain, I have finally left it. It was February 2nd 2020, in Bucharest, that this blog last featured anywhere outside England, Scotland or Wales. You know the reasons why. And yes, I appreciate travel can be seen as a privilege, and I’m grateful that I’ve finally broken the run, for all that the last 20 months have, at least at times, seen plenty of interesting sights.

This is not my final destination: instead this was taken on my first descent, into Keflavik airport, where I and the family were last seen waiting out the 12-hour flight delay that EasyJet (never, ever again) subjected us to in July 2019. I changed planes here and moved on. You can tell it’s Iceland, though — only that island has random burned bits like this, huge lumps of volcanic cinder that just seem here to be a normal part of the landscape.

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The Old Military Road

Saturday 14th August 2021, 10.05am (day 3,642)

Old Military Road, 14/8/21

The A93 runs north from the town of Blairgowrie, in Perthshire, to Braemar in Aberdeenshire. Just north of this point — and a couple of hundred feet below the point from where I took this picture, looking back into Glen Shee — the tarmac reaches the Cairnwell Pass, which at 2,199 feet above sea level, makes it the highest public road in the whole of the UK. It’s called the ‘Old Military Road’ as it was originally built as part of the general plan to assert military dominance over the Highlands of Scotland after the last Jacobite rebellion in the 1700s.

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Ether Knott

Thursday 15th October 2020, 1.15pm (day 3,339)

Ether Knott, 15/10/20

The start of teaching has been delayed four weeks this year, but the summer can’t last forever. This is basically my last three-day gap of freedom before it all kicks in. And in weather like today, I made the most of it — as did the other walker just visible on this shot, below the summit of Ether Knott, a minor protuberance above Borrowdale. Behind, Skiddaw, one of the Lake District (and England’s) 3,000-footers. Boosting one’s immune system is very much the way to go, whatever the lockdowners think.

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Snowdonia (probably)

Thursday 23rd January 2020, 3.15pm (day 3,073)

Snowdonia cloudscape, 23/1/20

Up in the air again, from Manchester airport heading roughly north-west, though not very far (so if you want, you can deduce where I travelled to before I post from t/here tomorrow). Not long after take off, visual interest was added to the flight to the south, where this cloudscape revealed itself. I wasn’t sure at the time where this might be but a subsequent look at the map suggests the hills in the background must be Snowdonia, in the north-west corner of Wales. It’s the general golden wash that I like about this photo, however. Far better weather up there than down on the ground today — as is often the case, of course.

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Mountains/islands

Friday 1st November 2019, 3.15pm (day 2,990)

Mpuntain/islands, 1/11/19

I am speaking at a conference this weekend, so today was my first flight since the EasyJet Iceland debacle back in July. (Never ever again, EasyJet.) Fortunately all went perfectly today. As to where I flew to — well, you can find that out tomorrow. The flight meant it was my first opportunity in those four months to get shots like this. All of Europe seemed to be covered in cloud today; only these peaks made it up above the grey. I don’t know exactly where this is, somewhere toward the eastern end of the Alps so maybe Austria or Slovenia, but this will have to join the list of locations in which I can’t even identify a country for certain.

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Out on a walk

Tuesday 19th March 2019, 1.30pm (day 2,763)

Borrowdale from Catbells, 19/3/19

I needed to at least try to clear my head, in various ways. Sometimes I think that my project to walk all the Lake District twice has been over-extended, that I’d like to finish it now, or at least earlier than projected (which is some point in 2021). Then I go, and I remember why I go.

I like the walker visible on this shot, just past where the curving path seems to disappear higher up. Gives it a grander sense of scale. The valley is Borrowdale.

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On Skiddaw, looking east

Wednesday 2nd January 2019, 12.50pm (day 2,687)

View east from Skiddaw, 2/1/19

If you think I was staying in and working on a day like this — you obviously don’t know me very well. This picture is taken from around 3,000 feet up, on Skiddaw, fourth-highest mountain in England, yet with almost no wind today it wasn’t even particularly cold. A glorious day: can the rest of 2019 be like this please?

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View from Mickle Door, Crinkle Crags

Saturday 12th May 2018, 12.15pm (day 2,452)

View from Mickle Door, 12/5/18

On a day of ideal walking weather, the Lake District was not a place to go to for the solitude — at least, not the parts of it that I hung out in, namely Great Langdale and the 2816 feet (858m) summit of Crinkle Crags, one of Wainwright’s “Top SIx Fells”. But I cannot begrudge anyone else their enjoyment of the fine conditions today. We are just the same, after all.

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Brystene

Thursday 8th March 2018, 7.15am (day 2,387)

Pink tipped mountains, 8/3/18

Early flight home out of Tromsø. The first half-hour was spectacular: a panorama of seemingly endless white mountains, the tips tinted pink by the rising sun. Felt like asking for compensation from SAS as I had a rather grubby window beside my seat, but did manage to get a couple of tolerable shots. This one is impressive, first, because of the scale and prominence of the rocky towers on both peaks: measurable from the fact that the shadows cast by both are quite visible on the slopes behind (it’s clearer with the right-hand peak).

But I swear it was only later I realised how closely these resemble… well.. if you can’t see it, translate the title of the post out of Norwegian. Please tell me I’m not the only one that thinks this.

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