Tag Archives: Rivers

Eastleigh to Southampton – the Itchen Navigation Path

The Itchen Navigation Path

The Itchen Navigation Path

Back when I did my first ever Moonwalk training I attempted to walk the Itchen Navigation Path from the Southampton end. It leads all the way from the White Swan at Mansbridge to Winchester. At the time I found it tough going, quite overgrown in places, a bit muddy but, more importantly, frightening because it was so lonely. These days lonely, off road paths don’t scare me. As I stood there wondering whether I should give it a try, a dog walker came out so I figured it must be passable. Continue reading

London – The Moonwalk marathon, what a way to see the city at night!

Heading for the Big Pink Tent

Heading for the Big Pink Tent

The London Moonwalk is an annual event and this would be my second one. It’s a tough challenge to walk twenty six point two miles but when you don’t start until midnight and you’re dressed in leggings and a decorated bra it is more like torture and should probably be banned under the Geneva Convention. Still, it is to raise money and awareness for breast cancer and it’s a novel way of seeing London. Continue reading

Southampton to Winchester, via Eastleigh and Twyford

Well, I made it to the river and the swans at least

Well, I made it to the river and the swans at least

Walking a marathon is not as easy as you might think but my training for the London Moonwalk took me through some interesting places that I might otherwise not have seen. This is the story of my final training walk, the full twenty six miles from Southampton to Winchester and back again. When I got up the rain was teaming down. Just a shower I thought, the forecast was for showers so I was under no illusion about it being a nice dry sunny walk. Then the morning TV weather forecast came on, showers all day, heavier ones later with thunder and possibly hail! Is someone trying to tell me something? Showers I can cope with, I don’t like them but I can live with them, but thunder, hail, rain all day? It wasn’t a very enticing prospect. Continue reading

The New Forest – Lord Montague’s Beaulieu Estate

The Beaulieu Estate, cars, bikes, historic houses, gardens and a lovely woodland walk

Regretfully leaving the Easter Egstravaganza behind, but the scales will thank me I hope

Regretfully leaving the Easter Eggstravaganza behind, but the scales will thank me I hope

Beaulieu (pronounced Bewley), for those who don’t know it, is a tiny village on the banks of the Beaulieu river, no more than one street of quaint little houses a few shops and a pub, The Montague Arms. Even so, it attracts masses of visitors being home of the famous National Motor Museum, Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey. Large swathes of Beaulieu are owned by the eccentric Lord Montague, Palace House is his home and the Motor Museum houses his massive collection of cars and motorbikes. Continue reading

The New Forest – Lyndhurst and Matley Woods

Water, water everywhere

A wet Sunday walk from Lyndhurst to Matley woods and back

Lyndhurst is the administrative capital of the New Forest, where the district council and the Court of the Verderers are based. The many interesting little shops, cafes, pubs and even art galleries make it very popular with tourists. Even so it’s a relatively small village with only around three thousand inhabitants. There are some great walks around Lyndhurst across the heathland and into Matley Woods and on one cold, damp November Sunday recently I tried one out.

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Marrakech – Ourika Valley, Seven waterfalls of Setti Fatma and a long climb

Starting with a rickety bridge

Setti-Fatma’s Seven Waterfalls, starting with a rickety bridge

Setti-Fatma and the seven waterfalls, Ourika Valley, rickety bridges and a rocky climb

 

Our next stop was a visit to Setti-Fatma and its seven waterfalls. A word of warning here, this trip is not for the feint hearted. The first obstacle was a rickety bridge across the river. I nearly gave up there and then. The bridge was nothing more than a few ropes and pieces of wood, which swayed alarmingly as we crossed. Continue reading

Marrakech – Ourika Valley and a visit to a Berber village

High in the Atlas Mountains

High in the Atlas Mountains, Ourika Valley

The Berber village – Ourika Valley, no mod cons but wonderful views

We stopped to visit a Berber house belonging to one of Driss’s cousins. The native Moroccan population is made up of Berbers and Arabs and Driss was very proud of the fact that he is a Berber, although his wife is an Arab. As soon as we entered the village we picked up a stream of little Berber followers. When we booked the trip we were warned that the children would follow us as lots of tourists bring sweets for them but sweets weren’t such a good idea where there is no dental care. I felt mean not giving them anything so I had come prepared with a big bundle of cheap ballpoint pens. The children seemed to love these and were fascinated by clicking them on and off. Continue reading

Marrakech – driving into the Atlas Mountains

Looking over the roof of our first Berber house

Looking over the roof of our first Berber house, Atlas Mountains, Marrakech

Marrakech – The Atlas Mountains and the Ourika Valley, winding mountain roads and satellite dishes

My third trip to Morocco was a long weekend with Commando, a kind of second honeymoon to make up for the fact we didn’t have a first one when we married ten years earlier. After two days looking at the majestic Atlas Mountains in the distance from our hotel balcony, Commando and I decided it was time to take a closer look. We booked a day trip through Complete Tours http://complete-tours.com/ to the Ourika Valley, about 30 kilometres outside the city. A  journey of about three hours each way on the meandering mountain roads in a little air conditioned Grand Taxi with our driver/guide, Driss. Continue reading