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Friday, 27 January 2017

Cumbria Coastal Way in sections (5)

Wednesday  25th January '17 - Kirkby-in-Furness to Millom

Winter walking has its own ambience. I arise grumpily at 6:30 am in the dark. Breakfast gets me going. I only operate at half throttle unless I have breakfast so it is worth the effort. Sometimes when backpacking, especially if having camped and not pre-planned food it is not possible, and for me that is not a good start.

I trudge the fifteen minutes down to Arnside station still in the dark and catch the 7:52 sparsely populated, ancient diesel, which trundles, rattles and shakes its way to Kirkby-in-Furness with a change at Barrow. Kirkby is a request-only-stop, and I panic about getting that organised, but I catch the driver as he boards, and then double my chances by firming my request with the lady conductor.

At Kirkby it is now thankfully light. I take a photo from the bridge of the retreating train, and for comparison, another with that unusual colour setting used by mistake on the last trip.

Long straight stretches of narrow Tarmac get me to Foxfield, all a bit boring. An old bridleway is better, climbing high and going inland to Broughton-in-Furness with views across the Duddon estuary to my continuation of this coastal trek, but although it is bright and sunny distant views are hazy and hilltops shrouded.

I catch up a guy from Grange who has couple of visitors from Brazil with him, so they are getting a good sample of our attractive countryside - it is rarely I pass anybody these days, but this party are just ambling.

Having descended to Broughton I find a convenient bench and organise a planning meeting with myself because I have the feeling I am ahead of my schedule. I dead-reckon the remaining distance and time which unfortunately tells me I have a marginal chance of catching the 14:50 train from Millom direct to Arnside arriving at 16:05 instead of my planned train at 17:15 with a long wait at Barrow and arriving Arnside at 18:43. I hate this sort of thing. When I walked the Coast to Coast in 1990 I remember arriving at the finish at St Bees Head with three kilometres remaining to St Bees and the station for the train home. I had the timetable in my rucksack, but daren't look at it for fear of discovering a possible train time within questionable walking/jogging time - I just didn't want that hassle, but now, back in Broughton I had imposed that upon myself.

Even though I was walking in the magnificent Duddon estuary the views seemed limited and boggy fields were followed by a tedious Tarmac section to Lady Hall, then a long muddy embankment all the way to Millom. I got my head down and marched purposefully and arrived at Millom with five minutes to spare which was enhanced by another five minutes by the late running train.

These first three photos are experimental If you are interested click photos to enlarge
1. Normal "Scene" setting - "Sports Mode"

2. Same photo tweaked aa much as I could in Photoshop Elements

3.Seperate photo taken within seconds using "Creative Control" - "Impressive Art" as used by mistake on last CCW post.
Note the  well defined cloud formations which just don't show at all on the standard setting above and not even apparent when highlights reduced etc. in Photoshop.
 I like the rich colours this setting produces and will likely use it more in future.

Back to "Scene", "Sports Mode" again.
 Long Tarmac out of Kirkby, but you can see distant Lake District Hills are hidden by haze

Approaching Broughton-in-Furness

Duddon Iron Furnace - 1736 to 1866 for more info:

All Cumbria Coastal Way depicted by red line - my section today - Kirkby-in-Furness to Millom
Click to enlarge.


It's grumpy time again - two things:

1. On the TV news when there is anything whatsoever to do with medicine or health they show that hand using a multi dipping/dispensing pipette device which more often than not probably bears no relation to the actual subject, and has now become an out-and-out cliché.

2. The indiscriminate use of the word sexy. I am not a prude, at least I don't think so, but it is just plain nonsense used to describe some inanimate objects, or perhaps a scientific concept, or almost anything else inappropriate as sexy. It seems to be frequently used to convey some sort of accolade or suitability, or, getting closer, desirability.


Anonymous said...

I must have driven past that blast furnace hundreds of times and never visited - next time. Thanks for the information link.
I find most TV news/documentaries are dumbed down nowadays.
Thankfully your posts are still so 'sexy'

Ruth Livingstone said...

I always get into a state of high anxiety about request stops too. Thankfully never missed one yet. I enjoyed the Kirkby to Foxfield section of this walk, but the visibility was much better when I did it, so I had a wonderful vista to enjoy. Makes a big difference.

Sir Hugh said...

bowlandclimber - Don't get over excited about the furnace. I think at one time you could wander round and look at it, but when I passed it was fenced off with notices saying there are potential dangers from falling masonry etc., and they are taking advice to get it sorted, so for the moment you can only observe from the path.

I was really wanting to put in an example to illustrate my "sexy" grumble, and you have done it perfectly - thanks,


Ruth - I just re-read my post which comes across as a bit gloomy, but I did enjoy the walk, but owing to muddy conditions and self imposed pressure it did not rate as exceptional. Often enjoyment is relative to one's own mood at the time.

AlanR said...

I thought there was a beach walk from Kirby to Foxfield? I will check.
Your impressive art image is very good, better than the other two, quite sexy even. I'll get me coat.
Shame the views of the distant hills were lacking for you on this section.

Sir Hugh said...

Alan R - What really impressed me about that photo setting was the appearance of well defined clouds which were invisible on the setting that that the Panasonic recommends for those conditions. - makes you wonder what else is missing?

Gayle said...

You can't beat a good race for a train! I still remember a walk I did back in 2009 for the miscalculation I made in my vague thought of 'maybe I could get the earlier train' which resulted in me setting what possibly still holds the record for fastest backpacking pace. I burst onto the platform that afternoon, with everyone's eyes turning towards the slightly-wild-looking, mud-covered female, with seconds to spare before the train trundled along.

Mick will probably never forget our finish of Offa's Dyke Path last year for similar reasons (that one involved me making a unilateral decision to try for the earlier train, of which Mick only became aware after he trotted to catch up with me and asked why I was almost running).

Sir Hugh said...

Gayle - these are the events that make it all worthwhile?
I have just posted a comment on my brother's blog which is slighly relevant, and I know you have heard the anecdote before (perhaps many times?) but I can't resist showing it here again - after all I was not blogging at the time when it woul have been a wondeful blogger's gift.

I wonder if it qualifies as meaningful conversation when one relates an anecdote and your interlocutor replies with their own related story, but so it goes, so often. Ah well...

…setting off to walk the GR10 - (traverse of the Pyrenees from Atlantic to Mediterranean)

Bus departs Lancaster to Stanstead 3:00am. I went to Lancaster bus station the day before to research exact departure point which was pointed out to me by an official - even a bus sign saying Stanstead.

Daughter drops me off next morning at 2:45 am.

3:10 am no bus.

I look at ticket and find phone number. I am told bus has departed from a different point already, but if I can get to Preston they will hold the bus for me there.

I launch out into dark Lancaster in an unlikely search for a taxi. A miracle - one is approaching - I leap into the middle of the road and wave my arms. The guy is sympathetic and rises to the challenge and takes me at suicidal speed the twenty miles down the M6 and I board the bus at Preston.

At Stanstead I add a new word to my French vocabulary - en grève (on strike) - the French airport workers.

I have to find a b and b near Stanstead - not easy, but I do. They chauffeur me to a pub for a meal where I have to share a table with a brain surgeon - true! Next morning I am chauffeured back to airport. There is till no fight to Biarritz - best I can do is to Carcassonne which is nearer the Med than the Atlantic. I fly there then catch a train to Bordeaux which is now north of Biarritz and Hendaye. I have to overnight in Bordeaux and take the train next morning to Biarritz and then to Hendaye.

Unfortunately I was not blogging in those days, but here is an opportunity to use one of my best anecdotes even though I am pretty sure you have heard it before.

afootinthehills said...

Sir Hugh - as your daughter writes in her Foreword to your LEJOG journal, "nothing fazes him and everything is possible" . The above anecdote provides ample evidence of this.

Sir Hugh said...

afoot - only on random occasions I think.