For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Sunday, 26 September 2010

Another book and Escape to Scotland

Book fever continues. I am now working on a book for my 2005 GR5 walk from Lake Geneva to Menton on the Mediterranean. Yes, I know the GR5 finishes at Nice but I elected to take the rewarding alternative finish through the Mercantour Alps. 
Unfortunately I naively  transferred the photos into Powerpoint and deleted the original jpegs. At the time I did not understand that Powerpoint files  are unusable in most other applications (although they do open in Keynote on my iMac). I have been able to re-save the photos from Powerpoint as jpegs, but this causes loss of quality which I will have to put up with. A further problem is that these photos retain the black background used by Powerpoint slideshow, entailing the cropping of more than 200 photos which took most of yesterday. One advantage was that I was able to crop these photos in the normal way to their best advantage at the same time.

Here are some samples: I am still having some problem with black background but have just spent twenty minutes in Photoshop finding out how to sort it - the middle one here was the guinea pig, but it now seems to have lost the r/hand blog frame. 


Before anything else crops up to prevent me getting back to the hills I have booked onto the Caravan Club site at Banchory (inland from Aberdeen) for eight nights from Friday 15th October. Now that I am not pursuing Munros I am looking forward to exploring other hills. I bought the SMC Cairngorms guide and intend to investigate the hills in the Mount Keen, Glen Esk, and Lower Deeside areas. Hopefully I will be able to post from my iPhone, Vodafone and deer stalking permitting.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Nostalgia for The Pyrenees

After my most troublesome computing exercise to date my Atlantic to Mediterranean Pyrenean traverse via the GR10  is now available  as a hardback book or download. The 52 day journal with many colour photos covers 107 pages.
To purchase or download (not: Lulu Publishing), and enter Conrad Walks in the search box. The download costs £7 of which I would donate £5.05 to Motor Neurone Disease Association, and the hardback is £23.71 net. My Lowestoft to Patterdale, and Land’s End to John o’Groats walks are also available (details are shown here in red underneath my profile details).
I walked the GR10 in 2003. Putting the book together brought back many memories. Of all my walks this one provided most interest and the most anecdotes. The GR10 has a unique, pleasurable sort of ambiance in my mind which is associated with the observable change in climate, flora, and landscape as I gradually drew nearer to the Mediterranean.
Walking is the most rewarding way to see new territory, especially if it involves an objective because this seems to heighten the sense of anticipation, which in this case was fulfilled by the final descent into Banyuls-sur-Mer through parched vineyards, and yellow baked dusty roads, culminating in my arrival in the town and an evening meal which I failed to record in detail, all creating an unforgettable essence of everything Mediterranean.         


Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The Brothers

Two or three times a year I  fraternise with my two brothers at a good food venue, usually combined with an overnight stay.
Last Friday we changed the routine by renting The Lodge at Ardmaddy Castle south of Oban for three nights. The incentive was provided by Younger Brother, requesting help to reduce his stockpile of good wines.
We each enjoy contrasting interests: Older Brother writes and pontificates, Younger Brother sails, and I embrace the outdoors.
We agreed to visit Loch Melfort Hotel for lunch because it had been recommended, and also to explore the inviting windy, single- track road on the north shore of Loch Melfort. After five miles or so the tarmac surface terminates and continues as a “white” road shown on the OS map now running north for three miles over a high pass and traversing  contour lines  predicting challenging ascents and descents, and emerges within a hundred yards of our rented cottage – that three miles contrasts with the fifteen miles or so return journey by our incoming journey on normal roads.
The off-road facility of my new 4WD Skoda Yeti had not yet been tested. I was excited at the prospect of attempting to “take the high road”, but also concerned by the thought of sustaining damage. From experience I know “white” roads on the OS map can be impassable for vehicles.
Older Brother has always had the capacity to provoke others into risky ventures whilst personally remaining in the background. I was easily manipulated into taking up the challenge.
Perhaps at  sometime we three may mature, but for the moment it seems our original agenda of gastronomy and the bonne bouteille may become secondary to more adventurous pursuits?
Older Brother and Younger Brother - the last of tarmac in background.

Yeti in its element.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Coigach - 26th August 2010

Here are some of the pics from my recent Scottish trip. They were all taken on the same day when I traversed the various peaks of the Coigach massif.
This was one of the  most enjoyable mountain days I can recall.

 Looking down Loch Broom towards Ullapool
          The Summer Isles
                      Suilven etc

Me on summit of Coigach

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Book publishing

Both my books are now available from Lulu Publishing.
Both books have a day to day journal and many full colour photos
The prices below return a percentage to me as indicated which I would undertake to donate to Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Land’s End to John o’Groats (77 days)
Journal and pictures
Hardback £30.00 plus postage - nets £5.12 for MND
Download £10.00       nets £7.18 for MND
The Broads to The Lakes (28 dayus)
Journal and pictures
Hardback £21.97 plus postage (net price - nil return to me)
Download £7.28       nets £5.00 for MND
To purchase:
Google: Lulu Self publishing...
Select: “Buy”
Enter in search box: “Land’s End” or “The Broads to The Lakes” - this should then display details for purchase or download of the appropriate book.
I have nearly finished the same exercise for my GR10 walk (traverse of The Pyrenees) - details to follow.