Archive for the ‘General Adventure’ Category


August 15, 2012

After leaving Koh Samui we got back on the train, via Bangkok and up into Laos. Here we got our first sight of the Mekong in the capital city Vientiane.

On the banks of the Mekong

Laos is a very beautiful country, the views of the jungle are spectacular along with brightly coloured temples and the people so very friendly.

Looking down on Luang Prabang

We moved north from Vientiane up to Vang Vieng. Here we hired a bike and got out to explore the surroundings. The area is full of caves, which made for some good underground exploring.

Impressive stalactites in one of the caves

We then moved further North up to Luang Prabang, the former capital. It had a very French feeling to it, both the architecture and the availability of baguettes and croissants! It rained a lot whilst we were here so we enrolled on a cooking course, which included a tour of the market and full day in the kitchen learning how to make some delicious Lao food.

Rustling up lunch

Luang Prabang has over 1000 Buddhist monks, so they make up a substantial part of the towns population. I had a great hour long chat with one of the younger ones. It was really interesting and he was keen to learn as much as possible about the western world.


Cycling Paris to London

June 24, 2012

After accidentally saying at work that it cant be that hard to cycle from Paris to London, I found myself as the company representative on the forthcoming ride. I cycle to work everyday, but other than that I did very little training – so was a little bit worried on the flight out there hearing about everyone’s training regimes!

At the Eiffel Tower, ready to go

Once we managed to get out of Paris and onto the country roads it was great, friendly drivers and smooth roads, nothing like cycling in the UK. I managed to keep up OK, the road bike I had borrowed made all the difference compared to my usual heavy old mountain bike. We cycled to Dieppe,  got the ferry to Newhaven and then cycled upto London.

It took us three days in total and I absolutely loved it. I need to get out cycling more often.

The British boating season has returned

December 15, 2011

Its December and the UK is once again cold and damp.

We’ve been lucky and the wet weather has lined up with a couple of weekends, bringing some of the North West’s finest rivers into condition. At the beginning of the month we got on the upper Swale at 0.82 on the EA gauge, which equated to some great levels.

Tom Hainsworth on the Swale’s Lower Kisdon

Then this weekend the rain came again and we got down the Keswick Greta, Leven, Clough and Lune.

Beth Hume on the upper Clough (Photo Maddy Boddy)[Rawthey gauge 1.9m]

Me on the Clough’s Lemmings Falls (Photo Maddy Boddy)

With frosts and snow on the horizon, let hope this wet weather continues into the new year.

Yorkshire 3 Peaks

October 23, 2011

A group of about 20 of us met at Horton in Ribblesdale at 7am to take on the Yorkshire 3 peaks. Climbing Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Inglebrough.

Dani about to summit Pen-y-ghent

With it being October I was prepared for all weathers, but it turned out to be the hottest October day on record and I was carrying 20Kg! And only 4 of those were water.

On route to Whernside

It took us 11 hours to walk the 26 mile route back to the pub in Horton in Ribblesdale, but it was worth it in the end. The day was organised by Dani Percival, who is trying to raise funds for Raleigh International.

Devon & Cornwall

October 23, 2011

Maddy & I spent a week down in Devon and Cornwall, staying with friends and wild camping here and there. We had a great time and the weather was favourable throughout.

With the ponies on Exmoor

On the Torr

We went walking on Exmoor and Dartmooor and then explored the Cornish coast by bicycle (not recommended) and kayak.

Paddling out of Tintagel (Photo Maddy Boddy)

We set out from Trebarwith Strand, aiming for Boscastle. But due to the swell and Maddy’s stomach, we stopped at Tintagel for lunch before I paddled off to get the car.


A week in the Highlands

May 13, 2011

I’ve spent a week up in the Scottish highlands enjoying the weather. The sun was shining and at least the dam controlled rivers had water in them. The Garry and the Meig both providing some entertainment.

Beth playing on the Garry

Darragh on the Meig

Other than that we went on a few walks, explored the upper Roy valley, climbed Ben Nevis, had a wander around and float on Loch Etive and cycled some of the Nevis range Witches Trails. A busy fun filled week without one drop of rain!

Maddy and I on the summit of Ben Nevis

Dinner by Loch Etive

Not another dry weekend…..

March 6, 2011

This weekend former Manchester Uni canoe club members met up for a weekend of boating and catching up in the Lake District, and as has become the norm on these type of events there was no water anywhere. We managed to keep ourselves busy and I’m glad to say my boat stayed on the roof of the car all weekend. Friday afternoon saw a walk up Torver beck, where we found a few caves and some interesting rapids with must make moves to avoid the 15m drop into the quarry!

Maddy in one of the quarries, with the Torver Beck fall in the background

Saturday we headed over to Grizedale for a bike ride, unfortunately the West half of the forest was closed due to the Malcom Wilson Rally but we managed to entertain ourselves for a couple of hours in the East.

Chris Lyon

Heading back to the car we went to see if we could get a glimpse of any of the rally cars, we were able to stroll up and stand right at the side of the track watching the cars fly past at about 80mph. It really was quite an experience.

Sunday saw us ghyll scrambling in Church Beck. Its a beautiful little gorge and being able to slide/jump/swim/abseil down it really gave you the opportunity to appreciate it.

Naomi mid abseil

Its only a kilometre long, but we spent most of the day playing our way down to Coniston.

Maddy on the slide

All in all a great weekend. Its nice to be reminded that its doesn’t have to be raining to have fun in the Lake District 🙂


February 7, 2011

Last weekend Mads and I walked up Langdon Brook, a Ribble Tributary in the Forest of Bowland. We didnt go far, just upto Langdon castle, which is anything but. An old barn at the junction of a few streams, but the scenery is amazing. Its a very desolate valley and certainly doesnt give the impression your only 20 minutes from the road.

A frosty Langdon valley


December 10, 2010

There has been snow all around the UK for the last week or so, with some areas getting more than others. Last weekend I headed up to Ambleside for some winter walking.

Looking down the struggle

After leaving the car in Ambleside we walked up the side of Stock Ghyll and onto the struggle by Kirkstone Pass. Here we dropped our bags at the pub, had a quick pint and went to play in the snow on the surrounding hills.


We spent the evening by the fire in the pub and headed to the hills again the following morning. Calling at the Kirkstone on route.

The Kirkstone from which the pass derives its name

Up the Red Scree slopes, which weren’t very red and onto the summit. Then returning along the ridge back down into Ambleside to collect the car and head home for a well earnt cup of tea and slice of cake.

Chris and myself on the accent (Photo Maddy Boddy)

The team on the summit


October 24, 2010

Over the past few weekends I’ve been busy attending kayaking gatherings. First of all was the Wet West Paddle Fest in Fort William, then the Etive River Race and finally the Pyranah Fest in Bala.

Chris Lyon on the top drop of the upper Morriston

The first weekend saw us paddling the Etive, Garry and Morriston, before returning down the M6 for a week of work. 5 days later we were back up to Scotland for the race on the Etive. The river was low, so no new records were going to be set.

Tim Burne on the first of tripple step in the individual race

Chris and I entered as team MOG (Manchester Old Gits) and came middle of the field in 7th. Sunday after the race a few of us walked up the Allt A’ Chaorainn for some low water fun in spectacular scenery.

Allt A’ Chaorainn

Pyranha Fest was held on the Tryweryn. Loads of people were there to demo boats and enter in the various competitions, however we paddled from the top to the bottom and managed to miss most of the river based activities! Still had a good time though. Camping besides lake Bala provided both a stunning sunset and an eery morning mist.

Sun set at the side of Bala lake