Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

Away on Manannan’s Isle

4th May 2010

With a bank holiday weekend in prospect, I somehow managed to fix up a trip to the Isle of Man with some walking in mind. Though weather forecasts were mixed, I took the chance anyway and that even was after my drenching while on a day trip there. Manannan may be a mythical being who uses mist as a protector but this Irishman wasn’t deterred by that first encounter last July.

This past weekend, the weather over there was far kinder with the only rain that gave me any sort of wetting being the lighter variety that frequented Douglas on Sunday night or the few drops that I thought I felt while crossing over Cronk ny Arrey Laa earlier in the day; heavier stuff may have fallen while I journeyed back from Peel after a day of walking but I was under cover then. A rainbow was spied around Peel on the approach to the end of my walk but any rain was away from me. Otherwise, it was dry with a mix of cloudy skies or blue ones letting the sun out to bring the best from the countryside, coastline and seascapes. The walking was a mix of poking around Douglas and Onchan on Saturday followed by a testing hike from Port Erin to Peel on Sunday and a far gentler potter around the latter under sunny skies before leaving the island on Monday.

All in all, it was a good sampling of the delights of the island’s countryside and I left with more to explore. Examples include the area around Snaefell, the island’s highest hill, the kinder northern shoreline and the populous areas around Laxey and Ramsey. Having to choose between so so much left me feeling torn as to what to do. The only cure for times when you have a few days and really need a week is to savour what you can and leave the rest for another time should it ever come. From what I have enjoyed already, I clearly see that there are plenty of good reasons to go again.

There are plans afoot to say more but there was a time when such a brief account would have constituted a trip report on here. That was back in the early days of this blog and the brevity of the report for a weekend in Pembrokeshire surprises. Thoughts of expanding it come to mind but I don’t know how vivid four year old memories are. Returning to the area to explore more of its delights might be a good way of conveying this blog along through a little more of its fifth year. Time hasn’t exactly stood still since those tentative steps taken after a Mayday bank holiday weekend divided between Fort William, Inverness and Pitlochry with a longer walk from Corrour to Spean Bridge fitted in among all the journeying. Rereading that account now reminds me how I have changed what goes on here: more on the actual walking and less on travel and accommodation. It is in that vein that I plan to continue and reading the writings of others must have had something to do with it.

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