Exploring the Auyan Tepui

Close to Venezuela’s border with Guyana and Brazil lie many table mountains called “tepuis” in the local indigenous language. They are remote, largely unexplored, and inspired Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World.” One of the largest is the Auyan Tepui, whose claim to fame is Angel Falls where water cascades  979m / 3212ft down a verticalContinue reading “Exploring the Auyan Tepui”

Hiking the Sierra Nevada de Merida, Venezuela

After the completion of the Cambridge Columbus Botanical Survey expedition, Mark, James, and I headed to Merida in February 1991 for a backpacking trip in the Andes. Hilary Branch, who had written the No Frills Guide to Venezuela, recommended a hike from Merida to El Morro as it was quite straightforward, following the route ofContinue reading “Hiking the Sierra Nevada de Merida, Venezuela”

Cambridge Columbus Botanical Study Venezuela 1990

I participated in two amazing expeditions when I was a student. The first involved investigating the effects of oil pollution on the coral reefs in the Gulf of Suez in Egypt and is described by a separate post. This post describes the second expedition where a group of four traveled to Venezuela for a botanicalContinue reading “Cambridge Columbus Botanical Study Venezuela 1990”

Reflections on the Coast to Coast

After any significant adventure, I like to gather and publish my thoughts a few days after it is finished. Such a reflective post can help others plan something similar while also helping with my pondering of “what next?” In this reflection, Dean and Tracy also make insightful contributions! What? Wainwright’s 1973 publication described the walkContinue reading “Reflections on the Coast to Coast”

Highlights of our 2022 Coast to Coast Crossing

It is difficult to get one’s head around an adventure as large as hiking England’s Coast to Coast over 18 days. To help the reader appreciate the whole trip in one post, here are the highlights using one photo per day. Still to come is a reflection post, but that needs more reflection time :).Continue reading “Highlights of our 2022 Coast to Coast Crossing”

Coast to Coast Day 19: Robin Hood’s Bay to Heathrow

Team Sloth has made it to Heathrow, which is where the blog’s storytelling should end. Just like there was a “Day 0” before we started, I add one at the end. If there is any drama tomorrow with the flight home, I don’t want to write about it! The day started with a 4:15am alarmContinue reading “Coast to Coast Day 19: Robin Hood’s Bay to Heathrow”

Coast to Coast Day 18: Grosmont to Robin Hood’s Bay

This is what we set out for when we left St. Bees. With the finish this close, my family’s primary focus was finishing. With what looked like being the longest day with plenty of climbs, we decided to leave early at 6am. Of course, it was very light, but everything was very peaceful. The initialContinue reading “Coast to Coast Day 18: Grosmont to Robin Hood’s Bay”

Coast to Coast Day 17: Blakey Ridge to Grosmont

The day started similarly to yesterday with some fine easy moorland walking, and we covered the first 9 miles in 3 hours. Once again, the moorland cotton was special. A wildlife high point was watching a group of six baby grouse run to follow their mother. We also saw a small snake, which might beContinue reading “Coast to Coast Day 17: Blakey Ridge to Grosmont”

Coast to Coast Day 16+: Sunset Drone at the Lion Inn

I’d looked forward to capturing the sunset from the Lion Inn since before the trip started. I had done a recce flight with my DJI Mini 2 earlier which was part of the day’s post. This evening adventure deserves its own blog – not least because the day’s post was already published and I wantedContinue reading “Coast to Coast Day 16+: Sunset Drone at the Lion Inn”

Coast to Coast Day 16: Clay Bank Top to Blakey Ridge

While this has been the easiest day of the trip at 8.7 miles at just over 3 hours, it was not short of views and the weather was perfect. We got our lift from the hotel back to the lay-by, and were soon climbing up the major hill of the day. Unfortunately, the path didContinue reading “Coast to Coast Day 16: Clay Bank Top to Blakey Ridge”

Coast to Coast Day 15: Osmotherley to Clay Bank Top

We were back in the hills! While the hot temperatures made it uncomfortable and challenging, the clear skies opened up amazing views for all of our 11.3 miles which we completed in a little over 5 hours. Tracy and Dean had their own adventure in working out how to travel by bus to our destinationContinue reading “Coast to Coast Day 15: Osmotherley to Clay Bank Top”

Coast to Coast Day 14: Danby Wiske to Osmotherley

I was hopeful that today would bring us out of our funk, and it did in several ways! We hiked the 13 miles in under 6 hours. It was a fun day with a range of events/incidents that kept us amused. Once we crossed the A19, which was at about two-thirds of the hike, weContinue reading “Coast to Coast Day 14: Danby Wiske to Osmotherley”

Coast to Coast Day 13: Richmond to Danby Wiske

Everyone seemed well refreshed at breakfast, which The Fleece had graciously arranged early for us. We grabbed our lunch from Gregg’s on the way through town and were soon heading out of Richmond. We chose to follow the old railway line out from the station which was a fantastic walk. The trail changed to aContinue reading “Coast to Coast Day 13: Richmond to Danby Wiske”

Coast to Coast Day 12: Rest day in Richmond

My Dad grew up in Richmond, but his one was on the outskirts of London, rather than this one in North Yorkshire. As my Mum was from Lancashire, the arch-rival of Yorkshire, I did not visit this part of the country when I was young. Yorkshire’s Richmond is a fine market town with a richContinue reading “Coast to Coast Day 12: Rest day in Richmond”

Coast to Coast Day 11: Reeth to Richmond

We all slept well and were ready to get to Richmond and our rest day. This day was pleasantly uneventful, with perhaps a few more hills than the team would have liked, with Dean challenging my description “undulating.” It was also quite warm, and while only 70 degF, that feels hot when walking and weContinue reading “Coast to Coast Day 11: Reeth to Richmond”

Coast to Coast Day 10: Keld to Reeth

Team Sloth was at full strength again today. The young ‘uns were ready for the high route, with us oldies opting for the low one, which was a bit more middle at times. It certainly felt that way as we approached Reeth after 7 hours and a little over 13 miles. We were treated toContinue reading “Coast to Coast Day 10: Keld to Reeth”

Coast to Coast Day 9: Kirkby Stephen to Keld

It was great that Dean rejoined us today. Even though his toe joint was still very painful, he really wanted to see the hills, and certainly wanted to avoid another day fighting the banks. 8 hours and 13.5 miles later, he might have felt different! The day started well with the usual grand breakfast, evenContinue reading “Coast to Coast Day 9: Kirkby Stephen to Keld”

Coast to Coast Day 8: Orton to Kirkby Stephen

The weather forecast was great for this 12-mile day, so it was really disappointing when Dean reluctantly decided he needed a rest day as he had severe toe pain. He was able to get a lift with an Australian couple who were staying at the same pub. Unfortunately, the next B&B did not open forContinue reading “Coast to Coast Day 8: Orton to Kirkby Stephen”

Coast to Coast Day 7: Shap to Orton

Today was a refreshing change and a relatively short one at 7.8 miles in just less than 4 hours. Most importantly, the whole team was hiking together again! The walking was across moorland and relatively flat farmland on spongy grass, allowing the legs to recover from the Lakeland rocks. While we are still in Cumbria,Continue reading “Coast to Coast Day 7: Shap to Orton”

Coast to Coast Day 6: Patterdale to Shap (Low Raise alternate)

Today we completed just over 15 miles in just under 8.5 hours of walking. This was our final day in the Lake District and this blog will be a bit different from the others so far. First, I am seeing the real danger of all the days blurring together. Even though experiences might sound similarContinue reading “Coast to Coast Day 6: Patterdale to Shap (Low Raise alternate)”