Well, I’ve been getting out adventuring almost every weekend.
I usually cycle around Cheshire somewhere (this shot was taken on the canal).
I also try to get out walking and I’ve discovered loads of interesting places off the beaten track in Chester.
Barbecue’s are a regular weekend occurrence now.
We also got hold of Madhur Jaffreys Ultimate Curry Bible, as recommended by Mike Delafield, and we try making a different curry every Friday.
The beer fridge I’d wanted for years and finally got as a Christmas bonus from SGS has been a godsend for weekends and summer evenings.
I bought Ray Mears new book.
I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as a chef, but I can knock together a decent meal on a camping stove.
The book itself is really interesting and has loads of useful stuff, so if you’re about to go on a long train journey, go out and buy it.
I’ve replaced my tent, The Wild Country – Zephros 2 with, The Wild Country – Zephros 2, compact.
I loved my old tent, but there were one or two niggling problems like cheap zips, bendable tent-pegs, fiddly to put up. All have been fixed.
A project I did recently was an overnight camp to Chester lakes campsite.
As it’s only 5 miles from my house, it enabled me to load up my bike, pedal over and test the balance of my bike and various new camping things I’ve recently bought.
I’d spent the days before, rationalising and testing my cooking rig (inspired by stuff in Ray Mears Book).
I prepared all the gear I thought I’d need for a week’s camping in the lakes (although I was only camping for 1 night, it seemed a good test). Would my bike be overloaded ?. The whole point was to make the freedom of cycling a pleasant experience).
Next came loading up the panniers.
That was a real challenge as you had to fill them out evenly, by leaning the bike against a wall or something like that.
So, I found my £3.99 B&Q stool, and “mounted” the panniers on that.
It worked out really well and I definitely recommend that as a “best practice” way to load panniers.
So, with the afternoon booked off work, I set off pedalling to the Lakes Campsite and setup my little camp.
I managed to find a small secluded forest that seemed quiet. I made a brew on my stove, tested my new mini wash kit, and got changed from my cycling gear into my trekking clothes.
Everything was going to plan.
Inspired by stuff I’d read in Ray Mears book.
Don’t take something simple to fill you up. Think about what you’d really like to eat.
In my case, crackers and cheese spread. The panniers were so carefully loaded that the crackers didn’t even break.
I wandered around the campsite exploring. They had a nice place called the Wild Goose, so I had a few beers in the sunshine. Then I wandered over to the Red Lion in Dodleston and had dinner with Nikki.
After the meal I said goodbye to Nikki, wished her a safe journey home, then headed back to my camp for the night.
Eight cars and multiple tents had setup their rig right near mine (the picture above isn’t they’re actual camp, which was much worse, this is something I found on the internet to capture the scene).
The quiet of the evening was broken, when I realised the loud music was due to an amplifier they’d brought, powered by a generator !
A strobe light and the smell of weed finished me off, I loaded up my bike and pedalled home (I was drinking hot chocolate in my house by 10:30 pm).
No matter, it was a test/proof of concept and it worked.
Saturday was spent catching up on jobs, including fixing Nikki’s dryer which required some creative use of concrete.
I also started watching a series called Gangs of London, which I’d really recommend.
On Sunday, we went walking again. We passed through a new place called Park in the Past.
I was delighted to see that you could rent Kayaks. I’ve made a note of that and I’ll be back there soon.
We even wandered across Hope Mountain.
Overall, a pretty fab day out and a nice end to the weekend.
I’m back in work until Thursday, then off to Northumberland for 9 days which I’m really looking forward too.
Were moving around, so I’ve booked accommodation in 3 different locations and booked dinner in different places for each evening.
Well, only 2 more posts and I’ll have completed 500 posts on johnsunter.com
Once again, thanks for reading, near and far, the search for adventure continues…