Latest News Flash: Mr Billy has been reinstated as Bed Inspector at Park House, Stratford upon Avon
We would like to say thanks to the following people who made this a bit easier:
The Cycle Studio, Stratford Upon Avon – For your advice, for supplying our kit
Richard Edward Painter – For your really helpful advice and support
Richard Popple – For being there on Snowdon and for transporting the kayaks
Tracey and Martin – For your support and your assistance in carbohydrate upload in Padstow, top drawer as usual!
Michael from Carousel Digital – for the website, for your help and great advice and producing our vehicle graphics so quickly
Sammy, Griff, Lucy and Laura – for your support at all times
Carol – For your nutritional advice before and during this challenge, for your support too
Gillian – for being with us on the 3 peaks, for a good laugh and your continued support
Fred Baker Cycles in Bristol (Donny) – what can we say, top class service, nothing too much bother
Elens Castle Hotel – Betwys y Coed – thanks to Adam and Helen and your regulars for making us feel so welcome, we will be back!
Elidir – our Snowdon guide
Stephen and Jean Heyes for their support at Llangollen, Bala and Chester
Tom Mitchell, for your support and coming to see us
The pub in Montgomery – for helping Ruth out when her mobile phone ran out
The IBIS at Preston North – Really helpful, friendly staff, nothing was too much bother
Katie, Dave, Jules and Fred, for your support all through and for joining us for the Carnforth stretch
Rob Hopkin – for your support and advice, for sorting out the kayaks, for being a mate
Ray Webb for his support and advice regarding bike shops and his very funny messages that kept us smiling
Harbour Master – Lake Windermere
Phil Kershaw our Scafell Pike guide
Hillthwaite House Hotel – to the really nice chap who works there for following our progress on Windermere on his day off
Best Western Moffat House Hotel – lovely staff, lovely hotel
Loch Lomond – Inn on Loch Lomond – wow, what can we say, we will be back
Nevis Cycles – Just brilliant, your work was first class, the most friendly bike shop North of the Watford Gap!
Ben Nevis Guide (Nathen) – for not turning back in such terrible weather
Bombay Duck Restaurant Fort William – for the scoff – superb!
The unknown boat owner on Loch Ness for the use of their boat, it was cheeky of us and we would have asked if you had of been there…
Best Western Palace Hotel in Inverness – lovely hotel, lovely staff
The Royal Marine Hotel Brora – For the most relaxing couple of nights on this challenge, your hotel is beautiful, your staff are great too
To ALL of our supporters
The many people who waved and smiled along the way
To the sad creatures that tried to mow us down with deliberately poor driving and those who shouted obscenities, thank you, maybe your place in life is to serve as proof to us that evolution can work in reverse?
Waitress to Hoppy “the soup of the day is Mental and your server today is Lairy”
Ruth to Felix when faced with 110 mile ride in bad weather “Think of this not as a really long cycle ride, but as an exercise in recapturing your youth”
Felix Schmid (Kirkstone Pass to Pooley Bridge) “I am going to write a book, called False Summit, A Celebration of British Road building”
Mr Billy when arriving home “err, Mum, this bed is too hard”
Ecclefechan Taekwon-Do – Just made Colin and Felix laugh
Anon – “No, don’t look over the side, or de little fishes will bite yer nose off, so they will”
Felix would like to personally thank the following people:
Dr. Mark Sterling, Head of the School of Engineering for allowing him unpaid leave at the start of the academic year.
Mrs Joy Grey for dealing with all office issues in my absence
Will Cooper and the team for producing the postcards.
Charles Watson for keeping troubles away from me.
Florence for pulling me up and down mountains.
Robert Stolz for completing my heavy haul bicycle at minimal notice.
Rob Hopkin, Bridget, Richard Popple and…me!
We all met for breakfast at 0800hrs and then met our guide Nathan at 0900hrs and set off for the short drive to the foot of Ben Nevis.
The weather was of course raining and pretty grim. Our long steady ascent took approximately 3.5 hours, during which the weather deterioated further with height. We were amazed at how busy the track was and that at one point we had to wait for five minutes as a party of 180 walkers descended!
About 30 minutes later we summited, a quick photograph was taken a we started the descent, catching up with the aforementioned party all too soon We spent the next hour negotiating our way past them. We were all very glad to get safely down without any real incident, despite the dreadful weather.
Thanks to our guide Nathan for today.
A special mention to Gillian, Florence, Rosie and Lily who completed the Ben today, this completed their own ‘Three Peaks’ challenge for Hounds for Heroes. The dogs were once again unfazed by the dreadful weather and challenging terrain. They are leaving us tomorrow to return home to Kent, we will miss them, it has been really great spending time with them.
The day started as usual with a hearty breakfast at the hotel before making tracks to meet the mountain guide Phil Kershaw at Dungeon Ghyll Car Park at Langdale.
The weather was pretty gloomy, overcast but not raining. The Langdale route up Scafell Pike is not the easiest, this one is more challenging with a long walk in, it was deliberately chosen to provide good training for ‘The Ben’.
The ascent took approximately three and a half hours, it was, as expected, cloudy at the top. The boulder fields were particularly difficult. Gillians three dogs (Florence, Lily and Rosie) were fantastic, they coped really well with these obstacles. Felix’s devotion to getting Florence up the mountain was only matched by Florence’s devotion to getting Felix up the mountain, it was hard to tell who was leading who!
Special thanks must go to Phil Kershaw our patient and knowledgeable guide for the day, we all really enjoyed his company, it felt like we had know each other for years.
The evening was capped off nicely with a small celebration for Florence’s birthday, with fireworks and cake…on a small scale
Colin, Felix, Gillian and Rich, plus Lilly, Rosie and Florence were dropped off at Llanberis Station of the Snowdon Mountain Railway this morning, to ascend (today’s posh word) Mount Snowdon, ably guided by Elidir, our local expert. The walk up to the Halfway Cafe (sadly closed) was uneventful. Just above the cafe, a strong westerly wind rose, bringing with it rain, hailstones and a robust level of wind chill. The three dogs were bemused but happy, the walkers less so. By the time the team had reached the top, visibility had dropped to close to zero. Colin, Rich, Elidir and Felix retreated to the comfort of the summit cafe, to mingle with the people brought up by the railway. Gillian had to stay in the entrance area – her dogs were not allowed in.
All of a sudden, the clouds lifted and there was a great view, right out to sea. Felix was very happy, another bet won! The descent was easy and graced by a great view all the way down. In Llanberis, Colin and Felix were treated to a depot visit by Mike Robertshaw, the engineering manager of the railway. He gave a great overview of the railway’s projects and plans.
Snowdon added some 3700 ft to the tally of ups (thanks to some dips in the path). Sadly, the calories required for Mount Snowdon did not amount to enough for a decent dinner.
Buster has been busy getting used to his backpack, ready for the mountains. Yesterday he managed to lug, two bottles of water, two pasties (his and mine), a tuna baguette, plastic bags, a diet coke and a pair of Croc’s…