Episode 3 of my mountain goat adventures took us to the challenging north ridge of Glen Coe – one of the best ridge walks in Scotland and topped in difficulty by on the Cuillin Ridge in Skye.
Thankfully dDespite low cloud cover the weather stayed dry, as I think I might have been out of my comfort zone if it had rained. As it was there was some fairly hairy scrambles up and down craggy chutes of rock, but the views and sense of accomplishment at the end were properly exhilirating.
Apologies for the serious lack of posts – I have a tender due out in a couple of weeks and we have been quite busy.
Reaching back into the depths of August we had a fantastic week in the south of France to celebrate the 30th birthday of our friend (and early introducer to all things Glaswegian) Nathalie. It appears that much like kiddies parties which are all bouncy castles and hired entertainers, the requirements for 30ths are escalating somewhat – we met someone on the weekend who is hiring a Scotish castle for his!
In any case a dozen of us had a fantastic time in Nathalie’s parents village having rented an enormous house for the week. Our days centred on wine, cheese & ham with the occasional effort to get out of a hammock and check out the surrounding countryside, wineries, mountains or the Basque coast at St Jean-de-Luz and Biaritz for seafood and sunsets (above).
Even getting there was quite fun as we tested the limits of the Europe by rail approach with an epic 14 hour trip right through from Glasgow to almost the spanish border in one day on the way there, with a more lesiurely sleeper to Paris, a days traipsing about and an afternoon train home on the way back. A highly reccomended way to travel with minimal security, delicious picnics and free wi-fi (for the UK leg in any case) making for a much more dignified mode of transport (and in this case it was even cheaper than flying!).
On possibly the wettest night of an exceptionally wet summer we popped into Nice’n’Sleazy’s to catch friends of the Zebra’s Je Suis Animal, whom we had missed at indietracks. We were expecting twee scandinavian pop (and them to be headlining) but instead walked in toward the end of their interesting somewhat noisy set. They were followed by solid local boys Wake the President before the proper headline act: A Sunny Day in Glasgow hailing perhaps from one of the ten versions of our current home town in the US of A. They were quite delightful if sometimes a little erratic, however definitely not as rare a sound as their eponymous event in scotland.
In amongst a hectic six weeks in July & August we managed a road trip to Derbyshire for possibly the most obscure of the packed British summer festival circuit. Called indietracks were were there to catch up with our friend Katie – now member of Melbourne based popsters the Zebras. The low profile of the event made for a blissfully relaxing weekend, chilling out on grassy slopes in bright sunshine while esoteric lo-fi indie pop entertained us. Not a queue for anything and no sign of the mess and nutters that ruin most festivals, we even managed to catch a gig in the goods wagon of the steam trains that puffed there way through the site periodically.
On our way home we took the scenic route through the Pennines for some delightful and very English countryside (complete with cricket game on the village green).