Hiking the Knoydart from Inverie to Sourlies Bothy or How I got lost in the Scottish Highlands wilderness at night!

This is my account of hiking in the Knoydart Penisula from Inverie to the Sourlies Bothy and the slight disaster hike it became. There was obviously lots more arguing, more yelped worries and panic (from me at least anyways) than mentioned, but just use your imagination. I’ve had several disastrous hikes, been lost many times before and wilderness before, but this is probably the best one so far, seeing as I was accompanied by my wife, Bronwyn.

The Knoydart Penisula is on the North-East coast of Scotland, not far from the Isle of Skye and is considered the last wilderness in Britain – nowhere else in the UK can you hike for 2 or 3 days and not see anyone else nor be disturbed by any roads or cars. There’s no mobile signal either, no phone boxes, nothing ๐Ÿ˜€

Access to the Knoydart is from a small village called Inverie, which you can only get to by hiking 27 miles cross-country or by taking a 45min ferry from the port of Mallaig. So why go to this place? Well, the original reason was the same as most people – to see what is claimed to be Britain’s most remote pub “The Old Forge“. Having visited “The Nutshell“, the smallest pub in Britain, in Bury-St-Edmonds and various other unusual pubs, Bronwyn thought I’d like to see this one too.

Rail Tour to Scunthorpe Steel Works and Walk across the Humber Bridge

Staying just within government social distancing and travel regulations, on July 4th 2020 I went on a special rail tour of Scunthorpe British Steel works with my friend Paul (whom had arranged the rail tour). The schedule was up at 6:20am, breakfast, out the door around 7am and back at 2:59am! Quite a packed full day, featuring Skegness, Scunthorpe, walking the Humber Bridge, fish & chips in Grimsby and Lincoln Cathedral and Castle!

Free car ferry on the Amazon River from Manaus via the BR319

Like many others, I’ve wanted to see the Amazon river since my Dad first told me about it when I was 5 or 6 years old. The biggest(and back then longest) river in the world! Then in October 2019, was lucky enough to find myself on a 3 week trip to Brazil, based in Rio de Janeiro. Had just gotten married and my wife randomly suggested we go and see the Amazon! What a Brilliant idea! So, after a quick bit of research, I discovered that Manaus is the main Amazon experience town and where most Amazon tours depart from + it’s the cheapest Amazonian place to fly to in Brazil. So, booked return flights from Rio to Manaus town, for a 6 night stay and found a bargain tour to go on.

Then I discovered a slight problem!

The tour was all well and great, BUT upon checking the map I noticed it was primarily a “rainforest tour” and wasn’t along the actual official Amazon river either! In fact it turns out Manaus isn’t actually on the “Amazon”, but sits on the Rio Negro river instead.

Now, my wife did not mind this one bit and am sure 99% of people that visit Manaus are booked on tours and don’t mind either, most people really want to see the rainforest and the animals, BUT I really mostly wanted to see the Amazon river! So what to do?…

Visiting Iguazu Falls in Brazil and Argentina

Here are some tips from my trip to Iguazu Falls. You really don’t need to take an official tour, as the waterfalls are very easy to get to on your own. You can either walk or get a taxi or Uber to them, on both sides. It takes about half a day to visit the Brazil side and nearly a full day for the Argentine side(it’s a lot bigger and more developed). Try to visit the Brazil side first and then the Argentine side, both are very spectacular, but that is the best combination in my opinion.

Crossing the Jordan – Israel border on foot – April 2019

In April 2019, I crossed the King Hussein Bridge from Jordan into Israel. There are a couple of other blogs out there I found, but none seemed to give as much detail as would like to have had, so here is my account.

Notes and Preparations

This blog details the crossing at the King Hussein Bridge (also known as the Allenby Bridge) from Jordan into Israel. There are other border points, but this is meant to be the easiest one, as long as you already have a Jordan entry stamp/visa*. All you really need is to be somewhat prepared and to have some patience. Please make sure to know details about your trip to Israel, as you will be asked – which hostel/hotel you’re staying in, what you will be doing there and how long you’ll be there. Also have a copy on your phone or printed-out of your return flights if possible + make sure to have some cash on you to pay for the bus crossing. There is a Bank of Jordan at the border, but having some cash to start with, saves any extra bother(there are several ATMs in central Amman). Due to the interview and times taken give yourself about 4 hours to cross this border.

* = you usually get a Jordan entry stamp/visa on arrival at the airport or wherever. If you do not have one, then use another crossing, as the King Hussein Bridge does not issue visas.

Scafell Pike Round 2 – Lake District Trip Blog

This is a long blog write up of my trip to the Lake District in Feb 2017, it’s purely for amusement and to (erm) write something. Back in 2007 I attempted to climb Scafell Pike and got lost on the mountains(another long story), so I decided to re-visit the place this year with my friend Paul. He’s lived in the USA the past 17 years, so was well up for this trip to arguably the finest of English countryside.

Tues 14th Feb 2017

The plan for the morning: up at 8am, breakfast, pack car, 9am head to Wimbledon, go for 10km run, back by 10:30am, pick up Paul and head to Lancaster!

Montreal, Montpelier and Albany

Back to the Future? - Montpelier Court House
Back to The Future – Montpelier Court House

Montreal Tips:
Take bus 747 from Montreal airport, it runs 24/7.
Travel card costs $8 and lasts 24hours after 1st usage on bus and metro + includes a ride on the 747 bus. $16 for 3 days usage.

Montpelier Highlights for me were:
1) visiting the Skinny Pancake shop for good/different food
2) pick up a free town street map from the Info stand a bit along from Subway, on the way to the state Capitol. this is highly useful.
3) tour the State Capitol building, very friendly and helpful guides there.
4) visit the Hubbard Park tower – about 20mins walk.
5) you can walk back down from Hubbard Park to the town via either path. the higher path is nicer, the lower path goes steeply down the ‘mountain’ and ends up.
6) visit the Uncommon market – reminds me of Bailey and Sage in Wimbledon village ๐Ÿ™‚
Useful info:
The Greyhound Bus stop is on Main Street just by the Fire station, it’s on one side of the road only, The other side are for municipal buses.
The supermarket is the south end of of mainstreet.

Chancellors Hall - Albany
Chancellors Hall – Albany

Albany:
You can take Bus 29 and 6 from to Greyhound station.
Get hold of the B&B map.
Visit the Capitol, found very interesting, we don’t really have this kind of thing in the UK.