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Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Gelt Talkin

stick fight
The objectives for today were to try out the knipemobile’s new steering, charge up the battery and scrub off the rusty brake discs by breaking hard on steep hills and locate some 1900 year old graffiti, supposedly carved into some rather nice red sandstone quite near to Hadrian’s Wall.
All went well, except finding the graffiti. We did find graffiti and some of it was from 1988. Other graffiti was a bit more vague…
gelt wood 002
So, after a “brisk” drive up Weardale I picked up Brian and we went off to Gelt Wood – a red squirrel sanctuary, deciduous wood and riverside walk just a bit left of Brampton.
This, as it happens, is a quite fabulous place, for, apart from the red squirrels (of whom we saw nothing) – there are some big old oak trees and a very beautiful river which has lots of trout and goes into small falls and pools and narrow channels and its all really just so good.
river gelt in a channel
Gelt Wood also contains some very large and ancient sandstone quarries of exactly the type of stone that quite a lot of Carlisle is built from. Some of these quarries, allegedly contain some graffiti , carved into the rock by Roman quarrymen (who later went on to change the face of Roman pop music, renamed as The Rottles but split up after one of them went a bit mad and married a Japanese lass)
gelt wood quarry
But anyway, there was graffiti, but nothing obviously Roman.
What there was, was the pick marks of many pick strokes at all levels on the crag. I should add that the main part of the crag is probably eighty feet high, so to make pick marks eighty feet up, plus the distinctive marks of wedges in lines for riving out blocks of stone, is remarkable.
pick marks
Bruno spent the afternoon chasing sticks, destroying sticks, fighting for sticks and running about with sticks. And paddling.
dog beck beck dog beck
After a brief cuppa at a pal of Brian’s in Brampton, there was a brief visit to Talkin Tarn, mainly to check out whether or not you can hire rowing boats there. You can. And there’s a tea room for a cuppa afterwards. so that’s good too.
Possibly more of that at some point later.
talkin tarn
We only covered 3 miles altogether – but what fab three miles there were. We orta have done another mile, then they could have been the fab Four miles  (quarrymen….  koff….. ahem…)
Anyway, I enjoyed it and so did the dawg.

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