I’ve got another DCC guided walk on Sunday and I put off doing the reccy from the other day due to having been generously given a snotty conk by one of my three grandsons (I strongly suspect the two year-old with the nose candles). The there was the forecast about the thunder and lightening which put me off a bit. In the end, I had to do it, so an early start before today’s electrical storms kicked off was called for.
The walk is spookily similar to the previous Tunstall walk – the one with the big stile, except it includes a trundle around the shores of the reservoir. This is very nice. It also adds about a mile. Ian, one of the stewards from last Sunday’s Stanhope walk told me that I’d said I’d do this walk anti-clockwise. I can’t remember saying that, but it seems like a reasonable idea – so widershins it was. Its probably better this way since the two heart-attack hill in the middle is tackled with the advantage of gravity – i.e. downhill. All other hills are pretty gentle.
There was another purpose to this walk as well. My lovely lightweight and veteran Primus stove had performed indifferently at my camp at The Snake. I put this down to the cold morning. But I tried it in the warm, and it was lethargic to say the least. Maybe the canister had all the propane used up in the very cold Cheviots a few weeks ago. I had to test it to find out. So, armed with a Primus kettle and a windshield, gas canister, mug and kenco 3 in 1 coffee, I set up the stove in a little wooded bit with a lovely view of the Tunstall dale. As I waited (and waited and waited) for the water to boil, Bruno entertained some sticks and did a bit of digging.
The water never boiled, but it did get hot enough for coffee. I dismantled the stove and found it to be mucky and greasy where it shouldn’t be mucky and greasy, but also, I found that if I turned it upside down, the gas leaked out. This was likely to be a duff “O” ring, I thought. A little spanner is needed to get at the jet to blow it out but I’d have to buy a new “O” ring. As I’m off to Wales for a jaunt with Dawn on Monday, there’s no time for messing about with this stuff, so I determined to buy a new stove.
Me and Bruno finished the walk and found nothing special for the risk assessment (apart from a huge bull and some mud), so after lunch I went off to Cotswolds in Durham and bought a Primus Express with a canister for thirty of your Queen’s pounds in sterling. This boils a litre of water faster than you can claim your fund from the Central Bank of Nigeria, dear beneficiary, and, if turned up to it’s full output resembles a Korean missile test only upwards instead of downwards. Impressive. This should be fine. And at four ounces, it’s two ounces lighter than my old one. This is not much. I don’t suppose I’ll notice this, really.
The walk is seven miles , clockwise or anti-clockwise and goes over the really big stile.