Thursday, 22 July 2010

Pocketmail RIP

I thought I'd just check out the Pocketmail website and see if anything had changed in the last few months. It wasn't available so I googled Pocketmail only to discover that POCKETMAIL IS NO MORE - see Seems it's gone down the pan and I'm not really surprised. I really lost patience with mine on my LEJOG in 2009. I would type in a day's posting, locate a payphone and generally find
  • the phone didn't work
  • there was no phone in the phone box
  • the phone was working but I couldn't upload the email
Sometimes, I would be surprised but, in the end, I just lost patience. Fortunately, I had bought a pay-as-you-go Blackberry Pearl a couple of days before the start of my walk and I tended to use that and the Pocketmail was sent home. The joy of the Pocketmail was that I wasn't reliant on either a phone signal or the device being charged as the it ran on AA batteries which lasted a long time. However, it was very old technology and it was surely only a matter of time before it became totally obsolete. 

I clearly wasn't the only one who found the Pocketmail annoying - see Pocketmail has ruined my life

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Near Bala

Enjoying a tour of North Wales. Overnighted (in fact, spending four nights) at a site close to the crossroads at Cefn-ddwysarn. A before breakfast walk up in the hills in an area marked on the map as Rhos Dawel. The marked path was quite hard to follow and I lost it up behind a farm called Ty'n-y-bryn (although I later realised I'd gone uphill sooner than I should have done on going between the farm buildings). I'd intended taking a path going west into some woods but instead took the path north. It wasn't a problem - instead, I followed a path to Llwyniolyn and back down the lane to the site.

In the afternoon, I headed off again, going up a parallel lane and taking a path west to some derelict buildings called Cwm-onen and into woodland. The path went through the overgrown garden of a cottage, Creigiau-uchaf (possibly still occupied) and then back into woodland. After passing through the corners of two fields, there was a stile into some very overgrown and uneven land. I fought my way through for maybe two hundred yards. The vegetation was often up to chest level with brambles and unexpected ridges and furrows, all unseen below. My legs (I was wearing shorts) were lacerated and, although I knew exactly where I wanted to go, I couldn't get through, what with a fence with a drop the other side possibly into a ditch and thickening undergrowth. I turned back and found a much easier way round. On reaching a track, I followed it for a bit before taking a path into woodland and making a bee line east to Ty'n-y-bryn.

Doing the two walks in the same location was worthwhile, criss-crossing the area in two directions and so getting a feel for it.
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