under the coconut tree

Saturday, September 11, 2004

The hills of UK

Being outdoor enthusiasts, we've accumulated many wonderful memories trekking, camping and even fly-fishing in the national parks scattered around the UK. Hopefully the series of photos below, with their unique and varied landscapes, share with you the reasons why we keep going back for more.

Ranking high on our list of favourites is the rugged and dramatic Scottish Highlands. The highland town of Fort William feels like our second home, having played host to many weekend trips (often involving all-night drives on Friday followed by two days of activities and a shatterring late Sunday drive home - well for KL anyway - I am normally snugly tucked away in a sleeping bag at the back! =) ).

At the final stretch of the winding road to Fort William, Glen Coe valley opens up to a spectacular and breath-taking view. Incidentally, this is also where the Braveheart and Highlander movies were shot. Posted by Hello

On one of our attempts to scale the highest mountain in UK, we set up tent by a little stream over looking the notorious north face of Ben Nevis (summit partially hidden by heavy fog). Posted by Hello

The distinct contours of the arete (high narrow ridge) leading to the summit of Ben Nevis. On a clear day, one will be hard-pushed to find a better view of the highlands than this.
Photo credit: PH Khoo. Posted by Hello

This is a picture of my first winter ascent of a munro (that's what the Scots call a mountain above 3,000ft). Nothing like sipping hot coffee while KL works up an instant noodle treat (maggi assam laksa .... cepat dimasak, sedap dimakan!). The setting sun and the white powdery snow adds to the sense of 'surreality'.

In England, we have the Lake District National Park - less dramatic landscape to the her Scottish cousins but scenic nonetheless. Kendal and Keswick are also quaint English towns that attract throngs of tourists. The view of the valley from the slopes of Scafell Pike reminds me of paddy fields - a common sight in Asia. ;) Posted by Hello

The rolling landscape that is the distinct trademark of the Lake District. Posted by Hello

Last but not least, the rocky and flatter terrain of Peak District National Park. A favourite amongst rock climbers and trekkers, especially Londoners given its (relative) proximity.

I had the chance to experience what the park had to offer when I was working part-time at one of the UK's leading outdoor shop. The company sponsored the few of us on a fully paid weekend of outdoor activities ranging from mountain biking, rock climbing and trekking. We even got the chance to gear-test top of the range clothings, shoes, tents, sleeping bag...etc. Posted by Hello

Thought I should include the colourful display of tents at the Peak District campsite. Mind you before you go on thinking that we were mis-treated into staying in some shabby cheapo tent, I'll have you know that these tents are the Rolls-Royce of tents! These babies have seen action in the world's most remote places - from the high altitudes of the Himalayas to the raging storms of Patagonia. For example, the large striking yellow dome on the far right is commonly seen at Everest base camps, and cost - wait for it - a cool £3500!!!Posted by Hello

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