Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Isle of Man - Sea to Summit

When visiting an island, it can be easy to be consumed by the urge to circumnavigate.

However, during this particular visit, the weather will not be suitable. Taking a day off paddling we headed to the east coast town of Laxey with the aim of walking from the seafront, up the glen and over the moors to the summit of Snaefell.

The first challenge was to navigate our way through the narrow winding streets and lanes.

The best local landmark en route was 'Lady Isabella', the famous Laxey wheel. From there we found a quiet back road that led to a footpath that runs to an old abandoned mine at the head of Laxey Glen.

This is where we met the cloud base and lost the shelter of the steep sided valley.

This is what I would refer to as proper British hill walking conditions...

...the pass-time of stumbling around in a cloud looking for a mountain!

Eventually, after much stumbling we found the top of Snaefell, where it had always been, towering 621 metres over the Isle of Man.

Not only that, but the cafe was open for business (which we duly patronised) and there was a train waiting to take us back to Laxey!

The carriages are made mostly of teak and are all around 100 years old.

It is a noisy and ricketty experience as the train groans and creaks it's way back down the Glen along a precarious narrow gauge line to the coast.

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