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Saint Billinge

Anyone visited or lived in remote parts of the world?

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Or because they are poor and can spot a soft touch.....

Nope. Nobody asked me for any money.

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I love a bit of isolation.  Given no responsibilities I'd live miles from anywhere if I could.

 

In Aussie terms it's probably not isolated, but I recently drove from Berri to Adelaide in the middle of the night on my own.  After an hour or so I pulled over at a rest stop to take a break and got out of the car.     Dead quiet, no other traffic on the road, millions of stars in the sky.  Just beautiful.  It was a pity to get back underway.

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I was supposed to visit Spurn Point again. That's pretty remote.

 

I love Spurn Point.

 

I was down there a couple of months ago and it was quite windy, so very quiet - probably only 10 people or so out there walking.   An F15 flew over, low and fast, and then came back and did a series of further fast passes and steep climbs.  The pilot was clearly showing off a bit.   He entertained us for about 20 minutes before he flew off, presumably to Lakenheath.

 

Fantastic stuff.

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I've made it to Skaw - most northerly point of the Shetland Islands where anyone lives - and spent the day on Papa Stour, population 16 and falling.

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I've made it to Skaw - most northerly point of the Shetland Islands where anyone lives - and spent the day on Papa Stour, population 16 and falling.

I think Unst is further north

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My nephew once journeyed the full length of South America as a tour guide, but always mindful of bandits. The pay was peanuts but very, very generous tips from people able to afford these expensive adventures. 

 

Walking the Pennine Way many years ago, it did seem remote in places. 

 

Anyone been walking on Dartmoor or other similar terrain? 

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Fifty years ago, when I was a small child, I had three uncles and an aunt who all lived in an old farmhouse on top of the hill that overlooked our village. The farm had no electricity or running water. They lit the house with oil lamps and, when necessary, collected spring water that emerged from the slope just below the house. 

 

In the snows of 1963, one of my uncles died and the Co-op funeral department  could not get a vehicle up to the farm to collect the body. They then made a large wooden sledge and dragged his coffin to the farm.  His body was dragged down the hill to my grandparents house at the foot of the hill. It stayed there for a good few days before the funeral.

 

My remaining two uncles then sold the sheep and moved into the village. Within weeks, vandals burnt the farm down. The ruins still remain.

 

Garndiffaith%20-%20Graig%20Ddu%20Farm%20

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Fifty years ago, when I was a small child, I had three uncles and an aunt who all lived in an old farmhouse on top of the hill that overlooked our village. The farm had no electricity or running water. They lit the house with oil lamps and, when necessary, collected spring water that emerged from the slope just below the house. 

 

In the snows of 1963, one of my uncles died and the Co-op funeral department  could not get a vehicle up to the farm to collect the body. They then made a large wooden sledge and dragged his coffin to the farm.  His body was dragged down the hill to my grandparents house at the foot of the hill. It stayed there for a good few days before the funeral.

 

My remaining two uncles then sold the sheep and moved into the village. Within weeks, vandals burnt the farm down. The ruins still remain.

 

Garndiffaith%20-%20Graig%20Ddu%20Farm%20

 

That is some story.

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I think Unst is further north

Skaw is on Unst.

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Nope. Nobody asked me for any money.

Did they remember you from the last time you were there?

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Two areas that are fairly wild and unvisited in the UK are Torridon in Northwest Scotland and Otterburn/Kielder in Northumberland; both beautiful and remote locations.

 

Work-wise, I have had the pleasure of Afghanistan and the hell-hole that was Sangin. If there was no people (both locals and military forces), it has the potential to be a paradise but sadly it isn't. Also been to some remote areas in Kenya, which were pretty desolate and hardly anything lives in the Darfur Mountains in Oman. However, the wildest place I have ever been in South Georgia. I managed to get out on a Naval patrol during my recent tour to the South Atlantic and it was a wild and treachrous journey on the Southern Ocean but very much worth it to visit Shackleton's grave at Gritvyken and go climbing in the surrounding mountains. The Falklands was pretty remote and spectacular too; I'd live there if it was closer to the UK.

 

During my recent post-tour leave, I went climbing in the Himalayas. I climbed Mera and Island Peak in Nepal trekking through some very remote valleys; the poverty and sense of isolation was rife. Nepalis are a very hardy bunch. Southeast Iceland is pretty remote but stunning too as is inner-Sweden; did a winter dog sledding trek around the Osterstund wilderness in 2009. Amazing!

 

My next wilderness trip is hopefully climbing a 7000m peak in the Karakoram Mountains in Pakistan (2015 hopefully). Not sure I'll get clearance with the recent killings by fundamentalists on Nanga Parbat in Jun (?) but will try to get there.

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Two areas that are fairly wild and unvisited in the UK are Torridon in Northwest Scotland and Otterburn/Kielder in Northumberland; both beautiful and remote locations.

I've only ever been at or through Otterburn once when it wasn't raining.  On that day I was convinced the world was going to end.  I logically separate the Otterburn and Kielder areas to disassociate from my army days on exercise at Otterburn!

 

I do love the peace and tranquility at Kielder, it's much like the peace you get in the more remote parts of the Scottish highlands.

 

On that, a backpack, tent and no more than an hour's walk from many of the towns and villages near the Trossachs and you're in areas where you'd swear that no human has ever been.  Pitch on a wood edge near a stream and the world just goes away for a few days.  Unfortunately, the Loch Lomond area is more congested these days, you get far too many groups of kids ruining it by exploiting the wild camping laws in Scotland and treating it as a party zone where they can make as much noise and leave as much litter as they see fit.  I recently went to Callander and walked north north east for a wee bit, the steep hill and lack of infrastructure at the start keeps away those just out for no good and then you're into the wilderness.  Next year, I'll probably go for a bit longer.

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Skaw is on Unst.

Yes it is

I don't know what came over me

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On that, a backpack, tent and no more than an hour's walk from many of the towns and villages near the Trossachs and you're in areas where you'd swear that no human has ever been.  Pitch on a wood edge near a stream and the world just goes away for a few days.  Unfortunately, the Loch Lomond area is more congested these days, you get far too many groups of kids ruining it by exploiting the wild camping laws in Scotland and treating it as a party zone where they can make as much noise and leave as much litter as they see fit.  I recently went to Callander and walked north north east for a wee bit, the steep hill and lack of infrastructure at the start keeps away those just out for no good and then you're into the wilderness.  Next year, I'll probably go for a bit longer.

 

I actually don't know the Loch Lomond area too well, probably due to the reasons you state. I do love it around Torridon, which is pretty remote and spectacular. I went up there in Feb this year whilst on R&R. The mountains were covered in snow so the crampons and ice-axe were put to good use, ideal prep for my Himalayan trip in April. I might try and get myself on a winter mountaineering AT course at Ballachulish next winter to get some time done in the Glen Coe area (not really explored). The Glen Shiel area looks spectacular as a secluded area well away from much human contact too.

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I actually don't know the Loch Lomond area too well, probably due to the reasons you state. I do love it around Torridon, which is pretty remote and spectacular. I went up there in Feb this year whilst on R&R. The mountains were covered in snow so the crampons and ice-axe were put to good use, ideal prep for my Himalayan trip in April. I might try and get myself on a winter mountaineering AT course at Ballachulish next winter to get some time done in the Glen Coe area (not really explored). The Glen Shiel area looks spectacular as a secluded area well away from much human contact too.

Currently dipping into Stuart Maconie's compilation of walking articles (Never mind the Quantocks). There's some interesting recommendations in there for a good walk in the UK without too many people getting in the way.

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Currently dipping into Stuart Maconie's compilation of walking articles (Never mind the Quantocks). There's some interesting recommendations in there for a good walk in the UK without too many people getting in the way.

 

Where is recommended?

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Where is recommended?

Well, given that he lives in the North West, the Wainwright walks and various parts of the Lake District feature heavily, but he tends to favour the less well-known bits. I haven't got it with me right now, but it's an entertaining read.

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My brother lived in the Solomon Islands for two months for work a few years back. Said it was a fascinating but desperately poor place. He had to do some clinics on remote parts of the island chain and it took hours just to cover a few miles. The day before he left riots kicked off in the capital city, Honiara. They only just managed to get out - hours after their plane left for Brisbane flights were cancelled for days. Heavy stuff.

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I think Stuart Maconie lives in Birmingham.

 

I also think that he said that doesn't drive

 

Apart from the fact that he's got the most ridiculous dyed hair this side of Andy Burnham, I know next to nothing else about him.

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I think Stuart Maconie lives in Birmingham.

 

I also think that he said that doesn't drive

 

Apart from the fact that he's got the most ridiculous dyed hair this side of Andy Burnham, I know next to nothing else about him.

I enjoy his books, especially 'Pies and Prejudice: In search of the North', 'Adventures on the High Teas: In Search of Middle England' and 'Cider with Roadies'.

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Hopefully off to Nepal (Everest Base Camp) and the 21 days in the Californian wilderness (no roads, day or 2's walk to nearest town, bears...all fun!) in September.  Provided I get a bit fitter that is.

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Two areas that are fairly wild and unvisited in the UK are Torridon in Northwest Scotland and Otterburn/Kielder in Northumberland; both beautiful and remote locations.

 

Work-wise, I have had the pleasure of Afghanistan and the hell-hole that was Sangin. If there was no people (both locals and military forces), it has the potential to be a paradise but sadly it isn't. Also been to some remote areas in Kenya, which were pretty desolate and hardly anything lives in the Darfur Mountains in Oman. However, the wildest place I have ever been in South Georgia. I managed to get out on a Naval patrol during my recent tour to the South Atlantic and it was a wild and treachrous journey on the Southern Ocean but very much worth it to visit Shackleton's grave at Gritvyken and go climbing in the surrounding mountains. The Falklands was pretty remote and spectacular too; I'd live there if it was closer to the UK.

 

During my recent post-tour leave, I went climbing in the Himalayas. I climbed Mera and Island Peak in Nepal trekking through some very remote valleys; the poverty and sense of isolation was rife. Nepalis are a very hardy bunch. Southeast Iceland is pretty remote but stunning too as is inner-Sweden; did a winter dog sledding trek around the Osterstund wilderness in 2009. Amazing!

 

My next wilderness trip is hopefully climbing a 7000m peak in the Karakoram Mountains in Pakistan (2015 hopefully). Not sure I'll get clearance with the recent killings by fundamentalists on Nanga Parbat in Jun (?) but will try to get there.

 

On visiting Kielder Forest some years ago, I was told changes were in the pipeline due to there being too many coniferous trees. I love the area around Seahouses/Alnwick, which is very peaceful. 

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Well, given that he lives in the North West, the Wainwright walks and various parts of the Lake District feature heavily, but he tends to favour the less well-known bits. I haven't got it with me right now, but it's an entertaining read.

 

The area to the east of Kirkstone Pass is beautiful in the Lakes and rarely visited compared to other parts. The same can be said of the mountains around Grasmoor overlooking Western Cumbria. I'll check the book out next time I am in Waterstones - thanks.

 

Hopefully off to Nepal (Everest Base Camp) and the 21 days in the Californian wilderness (no roads, day or 2's walk to nearest town, bears...all fun!) in September.  Provided I get a bit fitter that is.

 

Great news about Base Camp. Returned to Lukla via the main route to Everest from Dingboche. It's pretty amazing but tough; much steeper than you think. Hygiene is massively important so make sure you are on top it! :D Give us a PM if you need any tips etc.

 

As for the Californian wilderness, that sounds a brilliant trip. Mega jealous!

 

On visiting Kielder Forest some years ago, I was told changes were in the pipeline due to there being too many coniferous trees. I love the area around Seahouses/Alnwick, which is very peaceful. 

 

They are in the process of sustainably reducing the amount of trees according to a couple of information boards around the area. They are not massive changes but it will look different in time. As for Alnwick, I am off to a wedding there in September as some of my relatives live there. Great place!

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I'll check the book out next time I am in Waterstones - thanks.

It is a compilation from a column he wrote for a walking magazine, so they are all quite short sections. Good for commuting, as you read it in short bursts.

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Mr Maconie walks a lot in the lakes (seems to stay there a lot), so he has a slight wainwright bias, but he does get about a bit!

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