Langness and Port Erin to Niarbyl, Isle Of Man Week 75 29th September - 3rd October 2012
Today we finally headed towards Langness.

From Ballasalla around the north of Ronaldsway Airport and return around the south side.

This is looking across Derbyhaven.

We didn't walk to the end of Langness. Instead we walked to Fort Island (St Michael's Island).

There's a causeway!

This is what's left of the 12th century St Michael's Chapel.

Built on the site of an older chapel before the parishes were created.

And not far away Derby Fort which gives the island one of its names.
Around 1540 and rebuilt in 1645.

It protects the safe anchorage of Derbyhaven which would have given access to Castletown.

This is Derbyhaven. Castletown is not far away.
We must be a bit tired of walking, and there was a stiff breeze blowing.

Rather than walk to the lighthouse at the end of Langness we decided to return to Ballasalla.

The western side of Langness looking towards Castletown.
We took a short cut through King William's College. The local public school (which is a private school to Australians).

We peaked into the central quadrangle - I occasionally played chess here. A cold miserable uninviting place on a winter's evening.

Across the end of the runway.

Ronaldsway is a busy airport for a small island.

Running out of time on the island and figuring that walking from Port Erin to Peel would take more than a day we caught the bus to Port Erin with the intention of walking along the coast to Fleshwick.

The bay to the right is Spaldrick. Bottom left corner is the now derelict salt water swimming pool in which I learned to swim.

Sad to see its state. As late as the 1960's there were weekly swimming galas. It wasn't heated and was murkier than the sea, but that didn't seem to matter..

At the base of Bradda Head is the South Bradda mine.

Principally copper until around 1900. Its in that pillar at the right hand edge of the photo.

Round the corner is North Bradda mine. Accessible only from the sea. The other end of the same ore body. 

Above the mine is some subsidence.

There's an adit at sea level and another heigher up the cliff.

I think the patch of gorse in the middle of the Rowany golf course is a very old fort.

Briefly described as "Motte and Bailey" in one of the interpretive panels at Castle Rushen.

I guess it wasn't developed further.

I remember it as somewhere to explore and play in when young. 

Along the coast from Bradda Head.

Milners Tower is being repaired. Its a monument to Milner, a Liverpool lock smith.

I've never been able to establish any link with Legge locks (with three legs symbol) seen in Australia.

The 1931 world photographic competition winning photograph was taken from the knobbly bit on the right. Not sure which way the photographer was facing!

Langness in the distance (Fort Island is to the left) and Scarlett a bit closer.
But looking north the inlet is Fleshwick, then Sloc (the next gap in the hills) and Niarbyl in the distance.

The keeill we visited a few days ago is a third of the way up the hill from the sea, about a tad to the right of centre in the photo.

Fleshwick is usually calm.

What else are hedges for.

We used to pick them and make pies. Picking took forever, pie making a bit less, and eating too little. Equally enjoyable for different reasons.

Perhaps symbolic of something simple we seem to have lost in the complexities and urgency of modern living.

We returned to Port Erin having described a circuit.

In summer months I used to rise early and walk this circuit round Fleshwick, returning in time for breakfast.

Feeling a bit older!


At Coolill's farm.The milk bottles I occasionally helped deliver.

There were some cartons just off the photo.

It amuses me to contemplate the re-use of bottles that was replaced with disposable packaging which we now try to recycle.

Apart from exhaust fumes and waste water our biggest problem on the truck is disposing of packaging.

Its another day and we've again caught the bus to Port Erin.

This time we took the shortest path to Fleshwick and climbed to the north.

Looking back over Bradda and Port Erin towards the Calf Of Man.

The flag isn't part of a golf course. Its a leftover from a long distance race which used this track.

Looking north towards Niarbyl.

Sloc is below us, but still a long way above the sea.

Climbing up Cronk Ny Aarey Laa from Sloc.
Phew. Not so steep really.

We can look from the top across to South Barrule. We were there a few days ago.

And in the distance on the left is Glen Rushen.

High above Niarbyl/

Not far now.

We have two hours to catch the bus to Peel.

Glen Rushen again. Peel in the distance.

Just a small clump of it but there it is. The only clump we've seen.

Cotton grass.

Last seen in Scandinavia.

When we first set out a series of three showers made us alternately a bit wet then a bit dry. Fortunately we were relatively sheltered from the wind.

As the day wore on the wind persisted but the sun kept trying to come out.

Looking south.

The first inlet is Fleshwick, then Port Erin, and the Calf in the distance.

Niarbyl, to the north, getting closer.

Squeezed a bit for time as our start was delayed by bus problems we are wondering if we'll be in time for the bus home.

Perhaps I've watched too many tv documentaries and feel the urge to introduce some artificial drama into the proceedings. Note for self - it doesn't matter if we miss the bus.

Down the slabs.

The slate has been tilted by the forces of geology so it appears as slabs on a relatively steep hill. A bit slippy.

We caught the bus!

Last day on the Island. Packing, checking the u-bolt torques (just a bit of tightening as expected) and the usual mixed feelings about leaving the past and looking to the future.

A quick walk along the Silverburn to Monks Bridge. Just the right size for a pack horse.

Last minute memories of childhood walks including this bridge from Ballasalla train station to Silverdale (small boating lake) and playground).

Crossing the Silverburn, built about 1134 AD as part of the track the Monks from Rushen Abbey took to the north, possibly to Abbeylands and Bishop's Court.

The religious connotations of the gothic arches are hard for me to escape. Most bridges are built with rounded arches rather than pointed.

A last meal in the local pub with the relies..

Fish and Chips again! I don't do mushy peas.

From left to right and front to back. Me, Ali, Mark and Kirsty (nephew and niece), brother Al and sister Hermione.

Like many times on this trip we've wondered when we'll pass this way again. But this time with a bit more significance.

An inevitable tinge of sadness as we leave the Island.

A magical mixture of history, the simple pleasure of walking the hills and coastlines, and, most importantly, time spent with the relies.

The wind has subsided and the 3 1/2 hour crossing is smooth.

Just right for a long moment of quiet contemplation on the meaning of life and, in a sense, the beginning of our return to Australia.

Blackpool Illuminations, Overland and 4x4 Exhibition - Whilton Mill, Kilsby and Spilsby, England Weeks 75 - 77 4th - 16th October 2012

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