Sunday, 30 August 2009

Dreek, dreary, damp drizzle = FUN

Yesterday's sporting safari was a resounding success in the summer sunshine. 3 - 0 home win...YES!!! sorted! Took the little used pocket camera WITHOUT CHECKING the batteries...dozey no pics of the Tangerines coming up with the goals. Had great seats right behind goal too.
Well yet again the afternoon sun didn't make it to the following morning - woke up to drizzle and steel grey skies. But for once that didn't matter rain makes mud and 'the best 4x4 by far' likes mud...lots of it. BRING IT ON. A trip to the quarry at Whitworth up in the hills was today's safari - 'One life - Live it' ...ADRENALIN!!! Adrenaline my ar*e on the motorway on a Bank Holiday Sunday stuck behind a flat hat merchant with a cauliflower in the passenger seat racing along at 45mph.
Got there eventually - Pity they can't get to heaven quicker 'cos it's just hell being stuck in queue of traffic behind 'em. One old chap had ears the size of satellite dishes. Why do old bloke's ears grow unfeasibly large? Must go and borrow a set of calipers from Fleetwood Birder - he only lives a little way up the road and does a bit of ringing and measure mine 'cos I'm getting in to that category now. When I got there and signed the damage/death disclaimer I had to put my age, hand shook as I dallied over whether or not I should write 49 1/2 and a bit and a bit more but I no longer have time to waste and anyway serious fun in the mud was beckoning. As it said on one of my cards Growing old is mandatory - growing up is optional!
This site is no genteel Green Lane tour of the byways of rural Lancashire this is full on, hardcore, rollercoaster off roading venue. Well it would be if the Land Rover was a little more tricked up but we did do some of the 'Red Route' sections testing the full articulation of the wheel travel to the full and hitting the bump stops on the suspension with a body shaking thud a few times and making the turbo sing for its supper. The last climb on the curcuit was a slippery, foot to the floor, 'hang on and go for it as failure was not an option' affair - believe me; unless of course you like to reverse down a 100m 45 degree slope with falls off both sides and you can't see in your mirrors for the mud you just put on them...then again you might be one of those few, I prefered to get to the safety of the plateau at the top...and go round again...and again...
Only trouble is with two hands firmly - well actually not firmly at all, a light but very responsive touch is needed - on the steering wheel it's pretty difficult to take many photos. But look closely and you will see Extreme Photographer, Raf lurking in the cab so there may be some links to You Tube coming soon...when he's washed the last of the mud out of his this space. He should also have some good footage of some seriously extreme (Su)Zuki Rhinos doing some mad stuff...hope it came out those guys were bonkers - and a some rather well stuck Defender and Cruiser shots!
The blue Disco behind the safari truck has a beautiful front bumper - look at the approach angle on that! Had a tricky rear winch too - very unusual on a Disco. Glad I've taken the plazzy front spoiler off and had the tow-bar raised, they would have seriously got in the way today.

Anyway the safari truck's second excursion was a tad more successful than the first and didn't disgrace us in anyway. Must get those rock sliders fitted for extra's hard to go full on if you risk seriously damaging your pride and joy.

Wildlifewise east Lancashire seems like a bird free desert on a cold wet miserable afternoon just a couple of Carrion Crows and the odd Woodpigeon knocking about. A Rabbit shot out from under one of the big rocks after the Zukis had been through the crawl, probably choking from the smell of burning rubber from their slipping tyres.

Where to next? Back to somewhere with wildlife, I think I'm too late to twitch the Wilson's Phalarope ...bugger!

In the meantime let us know how rocky the roads are in your outback.

And no environment was harmed during the making of this post - all done using recycled cooking oil...and I wasn't the only one.

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