Sunday, September 27, 2009

What's Another Little Hike.....

I don't think I've ever been so busy in a single month...the great weather continues and since I have nowt else to do...and knowing I will need every bit of Serotonin provided by the sunshine to see me through the winter...I'm getting out as much as possible!

So then....a hour by bus to the Souths Downs....Walking west from Cocking to South Harting following the South Downs Way....7 miles and 4...count them...4 bloody great hills...sorry, why do I do this again...Oh yeah, this is why:

Hill No. 1 Cocking Down

After the long walk along the Down I entered woodland, at the edge of which the Devils Humps can be found...A Bronze Age burial ground dating back 3,000 years

Largely these are big lumps of earth and unfortunately not much was ever discovered in no million pound hoard of ancient artifacts as just found up in the two hills at the center of the picture I will be walking over later.

Back in the woodland there is a shrine for a German Pilot in WWII who was shot down on the first day of the Battle of Britain August 13th 1940

Out of the woodland and looking back at Treyford Hill

Walking up the hill near Buriton Farm...Hill No. 2

Looking back at Treyford and Didling Hill...from whence I came

Upon reaching the top I realised that the steep incline in front of me was where I was headed next

The valley in between

Halfway up Hill No. 3 Beacon Hill...looking back on my journey...A Kit Kat wouldn't go amiss right about now...alas I only had an apple

During my rest to re inflate my lungs I heard a helicopter approaching and flying very low...A Chinook appeared seconds later and then spent the next few minutes carrying out various maneuvers over the surrounding Downland.

Finally I reached the top of Beacon Hill, 242 metres may not sound like much but it was the third time I'd reached such a peak today so I was little chuffed and most definitley puffed.

The view south...the hazy landmass in the distance is the Isle of Wight

Pausing before taking on hill No. 4

Damn this was steep.....extra care was taken due to my habit of taking a tumble before major events.

The view of the Village of South Harting and nearby Ruin from Harting Down...Hill No. 4 and the end of my journey......

Shortly after I took this picture my legs took on a jelly like consistency and so I lolled on the grass in the late afternoon sun before my lift showed up.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Home Away From Home

While we were in the Isle of Wight and visited the zoo I was reminded of a place over in Dorset which I've been too a couple of times and is one of my absolute favourites and since the weather is still in late summer mode we decided to spend a day at Monkey World. Some may recognise the place as that off of the TV series Monkey Business and/or Monkey Life and I absolutely adore watching the monkeys just potter about their little world doing things which sometimes seem very human and other times totally....erm...monkey...though largely it's all about the cuteness.

Example of human...have seen similar poses on many a park bench over the summer


The fantastic thing about Monkey World is that all of the animals have been rescued from illegal pet sellers, circuses, folk who realise that the cute baby chimp they bought for a pet grows up and starts destroying their house....Here, since most cannot be returned to the wild, they have fantastic enclosures with plenty of climbing areas.

My favourites are the Chimpanzees who will spend much of their time making nests out of straw and blankets, occasionally make a fuss of each other and chasing around the enclosure for no particular reason their own (and each others) poop.... (which dad and I found very amusing...mum...not so much)

Love this one's attempt at that the Crab...or perhaps the dead Armadillo?

Time for some grooming

And some grub

Followed by a touch of nose picking.....

And after a busy day of being a Chimpanzee.....

Jim Cronin and his wife Allison are the amazing pair behind this sanctuary and have worked really hard gaining publicity for the animals plight and travelling all round the world giving poorly treated animals a chance to be a monkey...sadly Jim Cronin died a couple of years ago, his wife and staff at the centre carry on his work and set up a memorial fund in his honour.

There are various species which are cared for at the sanctuary.....


Capuchin Monkey's...last year 88 were rescued from a testing facility.

Ring Tailed Lemurs

And other favourite of mine the Orangutan.....

Before we left we even managed to find dads Doppelganger.....

And of course the Chimps weren't shy of showing all and sundry their best side....

I was this close....*puts thumb and fore finger a centimetre apart* getting the shot of one Chimp dropping a steaming turd into his own hand....licking it like a soft scoop ice cream before dropping it onto the floor of his enclosure and licking his fingers as if he'd just eaten some KFC....luckily for you readers the sun was shining on the glass creating flare so I didn't get the shot....I get did a picture of this however......Mmmmmm, yum