Welcome to Rob's World, the (cheesily titled) homepage of Robin Rainton.
Microblog... everyday ramblings interspersed with posts from trips and other activities.
Running interesting test to see who reads my posts. Oh wait, no I'm not! As am not a sheep & blog for my enjoyment so don't really mind!
Another deserted Spanish beach. This is Playa de la Griega, our lunch (well, very late lunch) stop for the day.
The rather rocky & wind-swept beach at Vega. Only 1 sole surfer braving the elements here. Oh, & me (not Pratiwi!)
Passing the church at Niembro cove & thought it pretty enough for a picture. The joys of random travel
No lens or perspective trickery here. That's just one bloody big steak! So tasty! Nom, nom, nom... nom... nom!
Not much clearance on this gateway. Tricky because of the hill we're turning onto. But it got in, sooooo... all good!
Great colours on the Picos de Europa mountains this morning! We're moving on today, but it's a nice send off
Chores around the home are never ending! All round clean for the snail today. Nice & easy with the terrace here
What has been our home this week. Not a bad spot I guess Thanks to the olds for having us!
The below are collections of posts/images organised by trip or subject or other events. Click on the title or image to view each.
Norway - Summer '15
After failing to make it during our last big European adventure in 2012, Norway was a main 'goal' of the year. And yes... wow!
Truth be told, we spent a little too long 'messing about' (having fun in the sun!) in France and Germany in June but in the end don't think that really mattered. We had seven weeks in total in Norway but by the end became difficult as it seems most places shut down in September as none of the tourists are silly enough to stay this late in the year. Luckily in our last week we had one day of spectacular weather for a final hike, squeezed in between a couple of weeks of rain. Yes - cue to leave the country indeed!
The route was basically a blast Northward (close to Åndalsnes) that took just a couple of days from Denmark before meandering back South via the fjords and coast. The first week set the scene with a single, superb sunny day as we arrived followed by a week of cloud and rain which had to be waited out in order to hit one of the famous hikes in the area. Well worth the wait, it has to be said! This pattern was set to repeat, but there was time to get out cycling or hiking between the rain, or just a few times where one had to toughen up and brave it for fear of getting cabin fever!
If I tried to describe the entire visit would soon run out of superlatives. This appears a county of extremes: Beautiful always, and even more so when the sun shines, but even in summer the weather was a challenge. So much brutal cycling on roads out of fjords and spectacular hiking above them I'm sure we could easily do the whole thing again.
Best to leave it at that and let you flick through the pictures, as words simply cannot do the place justice.
France, Germany, Denmark - Summer '15
As previously mentioned - you do read everything here, right? - we had a short period at the start of summer in which to wait for some parts for our motorhome, which meant staying within easy reach of 'base' around Frankfurt.
This wasn't really a problem, as even a few hours from here will get you to the Black Forest in Germany and Vosges region in France.
We hadn't been to the Vosges before but there's plenty of great cycling there it would seem (the region is a regular feature in Le Tour) and upon arrival it didn't disappoint (well - aside from getting caught out in a brief rain shower that is).
The Black Forest was one of our favourite spots in German from a previous trip (Black Forest & Lake Constance, Aug/Sep '12) and again provided some fantastic cycling, walks and food.
This short interlude dealt with (and said parts fitted) we headed North for the main event. A quick stop in Copenhagen seemed a must and is included here, but for the rest of the summer it would be on to Norway! Or at least that was the plan!
Amstel Gold 2015
Close to the Ardenne in Spring, with a few days to 'kill' while waiting for our 'home' to be prepared... one has to take in one of the classics of course!
So we found ourselves in Valkenburg the day of the Amstel Gold race.
This actually proved to be an excellent place to watch. Most bike racing there's a lot of waiting around for a few seconds of action to pass. You go there to experience the anticipation, hang out with fellow fans, catch perhaps a glimpse of your heros before it's gone in a blur and a scramble to the nearest TV ensues to see what happened next.
However, here in Valkenburg there are four passages of the riders: One early morning for the die hards, one mid-afternoon then two more in quick succession which by now is the business end of the day and plenty of attacking riding is happening.
Of course between these there is plenty to do in this beautiful little town. Naturally though, that mainly involves food and drink! There are still plenty of TVs out on display to see what's happening elsewhere on course too.
We positioned ourselves bottom of the Cauberg climb for passing one, then found a spot on the rather crowded slope for later in the day. Nothing better than seeing riders attacking full on just meters away.
Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Luxembourg - Spring '15
The start of our second European adventure! We will be meandering all over this time so instead of trying to break down entries by country let's just call this, "Spring 2015".
After much deliberation I managed to talk Pratiwi into trying to live for many months - let's not tell her, "years" - in a motorhome. Neither of us have tried this before, but lots of people are doing it - just search the web for more useful blogs than mine regarding the subject - so how hard can it be?
Of course the first challenge is to actually acquire said vehicle for everyday living. A little trickier than you'd think, but after much research this saw us land in Frankfurt, Germany after the usual long flight from Sydney. We are so lucky that Pratiwi has friends in the area we can catch up with and get local advice from so that's a bonus.
We started by renting a car for just a week. The plan being to visit local dealers and line up the motorhome in this time. Fortunately this worked out well and we soon decided on the model we'd like that was in stock nearby. Sadly though, things aren't quiet as efficient in Germany as you might think paperwork along with other preparations would take a further two weeks. Doh!
Not to worry, we extended the car rental by this time (or rather, were forced to return the car we had and take another one for some unknown reason) so took the opportunity to venture to Holland and see this year's Amstel Gold Race, enjoying mostly German countryside along the way.
Once we took delivery of our new 'home' the choices seemed to be, head South for some sun or take a trip to the UK to visit family & collect a few things that had been left for safekeeping in 2012. Sadly, or happily - take your pick - the later won
Once in the UK it would have been rude not to see a little of the more picturesque parts (& a much hyped bike race there) so wondered around Yorkshire and up to the Lake District. Lovely but the weather reminded me why I moved to Australia rather quickly! Brrrrrr!
This was the cue to return to the continent. Our motorhome needed a little more work too so we did that and stayed close to 'base' to enable a quick return for parts fitting when they arrived. Not that this was a hardship - we've visited some beautiful parts of Germany while waiting.