Welcome to Rob's World, the (cheesily titled) homepage of Robin Rainton.
Microblog... everyday ramblings interspersed with posts from trips and other activities.
Geirangerfjord from Flydalsjuvet. Road with all the hairpins at far end is Ornesvingen where I was riding repeats
Time to leave Geiranger. Such a beautiful place, but maybe just as well because look, the riff-raff just showed up
Oystercatchers in Geiranger. Squawk like a squeaky toy when running at each other trying to impress their ladies!
No idea why we have this picture of Pratiwi by a fjord with a pan of bacon, but... it's bacon so I'm posting it!
Plenty of interesting stuff along the way. Traditional roof construction is pretty cool! Called 'sod roof' I think.
The view to Geiranger, so we're almost home? Have to say the pollution that single ship caused was horrific!
Lunch stop overlooking famous '7 Sisters' waterfall. On the zoom a tiny farm like that we passed is visible. Crazy!
Think the climbing is over... yay! Time to look for a slightly wider part of the track where we can sit & have lunch!
I told Pratiwi it would make for a better pose if she let go of the cable, but for some reason she wasn't keen!
The below are collections of posts/images organised by trip or subject or other events. Click on the title or image to view each.
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.
Thailand & Indonesia, March '15
This trip was billed as a few weeks of tropical relaxation before heading off on a longer adventure. However, it had a metamorphosis in the middle into couple weeks of adventure itself and at times things were anything but tropical!
Big thanks to our Indonesian family members for arranging basically all of that adventure through Java. What an amazing time!
The Thai part of this was pretty much as can be expected. Although I have to say - was not that impressed by Thailand from a tourist point of view. We visited Kamala, Karon, Phuket City & Thalang. Nice enough I guess, but not half as nice as Indonesia
Moving on then... after meeting family in Jakarta the fun (or is that madness?!) really started. Lots of catching up meant lots & lots of eating, and you'd be forgiven for thinking this was just a food safari at points!
Drive through Java to Bandung, fly to Surabaya, overland bus to Mt Bromo, Malang & Batu. Train Surabaya to Yogyakarta which was just stunning with it's selection of temples.
A few of us parted ways at this point and some headed to Bali for a well earned (yeah - right! ) 10 days or so to unwind.