Welcome to Rob's World, the (cheesily titled) homepage of Robin Rainton.
Microblog... everyday ramblings interspersed with posts from trips and other activities.
Wondering Bagnères-de-Bigorre. Dappled light, traditional buildings, admiring autumn colours on the hillside above.
Another random countryside walk. More curious cattle. Such a relaxing time
Moooooooo! Stuck in traffic again... doh!
Lunch with friends after a damp walk. Advantage of chilly conditions: the restaurant is serving vin chaud. Cheers!
Short walk near Lac de Payolle. Well, it' can't be glorious sunshine all the time & besides, I quite like the mist
Short stroll to check out our new locale. Love how the inquisitive neighbours look up from their morning snack
Not just a pretty face? Access to oven + bit of spare time means fresh bread baked by my own fair hands. Yum!
Chatting to local about huge mushrooms he just picked from his field. He insisted we take them to try. So lucky! Yum!
Same road as last time, just bit slower today Must have been the clouds holding us back. Right girls?
With 2x Tourmalet & a club ride in the legs already this week time to relax & enjoy the view. Mission accomplished
The below are collections of posts/images organised by trip or subject or other events. Click on the title or image to view each.
Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland - Spring '16
Spring 2016. Yes, still on holiday. Oops
Quite enjoying the Costa Blanca (can certainly recommend this as a winter cycling destination) but as the weather warms it's time to head back North.
Trip to Germany for the snail's safety inspection - can you believe it's a year already?! Which leads to the obligatory stop with friends both there and in Switzerland. Passing through an as yet unexplored part of the Black Forest & home via the Giant of Provence. Lovely stuff.
We really love the Pyrenees though so this is where the majority of our time will be spent this year I think. Ahem And why not - a dream come true to ride the Tourmalet through walls of snow above one's head is just one of the benefits!
France, Spain - Winter '15/'16
This winter was meant to be spent mostly in the South of Spain & Portugal, but... as I said earlier (see Autumn '15) there were plans afoot in France that required our attention.
Cue spending pretty much all of winter in the Pyrenees. In the snail. Brrrrr?
Well, actually this turned out to be a very mild winter by all accounts. There was a sprinkling of snow on the peaks but the snail only saw a snow briefly for a single day. This meant that there was not to be any skiing on the cards, but, no drama - have bike, will ride
It was only as the calendar rolled along into March that first signs of some proper snow and ice appeared, and as luck would have it this was when we finally concluded our chores. So, job done (for now) we finally got that break to the South.
Not really as planned, but as can be seen, not really a hardship either.
Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal - Autumn '15
Not that we didn't absolutely love Norway, but it wasn't really that summery up there. Sure, we did see sunshine, but also snow. Say no more!
So come Autumn and return to the South I had in mind at least a few weeks of sunshine to make up for that lack of a real toasty summer. This kindof worked, but, then there was a change of plan.
You see: we were supposed to travel all the way to the bottom of Spain or Portugal for winter, but only made it as far as Porto (beautiful place that is too) before returning to France to attend to some business. Oh well, but it will hopefully be worth it.
At least, after the Norwegian experience, we know how to make the most of cold, grey weather
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.