Welcome to Rob's World, the (cheesily titled) homepage of Robin Rainton.
Microblog... everyday ramblings interspersed with posts from trips and other activities.
Autumn's here. Considered wearing a thermal on today's ride. No sun, little drizzle, a bracing 20°C. Toughed it out in just a SS jersey!
How wrong was the weather forecast today? 89km knocked over before lunch. Beautiful out! #RidingInSydneyIsOKWhenDriversDontTryAndKillYou
Here's a tip for those with that latest moan going round: Don't like the way Facebook works? Turn it off & actually talk to your friends!
Afghanistan: Before 2001 grew 10% of world's raisins. In 2007 produced 92% of non-pharmaceutical opiates on the world market. Shocking!
Feeling dehydrated after last night's ride, loaded up on water before bed. Awoke 3.2kg lighter! Might have got up once or twice between!
We're going out for dinner now. Am not taking my phone. What a revolutionary idea! With me luck!
The below are collections of posts/images organised by trip or subject or other events. Click on the title or image to view each.
England, Jan '13
This was the final leg of our European adventure. Winter in the UK can be fun, especially when you only have to endure a couple of weeks of it before flying off to a Sydney summer. Oh, and being dragged around various cosy city and country pubs by various long lost friends also helped
Good times... now... back to reality!
Final weeks in France, Dec '12/Jan '13
It's someone's birthday mid-January, so after the Christmas festivities our plan was to meander back up to the UK and be in London for that date.
But... what route to take? We really wanted to head back over to the Pyrenees and see what winter there was like so I guess that made the choice easy. A big 'L' shape across the bottom of France and then up the West coast-ish.
Even though we'd been lucky with snow in the Alps, seems like winter was late to Europe this year as the outdoors was still very enjoyable. We had some great, sunny, encounters with bird life, seeing large flocks of Flamingo in the Camargue then almost stumbling across a flock of vultures near Lescun - wonderful!
We also learned you can't go past a spot of hiking through the snow to a frozen waterfall, or, further North, lunch in an old village famed for it's wine. Lots of variety in this leg and as usual, it's all good!
Ski Three Valleys, Dec '12
Second winter of our European trip and things worked out pretty well on the skiing front.
It is a gamble booking a ski trip around xmas these days, but it's a special time for some and Pratiwi asked for a white Christmas, sooo... we ended up in Les Menuires. Who was I to argue?
After a thankfully very uneventful drive into the mountains (aside from getting slightly lost in the village at the very end) we found ourselves in a very nice catered chalet right on the piste. A few days of sunshine, a few of more perhaps not the best conditions, but hey... I got to practice my technique using 'the force' Yes, in some parts the white out was truly white, but days like those makes one appreciate the glorious sunshine all the more.
Long story short - another fantastic week in the snow, what more could you want?
Luberon & Surrounds, Nov/Dec '12
Well... I'm not sure if this is all entirely the Luberon, but that's what we're calling this segment of the trip, so...
After what was probably the last of the summer down on the coast, the time had come to return inland and see if we could cope with the winter conditions and add to our experience of Provence by exploring this more Southern Part. The timing was also chosen to kill a few weeks before (hopefully) returning to the Alps for a spot of skiing.
The question seemed to be answered that early in the season, in this part of France, it's chilly, but not unbearably so. Nice!
A word of warning though: you'd think Something-les-Bains would be a top choice for a winter's break. Thermal spa to enjoy and all that? Hmmmm... not so. We were very disappointed that all these spas seemed to be for medical purposes only. No tourists allowed to come and poach themselves in the steaming waters. Doh!
We had wanted to visit the Gorge du Verdon in summer but this just didn't happen, so was very glad to drive thought there a few times in this stint. It has to be said that this really is the highlight of the region. Amazing even in the dim light of a winter's day - surely a walk in the gorge will be a 'must do' experience on a balmy summer's day? Or a bicycle ride along the rim of course!
Italian & French Riviera, Nov '12
Our time in Italy comes to a close as we head back to France via the coast. Lots of very nice little fishing villages along the way, and a nice (if rather wet) week spent in Manarola, in the heart of Cinque Terre.
Interestingly though, both Pratiwi & I felt very happy to be returning to France. Perhaps having a tiny (yes, very tiny) bit better grip on the language helps? Perhaps we feel more comfortable there after spending more time en français? Perhaps we think the French are friendlier than most Italians? Whatever it is, plenty of happy times in this sector of the trip.
Of course, it's the Riviera so let's drop a few names: Pontovenere, Manarolo, Riomaggiore, Portofino, Genoa, Sanremo, Monte Carlo, Nice, Antibes, Cannes, St Tropez... etc, etc
FWIW, I'm convinced the off season is the time to do this. The weather was beautiful and these places are busy enough in the middle of winter. Crowds would be a complete nightmare come summer!