Welcome to Rob's World, the (cheesily titled) homepage of Robin Rainton.

Given I'm mainly too lazy/busy (take your pick) to write a full 'blog very often there's now a Microblog which you'll also find on Facebook and Twitter, and maybe a few other places too.


Microblog... everyday ramblings interspersed with posts from trips and other activities.

09:23

Tide was out when we got up this morning so here's the 'beach' again wink Taken from directly in front of our van smile

21:56

This happens when the tide goes waaaaay out: our fjord view becomes a (kind of rough) beach view wink Cheers Norway! grin

15:27

Just relaxing in the lounge wink Love the comfy recliner chairs. My feet are up on the sofa but you can't see that grin

08:26

This morning we woke at this beautiful little spot right by the river in Hotton. So peaceful here.

19:08

Had a short trundle into Tournai on the bikes. Pretty nice in the centre here. And I'd say busy for a Sunday night!

12:16

Short walk to Irrel 'waterfalls'. Pretty little river in the woods but hardly a waterfall. Rapids maybe? Still nice.

13:21

Lunch stop in Vianden. Nice little village almost right on German border. So long Luxembourg!

12:43

Just driving along enjoying views of the Luxembourg countryside. Here's a random sample, it's nice here!

14:39

Typical post-ride chaos. Get some snacks, beer & tune in to whatever bike race is on at the time. Nice way to relax!

16:09

Cruising the fjords. Impossibly beautiful & absolutely brutal gradients - especially when you do repeats! wink Love it!


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, Sweden, Norway - Summer '15

Work in progress...

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.

Perfect!

Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Luxembourg - Spring '15

Work in progress...

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 wink

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! wink) 10 days or so to unwind.

Phew!

Tour de France 2014 - Stage 18

It's not like we planned it this way, but one cannot visit France while Le Tour is on and not got and see a stage. Unlike 2012 this was a short trip though, so just the one stage this year.

However, the chosen stage was the final foray into the mountains for the race and we managed to position ourselves on the final HC climb. Usually one would take a bike and ride up the final climb before finding a spot to watch. Due to injury this wasn't an option, but we found a great spot on the first decent kick of the climb a couple kilometres from the left turn to Hautacam. And sat. And waited.

In previous years I've enjoyed taking 'serious' pictures at races but again, due to only the single stage this year, decided to stick to 'fun' pictures that tried to capture the atmosphere. Hopefully that comes over.

As the race came by I stuck a fisheye lens on the camera and held it in my uphill hand with one finger on the shutter. Yes, this produced a lot of rubbish, but it also got a few good shots and importantly it meant I could watch all the action up close without being stuck behind a viewfinder.

The most interesting thing about the whole day was that you'd think this would feel like hours of waiting - but not at all. So much happening, people to chat to and things to see. Even with the 2-4km walk up and back it's highly recommended... but next time we'll be on a bike for sure!


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