Welcome to Rob's World, the (cheesily titled) homepage of Robin Rainton.
Microblog... everyday ramblings interspersed with posts from trips and other activities.
Spotted in Barcelona: family of 5 travelling around by bike. So what was your excuse for not cycling touring again?
Gave Google Cardboard a go. Really pretty impressive for a piece of... erm... cardboard Suddenly I can see a use for > 1080p phones!
Lunch in Placa Reial. It's Spain so paella on the menu despite temps in the late 30s. Sizzle! Lucky there's beer too!
Pre-lunch tourist snaps in Placa Reial.
Would moth flying up sleeve of a floppy shirt freak you out? When trying to remove said insect without damage, is a blessing in disguise
Wondering through Las Ramblas either side of lunch. Bright squares and dark alleys. Contrast central!
An average Thursday afternoon on Las Ramblas. Said it before: real cities like this make Sydney look like a village!
The below are collections of posts/images organised by trip or subject or other events. Click on the title or image to view each.
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!
Europe Jul/Aug '14
We weren't really planning on having a European holiday this year, but circumstances conspired against us. So... erm... who were we to argue?
This was only three weeks, but we squeezed in some of our favourite places in the French Pyrenees (including a stage of Le Tour of course), before finding some new favourites to add!
Then over to the Ariege, on to England where we almost saw some blue skies (yes - in the 'summer' even!) before back to France, Andorra (a bit quiet but Vall d'Incles - wow!) and finally a couple of nights in Barcelona.
Kangaroo Valley, Easter '14
It's been so long since we got out of the 'city' (such as Sydney is) an Easter break was on the cards.
Pratiwi was missing the rolling green hills of Europe and Kangaroo Valley in Autumn is probably one of the closest places to Sydney to find that. Who was I to complain, as it's also one of the closer places with some half decent road climbs would be nice to test the legs and see if they still work on 500m+ climbs. Luckily all good in that department!
And also lucky: perfect weather all weekend and beautiful views from the cottage accommodation.
Smiles all round
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!