Welcome to Rob's World, the (cheesily titled) homepage of Robin Rainton.
Microblog... everyday ramblings interspersed with posts from trips and other activities.
Accidentally plotted a cycling course up the wrong hill & ended up here: Plaine d'Esquiou. Could have been worse!
... some time later... Just enjoying the evening sun with a few tunes & amber refreshment. It's a hard life!
Schoolboy error: Out riding & remembering there's only 1 bottle of beer in fridge! Masterful save: It's a 3 Monts!
A few locals obviously thought phone I pulled from my back pocket was food. Sorry! Will bring carrots next time!
Col de Beyrede (some dirt & gravel on the climb) & Hourquette d'Ancizan. Cos you can't do famous cols ALL the time
Toasty today at 34° in the Baronnies! View back to the snowy peaks from near Capvern. Hmmmmmm.... snnnnooooowwwwww
Dear friends, if you heard of French fuel shortages don't worry. Fuels that count (baguettes, cheese & beer) all still readily available
Things to do this arvo, so little spin up the Aspin & to Lac de Payolle was all there was time for today. Oh well!
I never do coffee stops but beer & pizza is mid-ride break I can get behind 122km & Hautacam PR today. Love it!
Indonesian's don't drink, huh? The one's in France do! What I had to endure at a local 'Arisan' gathering
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, 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.
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!