Traveling hands


Traveling hands

When there’s nowhere to go, there’s travel.

Working life was about to take a back seat when we conspired this.

Prompted by a move within our own country for a bit of career exploration, versus the vision of living elsewhere, makes us take that punt.

Spain. We’d been hit by the bug in 2017. All those 'lessons' listening to Radio Tres online, making turn by turn mapometer or google maps routes on the cycle legs, a vision of being stationed in an historic town where bikes and pedestrians rule, and an always-career-inspiring chance to attend another World Congress, will shape this lengthy stay.

Europe » Austria » Vienna May 29th 2019

Arriving into Emmersdorf was so very welcomed when the general distance measure had exceeded 100 kilometres. ‘Are you tired’ said our Hungarian host, Henriette. Affirmative. Those laden saddle bags saved us from a dry and simple dinner. Out came the tea, miniature wine, beer, nibbles, and vegetables we’d stocked up on, knowing now that the smaller spots were minimally serviced and usually very quiet. Someone somewhere over the river however was having a blindingly good night by the sounds of it, changing this backwater to that with a thumping background bass. To 5am. We were too tired to notice and with sun up early it roused us to appreciate a gorgeous and warm morning. Heat of the high 20s was ahead. That good advice of the Persenbeug café owner stuck with me, that I went off ... read more
Wachau Valley
Cooling off

Europe » Austria May 26th 2019

The Bohinj community captivated us. Seeking somewhere away from the crowds of popular Bled led us there, and it fulfilled in spades the chance to be outdoors, as Úrsula put it, “if the weather’s good!” A generous offer to leave our gear there until the afternoon meant we’d be freely able to get to Bled. A decade or so before, I explored the area on the shoestring budget restrictions every twenty-something from NZ usually does. Those travellers still sat in the park, eating a picnic lunch from Mercator. Bled was misty grey, much like Bohinj, which I’d done a muddy circuit on foot of that morning. The young campers were again spotted, Slovenian cubs and brownies, gathering for perhaps the next physical challenge at an outdoors camp. We say Dobra dan, and they say ‘helloo, I’m ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-West May 17th 2019

Geneva sits on a slip of land at the west of its lake. Flying in to clear blue water beneath us, after a delayed and just tolerable Easy jet flight, we’re so pleased to arrive. The most French of Swiss cities, it took an effort to get out of the now freely thought habit of speaking español. Channeling the high school French lessons for P2 helped with the basics. Such as, we said hello to a dog, Le chien. I’ve since been encouraged to consult google translate, not him. Our Airbnb was on the fourth floor of an early 1900s building, serviced by a lift as small as a fridge, in a wired cage, and that you may have to wait some time for. We figured out the floor buttons didn’t properly register after squeezing ourselves ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona May 8th 2019

Waking up to rural smells and sounds, and a gorgeous day, we were definitely in a village. Fuentespalda has a history we got the lowdown on upon chancing on an older resident, possibly the village crier, that afternoon. Virtually throwing herself verbally on us, the long history of the Ermita atop the hill, the legend written of the trumpet protecting the village, and the decision to never speak a certain dialect, was explained. The alternate name is Fontdespatla, and local signage is duo-lingo. La Picosa, a peak at over 1000m, took us a good few hours to climb beforehand. It was exactly the muscle-work change our thighs needed, rewarding us with a birds eye view of the nearby turquoise embalse, and dramatic craggy mountains to the east. A cool 6C morning and warm 18C afternoon fit ... read more

Europe » Spain » Castile-La Mancha May 4th 2019

Granada was the opportunity to reset we needed. Nacho, a teacher, had given us a generous welcome to a 600 year old town apartment, in the nick of time we got to an open supermarket, and the possibility of getting another car was presented by Enterprise. We had smiles on our dials. Despite the location, it was surprisingly quiet for a Friday and Saturday night. Like logs we slept, waking to still air and clear skies. This morning time was ‘do anything’ time. I was keen to bank a swim whilst here, and off I went, reliant on a Google search, and the conflicting information about opening hours with the app. Piscina Arabial just under 2km from Calle Pages had a portly older receptionist. I was passed a card itemising the rules, but señor had ... read more

Europe » Spain » Andalusia April 25th 2019

Waking up was guaranteed on Easter Friday when there’s loud drums, the rhythm repeated and echoing through the narrow old town streets. Another parade moved through to mark this day. Blue and purple were the theme colours here, and folks were out on their Sunday best. By mid morning more people were milling around, and come check out at midday, it was heaving. As luck had it, the bakery opened again that ran out of bread the day before. It was grainy bread and pan o chocolate for P2 and the cycle journey to Merida. We planned our route with bikes resting outside the Santa Maria convent, the police ever present, as they’d been stationed for the last 24 hours at our top street corner. Car after car came through, trying a hairpin band, to then ... read more

Europe » Spain » Castile & León April 16th 2019

The week of touring ahead was looking far better in the weather stakes, that perhaps we need not obsess like before over weather apps. Saturday morning breakfast at the Ibis would definitely sustain us. Stretching our departure out to midday, we used the late breakfast times to squeeze in a visit to that P2 has belatedly discovered; the famous El Cielo de Salamanca We’d been at that site a day earlier and never ventured into the darkened side room, with a ceiling impeccably painted from the 1400s in a mix of all colours and including much astrological symbolism. Respecting the ‘no photos’ rule, we just stood, heads craned to the sky, and drunk it in. Last minute bike checks and balanced repacking took the usual extra time. Finally, off we went. Negotiation of the multi roundabout ... read more
To Valdemolinos

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Burgos April 12th 2019

Kindly our Burgos host let us leave our gear whilst we scooted off for a few days of exploration before returning later in the week. Forecasting a mix of snow, rain, wind, cloud, sun and thunderstorms, we’re feeling more than a little intrepid and quite at home! The night-before-research into this three day jaunt first had an 80km path, that crossed several B roads and then entered La Rioja province on the LR113. Zero degrees at 8am upon sunrise was likely to put our departures back, to comfortably ride. So with the big back pack packing out of the way and panniers loaded up, we finally set off at 11, with energy to burn. Navigating out of town was trying, but soon we’d gone off piste, not quite as planned, trying to cut some distance on ... read more
They may be MTB, but ....
Off road, unexpected, to Canales
Rain ....

Europe » Spain » Castile & León April 6th 2019

It was time to move on. But we’d missed a few visits near Girona we’d not known until now. Trust me to find some shortcuts or backroads just as we leave. The Poblat Iberic of Kerunta in Sant Julia de Ramis is a smaller version of Ullastret, an Iberic settlement right beside the Sant Metges church. That little chapel on the cliff overlooking the river Ter had always caught our eye, riding in on the Celrà to Campdora C road. P2 had suspected something else was there but this was a late (and freely accessible) discovery worth riding steeply uphill for. Communities province-wide built themselves on hilltops and hillocks, and from Kerunta, all directions were visible; to the coast, the mountain, and lower Girona valley. Without the wind, and a good five to ten degrees warmer, ... read more
Sorolla Museum, Madrid

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Girona March 29th 2019

The cycling mojo and general respiratory health had started to reappear for P2. Pumped with all the health giving nutrition we found from the Mercadona fruit and vegetable section, we’d decided to do a day trip to Ullastret; that required at least 60km return, and getting up early, of note to P2, on a Sunday morning But, it’s so easy to get out when it barely rains here, and the sun is up (although for any local Spanish / Catalán clocks, they tend to a general delay). So, the streets are wonderfully quiet! Ullastret via the C66 on a Sunday morning, by passing Go and with no stops allowed, we put the hammer down to be there by opening time, 10am. Yet any traveling without photos was impossible, as a distinct view over Sant Joan de ... read more
Night cathedral
Sant Joan de Mollet
Up the C road to Ullastret

Tot: 3.206s; Tpl: 0.037s; cc: 14; qc: 94; dbt: 0.0694s; 3; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.6mb