Friday, June 24, 2016

"Independence Day"

Bad day for the (so-called) "United" Kingdom (including Scotland?) and a terrible day for Europe.

This morning is like waking up to find that The Donald is now leader of 'The Free World'. By the way, according to the BBC, the presidential hopeful is visiting a golf resort he owns in Scotland today. He said it is a "great thing" that the people of the UK have "taken back their country".

A "triumph for democracy"? Well yes, if you support Farage, Boris, Le Pen, Trump etc ... but, btw, wasn't that Hitler geezer also democratically elected?

Anyway, enough ... it's over (phew) ... It's a 30 knot day here. Life goes on, so f*ck it! I'm going windsurfing - that's always been the best way to get over a morning like this.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Mucho Viento!

Crazy windy today. As I was about to launch with my 3.7m sail (our smallest) someone told me that the wind meter was recording gusts of 54 knots, so I pulled on all the outhaul tension that I could. Walking to the water was hard work, waterstarting / gybing etc were advance maneuvers, and to be honest it was survival mode.

Nikki took some pics at the harbour wall. I like the steel grey light.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Chinyero Ride

Chinyero ride with (left to right) Richie, me, Cristine, and Anna (taking pics).

We had to wait while the clouds cleared from the summit of Teide, and while we were posing, a drone was buzzing around above us, flown by another couple of bikers taking airial shots.

This is probably the most scenic of our routes, with a mix of pine forest, black volcanic rocks (we start from the 'Arenas Negras' recreational zone), and even meadows of flowers and almond trees that are already in blossom. In places it looks a bit like a Scottish wilderness.

The biking is also a good mix of fast flowy single track, and technical rocky sections. The ride is about 1:45.  The first ten minutes are a brutal uphill, and final ten an exhilarating downhill.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Vilaflor Up-Down Ride ... with a Motor !

Beautiful late afternoon, not a cloud in the sky, so Anna and I decided to go up to Vilaflor and do a circular ride that she 'pioneered' a few weeks ago. It starts from our usual spot, but instead of taking the 'motorway' main track, you climb up the road for twenty minutes, then turn off towards Teide onto quite a rough track for another forty minutes of tough off-road climbing, and then fourty-five minutes of rocky, loose downhill takes you back down to the main track, and back to the car.

To be honest, the thought of slogging for an hour uphill with my dodgy knees didn't really appeal to me, so I decided to do it on Nikki's electric mountain bike (a Focus Jarifa Pro). Anna is in her element slogging uphill, so she wasn't bothered.

I the end it was a good decision as we had to get round in two hours max before the light started to fail, and I stopped a lot less than I normally do, and moaned a lot less about shlogging uphill with dodgy knees. I was also trying out my new Shimano hydration backpack, as Nikki's bike doesn't have room for a bottle cage, and it worked superbly, also meaning no stopping for a drink.

As you can see from the pics, taken on Anna's phone, the light was exceptionally clear and the colours very strong: the greens of the trees, against the red / black of the lava, against the intense blue of the sky at >2000 metres.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Afternoon in the Rain

Following my "Morning in the Mist" Vilaflor ride / walk with Nikki and Gizmo (see my previous post), this was the more 'extreme' version (in terms of mud, anyway). In a way, it was also an example of the way that the internet has changed our friendships, and our lives ...

I teamed up with someone who I'd met in cyberspace (on the Boards windsurfing forum). Pablo is a yacht captain who is taking his boat across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. Like me, he's a keen windsurfing, with many years of sailing adventures to his name, so he stopped off in Tenerife to 'score' a few days of windsurfing in el Medano. Sadly the Wind God was not co-operating. So instead I offered to show him a different side of the Island, and do a bit of mountain biking up in the forest.

When I turned up at our usual meeting place (the bar Las Raices, at about 1100 metres, above La Esperanza) it was 14c, not too chilly ... but fully in the clouds, and steady rain was falling. The weather was foul really, and normally we would never venture up there on a day like that. I suggested that we just have a drink and cancel, but Pablo was not to be put off. This was despite him not exactly having what you might call 'technical' bike gear.

Just look at this picture ... I have my SPD bike shoes, Gortex bike jacket, helmet etc ... and Pablo has ... his 'official' / company / yacht uniform ... no helmet ... and deck shoes !

Despite the lack of suitably clothing, a bike that was possibly a decade older than my full-suss Marin, and never having seen the trail before, Pablo ended up 'smashing' the downhills at a furious pace.

Anyway, he's just about to set sail for Cabo Verde, and then the Atlantic crossing to Antigua. I wish him Bon Voyage ... and thank the internet for introducing me to somebody who lives the adventures of life to the full !

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Morning in the Mist

We decided to take advantage of the extra hour this morning, and get out of town up into the mountains. It's been an oppressively hot & sticky autumn so far, and it was around 25c as we left the coast, so we weren't too upset as we watched the temperature dropping on the car thermometer as we climbed up to Vilaflor. When we got up to the track it was a very refreshing 14c, misty (in the clouds at about 1200 metres up), with occasional breaks of blue sky and sunshine.

I went for a bike ride ...

while Nikki and Gizmo went for a walk ...

There were a few puddles, but not too muddy. Doesn't look much like the Tenerife that most people know though ...

(photography by Nikki)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Friday 16th October ... Bright and Breezy

After several weeks of hot, sticky, windless weather, we finally had a storm. A few hours of torrential rain in the morning, followed by bright skies and a building SWly breeze. It ended up being very windy in the afternoon, as Nikki's pics show:

Sand was blowing off the beach onto the water, and getting in my eyes whenever I came near the beach !

In this next one, you can see that there was some swell, and there were rideable sets ... just not by me :-(

The next one is me, on a 3.7m sail ...

I can't say it was a relaxing sail ... very strong gusts, chop, and sand blowing everywhere.