Monday, October 23, 2017

Back after a long hiatus



So it's been a few years since my last post.. and I'm toying with sharing more of my travels with you. At the very least it was pointed out that I needed a better picture as a landing point to this blog! So here is Tucker, recovering well after a stroke in May, now strong enough to go on one of our favorite walks again in the Great Park

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Nine Lakes Challenge - part 2

The second part of our Nine Lakes Challenge was to hike by the remaining lakes. Luckily, the weather started to clear up and the sun started to shine. Thank goodness as I was not looking forward to a few more hours in the wet.

 Mark decided to steal Punky Brewster's outfit for the hike.


The tri squad ready to go up the mountain. We've got our Pudsey ears on now...


On the walk out, the only flat bit of the hike.


Making our way up, you can just see the valley below to the right


As usual, I'm getting dropped. At the back.


Stopping for a photo op. It's warm on the climb. I thought I had too many layers on and then I got to the top.



Selfie at the next break. Everyone taking in the view - the sun shining as well !


Teeny tiny people hiking on the left. We've almost made it up. It's been a long time since I have almost been level with the clouds and not because they are low and raining on me.




At the top! All layers on now.

Group shot -still with smiles.


What goes up, must go down. Now for the stress on the knees and quads.



I overtook. I'm a much better descender than climber.



Jo looking happy as she crosses the last bridge on the way too...



... sunshine....


..and beer and salty snacks at the finish.


And the next day, why not recover with a road bike ride? As if mountain biking and hiking is not enough, time for a selfie as we navigate round the lakes on skinny tires. A fab weekend in the lake district.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Nine Lakes Challenge - part 1

At the end of May 2014, I particpated in a charity fundraiser with some other members of the tri-club  to mountain bike and hike by nine lakes in one day. It was in aid of a charity called Children in Need that has a character called Pudsey bear as the mascot. Thus, we got decked out in our Pudsey ears.  


Unfortunately, the day did not dawn clear and bright, but started wet and windy. Thus, I'm a bit dressed for winter from the start. I'm hear with Phil, who organised the event.




Julia also has her Pudsey ears on and Jo is all smiles as we get ready to head out.


A little pre-start line selfie just to show I'm smiling, and yes it is raining. Good thing we have so much flourescent yellow to lead the way.



The view looked much better in person - at least it was a little crisper. Really liked the stone walls everywhere.


Julia navigates the treacherous path....



We also had a few water hazards along the way, not to mention trying to cross the water, stay on the bike and avoid the hikers!


At the summit, still a bit cloudy...


About to head down to lake number 3. Nice wide trail so no danger of falling off here. Well, not true. With me there is always danger.



Luke shows us how it is done and with the Pudsey ears!



Taking a break at the tea stop.



How do you fit so many bicycles at the tea stop? Very carefully. I've got some more photos from the official photographer on the home computer, one actually proving that I rode the bike. But, this is the gist of it - will add more soon! Stage 2 - hiking - comes next.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Seriously Cool Street Signs

Okay, having a few more adventures so I might actually be catching up soon!

Street signs from Madrid. Sure makes it interesting when trying to figure out where you are.






Tuesday, February 25, 2014

When NOT to go to Madrid

As usual, I'm behind. No surprise there. In early December, I went away on a long weekend to Madrid. It was a great idea to go to Spain in the winter as the days were sunny and lovely and overnight it was nice and chilly to make you sit inside and enjoy tapas and beer. Unfortunately, we chose to go to Madrid on a big national holiday. I think it was 'everyone walk around in the streets aimlessly day'.


I honestly felt like I had just left Michigan stadium and 100,000 people were heading on to the streets at the end of a game. People were everywhere.

And I mean, everywhere. As far down the street you could see they were just packed. And there wasn't even a parade!!


Needless to say, we struggled to escape to somewhere quieter!



However, we did find a nice park near the hotel with lots of statues and a little breathing room.












I had to get my picture taken in front of Don Quixote. Look how teeny tiny I look!




Loved the entrance to this house/business. The wrought iron gates, the greenery and if you look closely....



Big elephant heads! I found it strange to see this in Spain, I would have expected it in India.


We also visited the Egyptian monuments that were plundered during one of the wars and carted over to Madrid.




A visit to one of the oldest mosques in Europe.


All this walking tired Neil out. We found a nice sun trap to have a beer.


I, on the other hand, kept searching for meat. Loving the imberico ham. So so so delicious and shaved off and served in minutes.



Another day found us wondering the park. The sun had everyone thinking it was spring. Notice the people in the boats and enjoying sitting on the steps? Considering the Spanish economy, they are quite good at resting.



Neil and I competed for who could eat the most churros. Fried goodness and chocolate sauce?
I believe I won.