I took the Caledonian sleeper up to Aviemore for a couple of days skiing in Scotland. The snow was great and the weather held out, definitely better than I expected; and the sleeper is a great way to travel.
Bad music, great snow. skiing and snowboarding in Nassfeld, Austra.
Once a year great and interesting buildings around London open their doors and let people in to see some of the amazing architecture that is normally hidden from public view.
and occasionally there is such an immensely over-hyped event that it needs to be documented as a footnote
I really tried to make the most of these, think I did pretty well. With all the panic about transport chaos the roads were nearly empty so cycling was great fun.
Team GB at Wembley.
Kayaking in Hertfordshire, Triathlon and Marathon on the streets of London.
Womens 20m Final, Mens 800m Semi Finals, Shotput and Highjump in the Olympic stadium.
Boris builds a cable car across the Thames that allows people to cross the river at one of the ugliest spots at huge expense but avoiding that single change on the DLR. What’s not to love about it?
Four days up, one down – although the one down is a very long day
Day one was mostly driving from Nairobi to the park, when we got there after lunch we had around 3hrs to walk to ‘Old Moses’ camp at a measley 3300m. The camp itself was a collection of tin huts that became very cold when the sun went down. We took a number of porters with us who had to carry our food and any extra equipment.
The next day was a long hike up to the Shipton camp at 4200m where we spent the second and third nights. On the third day we had an aclimitisation day where we took a short walk to 4500m before coming back down to rest before the final ascent begining at about 3am.
The morning of the final ascent was clear and a full moon guided the early part of the path. We went up the second highest peak ‘Lenana’ which gave us great views of the highest peak and dawn creeping slowly over africa. After more than 12hrs being up and walking, we reached the bottom lodge at around 5pm, where we could finally have a beer.
The final day consisted of a two hour walk to somewhere near the park gate where we were picked up by the most ancient Land Rover imaginable who proceeded to drive us down the worst road I had ever seen finally making it to the park gate where we almost lost one of our porters to the park police for not having his ID on him; we paid off the police and made it out into town without any more incidents.
Up to Edinburgh on New year’s eve to see in 2012 with fun and dancing and a little bit of drink. Did you now that the Scots celebrate Hogmanay because celebrating Christmas was banned by the calvinist church.
On new years day I did the traditional walk up to Arthurs Seat and then spent some more time exploring Edinburgh.
Then on the 2nd it was the train back down with all the hordes of people, luckily we managed to snatch a couple of first class seats for only an extra £20; not bad for free tea and sandwiches.
Rosko recommends: The castle is great, if a little expensive
Food of the stay: Haggis, what else.
After 550 km, I decided I had cycled enough. The weather had changed and it was raining hard now so cycling wasn’t much fun any more.
The train to Santander took 3hrs, and as we were getting on, we met two more cyclists doing the same thing. Only problem was the train guard was a jobsworth and refused to let more than 5 bikes on the train. Gavin and Emma let us on and waited 6hrs for the next train.
Santander isn’t as nice a city as Bilbao or San Sebastian but I got to see Jorge and Marta and their baby Leo before we caught the boat to Portsmouth the next afternoon.
The next morning we went back down to the seafront for breakfast before heading out towards Bilbao.
It rained pretty much all the way, so we just pushed on and made it to Bilbao around 3 o’clock. Then we got lost; there are three routes into Bilbao from Zamudio, the motorway; the pilgrims path, which was a tiny dirt track over the hill; or a small road that started in a business park. Alex and I spent an hour looking for the road before I asked a Spanish guy who kindly drove us to the begining of it.
We started up it and for two kilometers we climbed the steepest road I had been for the entire trip. After that it was down hill all the way into Bilbao. The only problem with that being part of the road down was an incredibly steep cobbled street that we couldn’t cycle down either.
Once the others arrived on the train Alex and I found a hotel and we made the most of Bilbao
Jack woke up with a swollen ankle so decided that he couldn’t cycle any more, Kev and Rich opted to stay with him.
Alex and I carried on to Lekeitio; after having dumped done of our more heavy equipment, while the others stayed in San Sebastian and had a night on the town.
The climb out of San Sebastian was very difficult heading straight up for 2km. This afforded us great views back over the town and out to sea.
We stopped for lunch at Getaria where I had a fantastic bbq mackerel. Then the weather turned and it rained most of the rest of the way to Lekeitio.
Wandering around town, I was surprised to bump into an old work colleague, Breac, who was starting a similar trip, with his wife, heading the other way. He laughed when I told him we had cycled around the Pyrenees and not over them.