Yesterday paddled out of Pendower beach (+50° 12′ 19.70″, -4° 56′ 48.20″, going to start including some lat/longs as some folk apparently are interested in looking at the map/google earth…) heading east towards Dodman Point. Some satisfyingly bouncy conditions and a decent surf to play in at Porthluney/Caerhays (+50° 14′ 7.55″, -4° 50′ 32.78″) under passing rain showers followed by a gloriously sunny winter afternoon paddling home. I don’t have a waterproof camera at the moment and conditions were rough once clear of shelter so couldn’t open my cockpit to get my camera out much of the day. However some lovely light… winter paddling is ace.
Happily the discovery that I can fit two bottles of wine as well as an overnight change of clothes in (and on..) my Carradice Barley saddlebag coincided with the start of the party season.. or possibly it was the other way around.. hmm, well, anyway, it’s a great little bag and this happy event means that not only is the Kona my ‘go to’ winter training bike, it’s now my go to winter party bike as well, and means I can get to the bar very much quicker than if I was using my touring bike to carry stuff :-)
I have been meaning to make a lightweight fixed gear tour in Southern India on a rig like this for a few years, just not yet got around to it.. anywhere warm would do however such that the only luggage required is a spare t-shirt, pair of flip-flops for off the bike, toothbrush and camera. We, as in Painted Roads Dave and I were going to do something similar in January this year in Southern Thailand but for whatever reason it slipped off the radar… must speak to him about that…. :-)
Having felt utterly uninspired to write anything at all for weeks.. the usual post-trip blues I suppose combined with a heap of work amongst other things I figured I might try and snap out of it by sharing a couple of things of a sea kayaking flavour…
Firstly, a brilliant day out east of here with friends yesterday… a perfect winters day with clear skies and a chilly breeze from the north. Very little swell around at the moment so precious little by way of play but very nice nevertheless. I love winter days like this on the water when the sun stays low and there is a crisp chill in the air.
Now, continuing in a sea kayaking theme… my longer term readers will remember that a couple of years ago I spent a summer up in the very special Outer Hebrides working as a sea kayak expedition guide for Clearwater Paddling. It was a fantastic summer and in some respects I regret that the start of my own business stopped me going back for a second.. and a third season up there. I intend to get back as soon as I can with my kayak anyway for some paddling but in the meantime it was great that Chris asked me to sort him out with a badly needed new website. So I did. A really nice, graphical diversion from the rather more complex application stuff I’ve been writing of late and a nice way to maintain a link to the islands. His photographs of his sea kayaking adventures in the islands are what should sell the trips and were massively under-represented on his old site so I just built him a framework that he can use to showcase the trips through his pictures. Anyway, the point of this post is that if you haven’t paddled in the Hebrides then you need to, and if you’re wondering what to do for a holiday next year that involves great paddling, great food, great company and awesome scenery then you should definitely check him out. In particular for 2014 he’s running a trip to the remote St Kilda archipelago using a fabulous brigantine tall ship, the Lady Avenel, for support – you’ll sail to St Kilda on board the beautiful old square rigger and use her as a base while you explore the islands by kayak. Sounds absolutely awesome and a quite unique paddling adventure. The website is at http://www.clearwaterpaddling.com or you can just click on any of the pics below. Have fun!
so the UK media has been going stupid over what is being ‘marketed’, for want of a better term, as ” the worst storm to hit the UK in years…” the reality from where I am sitting is that it is certainly no worse than any number of storms to batter the coast of Cornwall each year… the wind is due to peak briefly later this evening having been blowing at around 40 mph all day, it’s not that bad, and a lot less windy than the storm that hit a couple of years ago just before I disappeared off to Patagonia on my bike….. and yes it is throwing it down with rain.. but that is certainly nothing unusual :-) The wave height is dropping now but it was a rather fabulous 24-25ft earlier in the day as measured on the Seven Stones Reef… so perhaps no surprise that I wasn’t on the water.. and I wasn’t on my bike either, having a couple of weeks off having been feeling somewhat run down from my ride through Anatolia. I did go for a wander down on the beach in the rain however with a 40mm lens in my pocket. It was wonderfully bleak.. appropriate perhaps for the first day after the end of British Summer Time :-)
cold, wet and windy in Istanbul for the last couple of days… must be time to fly home..
Rio, Jakarta, Fes, Istanbul… wherever you are in the world there is a law of nature that says that sooner or later you will stumble across someone playing the theme to the movie Titanic .. on pan-pipes. The only thing that can make it worse is if Celine Dion is accompanying the performance on a cheap tape player. Such was the soundtrack to my morning as I wandered around the Beyoğlu district for a couple of hours. I picked up a cold in Eskisehir and have been feeling a bit rubbish so that was pretty much all I did, especially as I didn’t have to go far… I’m staying at a friendly little pad in Beyoğlu which is great, just 100m from the shores of the Bosphorus. Anyway, some pics as it is raining this evening and motivation to do anything else is low :-)
I understand that for some folk who received the email version of my last post, rather than clicking through to the blog , itself pictures were missing. No idea why, sorry about that. If you were missing pictures then click through to http://mikesimagination.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/eskisehir-the-end-of-my-road and all should make sense..
While I’m on.. here’s a couple more pics of Eskişehir, a really lovely town. I spent my last evening there sitting in a cafe on the canal, a very Amsterdam sort of an experience, talking to a professor of English from one of the universities.