Sunday, 17 December 2017

Hiking in the sun

Being here in Spain for winter has its advantages - apart from the obvious of avoiding that dreaded northern European winter (recently illustrated on Sonja's blog - picturesque but oh so cold!) it means hiking every day is possible. Determined to get my fitness to a decent level I've been exploring the various paths that lead up the mountain behind Marbella.

Path starts out nice and easy

 I usually do not see another soul on these hikes, but the other day I met a lovely couple, Dolores and Danny, mother and son. Danny confided in me that it was their first walk for 6 months as Dolores was recovering from breast cancer treatment. Dolores (who I'd estimate as being roughly my age) proudly showed me her hair was now growing back. They offered to show me a nice circular route; well it may have been Dolores first walk for 6 months but she was off up the hill like a mountain goat! Nice to share a walk with someone for a change.

Still flowers here
The next day I thought I'd try and walk another route up to La Concha; unfortunately I didn't make it to the top, but that's now given me something to aim for, going to keep trying till I can make it in one go. I must admit to feeling a bit handicapped by equipment - still using the hiking sandals I've had for a couple of years wasn't ideal, so I found a little hiking shop over in Malaga where I bought a nice pair of Salomon hiking shoes, and in a nod to my advanced age, a walking pole. Much better!

New boots and walking pole
 Yesterday I set off again on yet another path up towards the white village of Ojen, nice views along the coast in both directions and some clouds to add dramatic effect to my photos (well I'm trying). I even did a bit of rock scrambling to make it look like I'm working hard!

Looking west towards Gibralter

How far?

Trying to make it look difficult

I like solitude, but these people are taking it to extreme!

Tiny as my fingernail - but beautiful
 As usual, that peak of La Concha dominated the skyline, taunting me with my inability to get up there. One day!!!!
Ultimate destination - right hand peak

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Birmingham Bike show and more

Last week I braved the elements to venture North to the Birmingham Motorbike show - mainly as I had read so much about this years new bikes, and I was eager to see them in the metal, especially the new Kawasaki Z900rs and the 650 twin Royal Enfields. The Kawasaki looked pretty good so I'll take one for a test ride when they come out.
RE 650

New Z900rs

Z900 cafe racer

Ducati Desert Sled with 1 litre engine

New Triumph Tiger with TFT dash

New Triumph small cruiser

Triumph Bobber

Norton California

Proposed new Tenere


 And there's more .... last week I decided to escape the English winter, so I've rented myself a flat in Marbella, southern Spain for a couple of months. Its warmer, but not much - currently 14 degC - but blue skies make it a bit more bearable. Went for a hike up the mountain behind Marbella yesterday, 17km straight up to Ojen, reached altitude of 1238 metres!!! Having a rest today, completely knackered.