Moving on to Malaga

Moving on from Córdoba was a little difficult, I’d found a terrific little place to stay (http://mayflowershostel.es, recommended), made the acquaintance of some nice folk, and really liked the atmosphere of the town. I  fell into quite a nice little routine of morning coffee at a street café that somehow merged… more »

Córdoba

It is just 140km from Seville to Córdoba by the most direct route, my route however took me into the northern sierras of Andalucia for a few days before heading back south. It rained for four days in Seville but I left town on dry roads albeit under leaden skies…. more »

Sevilla en la Lluvia

It is pouring with rain in Seville. An escape from the Cornish winter seemed like a good idea, I had a cheap flight to use, felt a need for some sunshine and, with a two-wheeled return to the Andes imminent, some solid miles on a bike could be useful… It was sunny… more »

Bicycle book-ending

Every year around this time, well.. always on the 24th, around lunchtime, to be precise, I load my bike and pedal east to the ‘ancestral home’ for a couple of days. I find the bike ride there and back makes a terrific, and deeply satisfying ‘book-end’ to a lovely family… more »

Last Days of Autumn

If used to the fall colours of the eastern US and Canada then autumn in the UK might, possibly, seem rather dull by comparison… but it isn’t really. The palette is just rather more subtle and subdued. I think it is quite beautiful, especially towards the close of autumn as the winter… more »

Revisiting Summer

Having been utterly lacking with regard to motivation to write anything recently I thought I might make the effort to tell a very brief story of a regression to the summers of my childhood. Not that I ever grew up or anything it’s just that those warm summer days with… more »

Bikepacking: A Book Review

A few weeks ago I received a copy of a rather nice new book from Wild Things Publishing, the background being that there is a little bit of my photography between the covers – but really only a very tiny amount and it is, quite rightly, lost amongst the rather splendid… more »

Summer Nights

Just a couple of snaps from the just past weekend local ‘adventure’ with friends. I was going to include them as part of a post I’m working on that, for once isn’t about me, ha, and that also, for a change, requires me to think a little about what I’m… more »

A quick spin north

When I last wrote the long range forecast suggested a weather window might form for a sea kayak journey to explore the uninhabited islands and islets that form the most southerly limits of the Outer Hebrides. With a few days in hand in the meantime I decided to hop on my… more »

Back on Barra

I’m back on the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides for a bit, visiting friends and renewing my acquaintance with this rather wonderful corner of the world. Some folk may remember I spent a summer out here working as a sea kayak guide for local operator Clearwater Paddling (http://www.clearwaterpaddling.com)…. more »

Early Spring Lunch

Last weekend Cornwall was still very much in the grip of winter, but spring does appear to have since arrived… yesterday the sun was warm, the wind was light and the lanes were fragrant with the scent of flowers.. so a spin out for lunch with a riding buddy was in… more »

Patagonia

I’ve been  thinking about Patagonia an awful lot recently, and not just because it’s a damp, grey January… There is a little place inside my heart that has Patagonia in it.. I can feel a tug there every time I think about the place. In 2016 I feel as if… more »

A quick trip east

Panniers clanking with bottles of alcohol while pedalling east on the squally afternoon of the 24th to spend Christmas at the ‘ancestral home’ I was treated to some fabulously stormy late afternoon light across Gerrans Bay.. and a stunning moonrise on arrival that just goes to show that it’s always better by bike. Even… more »

Mid-Winter Mid-Cornwall

The ‘permarain’ of the past few weeks eased for a bit on Sunday to leave some much needed spells of sunshine between blustery showers. Rather than just go riding as usual for a few hours on the fixed wheel trainer a friend and I decided to make an all day… more »

Whetman Equipment Contact Line

After an awful lot of cycling-heavy content… time to get back to that other fun thing to do.. sea kayaking… Now, I’ve learned over the years that there are particular topics in sea kayaking that are almost guaranteed to spark off a lively debate.. one is rudders (yawn).. the other… more »

Post-Himalayan Apathy…

It’s always ‘challenging’ returning home after a decent adventure but this time seems to have been, or rather ‘is’, particularly difficult. All I can think about it is the mountains – nothing new there – accompanied by a crippling apathy with respect to what passes for normal life. I’m tired too…… more »

A little bit of Delhi

I had a little bit of time in Delhi… I found street photography quite difficult. Despite the obvious potential it is the sort of place that completely overwhelms the senses… the noise, the crowds, the oppressive heat (at least at this time of year), the bad air (apparently now the most… more »

Spiti etc

Other than the 60km asphalt cruise down the valley to Kullu the riding for now is essentially over, I’ll be back in the UK next week. Sadly. I am already missing the peace and solitude of the high mountains despite the luxuries on offer here. As I write I’m in… more »

The Hindustan-Tibet Highway

‘Highway’ is probably being quite generous, for much of it’s length it is little more than a rough dirt track blasted out of the steep mountainsides and ravaged by landslides and rockfalls. It’s brilliant. A number of times rockfalls dropped within 200m of me… it pays to keep moving and… more »

Transitions…

I’m really happy, got my Inner Line Permit. It had been on my mind a little because I kept hearing and reading all sorts of conflicting information regarding the application. As a solo traveller I would not have been able to get the permit from the government offices in Shimla… more »

Jalori La

Before I left home, and knowing there would be some significant stretches of asphalt, I did have a few brief doubts about whether the Surly ECR was the best tool for this journey… The Jalori La dispelled any remaining doubt about that, from the north side its final 15km or… more »

On the road again (again)

It’s taken me 12 years to return to this part of the world on my bike mainly because of the journey to get here, it’s not a long flight, about 9hrs, but it’s followed by a 14-15hr drive (overnight bus or taxi) from Delhi on some terrible roads to reach… more »

An ECR + Tubus Vega post

There is a liberal scattering of posts and articles around the internet with regard to fitting a rack to a Surly ECR, especially with regard to my favourite rack.. a Tubus Vega (you can tell already this is going to be a dry post can’t you.. non-cyclists can probably switch… more »

Lightweight bike touring gear list..

Over time gear changes (mostly gets lighter), personal philosophy changes, bikes change and as a consequence so does my packing list for a bike trip. The last time I wrote one (in 2011, here) it represented a pretty heavyweight outfitting for a long, partly off-road journey featuring mountains, deserts and… more »

Dirt road touring / bike-packing Crete

Many 1000’s of folk looked at my posts from Crete since starting at the beginning of this month so I decided that, for once, I could perhaps make myself useful and scribble a general info flavoured post with info on maps and stuff  – especially given that Crete is such an… more »

Archanes etc

I could quite happily have spent a week on the Lasithi Plateau… however with a flight on Wednesday it seemed like quite a good idea to arrive back in Heraklion (or rather the western beach suburb of Amoudara) on Tuesday afternoon leaving time for packing bikes, enjoying a post-ride beer… more »

Lasithi

After 9 days of riding without a break a rest day was in order…I’m lucky in that the temperatures have to be to closer to 40 degrees before I’m affected too much but even so the relentless climbing was beginning to take a toll. I would have liked one last… more »

To the east…

It’s warm… as I rolled up my tarp at 8am this morning on the little patch of sand on which we spent the night my thermometer was already showing 30 degs C… by by 2pm this afternoon it was above 34 degs in the shade… about 10 degs warmer than… more »

Psiloritis Traverse

Got some late afternoon shade and a mug of tea here in Zaros so time for a quick blog post I think.. it’s been a terrific couple of days, albeit hard ones, crossing the Psiloritis mountains. Legs were really quite stuffed this morning so basing ourselves in the quiet little… more »

A quick post beer post…

Oh it’s so good to be on the road again, albeit just for a quick trip. Having arrived quite late last night into Heraklion today was reserved for things like getting up late, drinking beer in the sun while looking at maps, putting bikes together, finding supplies and so on…. more »

ECR Fettling

Given that I’m heading off to the mountains of Crete in 10 days time I figured I should probably spend a bit of time fettling the configuration of my ECR for what will be its shake-down cruise prior to a bigger journey at the end of the summer. Travelling light… more »

The push to the open road

The open road beckons.. as I think about the need to disappear into wild and empty places again I’ve been thinking, well ‘dwelling’ is perhaps more appropriate, on what it is that draws me to such places. It is a true statement that to date I have never been happier than when… more »

Camp Stories

At times over the past few weeks I’ve been suffering something of a malaise which at times extends to finding it hard to get to grips with the banality of life in general. January is always a bit like that, with no firm expedition plans made yet, just ideas, and… more »

A little bit of Anatolia…

In the absence of anything interesting to write about this week (I’m swamped with development work, and with the start of the race season less than 2 months away also spending a majority of spare time on two wheels) this post is just going to continue the theme started in the… more »

revisiting some Moroccan streets

For the last couple of bicycle journeys I’ve travelled really light so just used a 7″ Android tablet as a tool for updating this journal – not ideal but it did the job and took up very little room along with my camera, a Fuji x100s – I think   the most… more »

some boggy West Penwith trails

Cornwall isn’t really known for an abundance of trails but there are some good ones around, the most well known here in the far west being the Poldice Valley, this one however is also rather good and traverses almost the whole of west Penwith, high across the moors with views of… more »

Memory Dust

Sometimes it takes me even longer to get around to sorting it out. For the two weeks since the end of the journey my expedition bike has been sitting downstairs, propped against the table in dusty pieces, a final reminder of how good the journey was. It is always like… more »

Closing the loop…

Arrival back into Marrakech was something of an anti-climax after the truly fantastic riding of the last 8 days or so, since my last update in fact… I arrived back into the madness of the Djemaa el Fna, chugged a couple of glasses of fresh squeezed orange juice from one… more »

via Tizi n’Tazazert…

It was a very definite sense of deja-vu. Not the first time I’d found myself sat by a fire beneath a wonderful starscape on a cold night on top of a mountain sharing a meal with a friendly Berber. That previous time, a few years ago, it was on top… more »

N’kob

The ride from Agdz was an easy one with very little in the way of significant climbing, 30km south through the date palms and oasis villages of the Draa Valley and then just 40km east across a rocky, sun baked plain with the peaks of the Jebel Sahro on my… more »