Saturday, July 16, 2016


I'm here in Canada on my own this year, for the first 6 weeks, so I figured I needed to sign up for something that would keep me busy and hopefully keep my fitness levels up a little more than in past I joined a triathlon group.  I think I've said this before...but whatever.

I'm now swimming three times a week, and the coach is excellent, I am improving SO much it is unreal.  I can even do bilateral breathing!!!!  It has been interesting working my way through the different things he wants me to try, and it is neat feeling myself improving.

The cycling has been less successful.  Man triathletes like going round and round in circles.  That doesn't bug me so much in the pool (few other options!) or even the open water swims...hard to coach us if we're swimming off to Niagara.....

But on a bike?  Really?  round and round in laps?  BORING!!!!! OMG, I went to one, and we went round and round and round.....I went to a second one, and they wanted to go and play in traffic, so I bailed out on that and went and did my own thing, and it was glorious....

I signed up for a ride this morning, but it was up north and they just went round a big rectangle of streets....I mean, is there nothing more?

I know the idea is training, and drills and all that, but really? 

They have a running training as well, but it is mostly sprints and hill work, and I don't think I am good enough to try, and I really hate running on the road...give me a trail any day and I'm a pretty happy panda, but ask me to run along a road or a sidewalk?  blea....

So, they keep asking if I'll do a tri, I think no.....I just can't face the run.

We'll see...the real goal is to keep on getting some exercise, and I am doing that.

Monday, July 4, 2016


For all that I have done lots of swimming, and even got some lifeguarding certification way back in the past (and I'd like to say, you never ever ever wanted me to be the one to rescue you)  I do generally like swimming.

That said, I have always been the type of swimmer that is pretty happy to float around, rather than push myself at all. 

Then, last weekend, I tried swim goggles for the first time and nearly drowned myself when my autonomous nervous system thought I was snorkelling and I just inhaled a gigantic lungful of air. 

To say that I went into tonight's swim a little uneasy would be a clear statement of fact.  You see, I've signed up with a triathlon group while I'm here, on the premise that I am here alone, so I have quite a bit of extra time, and it will certainly motivate me to exercise, and I might even meet a cool group of folks.  I do not think a tri is in my future, I haven't the time or desire to train frankly.

So, off I went this evening, and was delighted to see, shall we say.... a range of body types at the venue.  I was worried they would all be amazing Simon Whitfields.  I chatted briefly with the coach to say that I was a complete and utter beginner, she said, no problem there were lots of beginners and that the week before some barely made it off the beach!  Hallelujah!

They were letting us try on wetsuits, very fancy, very expensive wetsuits!  So that was a nice thing, I'll be in a swim suit from here on out and it ain't as buoyant.  It was pretty cool having my feet at the surface all by themselves!

So, things were going well.  Generally.  Apparently I breath through my eyes considering the amount of fogging I was getting on my goggles, and I could maintain the crawl for much longer than I anticipated. 

I also have to admit that at some deep reptilian layer of my brain I am kind of afraid of swimming.  It only rears up at odd moments, and I am quite used to it, as I have been sailing and racing all my life, but I do get a bit of a panic-y gasping thing going from time to time, quickly brought under control.  And I don't exhale underwater, ever. 

Till tonight!  See things were going pretty well, I wasn't horrifyingly last, and indeed passed some folks.  Anyone who has seen me swim, can only imagine the caliber of those swimmers!!! So all was hunky dory, and I was managing to sight the lines fairly well through the fog that was my goggles, and so I thought it was time to give exhaling in the water a go.  And I could do it!  It wasn't such a happy place, and I cannot say that it was going smoothly (lots of water up my nose, not sure why) but I was doing it and that is huge!!! 

Plus I got some technique tips for doing the crawl, and man did that ever help!!!!  Excellent evening overall, already signed up for next week.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Bad ass women

I have to find me a group of these.  I've got one friend here who's very bad ass.  She loves to walk, long long long walks.  And that is awesome!  But she doesn't climb, or bicycle, or do ferrades, nor can she handle high altitude.

The man is the man of my dreams, but he doesn't like doing these things.

Youngest has finally gotten old enough to be useful, rather than a much loved liability on these excursions, and has promptly decided that I am not cool to hang out with and bails on everything in favour of better offers.  Totally get it, but it is a wee bit frustrating.

So, I need to find some bad ass women, with grown children, with partners who are grown ups so they can take a day or a night out to go and do something cool.  Either a bunch of them for different sports, or a couple who are capable of multi-sport activities.

Otherwise I'll be doing a lot of things alone, and that isn't always the best option.

Not sitting on my ass though as a result.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

What an amazing weekend!

Really....a great one....

Sat, went to work, that was fine.

Then we went out to mark Vilatrail....lightning, thunder, pouring rain...Chuck got up in a strangers car to try to escape it and we know how much he loves cars....(not at all)

He looked at me like I was torturing him!  Poor thing was soaked, he stopped bothering to shake even, and at the height of the thunderstorm came over to be put on leash.  Not a happy puppy, but once it passed over, he was pretty cheery again.

This morning, got up at 5am to do work on the Masters, then Vilatrail as a witch again, waiting for some photos to come in, hope I get some!  Home, then out again to do a Via Ferrada en Centelles, Les Buamens Corcades....very cool indeed.  We skipped the very hardest part, there were only two of us, I didn't realise how bad a climber my buddy was, and we didn't have climbing shoes...gave that section a pass....but it was amazing.

The three story climb out of the parking lot was not so welcome, after two vilatrails in 24 hours and a 600m via ferrada, my legs were not feeling toooooo happy about it...but complaining we made it.

Off to bed!

Awesome weekend.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Final day of the trip to Galicia, Santiago de Compostela

This was the final day, we didn't walk......

well, tourist walks.

Most of the buildings are baroque, which is not my favourite style, though the church is SO over the top that it almost kinda works.....

Ate a spectacular empanada, Xoritzo and eggs, might as well have hooked myself up to a cholesterol IV, but my oh my, was it ever good.

The big cathedral, from one side or another, it is actually a little confusing, honestly.

Strangely, there is a copy of the Virgin Mary from  Montserrat!

Big dome....
with the shells that are the symbol of the camiño and the crossed swords as well.

Oddly, there was a Henry Moore exhibit outside the church...

The main entry to .... I'm not sure what building....

There is a fancy hotel, that used to be a hospital for pilgrims, funded by Isabel and Ferdinand.  You can go in for a visit for 3 Euros and it is lovely.

I poked my nose into more places than I should have gone, but, whatever.

There are some very cool corners.

One of the courtyards,

This is from the pilgirm's museum.  Or more correctly, the museum of pilgrimage, though after some token conversation about other global pilgrim routes, it is really focused on the Camiño de Santiago, of Camina de Sant the Catalans call it.

This is a then and now of clothing!

High high high Baroque, so high it almost kinda works.  The alter in the Cathedral.

Next time I go, I think I should walk there.

And that's the end of that trip!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Day 3, Camiño de Faros

So, what a surprise, we went walking again the next day.  It was another spectacular day, though the extremely prickly everything slowed some folks down quite a lot.  Gaiters would have been good that day.

We started half way along that point, more or less, walked out to the end, and then walked back.....

We're headed to the tip of the point in the distance....

NB, every single plant in this picture is prickly has hell.

All of those ones too.....

This is the final point!  The furthest west you can go in continental Europe!  Hi Canada!!!

Looking along the cliffs that make up this chunk of Europe....

Adorably, the Camiño de Faros is also occasionally marked by these footprints!  It was so windy there, if you look at my pants you can kinda tell, I had a hard time taking the photo, I kept blowing backwards off the rock!

And a curious doorway....just 'cause.  This is in the town of Cee.

Oh, and a heads up...this is a little nasty....those prickly plants?  This is what I looked like.....

Monday, March 28, 2016

Day 2, the town at the end, Marxía

Once we got to the end of the walk that day, in the town of Marxía, there was a very tempting little hill at the other end of the town and a lighthouse down below that. The group en mass wanted to go into a little bar and eat.

I did not.

The hill was entrancing, and I didn't want to sit in a bar......meh......

So I went on my own, and this is what I saw!

This turned out to actually be on the route!  Who'da thought...though in fact it does make sense as it is called the Camino de Faros - the lighthouse walk.

The little chapel you'll see next made use of the landscape for their bell tower, pretty clever.

There's the chapel

And a view through the tower as I worked my way up the hill.

It was not a big hill.  Everyone else is down there somewhere noshing (on food that made them feel yucky afterwards, sadly)

The other side of the hill was riddled with these tiny little stone surrounded fields.....

This is the church on the point, there is a lighthouse behind it which, strangely, I don't seem to have taken a photo of!

This is the view as you come out of the church, not bad, eh?  Straight up North Atlantic.

They have this weird rock, that everyone goes out to see.  It's a rock.

The view of the church from out on the rocks, I'd be amazed if the Atlantic doesn't introduce itself inside the church from time to time.

See those little stone encircled areas?  They are gardens, all with waist high walls, you see, it is so freaking windy, the tomatoes would blow off the vines and the lettuce would just sail away if they didn't build those walls.

That's a lot of work for some tomatoes.

Clever stairs to get inside. We have these here too, but it was a particularly clear view.

You can see that some of them are being cultivated at this time.

Someone lives here! I imagine it is a she and that she is very old.

Next, Day 3!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Galicia, Camino de Faros, dia 2! Fins a Marxía

Another gorgeous day, this one quite different.  While the first day was all wide open and windblown and savage, this was much more cosy.  Walking through old villages, past tiny little old water mills, there was some beach but mostly it was interior.  Very different and very lovely.


This is a completely typical church for the region we were in.  The bell tower and the mildew.  It is a damp part of the world.

Catalans love trees, there are not so many magnificent specimens,  but this is one of them.  I have to confess, I have also come to love a good tree.

we were walking down from Puena de Porto to the sea along, what is called in Catalan, a ria - which is the part of a river that is tidal.

A lot of the walk was through forests like this:

we came across these old boats, not going to float again, though they surprisingly still had their engines!

This neighbour does.

Already doesn't, most definitively, float.

This is the marker for the Camino de Santiago.  This I will do.  The northern route.

This was one of the markers for the camino de faros.  A lovely design, although the green is not easy to see in this green land.

We walked along the stream here, and there were a series of lovely little mills.

We got down to the sea and found some star fish!

 And, of course, the sea.

tomorrow, some photos from the town at the end of this day's walk.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Galicia, day 1

Well, I went off with the Grup de Muntanya to Galicia for 5 days to go walking, and I have to say it was marvelous.  The country there is much wetter, and greener.  It is also more British in its weather, rainy and misty a lot and not as hot.

It is also very very beautiful.  Galicia is generally not as populated and is quite rural.  Also, most people live in houses with yards rather than in tight villages with the gardens outside them.

I'm going to post information and photos based on the days of the trip.  The first day we started in Arou in Galicia, right up in the top corner, and we were doing the Costa de morte, la via dels fuegos (lighthouses, or something along those lines!?

We walked along the coast the whole day, ending in a gigantic lighthouse.  Far in Catalan, Faro in Spanish.

My Spanish, as an aside, has improved enormously on this trip.

Here's some photos:

They have these structures all over the place.  They are/were for storing grain so that the rats cannot get at it.  The pieces of land that people have are pretty small as the inheritance laws do not give everything to the eldest, rather they are divided between the kids (don't know if that was/is only boys or both sons and daughters).  I suppose they couldn't really afford to lose much grain, so it was worth it to build these to safeguard it.

We went by some boats as we were walking right along the coast. I can never resist a boat.

It was really big and wild and savage and open. It does make it hard to get a good photo, especially as I was using my phone since the camera has humidity in it.  Must get that fixed.

That may give you more of an idea.  We finished the day at the lighthouse on the point.

This is a cematary for British sailors off a ship that wrecked on the coast here a long time ago (I cleary have forgotten the details!) 

The shoes aren't quite so pristine, there were few muddy patches, but what there was, was really good stuff.

The day looked like this a lot.  I loved it.

 More boats....

This was a HUGE slug!  Tip of my shoe for perspective.

Boiling bit of North Atlantic.

My practically new pristine white sock at the end of the day!

It was a marvelous day indeed.