roif Isle of Lewis

The Riof Raiders

This commemorate the 20th century land raids by the Reef Raiders.

One such town to be cleared was Reef (in Gaelic, Riof) in the Uig region of the Isle of Lewis. Here in 1848-9 186 men, women and children were summarily evicted by their landlord and forced to crowd in amongst their neighbours in the villages of Valtos and Kneep.

Read about the history here The Riof Raiders and about Suileachan Project.

riding north

Riding north

Farsebook is funny and great now and again. Today it showed me this photo I took when we rode north back in Aug. 2010 as a warm up for our New Zealand tour later on in the year. Photo was taken as we were cleaning up after a well earned cup of tea.

http://www.woollypigs.com/2010/08/riding-north/
http://www.woollypigs.com/2010/08/leaving-luton-direction-lancashire/
http://www.woollypigs.com/2010/08/what-goe-down-must-come-up/

vand hund

Vand hund

I love water, I’m a “vand hund”*, it has to be real water as in the ocean, river or a lake. Just can’t get the same feeling in a swimming pool. As I grew up and we went to the beach in the summer, my mum had to hold me back so that she could apply my sun cream, as I would be straight in the drink.

I was always jealous of other dog owners who had a dog that they could play with in the sea. None of mine wanted to go, even if you threw in their favourite toy. Just stayed on the shore, barely got their paws wet. Only time we could get a mutt in the drink was if we all went in, and then they reluctantly waded in with us. But as soon as one of us looked like we were heading out of the water, they were right back on to our bath towels.

Enter Tilley, a proper “vand hund”* (what we in Denmark call anyone who loves to play/swim). Most of the time we don’t have to say “go swim” before she is in. For some reason when it is salt water, she loves to put her nose – well, whole head – right in and breathe out. Fresh water she just swims in it or drinks it.

Ha! A friend did a little thing to this …
Tilley starwars

*water dog.

bambi

oh dear

I found this photo the other day and thought that you lot would like to see it too.

While in Bannack, Montana back in 2012 we camped at the site just outside the ghost town. Early morning I went down to have a look at the river and felt that I was being looked at. I looked up and spotted this one on the other bank checking me out. Luckily I managed to get a snap before it ran away.

Pumping water

Pumping water

One of the best cycle touring investments we ever did was getting a Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter.

We often ran out of water and the only thing near that looked a bit like water you wouldn’t drink as it was. We would scoop up some water with our Ortlieb “kitchen sink” and start pumping – I even managed to catch a very small fish one time.

We couldn’t just pop into a “estancia” aka farm and ask for some water, because they would often be at the end of a five or more miles long farm track. That would be 10 miles or more round trip on a very rough bit of gravel track, where we wouldn’t know if there would be water at all.

Small lakes, streams and even dirty looking puddles was our source of water. 15 minutes pumping with the Katadyn and all our water bottles were full with very nice and clean drinkable water.

If the Red Cross and the US Army, to name but a few, rely on the Katadyn – it would be good enough for us.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Tailwind at last

Tailwind at last

The last eight miles and for the next 10 or so – we had tail wind! Sadly it was so short but we made good time. Even the ripio was good, only on the steep “ups” was the road rough. We truly enjoyed it and the more than blue sky.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

running out of food

Running out of food

About here – after a failed attempt in riding at night where the strength of the wind is a weakest – is where we figured out that we were low on food and we had more days of riding to go than we planned for. We had timed this to take around five days and took with us six days worth of food. We had at best two and a half days of food left and we had at least four days of riding left.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Cloud and skies

Cloud and skies

This picture does not justify reality of how big, amazing, stunning, blue, white. They went on forever – to quote a famous song. One fella told us that you don’t get these clouds – ok not the ones pictured above – anywhere but South America. I don’t know if I dare to tell him, that we saw them in New Zealand, USA and in Yorkshire where are now based.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Smile

Smile

Not sure what the smile is for, it could be for a few reasons : that she managed to climb the hill without falling off or the need for a rest, that she saw me looking silly, that she saw the gravel would become rather good (albeit only for a few yards) again. I think it is all the above reasons and then some.

It is great to see that she could still smile her beautiful smile. Even when this was turning into the hardest riding we ever had done and that we were running low on food. Along with the wind that was stronger than anything we had felt before. The ripio or what supposedly was the road was becoming harder and harder to ride, not at all helped with the steep hills. This all slowed us down to a record shortest – day long ride – 5-8 miles in eight hours of riding, well more like – walk, push, pull, swear, slide around on the loose gravel, into the wind, swear, attempt on moving forward.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Cordillera de los Andes

Cordillera de los Andes

It is rather amazing to know that the mountains in the distance is part of the same mountain chain. That runs the length of South America, about 7,000 km (4,300 mi) from top to bottom.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Nowhere: there is a road into it

Nowhere: there is a road into it

Yup, the map and GPS were right: nothing but nothingness and remoteness for miles and miles, well that meant we were on the right track. Rough gravel roads, strong winds and barren landscape, yet stunning, beautiful and the right place for us to get “lost” for a few days.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Are you lost?

Are you lost?

Just before this photo was taken, a local in a car – the only one we had seen and would see all day – pulled over and asked us if we were lost. We think that he was a bit surprised to see us heading into emptiness that is Tierra del Fuego.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Looking for the border

Looking for the border

Heading towards the border control at Bella Vista, loaded with six days food hoping that this next leg would take five days only. On the third day we had to eat all our fresh food, veggies and fruits along with our cheese, because you can’t take that into Chile.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

This might look boring

This might look boring

Let’s just say that this road wasn’t boring. The ripio was hard going at times, the wind was never stopping right into our face, and it was no where near as strong as a stiff south westerly that we get up here – it was much stronger.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Ushuaia that way

Ushuaia that way

Fourth day cycling north in Tierra del Fuego. This was the day we figured out that the wind would be in our face for the rest of the time we cycled north in Argentina. It was so tempting to just turn around and go this way and rest for a day or two with the wind in our back.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/01/leaving-ushuaia/

Beach on Tasmania

Beach on Tasmania

We have seen our fair share of beautiful beaches and this one we know what part of the world this beach is – Tasmania – though we can’t remember what the beach was called.

I can remember that we had a good walk and the sun was just peeping through the cloud cover. And that we meet a local lady who while talking to me forgot about the waves and got a bit wet when one hit her.

What I really like about this beach is that the volcanic rock is sticking out of the sand.

My Kingdom for a horse!

My Kingdom for a horse!

Well OK my Queendom for a horse… Where ever we go and if there is a horse nearby Peli has to go and say hello.

This one was in the hills above Porvenir on Tierra del Fuego in Southern Chile, on the – stunning but very hard to ride your bicycle – La Ruta de Oro.

We had pretty much run out of food and was on our last bit of water and was very much spent nothing left in us. The route had taken us eight days and I had planned it would take five at the most five and half days.

So with tired legs on top of the last leg into Porvenir she staggered over to say hi to this bunny fella.

Mount Hood

Mount Hood

If the weather is great when you are flying into Portland Oregon you can get this view of Mount Hood with what I believe to be Mount Jefferson in the background. please correct me if I’m wrong.

I was half asleep, as you would be if you just had 13 hours flight into Dallas and a two-hour turn around before the four and half hour flight to Portland, when I got poked in my ribs by Peli my partner-co-photograher showing me this great view.

Well worth the rude awaking I’ll say.

PhotoFriday : Huge

Wienerbrød

Wienerbrød

Wienerbrød or as it is know in the rest of the world – Danish pastry. Which is really Viennoiserie (French etymological sense: “things of Vienna”) pastry.

Just like Guinness Wienerbrød can’t travel, the versions of pastry you get outside Denmark that calls itself Danish pasty is edible but is not fluffy, crispy, light and utterly deliciously tasty. We have travelled the world been to some very good bakeries in Melbourne, Portland and London and even Solvang in California a Danish town with a Danish bakery did some good pastry but nothing like wienerbrød.

I have been away from Denmark for many years so have somewhat become used to the lesser. So when visiting Denmark like we did last week, where we were in Copenhagen, we just had to try one or two, didn’t we numnumnum 🙂

Tedious Link

PhotoFriday : Delicious!

The Pinnacle, The Grampians National Park

The Pinnacle, The Grampians National Park

The view from The Pinnacle in The Grampians National Park in Victoria Australia. Brilliant walk up through the bush and a bit of bouldering to get up to the top for the fantastic view. The haze in the in the distance is a mixture of the heat and the smoke from the wild fires that was burning earlier this year in Victoria.

Cycle Cross in PDX

Cycle Cross in PDX

While in Portland we had the chance to go and see Cycle Cross race or two. It looked mad, crazy and like utter mayhem.

Everything that you can add to a bike ride to make it as hard as possible jumps, steep as f**k hills, grass, tight corners and steps etc. And this was all done for the “fun” of it, I have heard that it is more enjoyable when it is dark, raining, muddy and bloddy freezing. If you don’t come home with something broken on you or your bike and covered in an inch of mud, cuts and blood – it has not been a good day.

So when can we have a go?

Vaux's Swifts in Portland

Vaux’s Swifts in Portland

If should ever find yourself in Portland, Oregon in September time you just have to go and have picnic and watch the Vaux’s Swifts at Chapman School and enjoy the show – Tens of thousands of tiny birds swarm into one school chimney every fall.

It starts slowly but build up to a fantastic show, you might even get a visit from a Hawk and that gets the crowd going – who are you supporting – very dramatic.

Just a word of warning : Tens of thousands of birds above you doing what birds do naturally – flying and well I’m sure you can guess the other thing – so bring some tissues and cover your picnic 🙂

PhotoFriday : Swift

Mist on the Californian Coast

Mist on the Californian Coast

Cycling the Californian Coast on highway 1, a day or two south of Monterey. Lucky for us lazy starters in the morning, compared to the others who were up and gone by 7-7:30am, we actually got to see the stunning coast line which is often hidden by the mist. At night on the camp sites the early risers reported that they haven’t seen anything at all. We on the other hand did when the mist disappeared around lunch time, like you see here, the beautiful coast came out and we enjoyed the sun, waves and views.

Tasmanian Bush fires 2013

Tasmanian Bush fires 2013

We arrived into Tasmania amidst of one of the worst bush fires in living memory. You hear and read about it but you really don’t know how bad it is until you see it. The total randomness of the fire – one house, tree or car gone to the ground and right next to it there is a house, tree or car totally unscathed bar a bit of ash.

Our hearts and thoughts goes out to the families who suffered, please donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fond who are working hard to help.

Deception Pass

Deception Pass

Deception Pass in Washington State with a view of Mt. Baker in the background, on our way to the Saint Juan Islands. Stunning bit of the world though cycling here was rather hard work, hilly, tones of tourist traffic and also traffic for the Naval Airbase both on ground and above. At one point we had a planes zooming over us every two minutes and it felt like we could reach up and touch them.

Once there were twelve

Once there were twelve

Or was there ever Twelve Apostles?

According to wiki there were only nine, made twelve if you counted the three sisters, I think, which are now only two sisters, but there is now only eight after one eroded away, approximately 2 cm per year. Well I’m confused and I forgot to count when there so see how many you can count, remember there is a few behind me so that might make it a wee bit hard for you to count since you can’t see behind me … Ok I’ll stop now.

PhotoFriday : Body of Water

Wild dogs

Wild dogs

We saw our fair share of “wild dogs” and even heard them fighting in the night. They were roaming the street living on what they found. Puppies left to fend for them self at the side of the roads. Drivers didn’t even try to avoid hitting them when ran out onto the streets, saw plenty of evidence of dog and vehicular “interference”. People threw things at them, kicked them away and hit them with brooms or whatever they had at hand.

Not something we were used to see.