Shot for the Day (25 September 2017)

The day had been a mixture of rain and clouds. For landscape photography, this can either mean a really interesting cocktail of factors or a nightmare in the making. Alas, the rain had meant that the morning had been a write off. I travelled the length of the north coast of the Isle of Lewis without finding the right ingredients for a memorable image.

After scrutinising a map, I noticed an interesting coastline option that meant transversing a local farmer’s land. With no one around to ask for permission, I trekked the 2km to the beach and found the stormy, isolate image above.  This image is a 100 second exposure using a 10 stop ND filter. The long exposure robbed the photograph of some of the colour. To counter this, I put my longer prime lens on my camera and took a 2 second shot of a section of the same scene.

Shot for the Day (16 April 2017)

Another dawn over the east coast of La Palma. This secluded beach at Cancajos was abandoned as the tides were pretty rough and the weather was a cool sixteen degrees Celsius.   This place is a Mecca for anyone who loves dawn at a civilised hour.  It is in the same time zone as the UK but is sufficiently west, so instead of sunrise at 6.30am it was at 8am.

I took the second image about 25 metres to the left of this image, just as the sun broke through the clouds.

Shot for the Day (14 April 2017)

The waters around La Palma island are pretty rough.  Not a location for beach swimming.  Behind where I took this shot was a swimming pool hewn from the natural rocks and filled by the sea, called La Fajana.  I took this shot, looking out to sea, from a platform about 4m about the surf.  The occasional wave still managed to lap my feet the swell was that rough.

Day 13: Litlahof to Kirkjubaejarklaustur

Julien is currently waiting for a pizza to arrive.

Woke up and had a chat with Dave. He decided that he couldn’t ride anymore. So left him behind in Hofn. Jumped on bike. Perfect conditions. Arrow straight road, glacier on the right hand side. Even saw the sun and although it was  intermittent, it was a welcome change. Julien got excited by the conditions and caned it as he was so excited to see the sun. Not many kilometres left to cover but still a few days left to cover them in so am limited myself each day.

Cycled on for about 65 km and found a  very random hotel in the middle of nowhere. Situated on a flat plateau and is a building that looks like containers from a big ship with windows at each end. Looks bizarre and crazy but is surprisingly smart inside.  I wandered in and they looked me up and down. I asked them if they had any lunch but I was too late.  Too late for lunch and  too early for dinner but they did have their special so I was treated to bowls and bowls of lamb soup with a great waitress running back and forth refilling my bowl.

Headed to Kirkjubaejarklaustur and outside of the town I could see a rain cloud coming like curtains ahead of me. I thought I might get away with it but no, cycled 8kms in the pissing rain. Found service station, ran in absolutely soaked. Ordered a cup of tea. I met two German guys going around the island in a 4×4 so spoke with them for 1 hrs 30. Went to Tourist info to find out where I could camp. In the tourist office there was a great guy who was half Scottish and half Icelandic who recommended a campsite and a great restaurant where I have now ordered pizza. It’s arrival is imminent!

I have two days left  and now I am solo am cycling about 17/18 miles per hour and getting excited about meeting up with Dave in Reykjavik and celebrating the end of the tour 🙂

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Day 9: Ecclestone to Hazelslack

Total mileage: 61
Terrain: Hills – Fast paced A road riding

The start of the day meant getting away from Ecclestone and all the grim areas around that part of the UK.  However, once we were on the go, our mood rapidly increased as we hit pretty countryside and fast A roads.  The traffic was generally quite accommodating and gave us a wide birth.  We cranked up the speed and managed to bash out the miles really quickly along the smooth tarmac.  The sunny weather was back and the going remained good all day.

Although there was a good canal path, The Lancaster Canal, which we had originally planned to join at Garstang, the roads were so good, we continued on to Lancaster.  From here, we eventually joined the canal and cycled north as far as we could, ending up in a bizarre estate, where the path just fizzled out.

From here, we rejoined the A roads and made haste as we all wanted to make it to the Lake District by evening.  I had been hard selling how beautiful the Lakes were and they did not disappoint.  Our only issue was that we had to visit several campsites until we could find a pitch.  We ended up having a free pitch due to a very generous campsite owner and our charity ride status.

All in all, after the blandness of the previous day, today’s cycle ride was green, pleasant, fast and memorable.  Definitely a good cycle ride.  The promise of the Lakes was only slightly marred in the knowledge that I knew the terrain would get touch with all those mountains and hills to cross!

I ended the day rewarding myself with a few games of Sudoku.