Friday, July 31, 2009

Head in the clouds

So straight after Dr G flew out we headed off to Verbier, Switzerland to visit Jo and Gareth and see the 15th Stage of Le Tour de France, which just happened to be finishing there. We decided to drive this time rather that fly because it takes just about as long once you transfer all the way to Verbier (9hrs), which as it turns out was a great idea as its really beautiful scenery - very different from the completely dull trip from Melbourne to Sydney of about the same time.

We were only in Verbier for 4 day (too many holidays already), the first day was beautiful and we all hiked up the mountain a little way and did some yoga with million dollar views...I could certainly handle doing that each morning. Unfortunately the next two days it was pouring with rain, 15 deg colder and snowing 500 m higher than us, yay for unpredictable high mountain temperatures (Verbier is at 1500 m). So that killed all our grand adventuring plans of mountain biking and rock climbing...grrrr.
Luckily, the weather cleared up on the last day for the tour. The final part of the stage is a 8 km climb from Le Chable to Verbier (about 8 %), so we camped out on the corner in the last 1 km...was fantastic fun, would love to follow the whole tour one year. Also silly us forgot to bring our bikes with us from Bordeaux so we could have a go at the hill while the road was closed off, oh well.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another public holiday long week in France - Fete de la National (aka Bastille day) a perfect opportunity to escape France and head back to Spain.

First stop - San Sebatian which is a lovely, but entirely too tourist infested town on the north coast of Spain. You actually struggle to find someone who doesnt speak english. So we just made a quick lunch stop and moved on to quieter, less-touristy places.

We set up camp in Mundaka, a beach town known for its surfing...although when we arrived we were slightly confused by this as there was not a sign of a wave around. Even the next day as we baked ourselves in the sun, unaware that we were getting completely sunburnt (good job coming from Aus and NZ you think we would be experts at not getting burnt), there was no sign of waves. But finally on the last day, when the weather was grey and miserable the waves appeared - but I still think the Aus beaches are better (way too spoiled)! NOTE: see pastey white bodies in photos this is pre-sun burn, we were all red for about a week, followed by much peeling, but now are not so white....some might even say we are carrot-brown/orange due to the entirely uneffective carrot containing sunscreen marty recommended to us...hmmmm ;)

So while Mundaka was a lovely place, it contained all of three restaurants and the occasional very small supermarket, so we had to escape each night in search of food. One night we ventured to Bilbao for a yummy dinner, but owing to our roasted red bodies we didnt hang around too long. Definitely the highlight of the food and drink was a fantastic tapas bar in Vitoria (kindly recommended by lonelyplant) where we all tried to decide if we should kick the chemistry career and begin a Tapas bar????

Saturday, July 04, 2009

tennis champion

So I go and teach Marty how to play tennis, then in his very first competition he rude!!! (btw I lost)