Trips & Events

Cycling Netherlands…

This is a short video of our recent cycling trip through the southern part of the Netherlands.  We had a great time, rode about 1400 km (which is very easy to do there!) and enjoyed meeting people.  We camped most of the way with a few different B&B stops along the road.  If you like biking, I highly recommend a trip to the Netherlands.  Contact me FMI.

 

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What a trip….

Well, we’re back!  Our trip to the Netherlands was superb; mostly good weather, great people, interesting sites and amazing cycling.  We did a lot of tenting at various campsites and had a few nights at some very nice B&Bs around the country.  With the exception of the last three nights, typically we did 3-4 nights camping and then one a night in a B&B.  Our route was similar to our pre-trip map but we didn’t make it to the North-East at all – next time!  The distances are tiny but we didn’t want to stretch ourselves too far and we wanted to really experience places and people, not spend all our time on a bike seat!

Cycling infrastructure in the Netherlands is the best in the world.  Often times, we would do a 50km ride and 47km would be on dedicated cycle paths.  In the towns, roundabouts and traffic lights were specific to bicycles.  We’re so far behind in Canada.

Overall, it was a great trip.  I did learn a few things:

  • Most bike shops in the Netherlands have an outdoor air hose; take every opportunity to use it.
  • Don’t pass up an opportunity to use a toilet or fill a water-bottle.
  • With the exception of the coast areas, the wind was never as bad as everyone warned us.
  • The LF routes (national cycle routes or fietspads) are fantastic but circuitous; distance between two points was typically at least 50% greater than the same route via car.  Take this into your calculations when ride planning!
  • Camping is a great way to get around; lots of sites, most of them with excellent shower facilities.
  • Pack light; our travel mantra but one which bears repeating.
  • Have fun, laugh and realize that the worst situation we were in was about 1% of what some people suffer.  This made the rainy rides and soggy camping a lot more tolerable!

I would highly recommend a cycling trip to the Netherlands.  The cycling infrastructure is amazing and the scenery and people wonderful.  I hope to have my movie made in the next few days and will post it when complete.

Enjoy!

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And we’re off…

By the time you read this, we’ll be somewhere on a bike path en route to a seaside town named Noordvijk aan Zee.  We’re going to stay in a B&B for the first night of our trip, just to get our bearings and have a chance to visit a grocery store and so on.  Most other nights we’ll be camping; either in campsites, using the Paalkamperen sites or even trying ‘stealth camping’.  I laughed when I first read about stealth camping.  Unlike here, in the Netherlands, it is illegal to just camp in the wild.  So a movement has developed where people find a quiet piece of forest or field and set up camp – stealth camping.  One site I reviewed warned about the hazards of such camping which included badgers stealing food or being awoken before dawn by songbirds.  Yikes!

The yellow line in the map below is the approximate border of the Netherlands.  Coincidentally, I learned that it is actually incorrect to refer to this country as Holland as Holland (North and South) is a province in the Netherlands.  It would be akin to calling the United Kingdom England I suppose.  The orange line in the map is a very rough route of how our trip might pan out, counter-clockwise from Amsterdam.  As we have no fixed plan, it will be interesting to see what really happens.  My main goal is to enjoy the countryside, the people and the food of the Netherlands.  I’d like to visit the Heineken Experience, some museums and tour some of the Liberation Route.  We might try to visit the Kinderdijk area, Zaanse Schans and perhaps Palais Het Loo.  Who knows!  Stay tuned for updates.

Our pre-trip rough itinerary; we'll see how the post-trip compares.

Our pre-trip rough itinerary; we’ll see how the post-trip compares.

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Camping – backwoods style

Well, we had a successful first camping trip with my niece, Charlotte, and my nephew, Oliver.  It was their first time off the grid and they did very well, despite Oliver not liking dirt on his feet (he soon got somewhat used to it!!).  We spent a couple days in the first bit of the Sayward Lakes Loop which is a great spot to kayak or canoe.  This was a short test trip and the kids passed with flying colours; they are game to go again and do a bigger trip!  Enjoy the video!  (To get the best resolution, make sure you select 1080HD from the cog at the bottom of the youTube window)

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Over the frozen tundra…

Here is a short video of my flight from YQQ to YOW and back, taken late March 2014.  I’ll put the photos and videos of the rest of my journey in a separate post.  Enjoy!

 

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A Delish Dish…

Thursday night, Josée and I had a wonderful evening with two of our good friends, Abs and Marcie.  One of our favourite restaurants, Locals, was hosting a wine-pairing event, featuring wines from Wild Goose Winery located in Okanagan Falls.  The menu was exceptional, full of delicious local foods.  Chef Ronald mentioned that the Comox Valley’s nickname of the Provence of Canada was well deserved as there are over 100 local farms providing a multitude of products.  We had a few nice visits with the vintner and learned about the family run winery.  It was a really nice evening of food, wine and friendship!

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The Garden Isle…

I’m always late finishing my movies so thought I would try to get a few done before it starts getting busy on the farm.  This particular movie is about our trip to Kauai in January 2013.  It has a couple of hiking scenes which are a bit long (I should have done a little better on the editing) and a few other beach scenes and so on.  Some of my video was deleted so this movie is a little boring.  Anyway, I hope the next one is better – enjoy!

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Random flights

Random flight stills and vids from my recent LA and Big Island trip.  Unfortunately, I somehow deleted most of my takeoff landing vids so this particular movie isn’t that good.  The pics at the end are kind of neat – mountains in a sea of clouds.  Enjoy!

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West by Westjet

I just returned from a quick visit to Calgary.  I like planes and thought I’d make my return trip into a short video.  You can skip through some of the scenes if they are a little long.  This was WS 257, Calgary to Comox on a Boeing 737.700.  Westjet has some of the new 737 Max aircraft on order but I don’t think they are scheduled for delivery for a bit.  I’m hoping to get a ride on the new 787 Dreamliner later this year as it rolls into the Air Canada fleet.  I really like flying Westjet and have yet to have a bad experience with them!!

The video starts in Calgary, in sunny but frigid (-23C) weather, flies across BC, starts getting a bit cloudy just past Kamloops and then descends in cloudy, foggy weather to arrive in snowy (yes, it occasionally snows here) Comox.  At about 1:50 there is a cool shot of another WS 737 landing.  Enjoy!

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Ripplin’

Another day in paradise!  Josée, Daisy and I head out early this morning for a quick hike to Ripple Rock, about fifteen minutes north of Campbell River.  In 1958, Ripple Rock was destroyed in the largest non-nuclear explosion ever.  For the full story and original CBC video, click here.   The hike is about an hour each way and culminates on a cliff overlooking Seymour Narrows, home of some of the fastest tide rips in the world.  It was a great hike and a nice way to start the weekend.

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