Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!


31st January 2019

Quite how I never considered how life’s affairs refuse to fit within calendar years is beyond me because I have several examples to recall. Even though the aspiration of closing off things for a year end persists, that does not mean that it is remotely realistic. Accepting such continuity may be the best course even if some decry what they call drift.

There are times when the end of a year only adds items to a to do list for the next. That happened me in 2017 and it caused me to get much done about my Irish business last year. 2016 was one of those years when closure was sought because of a mix of continuing grieving, an unappealing job and looming deadline for the probation of my late father’s estate. It became a forlorn hope and influenced how things went in 2017.

Still, many years enjoy quiet starts and 2018 became one of those. It allowed me to rethink my career and choose self-employment as the way out of what I perceived to be career doldrums. In contrast, this year has seen a collision between unfinished work form last year with new plans for this year and unexpected matters. Leaving things flow in preference to filling supposedly empty time with tasks now looks the wiser course.

Even so, I have got to attending the Adventure Travel Show and Destinations in the same January weekend. The first of these carried me to the London Olympia for attendance of talks and gawping at stands. The next day saw me head to Manchester’s EventCity for the second when more of the same ensured. Leaflets were snaffled in numbers in an effort to look in on possibilities eschewed by my preference for independent travelling. The act might be more like one of education rather than the change of course that it might suggest.

Continuation also underlay my mid-Winter escape to Tenerife with its beginning in the dying days of 2018 and ending in the start of 2019. After what befell me on my 2016 Mallorcan trip, acclimatisation was a hallmark this time around and it worked. No ill-effects blighted the start of 2019 apart from eating stale food on my return and that only lasted around twelve hours. Other mid-Winter possibilities are more likely than they once were.

Though most base themselves in the south-west of the island, I plumped for the quieter north-east and Santa Cruz was where I stayed. New Year’s Eve saw me potter into the city’s neighbouring hills while New Year’s Day allowed for a more adventurous circuit around Igueste de San AndrĂ©s than I expected. Parque Nacional del Teide got a visit too with some pottering about Roques del Garcia within sight of El Teide itself. The higher altitude did little to restrict my activities but I had reigned in any enthusiasm in any event.

The parched countryside played host to larger versions of the sort of cacti that my late mother would have had as indoor potted plants. Poinsettias grew out of doors with help from flowerbed irrigation and came in different colours too. Both these observations were reminders of the important of bringing ample quantities of water on any walks in the subtropical winter heat.

Adjusting to a cold climate after this took some time but it has happened and a recent spell of snow is a reminder that the warmer days of spring and summer are a bit away yet. That gives time for some planning of additional exploring and the current political travails need escaping for a while and it is as yet unclear what they will mean for overseas explorations. Meanwhile, I hope to do more domestic exploring than a recent day trip to Lincoln.

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