Golden Bay Dec 2019

Like the last few years, I spent a week or so in Golden Bay with my family. This year, Simon and his family had a house in Tata beach and we spent a day out at Wharariki together and another one at Totaranui. I had forgotten how nice Wharariki can be. There was no wind and the longer we stayed the more sun came out. Simon and co left earlier and I walked around the beach taking photos and trying not to surprise seals. The drive back was nice too and I headed back to Tata beach for sausages with the Smalley’s. On the Totaranui day, Dad and I set off from Wainui in the kayaks. It was sunny but the wind was stronger than we liked. As the day wore on the wind dropped though until we had very favourable conditions for kayaking around Separation Point. We had a picnic lunch at Mutton Cove and kayaked the last bit to Totaranui where we met the others soon afterwards.

Before the Smalley’s arrived and before the nasty weather, Holly, Toby, and I spent a day climbing at Paines Ford and visiting the Wainui waterfall. I started that day with a small run up to the junction to Gibbs Hill.

I also spent a couple of days in Nelson catching up with Julian, and Georgia and Pat.

Time for some pictures.

View along the beach at Wainui (Golden Bay 2019)

Above: As has been the case for the last many years we spent some time up in Golden Bay in December 2019. We rented the same house in Wainui as has become a custom.

Climbing at Paynes Ford (Golden Bay 2019)Bro and Sis at the Wainui Waterfall (Golden Bay 2019)

Above left: Holly, Toby, and I went climbing for a few hours at Paines Ford. Mostly we just made funny faces. It was nice to be back on the rock for a few hours. Above right: Holly, Toby, and I went for a walk up to Wainui Falls.

Holly and a seal (Golden Bay 2019)

Above: Holly and I went out for a kayak to the arch near the Tata Islands and saw a few seals on the way.

A seal takes it easy (Golden Bay 2019)Cris out near the arch (Golden Bay 2019)

Above left: A seal taking a nap? Above right: Another selfie. I wore one of the aging life jackets that have been in the family since my childhood.

Mum washes up on the sandbar (Golden Bay 2019)Mountain biking in Nelson (Golden Bay 2019)

Above left: This is the view into Wainui Inlet from the air. Mum went for a kayak getting washed up on the sand bar. Above right: I went mountain biking in Nelson while I was there.

View of Wharariki beach (Golden Bay 2019)

Above: The rock formations around the beach are very funky.

View back towards Golden Bay (Golden Bay 2019)

Above: I stopped along the coast on my way back to Golden Bay from Wharariki.

Cris in a kayak (Golden Bay 2019)Kayaking to Totaranui (Golden Bay 2019)

Above left: Dad and I kayaked around the coast to Totaranui. Above right: The wind dropped and it turned into a hot and still day as we kayaked to Totaranui.

Dad and a seal (Golden Bay 2019)

Above: We saw lots of seals swimming and playing in the water as we paddled along the coast.

Barcelona 2019

Day 1

I flew to Barcelona to visit Ari. Today we visited Montserrat. It’s an interesting rocky hilly area near Barcelona. The rock formations are very funky with many towers and cliffs. We visited the monastery which was also very nice. Afterwards we caught the last of the sun on the rocks and then saw the sunset. The fading light turned the rocks an even redder red.

View from Montserrat (Visiting Barcelona 2019)Many candles (Visiting Barcelona 2019)Rock in Montserrat (Visiting Barcelona 2019)Sunset from Montserrat (Visiting Barcelona 2019)

1) We drove to Montserrat to have a look around. It’s huge mountain range with walking tracks and climbing. I hadn’t brought my climbing gear with me so we just went for a walk. The wind was cold and it was not warm out of the sun. In the sun it was different.

2) We visited the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey.

3) In the evening we drove to the other side of the park and went for a walk. We had a nice view of the rock formations in the evening light.

4) Sunset from Montserrat.

Day 2

Ari and I drove back to Montserrat again today. After some confusion we managed to find the start of the Klettersteig that Ari and Johannes had done a couple of years ago. The route headed up a dry canyon which was quite interesting. It doesn’t look like there has been water running down there for a long long time. The Klettersteig was quite demanding on our arms. The rock had many interesting shapes and the route was fun. The crux came at the end and we both struggled up. I borrowed one of Ari’s gloves as my hands slipped on the metal rope, possibly due to the guacamole that I had mishandled during our lunch break shortly before.From the top we walked back down a small rocky path that looked like it would be great for mountain biking. We then drove back to Ari’s flat buying the entire supermarket on the way.

Ari on a ferrata route  (Visiting Barcelona 2019)Ari climbing (Visiting Barcelona 2019)Ari sitting (Visiting Barcelona 2019)

1) We came back again to Montserrat to do a ferrata route. We had some technical difficulties finding the start of the route but it wasn’t too long before our chief navigator Ariadna had us on the right trail.

2) The route was funky with this chimney to climb up.

3) From the end of the route we walked back down to the car stopping for a break on the way.

Day 3 – Klettersteig by the sea

Ari and I drove North from Barcelona for a bit over an hour and did a klettersteig next to the sea. It weaved around over rocks and along cliffs. The sun was low and golden and the light emphasised the red rocks.We drove back South along the coast afterwards and stopped at Tossa de Mar to take photos of the sunset. This turned into a longer walk back around the headland to the city old town. We looked for a pizzeria but all the tourists had left for the year and therefore all the restaurants were closed. We found something open just outside the old town and ate there. Then we drove back to Barcelona for the evening.

Ari looking up (Visiting Barcelona 2019)Cris no hands (Visiting Barcelona 2019)Looking down (Visiting Barcelona 2019)A seagull (Visiting Barcelona 2019)Blue blue sea (Visiting Barcelona 2019)Looking down to Ari (Visiting Barcelona 2019)

1) Another day, another ferrata. This one was by the sea. We drove an hour or so to the north of Barcelona to find this one.

2) There were interesting features like this swing bridge.

3) The light seemed so golden some how.

4) A seagull minding his own business.

5) Blue sea.

6) The route went around the coast, at times very close to the sea and at other times high above it.

Nice sunset (Visiting Barcelona 2019)Moon on the sea (Visiting Barcelona 2019)Night in Tossa de Mar (Visiting Barcelona 2019)

1) In the evening we visited Tossa de Mar. We went for a walk to the sea and watched the sunset. We had to hunt around for a bit until we found this spot.. We went for a walk to the sea and watched the sunset. We had to hunt around for a bit until we found this spot.

2) The night was clear and good for taking photos of the amazing moon on the water.

3) We had a nice walk around the old town peering down little narrow streets. It was completely dead as it was very much not the tourist season. We wanted to find a pizzeria for dinner but it proved difficult.

Day 4 – Park Güell

We went and visited Park Güell, another Gaudi creation. Then we went walking in the hills.

Park Güell (Visiting Barcelona 2019)Ari pointing (Visiting Barcelona 2019)Barcelona (Visiting Barcelona 2019)

1) We visited Park Güell. This is another Gaudi creation. Unfortunately it was overrun with tourists but the architecture was interesting.

2) We went for a walk in the hills.

3) View of Barcelona from the hills.

Day 5 – Sagrada Familia and Barcelona

Ari and I went for a walk through Barcelona, ate at a delicious vegetarian restaurant and visited the Sagrada Familia. The cathedral was designed by Gaudi, the Catalan architect and is still being constructed.

Inside the Sagrada Familia (Visiting Barcelona 2019)

Above: We visited the Sagrada Familia. It’s another Gaudi work. It was unfinished in his lifetime and is still being built with donations. It’s an amazing creation.

Day 6 – Running

I went running in the hills around Barcelona. It kind of reminded me of running in the port hills in Christchurch. I also did some of the German “home office”. We went to an Ethiopian restaurant in the evening and had some interesting and delicious but quite meaty food.

Yum, yum (Visiting Barcelona 2019)

Above: We went out to an Ethiopian restaurant for dinner.

Climbing in Tannheimertal 2019

Ari and I hired a car and drove to Tannheimertal on Saturday. The weather was pretty poor which wasn’t what Google had promised us. It was rainy and grey but by the time we got there the rain had stopped and as we walked up to the Gimpelhaus it continued to improve. We were both a little ill so we didn’t do much in the afternoon except going for a short walk up behind the hut before the sun set.

Gimpelhaus from up the hill (Climbing Tannheimer Tal 2019)Wildlife (Climbing Tannheimer Tal 2019)Ari walking (Climbing Tannheimer Tal 2019)Cris (Climbing Tannheimer Tal 2019)View of far off mountains (Climbing Tannheimer Tal 2019)

1) Ari and I drove to Tannheimer Tal for a weekend of climbing.

2) We went for a walk in the evening from the hut.

3) Autumn evening light.

4) I took the opportunity to fly my drone from above the hut.

5) It was a nice evening for a walk.

On Sunday we got started late but the sun was out and it was quite warm so we decided we’d try to do something. We headed up behind the hut to the bottom of the cliffs and set up to do the Hütten Grat. I did the this climb with Sam, Sebas, Johannes, and Angelique last year. It’s four easy pitches of well secured climbing with a nice view back towards the hut and into the valley.

The sun began to disappear as we climbed and it was quite windy. It was enjoyable though. We climbed quickly (for us), swapping after each pitch. Another group was close behind and due to this and the weather we tried to be efficient Germans.

We abseiled from the top down in three pitches and then headed back down to the hut for Kaiserschmarrn. Then it was a short walk back down into the valley and a drive back to Lindau.

Ari climbing (Climbing Tannheimer Tal 2019)Ari belaying (Climbing Tannheimer Tal 2019)Ari climbing (Climbing Tannheimer Tal 2019)Ari at the bottom of the climb afterwards (Climbing Tannheimer Tal 2019)

1) We climbed the Hüttengrat behind the hut.

2) It got quite windy and cold so we tried to move quickly.

3) It’s a nice easy climb with big views down to the hut and out into the valley.

4) We finished the climb and headed back down to the hut and then back down into the valley.