room with a view – week 2

In reflection by jorumavi / 14/07/2023 / No Comments

This week I wanted to share a different set of images. I took them all the same evening and I thought I could use them to explain two ideas: the golden hour and walking/working the scene.

the first picture of the set is not very interesting, but helps getting in the mood and finding the right spot.

the golden hour

Basically, and to keep it simple, the golden hour is that bracket of time before sunrise and after sunset when the light from the sun hits the clouds and produces, arguably, the best and most dramatic light for landscape photographs.

when the sun is very low you may get some nice reflections, but there usually is too much contrast and you end up getting a silhouette, which is not what I wanted

As a rule of thumb, I’d usually get ready with my camera and explore the area and the sky as I did this day, an hour or so before sunset.

changing my framing and not getting the sun in the picture produced a mode balanced image, and quite abstract this time, but still not dramatic enough

Then, I’d wait until I can’t see the sun anymore and start taking the photos I was hoping for, if the clouds and light are good enough. Which, of course, you cannot really predict. Although, with experience you can kind of anticipate sometimes.

the sun is about to disappear and the foreground works well as a reference point, but I was hoping for something with even more visual impact

working / walking the scene

This is an essential technique that I tell my students and, of course, do myself all the time. I always take more than one photo of anything that attracts me.

this is more like it! Although, I knew it could be improved with yet another common technique: reflections.

But it’s more than just taking a few pictures one after another. I also move around my subject as much as I can, which in the case of landscapes can be very limited, and change the zoom or point of view of my camera. A small movement of my position or the angle the camera is pointing to the scene can make a big difference.

so, I got closer to the shore, to one of the many puddles on the sand as the tide receded and lowered the camera to emphasise the reflection in the foreground


photos of the week – 2

I’m finally in Scotland!
view from Ballantrae harbour
the scenery is quite similar to Ireland
some canals are filled with beautiful and colourful boats
the falls of Falloch
rapids just by Killin village
beautiful valley heading north
Firkin point in Loch Lomond

the road – week 2

In reflection by jorumavi / 09/07/2023 / No Comments
this road was going up but didn’t look too bad or hard…
…until I realised that it wasn’t really a road, but a gravel track!
this is the road that takes you to Malin Head
the first few days in Scotland, the landscape was quite similar to the Irish
great cycleway, being away from traffic is an absolute delight
sometimes, these cycleways go alongside canals too

this one was going along Loch Lomond, where I ended up spending one night


room with a view – week 1

In reflection by jorumavi / 07/07/2023 / No Comments

I have never done any camping in my life. When I was young I spent all my summers and holidays, as well as weekends and long weekends, in my village. And we had a place to stay there, so I never needed to sleep outdoors.

making dinner

Only a few years ago, I bought a tent thinking that one day I would do a long touring trip. The time is here and I still don’t have much experience pitching my tent.

I didn’t know how I would manage, it was one of the main uncertainties I had about this trip, but so far I am managing.

I think I’m getting the hang of it, although I must admit that every day I realise that there was something I was doing wrong.

last night in Ireland

Yet, that’s what this adventure is all about, getting out of my comfort zone and learning new things all the time.

first two nights in Scotland, in Ballantrae

photos of the week – 1

In photography by jorumavi / 05/07/2023 / 1 Comment

As I began my journey on a Wednesday, I’ll be posting my favourite photos this day of the week from now on.

this is my set up to cycle around Europe for the foreseeable future
it’s funny how sheep ignore cars passing by but, when I do, they seem to get scared and run away. yet, if I stop anywhere near them, they approach me slowly but surely
I love thatched cottages
Lough Key, near Boyle, from the road that goes through the forest nearby

Lough Derby from Garrykennedy
from the pier in Lough Arrow
I love waterfalls, this is Glencar, and I always try to get the ‘silky effect’ of the water when photographing them
typical Irish coastline as seen from Bundoran. although it’s not that common to see blue skies and fluffy clouds as well

route – week 1

In route by jorumavi / 03/07/2023 / No Comments

I know it’s only been a few days, but I intend to write these reports every Sunday.

day 1: Cork to Adare

I left Cork early on Wednesday. It was drizzling all morning, as if Cork was sad and crying for my departure. I was also sad, but, at the same time, I was excited about what was coming.

I had cycled to Limerick, and back, several times before, so I took my time and covered the nearly 92km in just shy of five hours.

I wanted to make the most of the afternoon in Adare with my friend Gayle and her children. We spend the whole afternoon doing things, like going to the park, collecting sticks and tree crust for my fires, having dinner and playing uno. I also showed the boys the route I was planning to do on their map.

day 2: Adare – Portumna forest park

I left in the morning after a good and nutritious breakfast.

I want to avoid cities as much as I can, but I had to go through Limerick, which wasn’t too busy after all.

I met my first fellow touring cyclist right after leaving the city. It was nice to see another “crazy” person on the road. I know I’m not the only one doing this. I’m not special in any way, but it’s reassuring to see that other people have also embarked in an adventure on two wheels.

When I was approaching Nenagh, another cyclist, this one wearing all his racing gear and riding a fancy racer, stood by my side and recommended me to go to Garrykennedy. ‘There’s a beautiful small harbour from where you can see Lough Derby’ he said. So I took a detour and headed there (you can see some photos I took there on the video bellow.)

I wanted to get to Portumna because Gayle had told me there was a lovely forest by the lake. So, even though I had planned to start easy the first few days, I ended up cycling more than 122km today.

I found a quiet and hidden spot in the forest, just by the shore of the lake, and pitched my tent for the first time during this journey. I cooked some rice and ate it looking at the water. Then went to bed, actually, my sleeping bag.

day 3: Portumna Forest Park – Rosscommon Castle Gardens

I slept very well and woke up late. It’s a great feeling not having to set up the alarm and waking up whenever your body decides it has had enough sleep.

I met the first person who asked me where I’m coming from and where I’m going to. It was a young lad to whom I asked for water in a corner shop in Laurencetown.

Unfortunately, as I was eager to find some water and wasn’t probably paying enough attention to the signs, I missed a turn and ended up doing some 15 extra kilometres in a loop that took me back to the same town.

It had been raining in the morning and quite windy in the afternoon and I didn’t see the sun the whole day. So, when I arrived to Rosscommon and found a spot in the Castle Gardens, I had to change my clothes and hang my cycling gear to dry. I had bought several items of clothing made with Merino wool and I could feel the warmth the moment I put them on.

Once I pitched the tent and made sure it was hidden enough, I decided to go back to the town to buy some food. After dinner I relaxed and read for a while before going to sleep.

day 4: Rosscommon Castle Gardens – Cleveragh Regional Park

I started in the main road, but then took secondary roads as much as I could. I want to avoid heavy and fast traffic as much as possible.

I cycled besides a few lakes today. First, Lough Key, which had a cycle lane and a forest park with trails and bike lanes. Then, Lough Arrow, where I had a snack by the pier. Finally, in Sligo, Lough Gill, near the Regional Park where I stayed the night.

It was a good day on the bike, a few hills but not too hard. Except for scattered showers that forced me to changed clothes constantly and the side wind that made it a bit harder, which is why it took me nearly six hours to cover 106km.

day 5: Cleveragh Regional Park – Bellek

I had a very silly morning today. First, I lost a sock and almost an overshoe while drying them on a wall. Then, a shower soaked me suddenly when I was almost ready to go. On top of all that, I didn’t seem to know which way to go and couldn’t find my way out of Sligo. So, I moved very slowly the first couple of hours.

Today I saw an EV1 sign for the first time and decided to follow the route. I had been doing a lot of research in the last couple of months about which way to go or what route to follow. I found out that there’s a network of cycling routes all around Europe called Eurovelo. That’s what I intend to follow most of the time. I’ll write more about it in a future post.

In spite of that, though, I decided to take a detour to see Glencar Waterfall and lake (pictures on the video bellow.)

After yet another shower, when I had just made 100km today, I stopped and asked for water in a petrol station. I stayed in a shelter for a while until the rain stopped.

A short while later, I found a small fenced area with hay bales stored and decided to camp there for the night. It took me a while to get the fire started, but managed in the end.

total distance: 551.6km | 28h 48m | 4,409m elevation gain


the road – week 1

In reflection by jorumavi / 02/07/2023 / No Comments

I’m going to spend many hours everyday on the road, obviously. I intend to follow certain routes that, mostly, are in secondary and country roads. Less busy and smaller / narrower roads, I hope. But I also hope to get the chance to cycle on dedicated cycle paths and greenways. As I discover them I’ll be sharing some of my favourites in this series of posts.

I just love it when tress on both sides of the road seem to join making some kind of a tunnel
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