Simian Circles http://simcir.com/index.html The adventure begins when the unplanned starts en-us Tue, 24 Mar 2020 07:49:01 GMT Water and bloom http://simcir.com/simcposts/water-and-bloom.html Spring has officially arrived and it looks like we are, finally, about to have some good weather. Waterlogged ground, floods and other little nasties have been hitting us since the end of September last year. That's almost 6 months of wet and miserable with maybe a few days of sun, plus, yet another Chinese Virus. Normally I wait until late April or May to write up my Spring post, but decided to do it differently this year. Sat, 21 Mar 2020 14:04:52 GMT http://simcir.com/simcposts/water-and-bloom.html Stay home http://simcir.com/simcposts/stay-home.html Normally I am not one to let outside things hold me back from being on the road. Heck, I've been doing that most of my life. Sitting quietly on my balcony, watching the same old stuff go by is about as boring as it can get. The sky was grey and the ground wet, but the thought came, I'm going to have to get used to this for a while, like it or not. Sat, 14 Mar 2020 10:45:45 GMT http://simcir.com/simcposts/stay-home.html Pamplona without the leaves http://simcir.com/simcposts/pamplona-without-the-leaves.html The day previously: airports, some trains and other public transportation had been shut down due a storm which was three mile per hour short of a hurricane. I had decided not to reschedule my flight and took the chance it might fly as the train bore me to the airport. Departure time was 0825, but upon arrival found that to be delayed for half an hour, which became longer. England was still recovering from the messy weather. Eventually we taxied out to the end of the runway around 0940. The wind was still having a field day with strong gusts shaking the aircraft. Take off was interesting as we bounced around the sky until reaching a quiet altitude, I was finally on my way to Bilbao. Sun, 01 Mar 2020 07:40:55 GMT http://simcir.com/simcposts/pamplona-without-the-leaves.html A winnowing in the offing http://simcir.com/simcposts/a-winnowing-in-the-offing.html Last summer in the Basque Country saw me only visit two towns, one of which was worthwhile. The rest of the time I got to know more people and keep up with the ones I previously knew. It was enjoyable in a different way than before and now things are going to be approached from another angle. Wed, 22 Jan 2020 20:30:45 GMT http://simcir.com/simcposts/a-winnowing-in-the-offing.html Don't I wish http://simcir.com/simcposts/dont-i-wish.html It was just an ordinary ride on a local bus. When the temperature is pretending to be the Titantic and sinking rapidly, it's much nicer to be warm than freeze my tuchus off walking the half mile or so to the supermarket. A lady behind me was chatting to her friend and mentioning how she wished she had done something many years ago, but didn't. Wed, 01 Jan 2020 08:17:57 GMT http://simcir.com/simcposts/dont-i-wish.html Sometimes you just need a laugh http://simcir.com/simcposts/sometimes-you-just-need-a-laugh.html With all the seriousness in epidemic mode around the world, there needs to be some kind of relief every now and then. I don't recall what set my mind in motion about what happened many years ago, but I managed a good chuckle about a couple of the things a friend and I got up to during and after our senior year in high school. Sat, 02 Nov 2019 00:59:39 GMT http://simcir.com/simcposts/sometimes-you-just-need-a-laugh.html A festival and change of plans http://simcir.com/simcposts/a-festival-and-change-of-plans.html I discovered this year in Pamplona that there are Street festivals for many of the streets in the old town. These take place during the summer months at various times. Some are small, others are quite large. Thu, 03 Oct 2019 12:37:39 GMT http://simcir.com/simcposts/a-festival-and-change-of-plans.html 3 hours in Artajona http://simcir.com/simcposts/3-hours-in-artajona.html The nights are getting quite cool now in Pamplona, so I grabbed a bus to a big store some distance away and bought a fleece. For the last month I've been wearing sandals, not something I normally do. The heels were hard and my right knee began to hurt. I like the sandals, but reckoned they are not worth a damaged knee and trashed them. It was nice to wear gel-heeled shoes again and the fleece was coming in handy. The weather on the day I chose to check out the town of Artajona was forecast to be on the cool side, so slung it into my small pack and grabbed a bus. Sun, 01 Sep 2019 14:47:37 GMT http://simcir.com/simcposts/3-hours-in-artajona.html Durango http://simcir.com/simcposts/durango.html The sheriff of Durango caught the outlaws and slung them in jail. At least that's the way we think of it. The name of the town conjures images of cowboys and the wild west. Indeed, it used to be just that. Kind of like Yuma and Deadwood. Many western movies were shot in Durango, Colorado and also the Mexican town of the same name. There's even a narrow gauge railroad named the Durango and Silverton which runs steam trains left over from the old Colorado mountain railroads, such as the Denver and Rio Grande Western. Okay, that's fine, but where does the name come from? Thu, 15 Aug 2019 19:29:32 GMT http://simcir.com/simcposts/durango.html Buses and a concrete artist http://simcir.com/simcposts/buses-and-a-concrete-artist.html I find it interesting how pricing changes for flights. The use of companies which do all the booking for you is, basically, one serious rip off. I manage my own with the airlines direct and nearly always save hundreds of dollars by doing so. This trip to Pamplona saw even the airlines pricing jump around all over the place. From 189 UKP to 60 UKP, for the same flight no less. Obviously I chose the latter and did that only a few days before I left. Sat, 20 Jul 2019 17:53:37 GMT http://simcir.com/simcposts/buses-and-a-concrete-artist.html The Kilmer connection http://simcir.com/simcposts/the-kilmer-connection.html He watched carefully as the patrol moved. The G98 was raised slowly and the sniper picked his target. A soldier slightly off to one side. The shooter adjusted the sight and as the man slowed down a little, pulled the trigger. It was the First World War, a man named Joyce Kilmer received that bullet and died. He was a poet and one of his poems fits into the category of over used, or does it? Fri, 05 Jul 2019 09:38:14 GMT http://simcir.com/simcposts/the-kilmer-connection.html Cutting it down and fixing it up http://simcir.com/simcposts/cutting-it-down-and-fixing-it-up.html In an earlier post I mentioned the new pack I'd bought to use for my Israel trip and other shorter journeys. It's a 20 Litre Gonex, weighs 6.5 ounces, is well made and in a downpour one day, everything stayed dry inside. Greg asked if I'd do a write up about the total weight and how I did that. So here it is. Thu, 28 Feb 2019 16:03:23 GMT http://simcir.com/simcposts/cutting-it-down-and-fixing-it-up.html Once upon a time in the Negev http://simcir.com/simcposts/once-upon-a-time-in-the-negev.html Even though it's winter, the sun is higher in the sky than I'm used to. In a way that's a good thing because my eyes were spared the near horizon glare of our star. Stepping off the road onto the sand produced a sound I haven't heard since leaving Southern California many years ago. The familiar crunch brought memories back to my mind as I proceeded into Israel's Negev Desert. Tue, 15 Jan 2019 23:08:12 GMT http://simcir.com/simcposts/once-upon-a-time-in-the-negev.html Charles http://simcir.com/simcposts/charles.html When in Porto a few years ago, I noticed a lot of homeless people all over the place. It was an early afternoon and I had only been there a few days, still looking for a room to rent. I crossed the main street and this guy came up to me begging. His clothes were a bit tattered and his English wasn't too bad. I gave him some Euros and reckoned that I wouldn't see him again. Sat, 06 Oct 2018 10:25:49 GMT http://simcir.com/simcposts/charles.html About those Expats http://simcir.com/simcposts/about-those-expats.html I stood in amazement as this white, middle class, Englishman ranted on to me, with various obscene expletives, about how stupid everyone was who came to Florence and wanted to see the David statue. Only he was correct, not anyone else, because he thought art was defined purely by himself. The locals called him, "the crazy Englishman". They couldn't stand the idiot and I totally agreed with them. He is an Expat. Sat, 15 Sep 2018 11:00:17 GMT http://simcir.com/simcposts/about-those-expats.html