Saturday, October 20, 2007

Friday, October 05, 2007

Bye Bye Tenerife

Back to the UK. One last pretty sunset and a last photo as I waited for my flight at the south airport, accompanied as always by my good friend caffeine.
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Send to Flikr

After a long time using Picasa for managing the photos on my laptop and Flikr for online storage and dreaming of a send to flickr button, I found one! It works great and can even tag and resize photos, it is fast and stable and thank you so much to the Open Source coders responsible for the plugin that made my dream come true. Find it here :

As you might expect for something that links Yahoo and Google products and is written by a third party there are bound to be a few potential issues, but nothing dangerous or drastic, just read the latest notes on the site.

Nigel was the man who got me through my PADI course with no problems at all. I can highly recomend him to anyone visiting tenerife and wanting to go diving. He specialises in one to one training and has an excellent teaching style and a sense of humour too.
My pentax w20 survived being taken down to 7meters despite only being rated at 1.5m , below 5m the buttons are held in my the water pressure but as long as you make sure it is turned on and ready to go before you get too far down it still takes great pictures and does not leak a drop internally. It is not the worlds greatest camera, by previous canon took better quality photos for the same meagpixels, but its quality is fine for an amatuer like me and the fact that it is nearly indestructable is far more important in my case ;-)
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Once I decided that I was not going flying anymore I needed something to do. My snorkeling had made me curious to see more of the ocean and I always meant to get my PADI open water licence. I dived here in Alcala harbour a few times and saw sea snakes (eels) and turtles and many large fish as well as the usual plastic bags and beer bottles that are no doubt now spread over every inch of the planet.
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Great name if you ask me!
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After spending weeks driving around with the glider in the car and thinking every day was going to be the day I found that perfect place to fly I finally admited defeat. I only flew 3 times in Tenerife, twice at Taucho and once in a fit of desperation I tried to dune goon a small hill on the NW coast. Both the flights from Taucho were bombouts, the second flight was a brown trouser flight where I was seriously considering landing on the flat roof of a building before I got some unexpected lift and made a small carpark. The wind changed in the last 10 days and meant that some of the unflyable sites I had surveyed might have been flyable then, but when you are one man alone with a hang glider some times it is wise not to push your luck too far.
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I got into the habit of climbing down the steps in front of the apartment every morning to go snorkelling after 'breakfast'. It is amazing how many schools of fish there are and looking down you can really see how the lava flowed out to sea creating the shoreline.
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I visited the island of La Gomera where you get the classic view of Tiede.
Its about 30km West of Tenerife so would be a good cross country flight if you were feeling lucky ;-)
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Fun in the pool

Jason and Karl were only here for a week and it blew past. We explored most of the island, savoured the windy roads and got to cloudbase more times that I can remember. Unfortunately cloudbase was always at road level not hang glider level. I flew once whilst the guys were here, after you have flown a hang glider in Tenerife or even seriously thought about doing it you find that it hurts to walk. This is because your balls need to be very large indeed. Its not the taking off or the flying, thats similar everywhere, its landing in small sloping building sites amongst powerlines and large volcanic rocks.
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