Picture of the Week

12 February 2019

Week 06: beach life, pro cyclists in Playa San Juan, office life

Filed under: — Administrator @ 20:34

It was a week of work, beach walks and cycling, both by me and by the professionals. The week is presented chronologically, starting with Sunday and ending with the following Saturday.

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Sunday’s bike ride was really hard because of strong, gusty wind. Strong headwind is nasty but predictable; strong gusty wind is worse. I ended up spending more energy on just staying on the road than on the actual climbing. But there were, as usual, pretty sights along the way, including these almond blossoms, a clear sign that spring is coming:
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This tunnel under the motorway is 26 km from my house and it marks the start of a stretch of 4 km of really hard climbing. I usually stop just before the tunnel to catch a breather before the exertion but on this day it was too windy, so I took my break inside the underpass:
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On Sunday afternoon, I took a walk along the beach:
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We have had a period of very windy weather, and a new temporary mini-lagoon has been created on Playa Muchavista:
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On Sunday night I went to the local pizzeria to get our dinner, and ran into a colleague from the office while I was waiting:
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On Monday and Tuesday mornings I took my usual pre-dawn walks. On Monday I went down to the beach:
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On Tuesday, I decided to explore the neighbourhood at night (well, before sunrise anyway) for a touch of mystery in black & white. This is my street, leading to the beach:
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Our neighbourhood supermarket:
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One of the local bars and the bakery where I buy bread, still closed:
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The fishmonger, preparing for the day:
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The main roundabout of the neighbourhood, such as it is:
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On Thursday morning, while driving to work, I passed the hotel in Playa San Juan where all the pro teams participating in the Vuelta de la Comunidad Valenciana, the first major race of the season, were staying (there were a couple of stages in the Alicante area, including Thursday’s mountain stage with start and finish in Alicante). I parked and spent a few minutes walking around to take in the scenery. The cyclists were still inside the hotel, but the mechanics and other staff were busy getting things ready for the day:
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A bus with a built-in washing machine–I had not seen that before:
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The dominant team of recent years, although not today–the stage was won by the Italian rider Matteo Trentin from the Mitchelton Scott team, and the overall race was won by Basque rider Ion Izagirre:
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Serious bike porn:
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On Friday we had a workshop in our department to brainstorm ideas for the new strategic plan for the office, to cover the period until 2025. As a member of the management of the department, I was off the hook (because the event was designed to gather ideas from the staff members with minimal interference from management). This freed me to take some pictures of my colleagues in a situation that did NOT involve wine and tapas.

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Nicki talks, her group listens:
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Holger, a friendly German lawyer:
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Antoine in action:
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Carolina contemplates:
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A sentiment I fully share–I take every opportunity to give people credit for their work:
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On Friday I received a new lens for my Fuji X cameras, a 50-230mm zoom for use when travelling light. I stopped at Alicante’s most central beach, Playa de Postiguet, on my way home to test the lens. There were kite flyers and surfers on the beach:
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The sun was about to set, so the activities were winding down. A surfer is rinsing off the sand:
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Walking back to his car, with Playa San Juan, Alicante’s northern suburb, in the background:
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Other beach activities were still going on:
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A mini botellón:
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A grab shot from Saturday morning, in the parking lot of the nearest supermarket. The dog waiting for his human struck me as very similar to my late Cheeta–same face and colouring, albeit somewhat slimmer:
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Later on Saturday morning, I cycled to Aigües and Busot, and then on to Cuevas de Canelobre, a popular cave complex a few km outside Busot. For a cyclist, the main attraction is the 3 km climb from Busot to the cave entrance. The local authorities have set up these signs, which one can interpret as a promise or a threat–or a challenge to be overcome:
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The entrance to the caves is at about 580 meters altitude, and the view is magnificent, including the road I have just used to get there:
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