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Hello - I'm back too, in another guise :)

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« on: January 24, 2016, 10:21 AM »
Mornin' all,

Simon here, of old 'Notes and Queries' fame, plus loads of other day-to-day drivel that cropped up here in the halcyon days of this forum the late n00ties  ...  sign

Well I'm back under a new guise as 'Simon_100' as my old username has expired through lack of use - 'And what else has?' I hear you cry  :technodevil: I haven't really been away - and not ill unlike poor tonymphas (hope you're better now m8! - just got very involved with too many other forums after I took up motorbikes again after twenty-odd, i.e. too many, years, out of the saddle. Furthermore, during this time my 'hobby' has turned into a business of sorts, organising off-road 'rally' events. Which adds a handy - and timely - addition to our holiday cottage income ...

'What! Dirty, filthy, noisy polluting motorbikes ridden by maniacs defiling the fantastic Spanish countryside!' Well actually it's not like that at all, certainly here in Spain, although I know that in Britain there are all sorts of conflicts out there on the moors with the Rambler's Association and other pressure groups seemingly constantly applying to close green lanes to traffic and NGO's like the Trail Riders Fellowship contesting these closures in the courts case by case.

Here the rules and regulations governing motor traffic on trails are straightforward, or would be if each autonomous regions didn't keep adding their own twist to them, and what started out as a mission to inform, via my blog, has mushroomed into getting actively involved in promoting responsible use of this fantastic natural resource both though my own HISS events and, new for 2016, helping the Canadian owners of a well known world traveller's forum, Horizons Unlimited, plan one of their hugely successful HUMM events, which has been absent in Spain* for several years despite considerable demand.

I mentioned that the HU owners, Grant and Susan Johnson, as being Canadian as I think that explains in part their own 'mission' to promote cultural and environmental sensitivity through the experience of long distance, usually solo, travel, which is almost always a life-changing experience for those who pack it all in and 'just do it' - something that many of us who put the old life behind us and moved here to Spain can empathise with, methinks!  :)

This brings me around to one of the themes I used to keep coming back to when I was a regular here, namely that freedom of access to the countryside is essential for its future conservation, even with sometimes paradoxical aspect; I've seen far more animal species at close range by bearing down upon them** in some remote forest/mountain/ravine location than I ever did when being hauled around by our two husky dogs ...  Whereas the line taken by let's say the extreme ecologista viewpoint is that the best way to preserve the natural environment is to exclude the majority of Homo sapiens, aka Joe Public, from it. Whereas my view - shared at one time by the Ramblers who seem to have lost the plot since their heyday in the interwar years - is that interest and concern about the environment can only be generated and sustained by encouraging people to learn about it by direct contact. And that this interest and concern is the bedrock for the struggle against exploitative corporations and their political sidekicks in the corridors of power.

Wow, time to get off the soap-box, I only came here to say 'Hello'!  :dancing: So why am I back now? Well, we - Mrs S and I - are at a bit of a crossroads. Mature readers may remember our various adventures with our two wonderful huskies, Lucky (1999-2014) and Streak (1999 - 2011) after whose demise we took a retrospectively misguided decision not to get any more dogs until our lives settled into a new rhythm when we retire - an 'ever-receding goal' phenomenon if ever there was one! - however we now realise that life doesn't work that way and one should just get on and do it!

So, as I write we've had the OK to adopt a six-month old Alaskan Malamute from a protectora all the way down in Cadiz and we're just awaiting an inspection visit form their counterparts here in the Catalan Pyrenees to confirm that we're not puppy farmers or other naughty people and we can motor down - yes, over 1,000 kms just for a bloomin' dog! - and collect him, when the first thing we'll do is take a detour to the Sierra Nevada to introduce the pup to the wonderful world of snow - if there is any, there's a scarecity of the stuff up here this winter ...



* there are HUMM events and Travellers meeting all over the world.
** it's surprising how stealthily a motorbike can be ridden on trails, even at quite high speeds, and how unconcerned animals are about them - it's a different matter if you stop and dismount!
« Last Edit: January 24, 2016, 10:30 AM by Simon_100 »