Saturday, January 27, 2007

House #1

Small Finca at the north of the island consisting of 4 buildings and 5 rooms. The main house (if you can call it that) is a typical Canarian Farm (Finca) house with one room down stairs and one room upstairs, built into the side of the hill. There are no stairs on the inside and the upstairs is accessed from the outside (another typical Canarian or Mediterranean thing).
The building in the background is the bathroom (one of the best rooms of the lot) The building next to the main house is the old cheese making building and could now be changed into a small kitchen. The final building is a small single bed room.

The houses are reached down a dirt track, that is about 1 Km long. The drive from the dirt track is about a 35 degree slope and 100M long. At the end of the drive is a flat area just about big enough to turn a car.

My initial thoughts about the place was it is a lot smaller than it looked on the web. Also it looks a bit run down and not well kept. But the location is beautiful with pine, almond, chestnut and fruit trees. The following are what I feel are the good and bad points:

Bad Points
  • Some of the buildings have no planing permission - this seems to be not as much of a problem as in the UK.
  • Rooms are small but usable, with imagination.
  • Electrical fittings need work.
  • Electric has been cut off and meter removed.
  • Layout of the land is not good.
  • There is some evidence that a forest fire has been within 100 to 120 m of the house in the past.
  • Possible that one of the doors has been forced in the near past.
  • Quite a bit of the land needs shoring up (but what do you expect on the side of a hill).
  • Will be in the clouds for some of the winter (min temp around 5 deg C)
Good Points
  • The place is very quite and peaceful - not over looked.
  • Is within 10 to 20 minuets walk of the local shop and Bus stop
  • Has a lot of promise to become a very personalised place.
  • Has a lot of character
  • Has established fruit trees, not many but some nice ones.
The funny thing is that although the place did not live up to expectations I kine of like the place and could see myself living there though getting the place up to scratch will take some work and there is the problem with the planing permission.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ferry Fever

Yesterday we received a phone call from the ferry company informing us that they had moved the date of the ferry it was no longer going to be departing at 16:00 on Wednesday 21st March it was now going to be leaving on the Sunday 25th March at 01:00. Now as I had booked all the hotels and Channel Tunnel crossing this was a little bit inconvenient. So yesterday afternoon was spent cancelling and re booking hotels, finding hotels were booked, and generally faffing around. But I do now have a route and hotels booked again.

Our route I now as follows:

Sunday 18th March

Leave Home. Stay overnight at Folkstone

Monday 19th March

Channel Tunnel Crossing. Stay overnight at Tours

Tuesday 20th March

Stay overnight at Bayonne ( Just north of Spanish border)

Wednesday 21st March

Cross Spanish Border. Stay overnight at Salamanca

Thursday 22nd March

Stay for 2 nights in Sevilla

Friday 23rd March

Day in Sevilla

Saturday 24th March

Day in Cadiz. Make our way to ferry terminal in the evening ready to board Ferry.....

Sunday 25th March 01:00am .....

Board Ferry. Find Cabin. Fall to Sleep. ZZZZZzzzzzz.....

Monday 26th March 09:30am

Get up nice and refreshed to find that we have arrived at Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Drive to other end of the island.

Monday 26th March 08:00pm

Board the Los Christianos to Santa Cruz de La Palma Ferry.

Monday 26th March 10:00pm

Finally arrive in La Palma

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bertha Cam

Hi all
We plan to document our road trip from London to La Palma using time lapse movies. We have built a system to do this, it consists of a web-cam mounted behind the rear view mirror (so that it does not obstruct the drivers view of the road) and a laptop running Active WebCam from pysoft.
A few weeks ago we did a test run from London to Worthing. The software took 1 image every 5 seconds. The 1 hour 15 minute journey resulted in a 7.3Mb file. This file was then processed using VirtualDub By Avery Lee to convert it into an avi file running at 15 frames per second of 6.3Mb and lasting approximately 55 seconds.

London To Worthing Test Run

Launch in external player

This video is a bit jumpy so for the actual road trip, a setting of 1 image every 1 to 2 seconds will be used and the final avi will be at 30 frames per second this should result in files that are approximately. 126 Mb for each 5 hours of motoring (a days driving) and take approximately 10 minutes to run.