Author: Duane Storey Posts

Building A DIY LiFePO4 105Ah Solar Generator – Part 1


Not that long ago, I went on a camping trip to the Pyrenees and brought along my little 200Wh CTECHI portable battery. I was hoping to be able to open my laptop during the day, and do a bit of software development, all while enjoying the fresh air and the mountains. Unfortunately for me though, the campsite I was at hardly had any plugs to charge my laptop, and my portable battery ran out of power in just a few days. I did bring a smallish solar panel, and tried to charge it that way. But the CTECHI portable battery I had only showed a flashing light to show it was charging – it didn’t say at what rate it was charging. I was frustrated one day to see the solar panel ‘charged’ it all day, but the capacity didn’t increase at all. I managed to convince a local cafe […]

How To Make Homemade Chicken Stock

Food & Drink

Stock is one of those things that seemed magical before I made it. I had purchased a few cooking books, and many recipes said to use ‘vegetable stock’, ‘chicken stock’, ‘beef stock’, or ‘fish stock’. At that time I was used to buying bouillon cubes to take the place of stock, but decided at some point to try making a homemade stock. Not only is making stock at home easy, but it’s a simple way to use up leftover pieces of vegetables and bones. I’ve grown accustomed now to making a chicken dinner on the weekend, and immediately afterwards putting the left over pieces into the pressure cooker to make a nice tasty stock for a week’s worth of soups and dishes. Ingredients Chicken carcasses, or left over bones from a chicken meal One yellow onion Several stalks of celery Several carrots Whole peppercorns Several bay leaves One or two […]

Getting Ready To Walk Alta Via 2 In Italy

Italy - Alta Via 2 (2021)

The Italian Mountain range known as the Dolomites is famously home to several amazing long distance thru hikes known as the Alta Vias, the High Routes. Many of these are old trails from World War I, complete with Via Ferratas, difficult stretches of climbing where a person needs to physically link themselves to metal guide wires. It’s been on my wishlist for a few years now to actually walk one of these routes, and I may finally have the chance. A few months ago I started planning to do one of long distance hikes in Italy this summer. At the time, I wasn’t sure if the situation in Europe would have stabilized enough to actually travel to Italy or to stay in any of the mountain huts for the hike. But Italy seems to be open to other European visitors, and I successfully made reservations at many of the mountain […]

Preparing For The Camino Del Norte

Camino Del Norte (2021)

With the COVID19 state of alarm shortly ending here in Spain, I’ve been slowly getting myself ready to do some long distance hiking. My original plan, before COVID19 hit the world, was to hopefully make it to Italy in the summer of 2021 to do a 10 day hike through the mountains. Whether or not that happens this summer is anyone’s guess, but I’m still going to act like it may happen, which means I need to start training for a high-altitude hike in the mountains. For the last month or so I have been trying to hike 15-20km of the Camino de Levante every week or two just outside of Valencia to get my legs back in shape. It’s been really great hitting the trail again, but so far most of the Levante near Valencia has been rather flat, which isn’t really helping that much for my Dolomites training. […]

The Year The Earth Stood Still


I was looking through some of my old posts recently, particularly with regards to COVID-19 and the first lockdown here in Spain, and realized I hadn’t done an update in a while. Strangely, it’s going on the one year anniversary from when this all started. I had friends visiting from Canada when this all began, and as each day went by more and more activities were suspended in Spain. The first inkling of trouble was that the tickets we had to a futbol match here in Valencia were ultimately cancelled. Thinking nothing of it, we decided to purchase other tickets to see Madrid play, and those too were cancelled. The final nail in the coffin, and the canary in the coalmine as it were, was the cancellation of the yearly Fallas festival here in Valencia. My friends managed to get out Europe the next day by taking a last minute […]

Walking The Great Glen Way In Scotland


This last weekend I finally got around to writing up my trip report for my hike along the West Highland Way in 2018. Now that that’s out of the way, I’m thankful I can finally get around to posting my thoughts on the Great Glen Way. The Great Glen Way for all intents and purposes can almost be looked at as the second half of the West Highland Way (WHW). While the WHW finishes in Fort William, the Great Glen Way literally starts where it leaves off. After I finished the WHW, my friend Tony and I took the train to Edinburgh to relax for a few days. Heading back to the Great Glen Way was essentially that train ride in reverse, partially along the same route as the WHW, so in many ways it felt a lot like coming back home. Now first up, let’s talk about COVID-19. I […]

Walking The West Highland Way In Scotland


While I’ve done my fair share of hiking in my life, as I’ve gotten older I’ve gravitated more towards multi-day hikes rather than single day hikes. I certainly enjoy an afternoon hike on a weekend, but there’s something magical (and inherently challenging) about hiking for days or weeks at a time. In 2017 I did my longest hike yet – the Camino de Santiago in Spain. I spent 28 days walking from St. Jean Pied de Port, France, to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, a distance of roughly 800km. When it was over, as I hobbled around Santiago de Compostela letting my feet heal, I told myself that my days of doing multi-day hikes were over. But as the months went by I started to really miss the experiences I had on the Camino de Santiago, and the sheer simplicity of walking for days at a time in the outdoors. So […]

A Lullaby For The Old World Order


I realized this morning that I haven’t really given an update since I was smack-dab in the middle of our lockdown here in Spain. Most of us here spent 98 days essentially locked up in our apartments, only venturing outside to quickly get some groceries or to go to a pharmacy. It was one of the most intense and invasive lockdowns of any country anywhere, and many people here really struggled to cope with it. While I didn’t mind being at home, especially since I had many renovation projects on the go, the inability to even go for a walk or to get exercise was really difficult mentally, and most of us were extremely thankful when, after over three months locked up in our houses, that the rules were finally relaxed. Since that time, Spain has entered ‘the new normal’, which is a new state of existence that involves mandatory […]

Spanish Quarantine: Day 20


Tomorrow marks the end of the third week of forced quarantine here in Spain, and unfortunately at this point there still is no end in sight. At the start of this week both the active cases of COVID-19 as well as the number of deaths seemed to be on the cusp of plateauing, but yesterday brought new highs for both. I normally try to stay up each night until midnight, mostly to see what the latest numbers are – while they aren’t complete, usually there is an update shortly after midnight that gives some indication of what the next day may look like. And so far many of those updates haven’t been very uplifting. I’d like to say that the streets are mostly barren of people, but it does seem like each day more and more people are starting to emerge. If the daily numbers were showing considerable improvement it […]

Spanish Quarantine: Day 12


This morning I woke up and like most days since the quarantine started here in Spain, immediately checked the official statistics to see if the curve has started to flatten yet. Today’s update shows rough 5,500 new cases since yesterday with another 443 people having died. roughly the entire capacity of Surrey Memorial Hospital back home in the Fraser Valley. While these numbers are slightly less than the ones from the day before, I’ve learned not to get too excited with a low day on the charts since often the next day more than makes up for it. What these numbers mean, besides the obvious horridness of people dying daily, is that we still have no idea when things will get better or the quarantine will be lifted. After reading that I put my head back on the pillow and went back to sleep. Days have this weird duality here […]