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Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava, Spain

If you are looking for a cycling adventure for summer 2013 then biking the rail trail in Costa Brava might be the right choice for you.

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Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava

If you only had one option to get around Europe, then I would recommend by bike. Especially if you are in the northeast of Spain around Costa Brava. Wide open landscapes, warm weather in summer and cute towns around every bend make it a cyclists haven.

Check out our awesome short video below of my adventure biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava.

A multitude of old rail trails dissect the landscape and provide the perfect excuse to see the hidden gems of Spain and work off all those tapas you have been eating. Not to mention the fine wine that you have been guzzling.

To travel from Girona airport into the City before your rail trail experience, we recommend Atlas books and transfers.  They will help you get your bike to the start of your adventure.

Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava

Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava

Descending from the Pyrenees to the pearly white sandy beaches dotted along the Mediterranean Sea the biking pathways crisscross this beautiful landscape.

With just a simple bike you can meander along along abandoned railway tracks that have been converted into gravel cycling paths suitable for all abilities, including kids. With minimal inclines you don’t even have to break a sweat, yet can still cover 30+ km’s in just a couple of hours.

Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava

The entire cycling network is over 125 km in length and is broken into 4 distinct routes; the Iron and Coal Route, the Olot-Girona Narrow-Gauge Railway Route, the Girona-Sant Feliu de Guíxols Narrow-Gauge Railway Route, and the Little Train Route.

Make sure you check out Vies Verde de Girona for more information on the Greenways around Costa Brava. They have maps, secret spots to be discovered and all the things you might not have thought about. If you are travelling from another city, then Girona airport transports will get you and your bike to the start of your adventure.

Along the way the old railway stations have been converted into Tourism Information centers as well as small cafes so that you can rest your legs.

Rail Trail Train Station Costa Brava

On our first day we covered 35 km in just a few hours. And that was with plenty of rest breaks to snap photos and have a coffee.

Plus you can compare your hotel and accommodation options before you go. This way you will know exactly how far you have cycle each day and then you can rest when you need to.

While it took 2 days for our butts to get used to molding into the seats, I would jump at the chance to do it all again. Especially with views like this to look forward to.

Costa Brava Landscape Rail Trail

Travel Tips and Information

You can Bike the Rail Trail with Ciclo Turisme and find out more about the Greenways in Costa Brava by checking out Vies Verde de Girona who can provide maps and information.

You can fly direct to Girona airport, in Costa Brava, from throughout Europe.

Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Costa Brava tourism board for 3 days, although the video footage, photos and opinions are always our own.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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63 Comments

63 Comments

  1. Andrea

    October 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Love the video! Great memories. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      Cheers Andrea 😉 Was a great couple of days with some lovely people!

  2. Abhishek Behl (Wild Navigator)

    October 18, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Nice video Cole 🙂 – I’m surely going to take your options of seeing the place on a bike when I do visit the place.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      Thanks Abishek! Bikes are much better for the environment and wildlife too 😉

  3. Chad @RoadDogTravel

    October 18, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    The views do look incedible and the weather looks nice too. Great photos. Seeing the area by bike sounds like an excellent idea, you can cover a lot of ground, but still be in the environment. Sad I just sold my bike, ha. Thanks for the info.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 19, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      We had hire bikes and they were perfect. The team fitted us out and away we went!

  4. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    October 18, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    The key word in this post is “descending” from the Pyrenees. Certainly wouldn’t want to bike those hills in the other direction!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 19, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      Haha you got that right! Luckily it is not a huge decline either, rather a gentle slope.

  5. Carla @ Coolmons Blog

    October 18, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    What a beautiful place to go for a ride nice pictures and article too.

  6. Raymond @ Man On The Lam

    October 18, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    What a stellar backdrop for a bike ride!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 19, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      Not many places can beat Costa Brava for its scenery.

  7. Laurence

    October 19, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Wow, that is such a great video 😀 Really captured the essence of the trip. Plus, it had me doing a skid. Which was so like.. rad. And stuff!

  8. Shamis @ Gawaya Travel Blog

    October 20, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Nice video and amazing pictures, Cole. What a place to go for a bike ride.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      Even though it was lots of exercise, it was somehow very relaxing at the same time! I guess the beauty of the area helps, plus the enormous amounts of food we ate haha.

  9. Daniel McBane - Funny Travel Stories

    October 20, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    I think bikes could be a great way to get around and I would love biking myself, if it weren’t for the seats. It’s hard to fathom that, in all the years since the invention of the bike, and with all the improvements to the bicycle since, the one thing they haven’t managed to do is invent a more comfortable seat. I usually last a few hours, before I start hating my bike and then it takes a few days before I can once again enjoy sitting down.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      It usually takes about 3 days before your butt gets used to the seats. Problem is that on a cycling trip like this you don’t get time to ice it haha.

  10. Jeff Titelius

    October 22, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Wonderful tour of Costa Brava my friend and loved the video too…that bridge looked a wee bit harrowing though…my stomach flopped over once on my virtual ride. LOL. Stunning pics too!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:59 AM

      Thanks Jeff! I just made sure I didn’t get too close to the edge to look over the bridge 😉

  11. Cez (@CezKrol)

    October 22, 2012 at 4:34 AM

    Hey Cole,

    I agree that cycling is the best way to travel. Not only exposes you to views all A to B, but also gives you enough time to fully appreciate and think about them. The efforts always pay back and it’s unforgettable. I have cycled the full length of Vietnam (only 2500 km) and I didn’t get enough. Yes, the seat is uncomfortable and I don’t think I got used to it in nearly two months, but nothing will give you as much exposure to scenic landscapes as your bike.

    On the note, I think the best way to plan your biking journey is not to plan it. Some days you can cycle for 30 km and can’t move any further, and other days 110 km is easily achievable. In my opinion booking in advance can limit you on the day, and could be more expensive. On a bike you can visit few hostels/hotels to ask for prices within little time and save money this way.

    I hope you’re going to cycle more. I’d love to read more from you about it (and see another video!).

    Safe travels,
    Cez

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:20 AM

      Wow cycling the full length of Vietnam is my dream! Wanted to just do it on a scooter but biking sounds like way more fun Cez! We are going to cycle around Eastern Europe next summer 🙂

  12. Turtle

    October 22, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    The best thing about biking is being able to stop and take photos, have a rest, and that kind of thing. The worst thing is sore legs. That’s why I used an electric bike in Costa Brava! (Shortly before I asked someone to peel my grapes and feed them to me…) 🙂

  13. Dave

    October 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Thanks for this… I thought i had heard of most of the cycle routes in Spain, but this one slipped me by completely. At least i know what I will be doing the next time i am there now!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      It is only a really new cycle track so that is probably why you missed it Dave! I think they plan to increase the length over the next year or so. Should be fun next summer 😉

  14. Pola (@jettingaround)

    October 23, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    I have recently taken up biking again and have done so on the road too. Costa Brava looks to be an ideal setting for that. I loved your pictures!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:27 AM

      Costa Brava was perfect for it because the rail tracks are all nice and flat. Means you can take it at a much more leisurely pace 😉

  15. Jade - OurOyster.com

    October 23, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    I’m not that into cycling – I only learned how to do it recently when I lived in Belgium – and now even thr thought of a gradual incline puts me off – but I guess a rail trail would be mostly flat. And the fact that you can stop for coffee along the way… well that’s not too bad

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:28 AM

      You can get electric bikes if you want Jade 😉

  16. Cathy Sweeney

    October 24, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    I just couldn’t get enough of Costa Brava and will definitely be going back, putting bike trails like this on the agenda — perfect for working off the tapas and wine. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:29 AM

      I have never eaten so much food before than when we were in Costa Brava! Was glad to do a bit of exercise every day to burn a bit of it off Cathy 🙂

  17. Oriana

    October 24, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    I really liked the video, especially the down-to-the-wheel perspective (which I would never be able to manage *while* cycling!!).
    This goes straight to my ever-growing travel wish-list!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:31 AM

      Haha luckily I had a little tripod I could hang onto Oriana to get some of those shots. And looks like I am going faster in the video than I actually was 😉

  18. Danyelle Franciosa

    October 25, 2012 at 5:41 AM

    That was totally a big biking event! Biking like this is fun and how I wish I could join like this event. That was totally fun. Thanks for the video I enjoy it.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:33 AM

      Thanks Danyelle! I really enjoyed making the video and hope to have some more up soon 😉

  19. Adrian@Travel universally

    October 26, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Biking is always been my favorite sport activity and when it comes the Rail Trail in Costa Brava , I would get there to do that even if I forget to wear my Pants! Thanks

  20. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    October 26, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Bicycling looks like a great way to see the countryside. Beautiful photos!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:46 AM

      After this trip we definitely now want to cycle more of Europe. Maybe Eastern Europe for a few months next summer…

  21. Alex Smith

    October 27, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Sometimes, we easily forget one of the most exciting modes of entertainment in our travels which are bicycles.

  22. Arti

    October 27, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Who would not love to bike along these lovely trails!! Beautiful captures and a wonderful video to go with them 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:49 AM

      And the trails were pretty much flat the entire trip! Hardly worked up a sweat 😉

  23. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    October 27, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Definitely something I would enjoy.

  24. davidwilliam7854

    November 15, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    I usually last a few hours, before I start hating my bike and then it takes a few days before I can once again enjoy sitting down.I just couldn’t get enough of Costa Brava and will definitely be going back, putting bike trails like this on the agenda

  25. Wends of Journeys and Travels

    November 25, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    This is awesome and a great adventure. The views are superb and inspiring. 🙂

  26. Cicloturisme

    March 14, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Hi Cole! Thank you for this post! It’s great to know that you spend such a wonderful time here in Girona and its surroundings going by bike and all the other activities you made during TBEX meeting. Telling your experience via blogging it’s one of the best ways to let people know about all the nice and interesting places you’re visiting, and even more when you can see this “adventure” on a video. It’s great! 🙂
    BTW thank you to mention Cicloturisme website 🙂 Let us know if you come to Girona again, you’ll be very welcome anytime!

    • Cole Burmester

      March 18, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      Would LOVE to return to Girona and Costa Brava to going cycling again. Such an amazing part of the world and we will definitely need to return 🙂 Will be in touch for our next visit!

  27. Hello! This summer I will visit for the first time the Costa Brava, and I would love to do a cycling tour. I’m staying at the Hotel Garbi in Calella de Palafrugell. Do you know any route from that village? I’d like to stop to bathe on the beaches and coves, but also to visit villages of the area. Thank you!

    Gina

    • Cole Burmester

      May 17, 2013 at 5:46 AM

      Hi Gina!
      Unfortunately I don’t know Costa Brava that well. I would recommend getting hold of Cicle Turisme or Vies Verde de Girona who can help you organise it though!
      Cheers,
      Cole

  28. David Lloyd

    September 22, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    Hi guys, just wanted to say thanks for tip on Ciclo Turisme in Girona. As a family of 4 doing a 6 month OE it was great to get back in the saddle again (even for a short ride) and these guys were awesome to deal with. Thanks again and great blog by the way.
    Cheers

    • Cole Burmester

      September 23, 2013 at 6:29 AM

      Glad you enjoyed it David and the team at Ciclo Turisme are definitely awesome! Enjoy the rest of your trip 🙂

  29. Adam

    April 27, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    It’s good to know that Costa Brava has adventure sport options … I might look into doing this if I travel to this part of Spain in the future…

  30. Wilson

    May 23, 2016 at 9:30 PM

    Wow….!!!!!!!!! really awesome place for bicycle ride.

  31. wtgseo

    June 12, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    I like this blog. thanks for the blog. it was very informative and the pictures are captured very beautifully.

  32. pwmseo

    June 12, 2016 at 10:46 PM

    Great photos. thanks for the blog. I like this blog.

  33. anzseo

    June 13, 2016 at 12:27 AM

    Beautifully photos. Interesting read. thanks for the blog. keep up the good work.

  34. alexa.al

    August 30, 2016 at 12:33 AM

    thank for great article

  35. Elias Santana

    September 3, 2016 at 7:56 AM

    I like this blog. thanks for the blog.

  36. anna jennai

    September 22, 2016 at 8:45 PM

    I love the video great memories we had hire bikes and they are were perfect

  37. ResultsMigration

    September 28, 2016 at 12:51 PM

    Costa Brava just looks amazing on those photos. Back here in Brisbane, AU, biking doesn’t seem so loving on the legs with some of our inner city hills unfortunately 🙂

  38. Sonali Chauhan

    November 18, 2016 at 6:21 PM

    Biking has such amazing fun & this some become more amazing when you are Biking with your friends group.

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Adventure Travel

Hammock vs Tent Camping

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Camping with a hammock is slowly but surely becoming more popular in recent years with new and improved hammock designs being preferred by some campers, compared to the traditional tent.

In this article we will discuss some of the key benefits and drawbacks of sleeping without a tent, and analyze key criteria so that you can choose your preferred shelter choice!

Weatherproof

Most tents work well in the rain; however, you’ll need to bring a tarp if you’re using a hammock. Traditional hammocks are not waterproof, and are generally open at the top, allowing water to find itself inside if you don’t have an adequate tarp. Moreover, a decent under quilt is also a good idea so that you can stay warm and cozy during cold and stormy nights.

Packing up your hammock after a long night of rain isn’t too bad, whereas packing up a soaking wet tent is always annoying. You almost always get wet in the process.

Setup

For first time campers, pop-up tents are the simplest to setup. All you need to do is find flat ground, and bam, your setup is complete! The beauty of pop-up tents is that you don’t need to worry about figuring out where to insert the poles and erect the tent. Although, traditional tents are usually more robust, and have a longer life span.

Essentially, a tent is simple, but a hammock can become a little more complicated for first timers. You’ll need to find 2 trees facing a good direction and tie each end of the hammock to them. If your hammock setup is too tight, you will generally wake up with sore ancles, but if it’s too loose, you run the risk of the hammock touching the floor, and insects crawling in with you.

If your campground doesn’t have many trees, or if the trees are dead (they could break and injure you), hammock stands come to the rescue! Basically, hammock stands allow you to pitch a hammock if there are no trees nearby. They are portable, adjustable, and are easy to setup. The only drawback is that the ground should be relatively flat, whereas if you were to hang a hammock between 2 trees, there won’t be any stands touching the ground, so a rocky floor wouldn’t be a problem.

Comfort

One of the main reasons for choosing a hammock is the comfort that it provides you! It has a basically has in-built seat which is arguably more comfortable than a standard blow up mattress. You need to pick your tree’s wisely though! You don’t want a pinecone falling on your face mid-sleep.

If you have constant back pain and find it hard to sleep inside tents, you should give hammocks a try as they cause you to sleep sideways, similar to a banana shape, which a lot people find much more comfortable.

Price

Hammocks are usually lighter and don’t include a wealth of poles and gear that tents do. Depending on the type of hammock that you purchase, they are usually quite similar to tents. You can however, find very cheap tents <$60, but they most likely won’t last long.

A good tent or hammock can cost between $200-500 without accessories. If you need a hammock stand, that will add to your cost, just like a mattress and other tent necessities will to its cost.

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Adventure Travel

Yacht Charter Destination Of The Month: The Middle East

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Mysterious and exotic, the Middle East is full of surprises, blending fascinating cultural heritage with stunning contemporary architecture. What’s more, with guaranteed sunshine and warmth, the winter months of November and April are the perfect time to visit. That’s why we’ve made the Middle East our yacht charter destination of the month.

What makes the Middle East such an exciting yacht charter destination?

Dubai: Glamour and shopping

An ideal starting point for your luxury yacht charter, Dubai is famous for its tax-free designer shopping, five-star resorts and world-class gastronomy. Thrill seekers can head into its vast desert for four-wheel-drive adventures across the dunes, while families will love the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Legoland, or the magnificent water park at Atlantis on The Palm.

Abu Dhabi: Art and architecture

Neighbouring Abu Dhabi offers a more relaxed yacht charter destination – here, lovers of art and architecture will appreciate the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi, which boasts some 9,200 m2 of galleries within its striking contemporary design.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the world’s largest, and its open-door policy encourages visitors from around the world. The elegant Qasr Al Hosn museum, former home of the ruling family, is Abu Dhabi’s oldest standing structure, and displays artefacts dating back to 6000BC.

Oman: An understated gem

The understated, hidden gem of the Middle East, yacht charter destination Oman has an abundance of natural beauty, from spectacular mountains and wind-blown deserts to a pristine coastline.

At its northernmost tip, visit the red-hued fjords of the Musandam Peninsula. Action-seekers can admire the rugged Al Hajar mountain range by microlight, while land-based activities include desert sand-boarding, jeep rides and quad biking.

Capital city Muscat is steeped in history, with centuries-old souks where you can pick up fine pashminas, spices and frankincense, or even dazzling jewellery in the Gold Souk.

The Kingdom of Bahrain: Home of diving

It is said that diving was invented in Bahrain, and pearl diving is considered the quintessential Bahraini experience. Expect to find up to 30 types of coral and over 200 species of fish, too, making this yacht charter destination ideal for underwater enthusiasts.

Bahrain’s rich trading history is palpable in the Qalat al-Bahrain fort and museum, a registered UNESCO world heritage site. The Bahrain National Museum, found next to the Art and Cultural Centres, blends cultural heritage with contemporary ambience. Or, to indulge in some retail therapy, enjoy a traditional shopping experience at the Manama Souk, selling natural-oil perfumes and incense, fabrics and handicrafts.

The Red Sea: Reefs, diving and beaches

The Red Sea is another popular Middle Eastern yacht charter destination due to its year-round sunshine, warm water, coral reefs and incredible dive sites, including one of the world’s best wreck dives, the WWII British cargo ship SS Thistlegorm. In the south, the relatively undiscovered Marsa’ Alam promises incredible shore or beach diving around its natural fringing reef.

Mysterious, timeless and alluring, the Middle East is a yacht charter destination full of contrasts and surprises. Better still, it’s best visited in winter. What are you waiting for?

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Adventure Travel

Hiking Adventures in Bryce Canyon National Park

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If you are on the lookout for the perfect environment for an adventurous and challenging hike, look no further. Located in the Southern Utah region is the best park that is most suitable for your hiking adventure, the Bryce Canyon National Park. This is a great option to relaxed after you are through playing in $5 minimum deposit casinos.

This park hosts hike lovers from time to time and people even come from other countries in the world to experience the wonder of this park. The landscape and beautiful trails make this a choice venue. There is a rental service at this location if you love to stay behind.

You can enjoy the priceless glimpse of the sunrise and sunset from the different landscape. The part also permits visitors to create traditional camps at different locations for a more adventurous experience.

There are a couple of trails that you can choose from for your hiking adventure, and no matter your level of experience in hiking, you will find a track that matches your taste. Even if you are totally new to hiking, there is something for you at the Bryce Canyon National Park . Below is a list of some of the trails to try when you take a trip to this park.

The Rim Trail

This is the most accessible trail at Bryce Canyon National Park. It is suitable for those who just want to have a good time walking around and savoring the magnificent scenery of the park. From any part of the park, you can connect to this trail as it goes all the way around the park.

When lodging at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, it is a good idea to start your hike from the place known as the sunrise point. Just as the name implies, if you wake up early to start your walk, you’ll be able to watch the sunrise. If you have a camera with you, you’ll take some fantastic pictures.

Also, you’ll get a clear view of the Bryce amphitheater from this point. Just like in an adventure movie, you have to find a way to link up to boat Mesa, and on your way, you walk through some sites like the Mormon temple and Queen garden. This hiking trail is easy, and all you have to deal with is a total of approximately 200 feet elevation. You will surely have a nice time on this trail.

Navajo Loop Trail

On the order of difficulty, this trail comes next after the rim trail. The starting point of this trail begins from the sunset point around the southern area of the Bryce Canyon Lodge. Just like for the rim trail, the trail presents a nice view of the sunset, and with a good camera, you’ll be able to take exciting photo shoots.

Walking this route involves a visit to the Silent City, which is an aesthetic combination of limestone and urban expansion. During the hike, you will also walk through Wall Street, which happens to be a distinctive attraction at the Bryce Canyon park. You won’t ever want to miss the narrow walls. From this point, you may decide to go back to the sunset point or take other shorter hikes like the Peekaboo loop trail and Queen garden trail. Both routes are challenging and adventurous, but you will enjoy every bit of the challenge. After you have done this, you can then go ahead to have some fun in a $5 minimum deposit casino.

Mossy Cave Trail

This Trail presents an entirely different sight than the one that we have previously mentioned. From this trail, you will be able to catch the view of the towers in the park nearby without descending to the amphitheater. This hiking course begins at approximately 4 miles from the entrance to the Bryce Canyon park. However, if you visit this park and would like to enjoy something completely different from the other common tracks, then this is an exciting hiking trail for you to try.

Hiking is more than a walk, it is a fun and adventurous experience. All trails at the Bryce Canyon National Park are worth trying on your next visit. Whether you seek to have some fun or you just want to catch some beautiful scenery and feel close to nature, you will find the right place that suits you. Get ready to have an amazing hiking experience.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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