50 experiences and challenges to welcome and embrace the new decade of my life…
Author: Chris and Laura
We are Chris and Laura, a married couple who took a year out of our everyday lives to spend 2016 travelling to the Pacific, Asia, Europe, Central America and South America. We created frombluetogreen.com to share our adventures and have continued adding travel posts since returning home at the end of 2016.
Laura created '50 at 50' to document 50 challenges and experiences throughout 2018... the year she turns 50...
Another below average mileage week as I was still in Grenada from Mon – Wed where I walked no more than a couple of miles a day. However I’ve just spent a weekend where I hiked around 16 miles up and down several peaks in the Peak District (Derbyshire) which has pushed up this weeks’ total a bit!
As I was on holiday for 1st November I’ve included pre and post holiday weights.
Oh dear… a week of all inclusive indulgence resulted in a weight gain of 7 lb! I must say I was a bit reluctant to get on the scales this morning, the first full day back from the holiday 😦
In the past I wouldn’t have faced up to the weight gain and would have ignored the fact my clothes felt a bit tighter… this is how my weight got to 10 st 7 lb by this time last year. However being honest with myself and acknowledging this weight gain has inspired me to get rid of the extra pounds quickly so today I’ll resume calorie counting and up the exercise for the next week or two and see what happens…
Above is a ‘Nutty Russian’ an example of one of the delicious cocktails available. It contains generous measures of:
Not one but 7 nights were spent in a 5* luxury hotel last week 🙂
This was totally unplanned at the beginning of 2018 when I made the original list of 50 challenges and I had no idea we would take such a trip this year. However for our 8th wedding anniversary Chris booked a lovely holiday to the Caribbean island of Grenada where we were very lucky to stay in Sandals which was quite a treat and at the other end of the accommodation scale from our two camping experiences this year, one being in Wales and the other in the Peak District!
Less than what has lately become an average of around 50 miles walked each week. This is because I spent most of week 44 on a relaxing holiday in Grenada where the only walking I did was around the resort hotel! With the exception of a short trek of the ‘Seven Sisters Waterfall’. The falls took around 20 minutes to reach although this was quite challenging being steep and muddy! And as we were not planning on any trekking I did this in sandals rather than walking boots!
This weeks figure is only boosted to 29 as I did 11 miles (walking and gym) on the Monday of this week, before I went on holiday.
Today marks the end of 4 weeks lasting through October without consuming any alcohol; the longest booze-free stretch of time since 1995 when I was pregnant with my daughter Zoe!
The most difficult thing has been the lack of variety of non-alcoholic drinks; basically the choices are: water, juices, tea, coffee and a very limited choice of non alcoholic beer or wine. I’ve acquired quite a taste for Fentimans ginger beer however!
Health-wise I don’t feel much different; maybe slightly more focussed and switched on? I haven’t lost any weight, firstly because I don’t want to and secondly because many non-alcoholic drinks contain as many calories as those with alcohol. Hopefully however my liver is now nicely detoxed which has made me conscious to take better care of it in the future.
Socially has been the most difficult time. Last week a few of my colleagues went out after work for my friend Teresa’s 50th birthday drinks and while they were enjoying the usual wines, beers and gins, I had a pot of tea…
I had two days during this week where I did no extra walking at all… On Thursday I was working at home and just too busy with full-on back-to-back Skype meetings that I didn’t even have time for a lunch break, let alone a 4 mile lunchtime walk.
On Saturday, Chris and I had planned a 6 mile walk to a local pub for lunch and back but unfortunately his elderly father was taken into hospital so we abandoned this, drove to Norfolk, picked up his Mum and took her into visit him in hospital! Hopefully he will soon start to feel better.
Today in lovely sunny (but cold and crisp) weather I did a walk with a local walking group which focussed around the Wimpole Estate which is not far from Cambridge.
Last weekend I fulfilled another of my challenges and Chris and I spent Sunday morning walking up and down Gorleston Beach picking up litter! Gorleston-on-Sea is a Norfolk town between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft on the East Coast of England. The weather was awesome and a perfect 20 degrees which is unusual for mid October.
I’m keen that this is more than just a ‘tick box’ exercise, that is something to make me feel good just to tick off my list. Since our travels in 2016 and witnessing first hand the plastic pollution in beautiful locations around the world, I have felt passionate about the need to reduce plastic waste and do my bit to look after the environment.
I signed up with the Marine Conservation Society and together with over 100 volunteers we scoured the beach and collected every piece of litter we could find. We were told to focus on the small pieces of litter as much as or if not more so that the bigger pieces. Tiny pieces of plastic are mistaken for food by marine life.
We found all manner of litter, most of which was plastic. Sometimes it was buried in the sand and difficult to spot. We found a lot of chocolate wrappers, plastic straws and plastic bags. One of the seafront cafes serves hot drinks and provides a small red plastic wrapped biscuit on the saucer. Needless to say, around this area of the beach we found several tiny ‘edges’ where people had unwrapped their biscuit and dropped the corner, or allowed it to be swept away by the wind.
I’ve since sent a message to ask the cafe to consider serving unwrapped complimentary biscuits!
I really enjoyed the beach clean and would far rather do this than sit on the beach and read a book. We’re going to look for more beach cleans and opportunities for something similar.
A short but HUGELY inspiring book which has given me loads of ideas for my own adventures! Alastair is enthusiastic and he explains how, with an example of a £1000 budget, you can set about planning all kinds of exciting trips! As I was reading this book I started to jot down some ideas:
(Some of these are not new ideas but I thought I would capture them in any case)
Book number 18
Book read: Walk Sleep Repeat by Stephen Reynolds
This book was somewhat tame by comparison but still an enjoyable read. Once I got into it… I started to become a bit irritated by “Dear Reader” references on almost every page but I got used to this as being the author’s writing style. Although when he started waffling on about which flavour Weetabix drink to have in the morning I did start to question why I was reading the book…
Whereas the likes of Alastair Humphreys and Chris Pountney fill a book with a 12 month plus cycling adventure, this was an entire book about a one week trek along the 100 mile West Highland Way.
However as I continued to read I found I really like the way Stephen Reynolds writes. He has a lovely descriptive manner that makes you feel you are walking the West Highland Way right next to him. Which is nice.
He is really likeable and I started to think of him as a mate, an honest, down-to-Earth kind of chap, someone you would like to sit in a pub with at the end of a busy day and exchange stories.
And on a positive note, if he can string out a book from a week of walking, a popular walk that many thousands have done in the past, I’m sure there would be a market for my 2016 adventures!
Walk the West Highland Way (just adding another adventure…)
Exactly two weeks into my four week teetotal challenge! And it has been a challenge this week… firstly being away for work in Liverpool and visiting the Spanish tapas bar which does the best ever Margaritas… drinking ginger flavoured Elderflower Presse doesn’t quite cut it…
Secondly being away on a walking weekend in Suffolk where everyone was drinking alcohol… I felt better when I had my non-alcohol ginger beer served with ice in a large goldfish bowl glass instead of a boring straight glass… at least I could pretend there was a shot of gin in there too…
On a positive note I slept far better in Liverpool than on the previous two occasions (in August and September). And I didn’t have to do the Sunday walk with a hangover!
I’m hoping that as I’ve reached 2 weeks without alcohol, my liver is starting to detox itself and get rid of any fatty things…