70’s and salsa…

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70’s line dancing class

Another challenge completed while on the recent Alaska cruise! The cruise offered a lot of opportunity to try new things and I actually participated in two dance classes… I did a 70’s line dancing class and a salsa line dancing class. I thoroughly enjoyed both and I’m keen to try maybe local salsa classes nearer home.

 

 

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Afternoon tea in Victoria, Canada

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This was something I wasn’t expecting to complete while on a recent cruise! I had no intention of an afternoon tea however while on the cruise I met Melinda and Linda who had both booked afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, Canada for more or less the same time. They didn’t know each other beforehand so this was something of a coincidence. They explained that this is ‘the bucket list thing to do’ while in Victoria and is based very much on the British influence of afternoon tea in the city. Great! I was in! Well, thankfully with a bit of sweet talking from Melinda the Empress kindly fitted me in when I turned up on the day. And what a lovely experience it was 🙂

 

 

Painting class

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Painting class

When I was at school art was one of my favourite subjects and I used to love painting and drawing as a child. Since starting work I didn’t pick up a paintbrush until 2016 when I did a South American cruise and participated in a painting class. So while on my recent Alaska cruise I jumped at the chance of another chance to do this! This lasted for about an hour or maybe a little over… and the result is below!

My painting style probably reflects my personality… I am a ‘big picture’ person and not someone who gets involved in too much detail. With my painting I’ve found (as with last time) my style is for large bold brush strokes with very little detail… although we did only have an hour and I wanted to get it finished!

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Alaska cruise

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Exploring the ship upon embarkation in Seattle

I’ve just completed my ocean cruise to Alaska and what a wonderful experience this was! The cruise was with Norwegian Cruise Lines on the ‘Norwegian Jewel‘, which departed from Seattle, cruised up to and around southern Alaska and ended in Vancouver. I’ll shortly be publishing a series of blog posts with full details… these will be on http://www.frombluetogreen.com, my travel blog site.

 

 

Snowshoeing!

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I had the opportunity to try snowshoeing while on a day trip to Mount Rainier National Park while visiting Seattle recently.

Wikipedia explains the purpose of snowshoes is to distribute the weight over a larger area so the person doesn’t sink into the snow while hiking…

May is nearing the end of the snow season in this part of the national park which meant the snow was slushy and watery in places. However, they did ensure more grip was had on the snow and I was far more confident coming down the steep slope than I would usually be…

 

 

 

 

Snowdonia road trip

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Snowdonia National Park

Wikipedia road trip definition:

“A road trip is a long distance journey on the road”

I wasn’t sure whether a weekend trip of driving for 4+ hours to North Wales and back would technically be classed as a ‘road trip’ and it certainly wasn’t on the same scale as the road trip Chris and I took across Europe from Calais to Prague and back in July 2016 or the road trip through Northern Argentina in November 2016.

However, on the basis I had given this challenge the title ‘Go on a UK weekend road trip’ and this was a weekend, on the road and within the UK, I decided this should therefore count!

The purpose of the weekend was to explore the gorgeous scenery on foot by means of a series of 3 separate hikes which I’ve covered separately in our travel blog.

I did a little bit of driving around Snowdonia but this was mostly driving to and from the starting point of each hike.

And on the way back, I had a night in a spa hotel in Llangollen, a small town near the English border.

 

 

50 future adventures

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Milford Sound, New Zealand

Oh yes… I am going to have fun with this one!

Dream time as I plan 50 adventures for the next 50 years in the manner of a travel bucket list…

  1. Climb Kilimanjaro… pencilled in for 2019…
  2. Scotland Hebridean island hopping
  3. Explore Madagascar
  4. Trek Jordan
  5. Annapurna trek
  6. Travel overland from Cartagena (Colombia) to Quito (Ecuador)… really keen to explore much more of Colombia, and we didn’t get to Ecuador during our 2016 travels
  7. Galapagos Islands
  8. Australia Great Ocean road trip + a week of trekking in Tasmania
  9. Fiji and the Cook Islands; keen to visit more South Pacific islands after an amazing time in French Polynesia
  10. Grand Europe road trip or two, or three… Northern Europe (Scandinavia); Southern Europe (France, Spain and Portugal); Central Europe (Switzerland, Germany, Austria)…
  11. Spend 6-8 weeks walking the entire length of the South West coast path
  12. Walk a section of the Italian coastline
  13. Kerala yoga retreat
  14. Canada Rocky Mountains hiking and road trippin’
  15. US National Parks: 3 month road trip
  16. Explore more of Africa: Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda…
  17. Northern India: maybe an overland trip from Kathmandu (Nepal) to Delhi?
  18. Sandals Bahamas: after getting married in Sandals Whitehouse Jamaica, Chris and I have planned this little indulgence for our 10th wedding anniversary
  19. Chillin’ in St Kitts or and Tobago… or and Grenada…
  20. South Africa and Namibia: travelling up from Cape Town to Windhoek?
  21. Greek island hopping: 3 – 4 weeks of getting ferries between the islands
  22. A grand tour of China
  23. Norwegian Fjords cruise
  24. Andorra activity holiday
  25. Hiking in the Dolomites, Italy
  26. Myanmar
  27. Taiwan and South Korea
  28. 3 weeks exploring more of Japan
  29. Cruisin’ from Boston to Quebec
  30. Exploring the ‘Stans: Kazakhstan; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan
  31. Exploring Mexico in detail!
  32. Hike the Samaria Gorge in Crete
  33. Spend more time in Central America; Nicaragua’s Corn Islands and a bit more time in Costa Rica; and maybe another visit to Guatemala
  34. A month or two in Hawaii, one of our favourite places in the World!
  35. Explore Armenia and Georgia
  36. Zanzibar, the Spice Island!
  37. Trek the West Highland Way in Scotland
  38. More backpacking Europe by train
  39. Caribbean cruise
  40. Trekking in Patagonia
  41. Cruising the South Pacific… something for when we’re older…
  42. Grand Scotland road trip
  43. Norway: Lofoten Islands
  44. Summer trip to Iceland to drive the Icelandic ring road
  45. Exploring the Balkans: Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro…
  46. Trans Siberian Railway: Moscow to Beijing
  47. More chillin’ and beach-life in Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand
  48. Walk the Camino de Santiago
  49. More weekend breaks in the UK and Europe!
  50. More islands: Azores, Cape Verde, Corsica, Capri…

I’m generally going to focus on the more active trips (such as the treks) first and leave the more leisurely ones (the cruises) for later!

There are so many exciting places in the World although I don’t think some of these trips will be possible until Chris and I retire… it would be fantastic to have another career break but at the moment this doesn’t seem very likely due to a) getting agreement again from work and b) lack of money! I wonder how many 60 somethings walk the entire South West Coast Path in one go? But never say never… I’ll try and experience as many of these as possible 🙂

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Mountain experience

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Climbing Glyder Fach

While I’ve completed many treks through the UK’s Lake District, Peak District, coastal paths and quite a few abroad, I don’t have a huge amount of mountain experience. I have, however, been fortunate to have climbed the following UK mountains:

Scafell Pike 978 m

Snowdon 1085 m

Glyder Fach 990 m

Moel Siabod 872 m

Ben More 966 m

The last mountain I climbed was Ben More in May 2017 which is the highest mountain on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. Due to being unfit and at least a stone or so overweight I really struggled with this. We were fortunate to have perfect weather conditions yet I found the whole climb daunting and difficult as I tried to haul my weight up the steep slopes towards the summit. This frustration at being so unfit was actually one of my real driving forces to get much fitter in 2018.

I have a weekend in Snowdonia coming up and while I’m not yet sure which mountain we will climb I am hoping that with my weight loss and increased exercise routine (gym, swimming and walking) I won’t find the next mountain climb to be quite as much of a struggle!