Camping in Wales

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Our tent!

As I mentioned in my ‘being grateful‘ post I enjoy camping as much as staying in a 4 or 5 star hotel. Sometimes the home comforts and luxuries you experience in a decent hotel are a lovely and welcome treat. However many hotels and especially branded hotels are all the same and… they are all a fairly bland square box of cream and beige! They don’t beat the real sense of adventure you experience in the great outdoors… sitting around the campfire with great friends, chatting, banter, wine and a BBQ…

Chris and I have just spent a brilliant weekend at the edge of the Brecon Beacons on a wild camping bushcraft weekend! Full details will be available on our travel blog in due course…

 

 

 

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South West coast path

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It is July already and with such a busy 2018 I don’t think I’m going to get to the west coast of Wales this year. I therefore changed this challenge from the Pembrokeshire coast path to the South West coast path.

OK, so I did only a tiny fraction a couple of months ago and had just a taster of this amazing 630 mile walk. I would love to do the entire South West coast path at some point and I’ll try and get to Pembrokeshire next year…

Details of my short experience of a section near Weymouth and Lulworth Cove of the South West coast path can be found on frombluetogreen.com

 

 

 

Cuba holiday

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So… a shared celebration with my best friend! We’ve just returned from a wonderful and relaxing holiday in Cuba to celebrate that we are both 50 this year! My lovely friend Bridget and I have known each other since we met at school when we were about 13 and through the ups and downs of life we have remained good friends ever since!

A full update on our Cuba fun and frolics are available on my travel blog frombluetogreen.com 🙂

 

 

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.

 

 

Visiting Oslo

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Oslo

Having set myself a goal to travel to every European capital city a few years ago, I’ve been fortunate to visit many of them. This has been greatly assisted with budget airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair. In the past I’ve even visited some of them for just a day by taking the first flight out, spending the day exploring and coming back on the last flight home.

Oslo is one of the cities I had never managed to visit… well, until last weekend! My daughter Zoe and I had 3 nights in Oslo, the full details of which are covered in our Oslo travel blog post!

There are 51 European capital cities and so far I’ve been to 32 of them:

  • Vienna (Austria)
  • Brussels (Belgium)
  • Sofia (Bulgaria)
  • Zagreb (Croatia)
  • Nicosia (Cyprus)
  • Prague (Czech Republic)
  • Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Tallinn (Estonia0
  • Helsinki (Finland)
  • Paris (France)
  • Berlin (Germany)
  • Athens (Greece)
  • Budapest (Hungary)
  • Reykjavik (Iceland)
  • Dublin (Ireland)
  • Rome (Italy)
  • Riga (Latvia)
  • Vaduz (Liechtenstein)
  • Luxembourg City (Luxembourg)
  • Valletta (Malta)
  • Monaco (Monaco)
  • Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • Oslo (Norway)
  • Warsaw (Poland)
  • Lisbon (Portugal)
  • Bucharest (Romania)
  • Bratislava (Slovakia)
  • Ljubljana (Slovenia)
  • Madrid (Spain)
  • Stockholm (Sweden)
  • London (UK)
  • Vatican City (Vatican City)

 

Still to visit:

  • Tirana (Albania)
  • Andorra la Vella (Andorra)
  • Yerevan (Armenia)
  • Baku (Azerbaijan)
  • Minsk (Belarus)
  • Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzgovina)
  • Tbilisi (Georgia)
  • Astana (Kazakhstan)
  • Pristina (Kosovo)
  • Vilnius (Lithuania)
  • Skopje (Macedonia)
  • Chisinau (Moldova)
  • Podgorica (Montenegro)
  • Moscow (Russia)
  • San Marino (San Marino)
  • Belgrade (Serbia)
  • Bern (Switzerland)
  • Ankara (Turkey)
  • Kiev (Ukraine)

 

 

 

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.

 

 

A snowy Switzerland weekend

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Another 50@50 activity for my half century celebration year was to have a snowy weekend away!

My husband Chris and I returned yesterday from a weekend of snow hiking in Switzerland… and little did we know that we would arrive home to a week of snow and freezing temperatures in the UK thanks to a weather system known as ‘the beast from the east‘ which has seen temperatures plummet across Europe. Even the Mediterranean islands of Corsica and Capri have seen snow!

I’ve produced a full Switzerland trip report which is available on frombluetogreen.com, our joint travel blog…

 

 

 

Maldives 50th birthday celebration trip

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Trip number 2 of 2018 is now complete! Yesterday Chris and I returned from a week in the Maldives, a relaxing break taken just before my 50th birthday tomorrow.

I’ve produced a full Maldives trip post which is available on our joint travel blog. This was quite a different kind of holiday from our usual active and at times intense holidays.

The trip was more of a healthy retreat rather then a typical holiday as the entire week was spent doing yoga, swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, cycling and going to the gym. And eating lots of different organic fresh fruit and vegetables and virtually zero alcohol!

All of this has fitted well with my objective of a fit and healthy start to my new decade!

 

 

 

A winter break in the Algarve

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My first trip of 2018 was a short break to visit my Dad and Step-Mum who retired in Lagos, a historic yet buzzing town in Portugal’s Algarve.

I’m currently compiling two fuller blog posts for our main travel blog, one on the stunning coastal trekking available along this dramatic coast line and one more general post about some of the attractions in this area.

We were incredibly lucky with the weather; it was constantly sunny and the temperature reached about 17 degrees in the afternoons. This isn’t always the case… when my children were at school I used to take them down to Lagos during the February half term holiday to see their grand-parents. Most years the weather was indeed warm and sunny although one year we did have a week of cloud and rain!

Anyway… it was lovely to spend time with my parents on this short trip. They are both in their early 70’s and without wishing to sound morbid, I have become more conscious throughout the last couple of years (since our life changing 2016 global trip) that a) things can change in an instant; and b) parents don’t last forever.

As mentioned, this is my first trip of 2018… I have a few planned as I am determined to make the most of this year. As I scan through my 50@50 list I have started to wonder if I have been too ambitious and whether I will actually be able to afford to do everything I’ve set out to achieve… some of the trips have been paid for and others thankfully are not too expensive.

Over the years I have also found that travel doesn’t have to be unaffordable either, so in a bid to demonstrate this, I will publish the costs of all of my 2018 trips and total the overall cost of them at the end of the year.

  • 4 days short stay airport carpark: £25 (£50 / 2)
  • Ryanair flight to Faro: £50 (each)
  • 4 days hire car with Budget Rental cars: £25 (£50 / 2)
  • Accommodation: *free
  • Meals and spend: £100 (per person)

Approximate total cost per person: £200

*free accommodation although we took my parents out for a meal as a ‘thank you’ for putting us up… (or should that be ‘putting up with us’…)

There are so many lovely coastal walks in the area that you don’t need much spending money to keep yourself entertained. Meals are also reasonably priced too, particularly if you avoid the main touristy areas and find lovely little typical Portuguese restaurants.