Cuba holiday

20180704_192016.jpg

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 🙂

 

 

Advertisement

Snowshoeing!

20180524_145411.jpg

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…

 

 

 

 

Pre-cruise weight

With massive amounts of exercise combined with eating as best as I can I’ve managed to maintain a weight of 8 st 3 lb for a few weeks. I weigh myself at the gym each week after breakfast and with my clothes on and these do seem heavy duty and pretty reliable scales.

In 4 days time I’ll be travelling to Seattle where I’ll stay for 3 nights before beginning a 9 day cruise to Alaska with Norwegian Cruise Lines. With a permanent abundance of delicious food and alcohol tempting you at every turn, cruises are notorious for causing passengers to gain weight!

The Telegraph suggests the average cruise passenger puts on 1 lb for each day of the cruise! In theory I could come back home and weigh nearly 9 stone again!

My previous 14 night South American cruise almost certainly contributed to the weight I gained during my 2016 global adventure… the weight I couldn’t shake off during 2017…

Anyway, things are different now and on this occasion while I want to enjoy the trip I don’t want to undo the good work of the last 6 months and come back with excess baggage about my person!

Thankfully I don’t have a bad lower back issue this time so I’m planning on a daily gym session, maybe a run around the ships running track each day and have pre-booked 4 x trekking excursions. I’m also planning on taking the stairs up and down the 14 decks rather than the lifts and will try hard not to eat or drink excessively.

I’ll weigh myself immediately upon my return and report back in a couple of weeks time, hopefully with positive weight news…

 

 

 

50 future adventures

20160205_152029.jpg
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 (completed May 2019)
  5. Annapurna trek similar… did a 2 week remote Himalayan trek in Northern Nepal instead in Oct 2019
  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 travelsUPDATE: we visited northern Colombia in Jan 2019 although didn’t go to Ecuador on this trip… 
  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 (COMPLETED in Jul 2019 when I walked the Amalfi Coast)
  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 (tick)…
  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 (tick)

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 🙂

20544025_10154847675309067_8174323545200893748_o

 

 

Yoga in the Maldives

20180204_071547.jpg
Morning yoga sessions

Yoga became popular in the UK in the 80’s as a form of exercise although it has been around as a spiritual practice in India for hundreds of years.

I didn’t know much about yoga or what it entailed until last week. And, other than a few months or maybe even a year of weekly aerobic classes when I was 15 I haven’t taken ANY form of exercise class since then… Not a single one… I don’t know what Pilates is… I think Zumba is some kind of modern day aerobics and I had never been to yoga…

Well, this has now changed! A combination of a desire to try new things this year together with my attempts towards a fitter and healthier start to my new decade stirred an interest in trying yoga. Of course this is old news to many people… When discussing this at work just before Christmas it turned out that most of the people I work with have tried or still practice yoga. This conversation happened to take place after work in one of the outdoor bars along London’s South Bank which led to an impromptu and somewhat drunken display of yoga moves by one of my 6 ft male colleagues!

So with one of my 50@50’s being to try yoga, I took the opportunity while on holiday in the Maldives where our hotel offered a free 50 minute yoga session each morning! What a place to start doing yoga… I felt immediately relaxed in the serene environment as I sat on my yoga mat on the soft powdery sand with the sounds of the gently lapping sea in the background.

Each morning the instructor took the small group of 10 or so through the initial relaxation and breathing exercises before the more complex series of stretches. Stretching muscles that have possibly never been stretched before! Literally tying my upper body in knots with him giving my arms an extra pull just to make sure!

I can certainly say I felt incredibly relaxed at the end of each session and I’m keen to do more. Being strong, fit and supple throughout life and particularly as you get older is important.

Compared with others even though I am almost 50 I was pleased I am still fairly bendy and supple as, for example, I could diagonally interlock my hands behind back where many others couldn’t reach.

However my stomach muscles need toning big time! I was one of the worst of the group with the stomach moves. For example, laying on my back and lifting and holding my feet at 6 inches above the ground then at 75 degrees was tough! This is something I am keen to improve.

And also I found my balance is rubbish… I toppled over the most when we did standing up stretches… I’ve noticed problems with my balance when trekking along narrow ridges so I wonder if I practice each day if this would help my trekking too?

So all in all a very positive new experience!

 

 

Maldives 50th birthday celebration trip

20180204_131907-1.jpg

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!