A week-end of hiking in Peak District National Park (UK)

It started with a misunderstanding. I had been talking for a few months about going for a week-end to explore the Lake District area, in the UK. Imagine my surprise when unwrapping the paper of my birthday present I discovered a guide of the best hikes in Peak District instead. But it didn’t really matter, I didn’t return the guidebook and instead we book a week-end to celebrate spring and the return of the outdoors season on this maybe less hyped destination. And guess what? Peak District didn’t disappoint me.

For this week-end we choose two hikes that we believe will offer the most dramatic landscapes, they also happen to be among the most popular. But outside of the week-end, you will have the hills for yourself!

Hill walking on Kinder Low plateau (Peak District, UK)

 

Day 1: Kinder Low hike

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A beginner’s guide to cycling your first sportive (long distance)

It’s decided: this year, you will cycle with your first “sportive” – the official term used to define a non competitive (not a race) long distance cycling event, a cycling challenge over the 100km or mile mark.
Just like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, you probably have no idea what you are in for. This article will introduce with with humour to the wonderful world of cycling, full of MAMILs – Middle Age Men In Lycra– fanatic amateur cyclists, or, as the Oxford dictionary defines the word since its entry in 2014 “A middle-aged man who is a very keen road cyclist, typically one who rides an expensive bike and wears the type of clothing associated with professional cyclists“.
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When I set myself to complete, Vatternrundan, the largest sportive in the world (30.000 participants biking a 300km loop around a lake, somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Sweden), my knowledge of biking was limited to the occasional tourist exploration and the standing bike of the spinning class. In this article, I am bursting myths and whispering inadmissible secrets – this is all I wished I had known when I signed up for my first long distance race plus a few funny anecdotes about my journey from newbie to collecting enough knowledge to write this how to guide.

 

Table of contents:

1. How to choose your sportive
2. Cycling gear:
– Bike and Equipement
– What to wear when cycling
3. Training for your first sportive:
– Setting up a training planning
– Other tips
4. Getting ready for race day:
– Last week before the race
– Don’t show up uninformed
– Race day: getting to the finish line
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I tried ski touring and this is why you should too

The wind blowing in our face is getting stronger and stronger the snow starts to fall again, our progression in the powder snow is getting slower.  Off the beaten slopes, I am ecstatic: I am getting my own mini feel for a polar expedition. We are ski touring on the swedish fjall, these old middle mountains with huge plateaux covered in snow, miles away from any living soul (or at least from what we can tell). It is our first time of ski touring but the guy at the ski shop promised it… we will be just fine. How hard can it be?

Off we go – a 360 degrees white of snow landscape

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Gifts that travellers and outdoors lovers actually want

I can’t believe it is already this time of the year. The darkness and the cold -though never an excuse not to enjoy the outdoors-, the frost and… the panic to find the perfect gifts before Christmas… (Yes – how fortunate we are to face such a problem that can keep us busy for the all month!).

I truly believe in the power of giving and the pleasure of finding the perfect gift. However too often Christmas, birthdays or over gifting occasions are a synonym of an accumulation of just more “stuff”, most of it ending up in a drawer and never seeing the light of day again or on Ebay.  It doesn’t have to be… Know some globe trotters, nature lovers, adrenaline junkies? This article is about finding a gift that will make their eyes sparkle!

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How to never be cold again

Miserable. It is the word that sums up the best how you can feel when you are soaked to the bones, shivering, depressed, upset, disappointed and ready to call your mum to tell her to get you home when you are supposed to have fun and enjoy the outdoors. Was it after biking under the rain for 3 hours? Or when the winds of Patagonia were blowing so much that you thought the tent will fly away? Was it after spending the all day with wet feet after following a path that disappeared under the flood?  Everybody who has spent a bit of time outside has one of these war stories.
Never let the weather bring you down again with these simple rules on how to stay warm outside whatever the seasons throw at you.

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Cycling the Tour de Yorkshire

So on a Friday after work, we put the bikes in the car and headed north for a week-end that will make our muscles burn. Since we decided to relocate to the UK we have been planning to go on week-end adventure to discover our new home country. After reading about the Tour de Yorkshire in Alastair Humphrey ‘s  book “Microadventures” we knew that this was the prefect combo of exploration and training for our big biking challenge, a month later.
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On two wheels, around Yorkshire!

Yorkshire’s area got a tourist boost when Tour de France crossed it in 2014, and we decided to roughly cycle the same route as the peloton did. The countryside is lovely, there is not much traffic and the roads are in good condition. Fun ahead! We will start and end in the small town of Harrogate.

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Highlights of Ecuador, 2 and 3 weeks itinerary

If you want to discover South America but have only a few weeks in front of you, Ecuador is certainly the destination I will recommend. Andes, coast, amazon rainforest, traditions, colonial history… you can experience in Ecuador most of what South America has to offer, without wasting too much time in transportation (the country is one of the smallest of the continent).

In this article I put together my recommended itineraries for 2 or 3 weeks, both will allow you to discover the country and many of the things it has to offer. You will also get ideas for alternatives and practical information about transportation.

Friendly locals to help you find your way (from Sigchos to Insinlivi)

Friendly locals to help you find your way (from Sigchos to Insinlivi)

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Is it crazy to visit Stockholm in winter?

The cold is freezing your hands, the snow is bitting your face, it is lunch time but it is -15°C / 5°F! You are doing this!

You might have stumble upon some of my articles about Stockholm, where I recommend to visit the swedish capital between May and September, but a visit in winter will bring the city under a different lights, that few tourists get to know. In this post, I will tell you what to expect when visiting Stockholm in winter and give you tips to make it a rewarding experience. Gloves and hat on, let’s go!

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Yes, you are likely to freeze your ass when visiting Stockholm in winter, but it is worth it!

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Completing a Swedish Classic – “En Svensk Klassiker”

Biking 300 km, swimming 3km in a river, running for 30km, and skiing across 90km. 4 disciplines, 4 competitions across Sweden. One goal, one year.

I always love the moment you contemplate a challenge and just think “whoooo… that’s crazy” and the second that follows when you think “I should totally try this“. And then, as quickly as that, you are set. And I was. This was in fall 2015, and I found out what will keep me busy for the next 15 months!

What is “A Swedish Classic”?

It is a scary, exciting and fun challenge: four competitions to complete within 12 months that test your endurance at proper viking standards. The “Swedish Classic” (Svensk klassiker) is all about pushing yourself and doing so by completing 4 swedish classic competitions within a year. Continue reading

10 reasons to try adventure travel

“But why would you do that?”
We hiked for 6 days. We walked 140km through snow, rain showers and mountains. My foot were wet constantly wet, because the path was so damp and my old hiking boots started leaking. I got so cold after walking in a blizzard that I wondered at which point you can get hypothermia (if you are curious here are some explanation about it here) and my legs got so tired that I almost wanted to cry. This was last summer, in Swedish Lappland.
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July 2015. We could have been on a beach in Greece…

My choices of vacation trigger shakes of heads and flat faces. Why would you do that? Or more exactly “Why on earth would you f****** do that?

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