Bariloche Part 1: Revenge of the nerds

The Argentine Lake District’s largest city, Bariloche, was our next stop and bring it on – we were ready for it! Arriving at Hostel 1004, which came highly recommended from a number of our friends (thanks Lee, Brad and Bortzy) we knew this would be a place we wouldn’t want to leave.

20121024-080523.jpg
We immediately felt at home with the lovely staff and the beautiful views over the lake and city.

20121024-080514.jpg

With our Spanish slowly progressing and the hopes of staying put in Bariloche for a little while, we thought we might try some Spanish lessons. We planned to meet Carolina the lady at the Spanish school for a brief introduction conveniently timed at 8:45pm (everything happens late here) – our time or dinner. She sat us down for a hard core test and we were not happy Jan.

20121024-080505.jpg

Needless to say, the nerds rebelled. Cheating our way through the first part of the test and failing to complete the rest of it, we threw away our hopes of mastering Spanish. Instead, we planned our revenge and opted to spend our days exploring the city by bike, car, foot, kayak and chairlift all fuelled by the most delicious food and an awesome city vibe starting in the main square and extending across the city.

20121024-080812.jpg
The streets of Bariloche are lined with cute chocolate shops (hello endless days of taste testing!), restaurants and cafes.

20121024-081035.jpg

This city doesn’t do healthy. Most nights I ate the local fish, trout drenched in the traditional butter and lemon salsa

20121024-081102.jpg
and Josh enjoyed his schnitzel or steak, nicely portioned ay?

20121024-080601.jpg

Needless to say when we came across this next little gem it was well received by both of us even if Josh is too stubborn to admit it 🙂

20121024-080819.jpg
Heaven!! Amazing juices, assortment of different veggie delights and complimentary sweet tea to finish the meal off with. So good, we went back a second time!

20121024-080826.jpg

But enough about the food, the real heart of the city lies in its beautiful surroundings. One of our highlights was hiring bikes and doing the 25km ‘Circuito Chico’ route. To begin with, the hilly terrain and cars speeding past almost blowing me away left me screaming and close to tears at many points.

20121024-080552.jpg

But Josh was patient, gave me many a pep talk and soon enough we were flying down those hills in unison.. Stopping every now and then to enjoy the incredible views.

20121024-080545.jpg

At about the halfway mark we turned down a gravel road with steep inclines and decided to tie up the bikes and walk down to the lake. We found a beautiful spot and enjoyed our picnic lunch.

20121024-080536.jpg
Back on our bikes we got and our next stop was at a little Cervazeria (beer house) where we sampled some beer and enjoyed the view for a little while before completing the rest of the circuit. Awesome day!

The following day we changed our mode of transport from bike to hired car, where we set out bright and early to drive the ‘Circuito Grande’. Our cute station wagon took us all over town.

20121024-080902.jpg
We cruised along the freeway, trying to figure out these roads with no rules; plugged in the iPod and sang our way through the mountains and shimmering turquoise lakes.

20121024-080838.jpg. We stopped at a lookout and ended up walking to the top of the mountain where we had lunch, enjoyed the sunshine and practised our colloquial Spanish with 2 great guys from Buenos Aires.

20121024-080853.jpg
We felt really spoilt with these views.. It is amazing how beautiful and so diverse a region can be.

20121024-080908.jpg
After a long day on the road, we chilled with a competitive game of cards and some drinks.

20121024-080832.jpg
Guess who won? 🙂

That’s all for now,friends. Pease leave us a comment and fellow travellers, feel free to ask us any questions or share your thoughts/recommendations. We love hearing from everyone!

Stay tuned, Bariloche Part 2 is on its way!

Check out our Travel Page for more of our adventures!

Chile adventures on foot

After arriving in the town of Puerto Natales after a long 14 hour bus ride from Ushuaia our trekking adventure in Torres Del Paine national park was next on our agenda and the part of our trip we were both so excited for!

This trek involved carrying our tent, sleeping bags, mats, sleeping gear, wet weather gear, stove, gas, cooking utensils, 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners all on our backs for approximately 85 kms. Our hostel room was a bomb before we left.. 20121015-120610.jpg

We woke up bright and early Wednesday morning – but not early enough. Our phones were on the wrong time zone setting and thinking it was 630am it was actually 730am. Luckily the bus driver agreed to come back for us! We took a bus to the park and then a catamaran to the starting point of the W-trek which we were about to begin. Ready to go with bright orange wet weather gear- tick! 20121015-120623.jpg
From the very beginning of the trek the views were breathtaking. The terrain was so diverse from devastating desolate fire affected areas (caused by a tourist in January), to lush greenery, snow capped mountains, aqua lakes, glaciers and beautiful valleys and streams. With little to no wind the reflections of the mountains on the lake were incredible.
20121015-120632.jpg
Luckily we didn’t have to carry water with us. Any running stream of water was good to drink. And good is an understatement 🙂 water never tasted so fresh and crisp! 20121015-120641.jpg
Day 1 we walked towards Glacier Grey. It was so cool seeing the icebergs and the different shades of white and blue caused by the reflections of the sky and the surroundings.
20121015-120747.jpg
Got to love a few selfies 😉
20121015-120805.jpg
We camped right by the glacier the first night. We woke up thinking there was a massive thunder storm when in actual fact it was part of the glacier chipping off. Nature and its surprises.

For dinner we enjoyed devoured mushroom risotto from a packet. Our conversation went something like this.. “This could honestly be served in a 5 star restaurant”… “Maybe its just cause we are hungry”… “no i’m serious i don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything so good”. Lol.
20121015-120814.jpg

Next day we were all packed up and off to our next campsite. Crossing big, unstable bridges with signs like these are enough to make you a bit concerned. 20121015-120821.jpg

On day 3 we were blessed with beautiful blue skies which we did not take for granted after hearing horror stories about Patagonian weather.20121015-120829.jpg
A day of picturesque scenery.
20121015-120838.jpg

Panoramic 360 degree view. Feeling a bit low on the energy side of things, this definitely raised the spirits!20121015-120845.jpg

20121015-120852.jpg

20121015-120859.jpg

20121015-120906.jpg

Occasionally we would just stop, pinch ourselves that we were actually here and have a moment to take it all in.20121015-120914.jpg

This was by at our favourite day of scenery. Patagonia was really showing off what it has to offer 😉 20121015-120924.jpg

If mushroom risotto was 5 star quality, then 2 minute noodles AND creamy spinach soup deserved 3 hats!20121015-120930.jpg

Pitching our tent on a wooden board at the next campsite was luxury! A flat surface, unlike the previous night prevented me waking up squashed to the side of the tent on the hard cold ground (with Josh soundly asleep and oblivious) haha 20121015-120936.jpg

We had a relatively good night sleep and were ready the most difficult day of the trek. 22 kms and steep inclines. But after a hearty bowl of delicious hot oats- you know about my love for them– we were ready and pumped! . 20121015-120943.jpg

We reached our campsite way earlier than we expected, pitched our tent and decided to trek up to Torres Del Paine thinking it would just be a stroll. How wrong we were! Steep and rocky- but well worth the view! 20121015-120951.jpg
The cow mountain.
20121015-120959.jpg
After a lovely evening at camp we woke up for our last day, dosed up on the oats and coffee and off we went! 20121015-121006.jpg
We made it our tradition to run as fast as we could down hills (yes, with our massive backpacks on)… Such fun! This also meant our 10ks down to our end point just flew
20121015-121014.jpg

After a fun and relatively easy day we arrived at our final destination feeling good, accomplished and satisfied!20121015-121024.jpg

We enjoyed coke and coffee and a clean bathroom with oh so sweet melting soap!!!!20121015-121034.jpg

After finally returning to our hostel, returning our hired gear and scrubbing up like never before we headed out for a post-trek feed to a place recommended by our friend Bortzy, La Picada de Don Carlitos. a20121015-121103.jpg

20121015-121112.jpg
What an incredible journey we shared together! We crossed many boundaries that should probably never be crossed, spent hours chatting about random topics from trigonometry to economics to singing random songs, playing rhyming games, predicting passer-byers’ itineraries and enjoying kms of absolute silence.

Today we are taking a day to unwind, relax and rest the feet before taking a a bus early tomorrow morning to El Calafate back in Argentina.

Until next time, hasta Luego!

Check out our Travel Page for more of our adventures!

Natural Mood Enhancer

In my life, there is a high correlation between my mood and the amount of time I spend outdoors.

You can guess the direction… the more time I spend outdoors = better my mood 🙂

I think it is the combination between the fresh air, the sunlight and the beautiful trees and flowers..

My stroll fast paced, arm-strengthening walk today was all the better as I had Josh’s 4-legged bundles of joy, Zac and Bailey with me.

We walked to the dog park where I let them off their leashes to run around and explore.

They were pretty calm until they spotted the birds…

After a fun running sesh we headed back home where they crashed, and spent the rest of the afternoon fast asleep 🙂

So, if you feel like a nature mood enhancer, step outside and soak up the fresh air and don’t forget to look for the beauty in the little things…

What is something that never fails to enhance your mood?

 

My Training Plan for Running a Race

Good Morning, friends!

Entering and running in races are a great way to up your training regime, set goals and test your determination and motivation.

For us Sydney siders, the Annual City2 Surf race is just around the corner (August 12th).  It is a beautiful 14km course from City CBD to Bondi Beach, and it is open to all who enter!

Start in the CBD
End at Bondi Beach

It is one of those races where people from all walks of life, with differing abilities (and even disabilities) join together to run and enjoy Sydney. It welcomes the most elite of athletes to walkers, joggers and mums with prams.   Last year my Dad and I ran it and we both loved it (this year we welcome Josh to our team 🙂 ).

CSBE0386.jpeg

So, if you live in Sydney or intend to holiday here in the coming months be sure to enter!

I thought today would be a good day to set some training goals for the race. Last year I completed the race in in 74 minutes. So this year I would love to see myself break  70 minutes (5 mins/km). This means I need to push myself and work on my speed.

My training regime is usually very flexible but I always try to include the same components:

1) Leisurely Runs – Usually about 30 minutes or 5/6 kms
2) Cross Training – Some sort of group fitness class; Body Attack, Step, Cycle or Dance
3) Long Run –  I try to  include 1 long run a week, and this is usually on a Sunday (I increase the distance as I approach the race, and then taper in the week leading up to the race).
4) Resistance Training – Either I do this in weight section at the gym or I take a Body Pump class.
5) Rest days– On these days I ideally like to focus on stretching, meditation and relaxation.

If you have trouble sticking to your exercise goals, check out this post on ‘How to make a date with exercise and stick with it’.

Well that’s all from me today.  Enjoy the sunshine and don’t forget to leave me a comment to let me know:

What race is happening in your city and how do you go about training?
Or
Will you be joining me in running (or walking) the City2Surf?

Happy moving peeps!

** Please note I am not a personal trainer; this is my training regime based on my own experiences and training preferences.

Easy ways to get moving (without having too try too hard!)

I am a big fan of incorporating as much physical activity into my day as possible.  I am all for taking the stairs over the lift; or getting out and dirty by doing the gardening on a nice sunny day.

This type of exercise is known as incidental exercise – or as I like to think of  it, ‘exercise without feeling as though you are exercising’.  It is a great way to keep yourself moving and active throughout the day, without scheduling in a workout, or even having changing into workout gear 🙂

Here are some easy ways to do it!

– Find ways in the workplace to keep active.  Whether it is doing the coffee runs, offering to run errands, participating in sport lessons (that’s if you are a teacher) or simply just finding a cafe or park that is that little bit further away to enjoy your lunch break.

Nothing beats lunch in the park, especially if you have had to walk a little more than usual to get there.


– Change the way you view house work, gardening or even just taking the bins out! Turn it into an opportunity to get your butt moving and your arms working.  It always helps if there is good music to accompany this 🙂

– Take the stress out of finding the closest parking space and park a bit further away than normal. Not only will you get a sneaky walk in, but your stress bank will thank you for it.

 – Spend quality time with your family and friends by doing something active and fun together. Whether it is rock climbing, bush walking, getting out in the garden, kicking a ball, throwing a frisbee or skipping a date over coffee to enjoy a chilled out-pilates session (thanks Liv 🙂 )… the options are endless and not only will it bring you closer together; it will benefit your health and fitness too.

A stroll wherever you are in the world is a good way multi-task -to keep moving and spend time with the people your love

And last but not least… Dance your little hearts out. Dancing a great workout and a good way to balance out those few extra drinks 😉

Happy moving peeps!

What is your best way to exercise without feeling as though you are exercising?

*Please note, I am not a personal trainer or a dietician. My blog is based on my own research and my own personal experiences.