A taste of Portugal

As Geoff was going to be home for around 10 days between his 2 big cycling trips to Sri Lanka and South Korea/Japan, I thought it would be a good Idea to do some multi day hiking again.

The plan was to go to Portugal and walk the Fisherman’s Trail BUT before we even left cambridge we realised that to do this we should be flying to Lisbon not Faro, so we changed our plans.

The new plan was to start our walking in Sagres and make our way along the coast using the GR13 and GR11 trails,another mistake we made was expecting it to be warm,at times the strong winds made it feel very cold.

Anyway we managed 6 days of walking and covered around 80 miles, we even had a days walking along the fisherman’s trail which as expected was amazing , so although it may not have been as warm as we expected  the sun did shine , the scenery was awesome and the wild flowers were beautiful, I also loved spending a week with Geoff.

The beach’s in Portugal are also very beautiful, I think we saw them at there best, out of season and empty ! The beach at Carrapateira was especially amazing with its boarded walks, its a must visit place if you ever find yourself in Portugal as well as the beach at Praia De Monte Clerigo.

The other thing not to miss is the traditional Portuguese tart or Pastel De Nata, they are delicious and we consumed many.

Within days of being back Geoff was off on his next trip but I have things to look forward too, some multi day biking together, maybe on the North sea cycle route and a 200km Audax ,both good training for my Lap of Anglia ….. but first its the LDWA Daffodil dawdle

Cambridge Half Marathon

After being poorly and missing 3 weeks of my training I decided that my aim would be just to complete this run and enjoy it

On the morning of the run, the weather was damp and chilly and I was determined not to overdress so found myself in the starting pen in the rain huddling up to other runners to keep warm

The start went really well and 10 mins after the gun I was crossing the start line in the second wave of runners, not bad considering there were 8999 other runners, the rain had stopped too which was a bonus!

The first part of the route was through town with tons of support then out to Grantchester before returning back into town via Newnham and the “Backs” then just as you might be getting tired you arrive back into town where there are crowds of people to cheer you on.

It was a real boost to see Geoff and other friends along the route, I also took advantage of the gels provided at the water stations and I swear these made a difference as I never felt like I was tiring at all.

Due to starting in the rain I had decided not to run with my glasses on so was unable to read the information on my running watch, I cannot begin to tell you how amazed I was to find myself crossing the finish line in 2.09.25 with a huge big smile as not only had I ran better than I expected too but I had also managed my longed for P/B.

I really loved this event, it is so well organised , the weather was perfect for me,the bling is awesome and I got to tick off two of my 2017 goals, a half marathon and a P/B.

So what next ……well I have three 10km running events booked and a huge biking challenge to keep me going !!!!!

Ready or Not !!

Due to injury Its now  a year since i did my last running event, the Cambridge Half marathon, it was while running this that I tore my Achilles.

It took a while to heal, but with help and advice from a good Physio i did mend, ironically it was the week of my bike crash that i had the all clear to start running again.

I started back with 10 min runs, then 15 min and finally back to parkrun on 11th June 2016

Since then I have built back up slowly, deciding no events till this year, with that in mind I booked freethorpe 10 mile and the Cambridge half marathon for 2017

For some reason I have had trouble finding running shoes that I really feel comfortable in, I love my Hoka and my Adidas boost but neither are wide enough for runs over 6 miles,so I have mizuno wave for the extra width but i have not fallen in love with these shoes !!

All was going well un till I caught a virus in early January, I tried to fight it off for a few weeks but finally had to give into it when it turned into a nasty chest infection and a course of antibiotics was needed.

Not only did I have to pull out of the freethorpe 10 miler i lost 3 weeks of training too, I started back not 100% well but was determined not to miss my Half marathon.

Its a week to go now, so no more running, no alcohol, and a Berocca everyday then fingers crossed I will be rested and ready !!!!!!

The Fisherman’s Trail

In March Geoff will be home from Sri Lanka for 23 days and we are going to Portugal for a week of walking.

He then goes off to South Korea for another 6 weeks of biking,after that I hope he will be home long enough to do some biking with me !

We have decided to walk some of the Rota Vicentina which is a network of walking trails, 400km in total, comprising the Historical and Fisherman’s trail along the SW coast.

After doing some research I discovered that we was actually planning to walk it in the wrong direction and would miss the best 4 days of walking.

So now we shall start In Porto Covo and head to Odeceixe along the Fisherman’s trail

Day one… Porto Cova to Milfontes 20km

Day two…. Milfontes to Almograve 15km

Day three…. Almograve to Zambujeira 22km

Day four…. Zambujeira to Odeceixe 18km

and to finish off  a beach circuit at Odeceixe

You can then join the Historical way and carry on walking to Cabo de San Vicente but we wont have time for this as its just a short trip, but it will be lovely to spend time with Geoff and see some sun.

Weetabix cake

Its no secret that I enjoy baking cakes, in fact when I am feeling stressed I can often be found baking cake very late at night !!

A life time ago in another life I baked many cakes for many RAF coffee shops, including this one.

Luckily for me now,I know lots of people who like eating my cakes, else I might be a little larger than I am. I don’t like posh fancy cakes but good easy wholesome one’s and the occasional Guinness Cake that i still have to make for the girls at work ….

An old favourite recipe is A weetabix cake, many people have asked me for this recipe, including the Cambridge Rambling Club Ladies, after i took one for after our Saturday walk, so I thought the easiest way was to put the recipe here on my blog

2 weetabix

half a pint of skimmed milk

8oz soft brown sugar

8oz mixed dried fruit

1 egg beaten

8oz S/R flour

Place weet-a-bix. milk.sugar and fruit in a bowl and leave to soak over night.

add egg and flour then mix well.

bake in a lined 2lb loaf tin for aprox 1 hour, until skewer comes out clean at 180

Best left for 24 hours before eaten and keeps well for a week 

A weekend of walking

There was a time when I spent every weekend walking with Cambridge Rambling Club, a time before Geoff started all this travelling and I fell in love with my bike, now I still like the walking but to get a decent walk usually involves a lot of driving which I don’t like.

I keep in touch with Cambridge Rambling club and when I saw they had a weekend booked at the Activity Centre in Brancaster Staithe I jumped at the chance to go and invited my friend Gina along too.

Luckily for me I was just starting to feel better so this weekend was just the tonic i needed, a gentle start back to exercise with lots of chatting and catching up with people i had not seen for over a year.

The activity centre was  clean comfortable and well equipped with an excellent kitchen,spacious lounges and a pub near by.

We made our own breakfast and had our evening meals in the Jolly Sailors where the food was good and the service excellent, best of all it meant no cooking or washing up.

We enjoyed an excellent 19 mile walk on the Saturday heading in land through Holkham hall grounds, where many Deer were seen,then back along the coast path, which was just wonderful, we often forget about the great places we have right on our doorstep.

No need to worry about navigation on these walks or getting lost as Jill who organises them is an expert, so we could just relax, enjoy, chat and walk.

Sunday after packing everything away we headed to Hunstanton along the coast path and the many boarded walks, a favourite of mine with lovely memories of the many walks when I first met Geoff. The coastal bus was caught to get back to our cars but Gina and I stayed a while longer as the weather was so nice and we fancied tea and cake to end a fab weekend.

A total of 32 miles walked in lovely winter sunshine.

So a big thank you to Cambridge Rambling club for a fab weekend of walking and when Geoff finally decides to stay in England long enough I shall get him out on a Sunday Ramble…….

On the mend !!

Having spent the second half of January feeling quite out of sorts with a very annoying cough, I finally gave in and took to my bed.

The annoying sometimes killer cough led to a chest infection,so no work , no massage clients and no exercise.

Part of my half marathon training had been to run the Freethorpe 10 mile road race but unfortunately this was not to be…..

To fill my time I have been catching up with lots of tv and netflix series, the best being The Crown, I have also made a good start on knitting my socks and have made my marmalade for the year.

I am now back at work even though I was offered a sick note and I am hoping after another week with no exercise and antibiotics, I might be fit enough to get back on my bike and continue with the half marathon training.

In the mean time I have a lovely weekend to look forward too but more about that next week !!!

New Year QE2 100km Audax

One of my Christmas gifts from Geoff was an Audax membership, Audax rides are something I really enjoy and as Geoff prefers these to sportive’s it something we can enjoy doing together.

So with this in mind we booked our first Audax of 2017, the New year QE2 100km from Swaffham for Jan 14th , little did we know that this weekend there would be a bad weather warning !

The sprinkling of snow which arrived early on Friday 13th was followed by strong wind and low freezing temperatures. I think it was the wind that saved the day because it dried out all the roads leaving just a few icy patches to look out for.

Thankfully the strong wind  disappeared over night leaving us with a very sunny if cold day, this sun did cause a few problems though as it was very strong and low making visibility hard at times.

The route had info points at Docking, Swanton Novers and Hulver street with a control point at Nortons cafe, where the coffee and scones were as good as ever. It was the first real outing for my Hip Flask, a christmas gift from Matthew, I filled it with home made Sloe Gin which hit the spot on this cold day.

Luck was on our side and we enjoyed a great ride, only having to take real care at a few hazardous places, unfortunately on the way to Bradenham we had to help two guys who came off on ice just behind us and I believe one has a fractured hip, it could so easily have been us but that is the risk we take.

We arrived back at Swaffham community centre 5 and a half hours after setting off ,we were greeted with Home made soup ,rolls, bread pudding and tea/coffee, which we enjoyed along with many other riders.

A great start to our Audax year, many thanks to Jonathan and all the volunteers who make these events possible and I am looking forward to riding many more especially my first 200 km Audax with Julie sometime in May when the weather should hopefully be warmer.