Category: active

Savoring Winter

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“Just got back from a beautiful eve of winter solstice snowshoeing. My heart was lost and enlivened by both the hush of the mountainous snow world and a very fun irreverence with friends..” – George Meredith

Savoring winter, this year?  If it’s winter where you are, snowshoeing is a wild, wonderful way to savor winter.

Every winter, we pack or rent snowshoes and head to the nearest “mountainous snow world” and walk and walk and walk.

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Australia’s Most Popular Triathlons


2012 Sunsmart Ironman 70.3 Busselton. Video courtesy of FallingLeafVideo.

Kelly Holmes wrote this post about Australia’s most popular triathlon events.

The triathlon is the ultimate test of human physical conditioning.

Most people think that running, swimming, and cycling are difficult enough on their own. Triathletes must train in all three sports to qualify to participate in triathlons. Finishing an Ironman triathlon can be the defining moment in the lives of all people who can claim they have done it.

In Australia, there is a rich variety of popular triathlon events for people to participate. Take a look at some of these triathlons in Australia:

Ironman 70.3 Busselton

The Ironman 70.3 Busselton (see above) is a Half Ironman triathlon. This is a popular triathlon event because it is not nearly as grueling as a full Ironman competition. Participants must swim 1900 meters, cycle for 90.1 kilometers, and run for 21.1 kilometers. The event takes place in Busselton, Australia, a popular location for many fitness enthusiasts to test their training and abilities in a rigorous atmosphere. Many people have a difficult time finishing the race, but those who do finish have an unmatched sense of accomplishment.

2012 Mooloolaba Triathlon Highlights. Video courtesy of USMONLINE.

Mooloolaba Triathlon

The Mooloolaba Triathlon is one of the most popular Olympic style triathlons in Australia. For the average fitness fanatic, this Olympic style triathlon will give them all the challenges they need to grow into a better fitness expert. The event begins with a 1500 meter swim. The next stage involves 40 kilometers on the bike. The final stage has runners going for 10 kilometers.

SunSmart Ironman Western Australia 2012 Swim Leg Highlights. Video courtesy of  USMONLINE.

Ironman Western Australia

This is the granddaddy of all triathlons in Australia. You must swim for 3800 meters, bike for 180 kilometers, and run for 42.2 kilometers in order to complete this race. The physical output required of people during this race is nothing short of phenomenal. Many pass out due to exhaustion or physical pain from injury before they can finish the race. It’s still a popular event to attend and even participate in due to the mystique around it.

Geelong Triathlon

This is another triathlon of the Olympic variety. There are plenty of reasons for people to try their hands at this popular triathlon event. You’ll try a 1500 meter swim, 40 kilometers on the bike, and a 10 kilometer run. An average participant will be able to finish the event in the allotted time, but it’s still a challenge for everyone to complete.

3 Green Activities In Northumberland

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Hadrian’s Wall: The wall looking east from Housesteads. Photo credit: Bryn Pinzgauer.

Lauren Witts wrote this post about the best green activities in Northumberland. She is from Late Lettings which provides last minute holiday cottages in the UK and beyond.

Northumberland has been growing in popularity as a holiday destination over the last few years due to its scenic beauty and rich historical significance. It’s home to many impressive castles, dating back to its time as a battleground for the conflict between England and Scotland. The county also played a key role in important historical periods such as the Industrial Revolution, with many rich coal mines being sited there.

These days though, the times of battles and mining are long gone and there are many other great activities to be enjoyed in the county instead. Here are 3 Green Activities in Northumberland that are kind to the environment and great fun too:


Hadrian’s Wall. Video courtesy of Visit Northumberland.


Walking is the ultimate ‘green’ activity. It gives time for exploration and relaxation and poses minimal impact to the environment. The great news is that Northumberland has no shortage of great spots for a stroll. One of our favorites is detailed on the Visit Northumberland website and takes you on a circular walk along and around Hadrian’s Wall – Park at Steel Rig and turn right out of the car park, following signs towards Hotbank. When you reach a second footbridge, continue along the path to the right towards Hotbank Farm. This will take you onto the Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail. Follow this until you reach the Farm and then turn right and follow National Trail acorn signs all the way back to Steel Rig. This is a fantastic walk, which offers beautiful panoramic views and a wonderful encounter with the ancient Hadrian’s Wall. Plus during the summer months, if you want to make your visit even greener, you can access the walk by public transport on the Hadrian’s Wall Bus.


Wooler, Northumberland. Video courtesy of Visit Northumberland.


Northumberland has endless opportunities for cycling, with off-road routes to suit keen mountain bikers and on road options for those who prefer a smoother ride. Our favorite cycle is about 22 miles long and takes you into the heart of the Cheviot Hills. You can do this route in one or split it in two and enjoy the long freewheel home the following day. Turn left out of Padgepool Place Car Park, Wooler and continue along the road until you get to Kirknewton. Cross over the Bridge, turn left when you arrive at Westnewton and enter into the National Park. From here, take a left behind the farm buildings and follow signs to the Mounthooly YHA. The views on this route are out of this world, with plenty of great vantage points along the way. Once you reach the top, turn around and enjoy the long easy ride home!


Seahouses, Northumberland. Video courtesy of Visit Northumberland.

Nature Watching

With all the stunning natural landscape in Northumberland, it comes as no surprise that there’s also some fantastic nature to be found there. We think that nothing beats taking a boat trip to the Farne Islands to see the breeding seabirds and the hundreds of grey seals that make their home there. The islands are home to some 23 species of seabirds and make a very unique experience for a visit. Boat trips leave for the Islands daily from the pretty coastal town of Seahouse and must be pre-booked to avoid disappointment.

There are heaps more activities to get up to in Northumberland and this is by no means an exhaustive list. If you fancy a break in Northumberland this winter it’s not too late – take a look at last minute cottages in Northumberland online. Late deals in Northumberland often offer you an even better rate for visiting this beautiful part of the UK, so what are you waiting for! – get out there and see what wonderful green delights await!

Blissing Out In Mozambique

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Beach yoga.

Looking for a blissful yoga holiday?  The Vamizi Island, Mozambique is now offering yoga retreats hosted by renowned yoga teacher Claire Finlay.

On these Vamizi Island Retreats, guests can start the day with vinyasa yoga on the shoreline followed by a fresh juice or smoothie.

They can go deep sea fishing for their surf fresh supper or scuba diving the Neptune’s Arm led by experts.

“This is exercise and nutrition as nature intended, the beach is your gymnasium and the ocean is your larder, your time will be spent outside at one with nature,” says the resort.

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A guestroom on Vamizi Island.

The rest of the day, guests can read, stroll the beach, go snorkeling or walk with the island’s own naturalist.

As the island sun is setting, Finlay will lead an evening yoga session.

The Vamizi Island Retreat package includes deep sea fishing, scuba diving, yoga, snorkeling, internal flights transfers and accommodation.

For info and reservations, visit Vamizi Island, Mozambique.

Images courtesy of Vamizi Island, Mozambique.