Climbing Toubkal and Exploring Morocco

Who goes to Morocco to climb a mountain? When most people think of Morocco, they think of the desert. And to be honest, after reading about mountaineering for the first time, I definitely considered doing a camel tour instead… But climbing the highest point in the Atlas Mountains was way too intriguing.

The Atlas Mountains separate the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert and spans over three African countries: Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. The highest point is called Toubkal at 4,167m above sea-level, located in southern Morocco.

Amina, who grew up in Casablanca took charge and planned the whole thing, which was amazing. We knew we wanted a guide, a night or two at the refuge and that we’d want to relax afterwards to recover and enjoy the warm weather. We were in Morocco for 5 full days (28-Apr to 3-May) with an epic itinerary: 2 days in the mountains with Toubkal Voyages and then 3 days by a lake to relax and recover.

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Crewing the Race Across America

2 weeks, 2 flights, 5 time zones, 3000 miles on the road and countless Red Bull’s crushed… where do I even start? Crewing the Race Across America was an experience unlike anything else.

I thought I set my expectations fairly well going into the race, but there are something’s in life you can’t prepare for without first hand experience… and RAAM is one of those things.

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How to Execute an Active Holiday

I’ve always felt that exploring new surroundings is best done from ground-level.

If you’re a runner, put on your runners and run; If you’re a walker, walk; and if you’re a cyclist, grab your bike and ride.

As you may have seen on Instagram/ Facebook, Dan and I are currently in Mallorca!

Port (1)While Dan and Phil train for the Race Across America. Suzanne and I have been exploring the island.

I don’t want this post to spat out facts about the benefits of exercise, the mindfulness gained from travelling or the therapeutic benefits of being outdoors.

We all know these are good things.

I hope this post helps to promote active traveling and that you walk away feeling excited to execute an active holiday.

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Team RAAMIN4Charity are getting ready to Race Across America!

Race Across America (RAAM) is known for being one of the toughest ultra cycling events in the World. It involves non-stop cycling coast to coast across America. The route is 3,000 miles long with 170,000 ft of climbing; our team is targeting a place on the podium, which means we’re aiming to finish the race in under 6 days.

When I say ‘we’ I mean Dan (@DanielOJello), Phil (@Tobebythesea), Tom (@CERacing) and a fourth cyclist who is yet to be selected. Me and the others… We’ll be driving support vehicles and doing everything else in between.

The group of us have named ourselves RAAMIN 4 CHARITY (@Raamin4Charity) and our website can be found here.Driving

Our nominated charities are Great Ormond Street Hospital given the fantastic care they gave a nephew of one of the riders and Aplastic Anaemia Trust for the research they undertake in trying to better understand this rare blood condition, which one of the teams suffers from. 

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Mount Snowdon, Wales

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Last weekend we packed up our gear and drove to Wales looking for a chance to get out of the city and see part of the UK we’d never experienced before.

A road trip only one week after completing The Sugar Free Challenge was a risk… who doesn’t like to snack en route? Luckily, a 4-hour walk/scramble up Mt. Snowdon the next day seemed to balance everything out. I’ve learned that I’m much better at the big picture of healthy living… micromanaging my diet last month has thrown me out of joint a bit.

Anyway, more about our time in Snowdonia…

Snowdon is the highest peak south of the Scottish Highlands. The trails to the top are straight forward in terms of navigation but the terrain becomes quite steep and rocky as you progress up the mountain.  

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A Mini Central Euro Trip

After the Berlin Half Marathon our holiday properly began. A group of us toured around the city of Berlin for a couple of days after the race, took a train to Prague and ended off in Vienna before heading back to London where reality awaited us.

It was my first experience traveling central europe and exploring three cities in three different countries with three different languages all in one trip. Such an amazing experience – figuring out the city layouts, the transport, the ‘it’ things to see and do. I loved it.

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Visiting London? Check out Sky Garden

Sky Garden

This is the view from Sky Garden, a top the Walkie Talkie building at 20 Frenchurch Street. I highly recommend visiting. It is considered a public space and as such, it is free entry. All you have to do, is book a time slot for the elevator.

If you’re a Londoner or you’re visiting London – visit the highest garden in central London (Click here to book). Experience a stunning view of London without the hefty price tag.

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A view from White Horse, Yorkshire

Yorkshire Countryside

Despite the very random weather Northern England often has to offer, yesterday morning was absolutely beautiful.

Driving up the steep and swervey Sutton Bank – a 25% gradient – your ears begin to pop. I’m not the best passenger when driving on UK roads (understatement of the century) as I often feel car sick… the swerving, the roundabouts, the opposite-side of the road, and now my ears are popping…. Getting to the top of Sutton Bank required a whole other level of concentration for me to not feel sick.

Well I made it (surprise! Obviously Allison…). And I have to say, it is quite quick to the top and the sights are well worth the journey.

What a stunning view of Yorkshire it was.

I started my run at Sutton Bank running along Cleveland Way until White Horse and then back again! It was a short run (around 6kms) with wicked sights and simple navigation.

I would actually recommend this route as a walk, rather than run. The view is too beautiful to run by and the distance is perfect for a social walk with friends or family. No walking guide or experienced hiker needed – not like the Lake District (blog post here).

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Green Gable of the Lake District

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If you live in the U.K. or plan to visit, make sure you get to the Lake District. It is such a beautiful part of this country and should be experienced AT LEAST once.

My friend Kelly took a group of us for a hike in the Lakes last year and I can’t wait to go back. We hiked up Green Gable and swam in the tarn pictured above. It was a 6hr hike of stunning country side scenery. I love the piece and quiet an activity like this offers — you can truly appreciate yourself and your surroundings.

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