MicroAdventures on the horizon

I’ve recently started to read a new book designed to make an (micro)adventurer out of anyone and I am finding it really inspiring! Lots of ideas to get me of my sofa and into the great outdoors without costing a fortune. If you are looking for some inspiration to add a little adventure into your life it’s a great book to get.

New bike.

The books purchase was inspired by my recent bike purchase, a Hybrid Boardman MX Sport. I’ve no experience of bikes (my last bike was a Raleigh Chopper in the 1970’s), but I chose the type based on the activities I envisioned me taking part in, mainly day trips into the countryside. My routes would mainly consist of cycle paths (some minor roads) and off road trails (Not mountain bike courses), so a Hybrid bike seemed a great option. (Thanks to John P for helping choose a actual bike!)

I’ve added a rear rack top rear bag for essentials on day trips, and a handlebar bag for my Lumix camera when I fancy it. I’ve also got the option of side panniers for any trips longer than a day trip (or a nice big picnic!) as I’m not a fan of cycling with a backpack if possible.

Geek alert!

Also being the gadget head that I am, a Garmin Edge Touring GPS sits on my handlebars also. I did a few trial runs with my iPhone and some bike routing apps but found the battery life far too limiting. Hence the Garmin and its suggested 17 hour battery life which will cover any day trips with ease.

It’s also a cycle computer and recently went on my 1st solo run out on the bike covering 19 miles with considerable ease.

The 1st half of the route was a mixture of cycle paths and trails, the 2nd was mainly a canal towpath. The Hybrid bike was great, having front suspension and slimmer rough tread tyres were more than adequate for the cycle paths and off road. I enjoyed a leisurely couple of hours exploring my local area, something I’ve never done before. Tell me I’d cover over 19 miles on a bike a few months ago I would have smiled politely to you whist thinking you were crazy!

I’m looking forward to some more cycling exploration and a full overnight MicroAdventure soon!

My No.1 travel advice? Take the CityMapper app with you.

I’ve just returned from a fabulous 3 day trip to Paris where we tried to cram as much in as possible, Eiffel Tower, The Louvre Museum, Orangeries Museum, Orsay Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Boat trip on the Siene, Open top Bus tour, the Arc de Triomphe, Motpaenasse Tower….. the list goes on an on.

To help us navigate between these amazing sites I used a free smartphone app (iOS and Android) called CityMapper, I had used it before occasionally in London, usually whenever I wasn’t sure how to get back to the Station for the journey home! The Paris trip was the 1st time I’ve actually relied on the app.

The app is brilliant, drop yourself in a major city (CityMapper covers 17 major cities worldwide currently) and just explore. Set your ‘Home’ as your Hotel and you will only be a few clicks from getting accurate directions to your hotel from anywhere in the city! We found it so easy to navigate from place to place using the app. Making decisions to take the Metro or Walk within a few seconds and then heading off in the right direction. I grew up with paper maps, I find them fascinating still, however the only time the paper map of Paris came out was to plan where to go at the start of the day, then we turned to CityMapper to get us there and it did not let us down once.

I’d recommend everyone to take CityMapper with you if you are visiting any of the cities it covers as it’s will make your trip that little easier. It’s worth the extra data charges you will incur!

Note, We still did our usual thing of exploring back streets, you never know what you might find!

Things on your doorstep

IMAG0203Often we all overlook things to do that are on our doorstep, but this Saturday with some glorious English weather we found a gem of place. West Green Gardens is less than a 10 minute drive from where we live and yet we’d never paid it a visit even with it being the nearest National Trust venue to us. It’s such a wonderful collection of gardens with a great little tea room to rest and take on some much-needed tea and cake. We had a great day out wandering around and smelling the rose’s and relaxing in the sun! Continue reading “Things on your doorstep”