Tenerife – A Canary Island Story #2

So, still in Tenerife. Still loving it. Now we hit the next day where we were off to visit El Tiede.

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Volcano Tiede is the third largest volcano in the world. We took a nice long drive through the national park, taking in out of this world views, overlooking vistas and chowing on pastries that were literally the size of our heads. The ride up was amazing!

We did suffer from ear popping (because of the changing altitudes) but we had good conversations about life and silly things while feeling the warmth of the sun from inside the car.

When we arrived at the volcano, we took a cable car to the top which was covered in snow!

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We were dressed for summer but luckily enough brought some warmer gear with us so we wouldn’t freeze our butts off. We threw on everything we had so hopefully that explains why I had a dress on in the snow.

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I think we spent about an hour on top of the volcano, hiking about the paths and trying not to fall. I mean I was. Although there was a path, it was very slippery and my sneakers didn’t have a ton of grip so I was desperately trying not to go off the side of the cliff. I must admit I was chicken to hike up any further but the old boyfriend was egging me on to keep going.

We then came back down the mountain and warmed up before navigating out of a tight parking spot to make our way back to the Airbnb.

During our ride, I made us have an impromptu picnic in the car, overlooking El Tiede. We were both hungry and we had the sandwich supplies in the boot of the car so I figured why not. Our next destination was an hour away and usually, I always forget to feed myself properly on holiday. Somehow, that always escapes me. Eating. I get snacks but those real meals man, so hard to remember!lol

Later we made our way to El Medano to see the end of the sunrise and to chat about life as we walked along one of the volcanic beaches.

After that stretch of the legs. We were hungry again – time for dinner! We went to a spot that looked like a home restaurant. They don’t have menus, you just get what they serve you and it’s all really cheap! We had cheese and bread, slated potatoes, bacalao and garbanzo beans. It was an interesting meal for sure but definitely tasty and dirt cheap – 12 euros for two people!

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After that, we called it a day and rested up for another day of fun.

 

Windy Walks and Cliffs in Cornwall

I didn’t imagine myself in Cornwall ever – never ever. I guess that’s strange since I went to Manchester and many people would say they’d never see themselves there. But boy, I’m so glad I went to Cornwall, in October even!
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First off, Cornwall is beautiful. There are plenty of walking paths near the coast, beaches, mini hikes, rural animals and farms, and more. It’s so quaint (but sometimes too quaint with shops closing at 9 PM and refusing to serve you food since their kitchens are closed) and the atmosphere is relaxed beyond belief.
I went there on a quick getaway with a friend. We stayed in the cutest little Chalet (hidden behind a slightly scary and narrow road) that had everything you could ask for (maps of the area, TV, wifi, mini kitchen, homemade cake and honey, etc). It was warm, peaceful and picturesque.
As soon as we got in, we made our way to one of the only open eateries near us – a fish & chips spot in Hayle. I ordered cod with some cheesy chips (fries) and my friend had the fish cake and traditional chips. Both were absolutely delicious. The portions were huge, the food was fresh (since we were so close to the sea) and the meal was cheap. Great first intro to Cornwall.
Next up, windy hikes in Porthleven and Porthcurno.
We stopped in Porthleven where we each picked up a breakfast pastry and warm drink. Again, delicious. We then walked along the harbor where we eventually started skipping, climbing and throwing rocks. I wasn’t ready immediately, I had my Michael Kors handbag in one hand and a pastry in the other but I had to roll up my sleeves and get one with nature. I wanted to enjoy all that fresh air and just sit.
After a bit of that, we were off to Porthcurno where we hiked along the coastal path. We saw “wild ponies”, sheep, castle sites, sea side views and even trekked along a small fishing village. It was a very windy day however,making it difficult to hike as there was great potential for the wind to pick you up and throw you off the cliff! We survived but there were a few close encounters.
The next few days, we took it easy, eating the Cornish delicacy called the pasty from Philps and just going on casual strolls and car rides around Cornwall.
We then took a trip down to Tintagel to see some Dark Ages ruins as well as King Arthur’s castle. It was really nice and the views were again, freaking awesome. We also had an amazing seafood meal at the Seafood Cafe in St Ives but nearly killed ourselves eating. Although the portions weren’t huge, I felt like I was going to explode after sharing a starter, then eating my meal with a glass of wine and some dessert.
I loved Cornwall! Especially the last day where we walked all over Hayle beach and got another Cornish pasty for the road. Fun times!
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Don’t Fall In! Paddle Board Yoga in Malta

For the pursuit of new experiences, pushing myself beyond my boundaries and just for the fun of it all, I decided to try SUP Yoga while on a trip to Malta (more details and stories about this trip to come).

Trying my hand at paddle boarding.

SUP Yoga is an extremely fun workout that combines your love of water or paddle boarding with a passion for yoga. Taught by the founder Rosita, the class is about an hour long and goes through the yoga basics all while forcing you to really concentrate and use your core in order to keep yourself from flopping off the board and into the water. I admittedly don’t have a passion for yoga but have done it a few times and consider myself to be quite flexible. I also find myself to have relatively good balance or grace so if I do fall, it isn’t a sight. I thought, why not, I should be pretty good at this.

As you can see from my face in the photo above, terror was a REAL emotion.

Rosita starts you off giving a run through about the class, how to get on the board and ways to maintain balance. She is pretty thorough and makes sure you feel comfortable and assured that this is something you can do. I was somewhat convinced in my own abilities but knowing that there was a possibility that I might lose my balance and go face first into the open waters made things more intense. So much so, I opted for a life jacket just because it’s been a while since I last swam and I didn’t want to look foolish falling overboard and following it up with screams because I thought I might drown.

Even with all these thoughts running around, I got on the board. That was relatively easy. Also easy, paddling out to the spot where we were to setup and tether ourselves to a line so we wouldn’t go floating about the sea while doing our downward facing dogs. What wasn’t easy for me as a newbie was tying myself down to the line. I hadn’t realized to put my line on the back of the board where I could easily grab it and instead let it drag behind me. This proved difficult as one of my biggest fears was falling over and trying to get that line at the back of the board might have been a way to lose your balance. Lucky for me, there was an experienced girl in the class who tied me on. Following that, the instructor came by and made sure everyone was secure and that we had enough space for our boards to float about while doing yoga.

Once we were all secure, it was time for class. Rosita had us doing some deep breathing, bridges, stretches, happy baby, and more. All of these moves were items I had done before in yoga classes back in NYC but what made this more difficult was the fact that we had to really use our core to make sure our balance was engaged. One false move and it isn’t “uh oh, I slipped but let me reset.” It’s more like “oh god, I’m in the water. Let me get back on the board and reset with my wet hands and feet making things more slippery and increasing my chances to fall over again.” However I did like that we did have to concentrate so hard on our moves or rather, our balance.

As Rosita pointed out to me after the class, because we are on the water, we have to really leave all our thoughts on the dock. We can’t bring any baggage with us or let our minds wander on to stresses and worries because one, you aren’t suppose to do that in yoga and two, it’s nearly impossible to do when you’re consumed with nailing the moves and not falling over. I certainly am a firm believer of this because I do currently have something that has caused me to think a bit harder than I need to on it and that yoga class literally wiped it clean from my brain until I got on shore.

At the very end of the class, I had a chance to chat with Rosita who has been doing SUP Yoga for over 3 years in Malta (St. Julians). She’s told me that she really has been seeing the enthusiasm for the program  pick up out here because not only is it a fun workout but it really builds your core and helps out with balance. She’s trained athletes here in Malta and has also expanded the business to add on a number of new employees. All in all, people are truly digging the class and I am one of them.

I definitely had a great time learning more about SUP Yoga and also having the ability to workout while on vacation but not feel like I was working out. The class is a ton of fun and best of all, Rosita gives you a few minutes after class to just paddle on the boards for fun! This really made my Malta trip one of kind and I highly recommend if you’re looking for something affordable and fun to do.