COMPETITON! LIFESUM & THE NORDIC GUIDE

The lovely team at Lifesum & The Nordic Guide have teamed up with me to offer you lovely readers an amazing prize! You’ll be able to get your hands on a copy of The Nordic Guide to Living 10 Years Longer, as well as, a year’s premium membership from Lifesum lifestyle app.

Lifesum is an app which helps you track you eating and exercise habits by offering a number of different plans – one of my favourite parts of the app is the quick plan test! It’s a simple quiz which help you highlight the right plan for you – if your not interested in calories counter or your goal is to gain muscle rather than lose fat Lifesum can help! In summary Lifesum is healthy living, simplified. Lifesum is an app that helps you to get healthy your way, no fuss – here are a few screenshots of my favourite features.

 

Secondly, I have a copy of The Nordic Guide to Living 10 Years Longer to give away along with a subscription for the app! If you’ve lived the hygge way, it’s time to take some inspiration from Sweden and find out about lagom – a well-balanced approach to living a healthier and happier life.

Written by Dr Bertil Marklung, a doctor and researcher at Gothenburg University, this essential book makes the most of contemporary research to provide you with pragmatic and realistic advice that will make a difference to your future.

Debunking many myths (it turns out coffee is good for your health, after all!), the compact guide explains how the things we have been told are bad for us can sometimes be quite the opposite.

The book is split into 10 different sections such as time for recovery, be an optimist, eat yourself healthy and choose the right drink.

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To win and get your hands on this book and fabulous app like this post, comment! I’ll be picking a winner on 31st September – good luck!

The Nepal diaries part 3

The final part of our journey took us to Pokhara, which is the 3rd largest city in Nepal. The drive was a long one but that was nothing new! I had recently discovered the song Home by Gabrielle Aplin and it was the perfect sound track to my journey! Here I was driving through this beautiful country listening to a song that describe a love of home but the need to be more!

We got to Pokhara without any major hiccups apart from one of the boys leaving his phone of the bus and having to run around to find it! But disaster was averted!

While in Pokhara we stayed in  Peace eye hostel, I really loved the feel on this place, great customer service, great food and good rooms if you’re on a budget! We were also really close to the main strip of bars and restaurants and also the lake!

Our time in Pokhara was a lot more chilled than our time in Chitwan, we took the time to sight see, visit some museums ect. A couple of the group hired out scooters and went on a day trip, I would have loved to do this but as a born klutz I thought I better leave it for another time! We also spent our time eating/ drinking out and mixing with the locals and other tourists! One night we met a bunch of people from America, we got talking and continued drinking which was really nice, it was interesting to hear about other peoples time in Nepal and share tips/ activities!

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The heat in Pokhara was very different to other places we have been; it was more of a dry heat that just burnt down on you constantly! Being the pale and fair one of the group I was the first to get burnt and I obtained the weirdest tan lines in the group! I still have a faint line for one on my leg!

One of the day we were in Pokhara we decided to hire of three row boats and spend the day on the lake! It was an amazing time, the lake was so quiet and tranquil! As September isn’t a popular time for tourist so the lake was mostly empty! A warning though, being on the lake all day in the constant sun was a little overwhelming after a while! We all decided to jump into the lake and go swimming.. It was a relaxed day and a nice change for the fast paced/ jam-packed days we were use to!

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After getting some lunch at a lake side cafe and spending a lot of time in the sun we decided it was best to head back and freshen up! I loved spending the day on the lake, however I felt I held my self back because how I felt about my body.. being surrounded by 3 beautiful girls was a little to much pressure! Sometimes I do look back on that day and wish I had enjoyed myself a little more.

Once again it was time to pack our bags and head back to Kathmandu in time for flight home! However we decided to travel back in a slightly different manner! We got a mini-bus to a river… somewhere and spent the next couple of hours rapid river rafting! It was honestly one of the most thrilling things I have ever done, there was no certainly that our boat wouldn’t flip or that we would fall into the water (which we did). When the river smooth out we were allowed to jump into the lake and just drift down stream! At one point I realised I was drifting slightly too far from the boat and tried to swim back upstream like a slightly panicking salmon! It was at that moment I realised my gold swimming badge meant nothing!! Once we were back on the boat we reached several rapids which were close in succession.. this was the moment we had all been waiting for! With wide grins on our faces and our heart racing we all paddled in unison to break through!

This way of traveling was slightly expensive but it was definitely worth it, and much cheaper than if you were to do it back home!

The one thing we didn’t realise was that our luxury travel ended there, as we had to get a local bus back to Kathmandu! I’m sure you’ve seen this sort of travel of TV before.. overcrowded buses, bags strapped to the roof and you can forget about leg room! At this point we were all exhausted and we still slightly damp. Our journey would take about 6 hours and it was not pleasant.. morale was definitely low at this point! I tried to sleep on the bus but I had nowhere to place my head and the constant fear of plunging off a cliff made it hard to relax! The driving rule in Nepal are slightly different to what we have back in the UK!

Thankfully we all made it to Kathmandu (bags and all) and after searching for a number of hostels we found one that was cheap, close by and open! Unlike every restaurant!! I’m not sure what is the rule in Nepal but staying open late is definitely not on the OK list! We found a shop to buy some snacks and headed back to the hostel for some much needed sleep!

With our last days in Nepal we shopped around for presents and souvenirs, bartering became one of our favourite things to do and we all try and get the best deals, however one of the girls (Alice) was amazing at it! She was definitely the person to have with you when shopping! After we had finished we return to our hostel to find our Sherpas there waiting for us! It was an amazing surprise and lovely to see them again.. we had become so close over the time we spent with them! The main reason they came was to talk over our travel arrangement for the next day.. back to England and back to reality!

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The Nepal Diaries part 2

 

After an amazing climb to the base camp and a much quicker climb down we made are way back to Kathmandu! 

We had 8 days to explore everything Nepal had to offer and we definitely wanted to make the most of it. 

Arriving back in Kathmandu felt really strange, the last 12 days I had been surrounded by beautiful views, roaring waterfalls, yaks – It has felt as if I was in a different world, there wasn’t any wifi access, coffee shops or anything of convenience and to tell the truth it felt amazing! It was so refreshing to not have access to my emails or Facebook account and when it was thrusted upon me again I didn’t really know what to do – there were a lot of emails, text, posts etc to get my way through! 

While we are in Kathmandu the Teej festival was taking place, this festival is observed by women for wellness of their husband. The women of Nepal wear red and gold saris – it might seem backwards in this country but it was one of the most beautiful and joyful things I have ever seen, it was an honour to be apart of it.

We spent the day walking around the temples and palaces; and at one point in the day ‘the living goddess’ appear for a few seconds. There is a lot history and stories behind the godness, to us it seemed strange especially when we were stood below a balcony  waiting for a young girl to show her face for a fleeting moment! No pictures or video were allowed and if you are caught taking a picture the police will be involved. Several of us waited there for her to appear, as she did I was surrounded by a sea of gasps, people taken back by her appearance! Obviously her presence means a lot to their culture but us she was just a small child who was not allow to go to school or touch the floor in fear her powers would disappear.. the more saddening thought is the moment she hits puberty and get her period it all over, her title is gone! 

In the evening we sat down and had a meal to celebrate our climb to the base camp, mostly it was an early night as we were preparing to journey to Chitwan the following day, this is the area of Nepal where we were guaranteed to see some amazing wildlife! When we arrived we where not disappointed, Elephants walked freely along the roads as if they were lorries. 

We decided to buy into a package deal which probably cost about £15! It included a jeep safari, riding elephants, bathing elephants, visiting an elephant birthing place, canoe ride, a jungle walk and attending a traditional dance show. The highlight of the stay in Chitwan for me was the  Elephant bathing – Here I am riding bare back on a 13 foot Elephant that is shooting water at me! It was just incredibly crazy and something I will never forget! 

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The canoe ride was also an intense experience, i’m not sure what I was expecting but once I was sat in this carved out tree I was starting to feel slightly nervous, especially when the guide told us that we were the balance and there were alligators in the water!! However once we got going it was a beautiful and tranquil experience and a great way to see the  jungle!!

Another amazing moment was riding of an Elephant through the jungle, luckily I was on an elephant which was calm and just going with the flow – however my friends were on a less-than-happy elephant and as I was marvelling at the view they were creating an escape plan if all went wrong!! Fortunately it was okay, and we all got back on solid ground without any major issues. While we were riding on the Elephants we came up close and personal with a baby rhino and its mother! In that moment I felt like my eyes were deceiving me, here in front of me were wild rhinos but part of myself just couldn’t believe it – they almost seemed robotic in its movements and actions! I don’t know what I was expecting but it was all together different and 100x better.

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On our last night we went to this traditional dance show, it was really cool and interesting to see these young people become so involved in their culture! However.. the ‘Ostrich mating’ dance was announced and we were all expecting two dancer to come on stage and use some of the Ostrich’s moves to create the dance, but no. Some came out in a full Ostrich costume prancing around the stage and it was clear that the neck and head of the Ostrich was this person’s arm! I was trying are hardest to keep a straight face and not offend anyone but it was impossible to keep the tears from screaming down my face!!

We packed up for the 100th time and made our way to Pokhara! We decided to pay out a little more and get on the nicer bus with air-conditioning and leg room! Trust me.. its worth it!! 

Two quick notes  – While we were in Chitwan, we stayed at The River Bank Inn! Its a beautiful place, close to town, lovely staff and great facilities! Everything you could possibly need/want is there! 

Also, as I am older and wiser now I appreciate that riding Elephants is cruelty and not something I would promote in future.