eXerK

How to get to Cabo San Juan in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

Posted by in Colombia, Gentle, Hike, Swim, Travel

Go here if you like: Beaches, nature, hiking and hammocks (but be warned, it can get quite busy and may not the deserted paradise you may be craving) A bit of context: Respecting the indigenous presence in the area, Tayrona National Park is a concession managed by the Tayrona people. Tourists are allowed into the park though they do shut the park every now and again for indigenous ceremonies so check ahead. Tayrona is beautiful and as a result popular for both national and international tourists. By no means is it crowded…read more

What to do in Minca in the Sierra Nevada, Colombia?

Posted by in Colombia, Gentle, Hike, Other, Travel

Why go to Minca? o Up in the Sierra Nevada mountains 15km behind Santa Marta is Minca, a little village with rivers, waterfalls and jungle. o A cooler climate makes this a fresher place to be than Santa Marta City. It’s a relaxing place loved by backpackers, with a language school, massages, yoga and meditation. What do do in Minca? o Relax, watch the sunset from your hostel (see recommendations below) o Visit Pozo Azul, a couple of swimming holes with little waterfalls a 45 minute walk from Minca pueblo…read more

If I start a band it will be called: Annie + The Dolomites

Posted by in Blogs, Climb, Cycle, Gentle, Hike, Homemade events, Long weekend abroad, Medium, Organised events, Other, Run, Tough, Travel

Hola! Before I get too swept up in Colombia life (more on that in a couple of weeks), the fruits of my week long trip to the Dolomites are ready. My memories have been converted into tangible, viewable, readable matter: Fun little video of the sights I saw doing the things I do Travel review with the finer details for Evening Standard Online Photo updates on social media Click on the pictures to see the memories with your own eyes. Watch the video   Read the article Last but not least,…read more

Hula hoop challenge

Posted by in 52in52, Gentle, Homemade events, London, Other

Challenge: Hula hooping Details: We booked onto a workshop with Marawa and the Majorettes, a touring hula hooping troupe. Their workshops vary depending on the time of year but have a google and see if they are popping up anywhere near you. Wear? Anything – would recommend tighter rather than baggier clothes to smooth the hoops’ journey Cost? £10ish eXerK 52in52 story: A group of us went along to Shoreditch Town Hall for the hour long session. There is skill to hula hooping and not everyone is a natural! We…read more

Rollerblade relay

Posted by in 52in52, Gentle, Homemade events, London, Other

Challenge: Rollerblade relay Details: Where did rollerblading go in our lives? Many of us tried it as kids, but haven’t donned tiny little wheels on our feet since then. To bring in a team element, we made this into a relay, not a race, but a team effort to clock up the most number of 1km loops. The competition element disappeared somewhat as most of us were learning as we went but it was still good fun. Where? Anywhere smooth and flat. Kensington Gardens where there are a mix of…read more

Flying trapeze

Posted by in 52in52, Gentle, Homemade events, London, Organised events, Other

  Challenge: Flying trapeze catch Details: At a one-off session or a course, mere mortals can try their hand at flying trapeze in the centre of London. A team of trapeze artists take you through the safety and the steps to swinging on a trapeze bar. Clipped in via a harness, you’re up the ladder, off the platform and swinging before you know it. While a fear of heights will play a part, you will surprise yourself at how much progress you make in the two-hour session. Where? During the…read more

Project Awesome double triple

Posted by in 52in52, Gentle, Homemade events, London, Run

Challenge: The Project Awesome double triple Details: Attending all three sessions for two weeks in a row Where? London. Mondays are flash fitness style, with a roaming location (posted on their Facebook group a few days before). Normally circuits Wednesdays are at the Scoop next to City Hall (SE1 2DB). Running and step training Fridays are on top of Primrose Hill (NW1). Hill intervals When? 6.30am Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays Bring? Running gear. There is a bag drop but no shower facilities. Bikes can be left safely as well Food & drink?…read more

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Snowdon hike

Posted by in 52in52, Gentle, Hike, Medium, Rural weekend away

Challenge: Hike Snowdon Details: There are a selection of routes up Snowdon. We chose the Watkin Path as we stayed at YHA Bryn Gwynant. Where? Snowdon, North Wales Transport? £60 for car rental and petrol per person. Train from London to Llandudno Junction then a taxi is an alternative too. When? Summer months have a better chance of nice weather but if you have winter mountaineering experience, you can climb Snowdon all year round. Essential kit list: Water proof jacket Warm hat Gloves Walking Boots Rucksack (25-35 litres in size depending on how…read more

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Bouldering weekend in Fontainebleau

Posted by in 52in52, Climb, Gentle, Homemade events, Long weekend abroad

Challenge: Outdoor bouldering Go eXerK yourself: Head to Fontainebleau, 90km south of Paris (or 45 minute drive from Orly airport). More info on the area can be found on UK Climbing and Climb Europe. The activity: If you’re new to Bouldering, check in at one of London’s climbing centres for an induction. You’ll be amazed at the new muscles you find hurting two days later (in a good way) so worth getting some practice in ahead of what is set to be a great weekend. For more, check out the Basics of Bouldering. Why not peruse…read more

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Dance finale

Posted by in 52in52, Gentle, Homemade events, London, Other

Challenge: The grand finale! Dance hard to Uptown Funk to celebrate the end of the 52in52! Details: Widely debated, for the purposes of accessible fitness, dancing is a sport. Where? There are dance schools all around London for all styles of dance (DanceBuzz.co.uk and SwingPatrol.co.uk for example) When? Whenever! Bring? Party clothes Food & drink? Optional Cost? Zero eXerK 52in52 story: Dancing and I have a funny relationship. I am remarkably bashful near anything that resembles a dance floor. If I get wrestled away from the bar, I tend to hide myself in…read more

52 minute swim

Posted by in 52in52, Gentle, Homemade events, London, Swim

  Challenge: Swim as far as possible in 52 minutes Details: Putting a bit of pressure on to keep swimming hard and fast for 52 minutes (52 because it’s the eXerK number obviously), this challenge catered for all abilities – either those that had never swum for that long before, or to push those who regularly swim that time, to swim a bit faster. Where? For Londoners: outdoor/ better.org). Transport? Cycle/ public transport. When? Anytime. Bring? Swimming costume, goggles, towel, cash/card for pool entry and locker. Food & drink? Bring…read more

Boxing Day Dip

Posted by in 52in52, Gentle, Homemade events, London, Rural weekend away, Swim

  Challenge: Boxing Day Dip Details: Find your nearest outdoor swimming location, be it a pond, the sea, a lake or a river and take a dip on Boxing Day (or Christmas Day or New Year’s Day). Be safe and have warm clothes to don when you get out. I joined the Heller family’s tradition of a Boxing Day Dip, which has grown out to include friends, and friends of friends, to be 50+ strong this year. I recommend swimming with other people – not only for safety, also for…read more

Royal Parks Cycle

Posted by in 52in52, Gentle, Homemade events, London

  Challenge: Royal Parks Cycle Details: A 45km cycle between all eleven Royal Parks in London. It’s a fun day of exploring London open to all abilities of cycling. Greenwich Park, Victoria Tower Gardens is next, then onto St James’s Park, Green Park, Regent’s Park, Grosvenor Square Gardens, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Brompton Cemetery, Richmond Park and Bushy Park. Where? Meet at the entrance to Greenwich Park next to the Greenwich Tavern. Use google maps to navigate. I recommend the quadlock phone mounts to help you. Transport? Your bike. Cycle…read more

Windsor & Eton 15km run

Posted by in 52in52, Day trip near London, Gentle, Medium, Organised events, Run

Challenge: 15km run race Details: The Windsor & Eton Fun Run series has options to run 5/10/15/ 20km distances so you can go with a group of friends no matter what their preferred distances. You all start at the same time. Where? Dorney Lake near Windsor & Eton (SL4 6QP). Transport? Trains from London Paddington to Taplow take 30 minutes, then 10-15 min taxi/ cycle from the station. Alternatively an easy drive. When? Several Windsor & Eton Fun Run dates throughout the year. Bring? Running gear and warm dry clothes…read more

Hampstead Heath pond swim

Posted by in 52in52, Gentle, Homemade events, London, Swim

  Challenge: Swim in the bathing ponds on Hampstead Heath on New Year’s Day Details: The freshwater bathing ponds, shared with ducks and overhanging trees, are a little drop of nature in London’s urban jungle. The designated bathing ponds are open for swimming all year round and are a daily ritual for some hardy swimmers. Heed the advice of the lifeguards, as the waters can be icy cold in winter. Transport? Cycle/ overground to Gospel Oak. Where? There are three bathing ponds on Hampstead Heath. The men’s and ladies’ separate ponds are open to the…read more

Lee Valley activities

Posted by in 52in52, Cycle, Gentle, London, Other, Swim

  Challenge: Day of activities in the Lee Valley Park Details: Lee Valley is a 26 acre park packed full of awesome sports facilities open to the public. Some have been around for a while; others are a legacy of the Olympics. In the Lee Valley you’ll find: a 1 mile outdoor cycle circuit, an indoor velodrome track, a BMX track, a static bike studio, athletics, hockey, tennis, swimming, diving, white water activities, sailing, fishing, horse riding, golf…really anything and everything! How? Book onto the sessions via the Lee Valley…read more

London Statue Walk

Posted by in 52in52, Gentle, Hike, London

  Challenge: London Statue Walk Details: an 18km walk in London with a statue theme.  Either self guide your own exploratory journey or join a guided walk. Secret London has some great information on walks and statues, this guide looks good and Walks hosts guided tours. Don’t forget about the Talking Statues. Where? Anywhere in London. The eXerK walk started in the City, via Broadgate Circus, down to St Mary’s Axe, up to Royal Exchange, Cannon Street, Queen Victoria Street, Blackfriars, Victoria Embankment Gardens, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Parliament Square, St…read more

San Sebastian 15km coastal trail hike

Posted by in 52in52, Gentle, Hike, Long weekend abroad

  Challenge: 15km trail coastal trail hike Details:  I walked a section of the Talaia Bidea trail from San Sebastian to Pasajes in North Spain. The details below are for this hike, but bear in mind you can do this on any coast with a trail (e.g. the South West Coastal Path). Where? San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain. How? The 7km out and back trail starts from the historical part of the San Sebastian. Set out along the Zurriola bay. Before the end of the beach, turn right towards the…read more

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