Walking in Madeira: Canical to Machico / Summary Walking Holiday

Madeira Walks

1. Walk – Ilha to Santana / Where is Madeira?
2. Walk – Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro / Cristiano Ronaldo
3. Walk – Monte to Camatcha / Wicker Sledge Riding
4. Walk – Camatcha to Santo da Serra / Madeira, the Flower Island
5. Walk – Santo da Serra to Portela / Levadas
6. Walk – Marocos to Caniçal / Public Transport on Madeira
7. Walk – Baia d’Abra / Tourism
8. Walk – Canical to Machico / Summary Walking Holiday

Hiking on Madeira - Canical to MachicoCanical to Machico

Distance: 5.5km (3.4 miles)
Up: 390m
Down: 340m
Navigation: Rother Wanderführer Madeira Walk 11, Madeira Tour & Trail Map (1:40000)
Stef’s review: 4 of 5 stars

Our last walk today. Another short one, but we planned it this way because we knew we would … appreciate … a shorter walk after 8 days of walking. And I was longing to get back to my Kindle to read the next book of the Clifton-Chronicles, so a short walk of 5k was very welcome.
Hiking on Madeira - Bridge between Canical to MachicoWe walked from Canical to Machico along the coast high up in the hills. Beautiful view over the ocean, very quite apart from the occasional air plane starting or landing nearby. The not so enjoyable thing was again the heat. It was really, really hot, again no shade, and it felt much harder than yesterday. Maybe we we’re carrying our 12-kilo-backpacks this time. But once we climbed over Pico do Facho, it was just downhill and a less gruelling walk. Below us spread the town of Machico and we even could make out our hotel already where we stayed 2 days before. We arrived there at 2pm and had the rest of the day for ourselves, doing last-minute souvenir shopping, buying dinner, having a well-deserved looong shower and falling into bed to finish my book. And our walking holiday was already over again.

Summary of our Madeira Walking Holiday


We’ve been backpacking across the Eastern part of Madeira for 8 days. We were carrying 12kg on our backs incl. food for lunch for these 8 walking days.
My first thought when we were crossing the island on our first bus journey was that it looked like Jurassic Park. Hilly, trees covering the hills, green, wild, beautiful. Madeira is 100% mountainous with spectacular cliffs, peaks and villages build on terraces.
Most walks are accessible via public transport and their paths well laid. Walks range from mountains up to 1900m to easy, level walks along the levadas. There is a bizarre routine around the weather: 20 degrees throughout, sunny in the morning with clouds coming in and covering the mountains from noon.
The food is like what you expect on an isolated island: fresh fish, fruits and veggies that don’t look standardised and were very likely grown in the backyards of the Madeirans’ homes. Desserts, especially cakes and puddings, and very recommendable: the soup acorda for all garlic lovers. The lizards are far too human-friendly and have a strange keenness for Magnum ice cream sticks. Over all, a very nice, relaxing walking holiday.
Madeira: tick. Time to plan the next trip.

More about walking in Madeira:

More photos of Canical to Machico
Itinerary Madeira Walking Holidays
Packing List Madeira Holidays

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Walking in Madeira: Baia d’Abra / Tourism

Madeira Walks

1. Walk – Ilha to Santana / Where is Madeira?
2. Walk – Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro / Cristiano Ronaldo
3. Walk – Monte to Camatcha / Wicker Sledge Riding
4. Walk – Camatcha to Santo da Serra / Madeira, the Flower Island
5. Walk – Santo da Serra to Portela / Levadas
6. Walk – Marocos to Caniçal / Public Transport on Madeira
7. Walk – Baia d’Abra / Tourism
8. Walk – Canical to Machico / Summary Walking Holiday

Hiking in Madeira - Baia d'abraCircular Walk Baia d’Abra

Distance: 8.2km (5.1 miles)
Up: 390m
Down: 390m
Navigation: Cicerone Walking in Madeira Walk 6, Madeira Tour & Trail Map (1:40000)
Stef’s review: 5 of 5 stars

From Canical, we took the bus 113 to Baia d’Abra. This is the most Eastern tip of Madeira and just BEAUTIFUL. Very touristy but so worth seeing. It’s a circular walk over barren landscape. We had brilliant weather, a little too hot for that matter. There was no shade except a small house at the of the walk that provided toilets and benches under palm trees like an oasis in the middle of a barren, hilly desert. We had a nice break there, a bit of a chat with some English tourists and the one or other lizard on our arms.
At the tip of Baia d’Abra you are rewarded with a stunning view back on to the entire island of Madeira.
Hiking in Madeira - Baia d'abraLooking at the numbers it doesn’t seem such a strenuous walk, but the heat made it gruelling. Remember a hat and sunscreen. Because Baia d’Abra is extend so much into the ocean you’re basically offshore, disconnected from the weather circulation that seems to exist on the island. Sunny in the morning, clouds coming in during the day and hanging especially in the high mountains, evenings = sunny again. Clouds were nowhere near us.
When we finished our walk we took up the offer of the ice cream standing right at the finish line. Round 1: Solero. Round 2: Magnum Double Chocolate. I really deserved it.

Tourism in Madeira

Hiking in Madeira - Baia d'abraApart from trading and agriculture, tourism is one of the most important industries of the island. With 20% of the GDP, tourism is contributing significantly to Madeira’s economy. Because if its mild climate throughout the year tourists flock to Madeira all year round. The busiest months, however, are March and April when the island literally blossoms at its best. Most of the tourists are from EU, lead by the Germans, British, Scandinavian countries and the Portuguese. We also saw lots of big French groups, in my opinion even more than Germans…

More about walking in Madeira:

More photos of Baia d’Abra
Itinerary Madeira Walking Holidays
Packing List Madeira Holidays

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Walking in Madeira: Marocos to Caniçal / Public Transport on Madeira

Madeira Walks

1. Walk – Ilha to Santana / Where is Madeira?
2. Walk – Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro / Cristiano Ronaldo
3. Walk – Monte to Camatcha / Wicker Sledge Riding
4. Walk – Camatcha to Santo da Serra / Madeira, the Flower Island
5. Walk – Santo da Serra to Portela / Levadas
6. Walk – Marocos to Caniçal / Public Transport on Madeira
7. Walk – Baia d’Abra / Tourism
8. Walk – Canical to Machico / Summary Walking Holiday

Walking in Madeira - Marocos to CanicalMarocos to Caniçal along Levada do Caniçal

Distance: 12km (7.5 miles)
Up: 3m
Down: 0m
Navigation: Cicerone Walking in Madeira Walk 7, Madeira Tour & Trail Map (1:40000)
Stef’s review: 4 of 5 stars

Today we took the bus 156 from Canical to Marocos. Luckily the bus driver through us out directly at the start of the levada so that we didn’t have to climb up any hills. (It seems that I get lazier and lazier the more we’re into the holidays. Maybe the effect of relaxing…)
During the walk we ha nice views over Marocos and Ribeira Seca, passing lots of residential gardens where people grew all sorts of fruits and vegetables: onions, potatoes, beans, strawberries, bananas, grapes, radish, sugar cane, sweet corn, blackberries, peas and so on. That kept me interested and busy for the entire walk.
Walking in Madeira - Marocos to CanicalWe finished the walk after 12km at the Canical tunnel and took a taxi down to Canical. We weren’t sure if the tunnel is suitable for pedestrians. We only found out when we were already in the taxi. And it is. There is a separate pedestrian way, so we could have walked down to Canical for another 5k or so. But… ah well… it’s our holiday. So we were lazy once more and took the more comfortable way.
Drama of the day: I lost my travel towel. I had to use it to fit my backpack better by squeezing it between my hip and the backpack strap (I’m simply too thin for this backpack – how annoying. Not that I ever thought I would say that). I just can hope that they will have towels in our hotels and accommodations. Otherwise… bad luck.

Public transport on Madeira

Madeira is very well connected through a bus network. There are 4 major bus companies running services across the island. That means you definitely get even into the furthest and smallest town of Madeira. What we noticed especially in towns where several services run like in Machico, theses bus companies don’t interact with each other. It’s impossible to get any information from one bus company about the other one. Nevertheless, taking the bus is a brilliant way to get a round the island. You get stunning views from and the bus drivers are always helpful. If you ask them where exactly you need to get off they let you know when it’s time for you.

More about walking in Madeira:

More photos of Marocos to Canical
Itinerary Madeira Walking Holidays
Packing List Madeira Holidays

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Walking in Madeira: Santo da Serra to Portela / Levadas

Madeira Walks

1. Walk – Ilha to Santana / Where is Madeira?
2. Walk – Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro / Cristiano Ronaldo
3. Walk – Monte to Camatcha / Wicker Sledge Riding
4. Walk – Camatcha to Santo da Serra / Madeira, the Flower Island
5. Walk – Santo da Serra to Portela / Levadas
6. Walk – Marocos to Caniçal / Public Transport on Madeira
7. Walk – Baia d’Abra / Tourism
8. Walk – Canical to Machico / Summary Walking Holiday

Walking in Madeira - Santo da Serra to PortelaSanto da Serra to Portela along Levada da Portela

Distance: 7,7km (4.8 miles)
Up: 220m
Down: 830m
Navigation: Cicerone Walking in Madeira Walk 8, Madeira Tour & Trail Map (1:40000)
Stef’s review: 4 of 5 stars

Today is our 5th day on the track and we’ve done 66km (41miles), a total ascent of 2200m and a total decent of 2100m, all with our 12-kilo backpacks on. Doesn’t sounds so dramatic actually, but we still decided to shorten our planned route today, skip the 10km between Portela and Marocos and do a lazy walk.
Walking in Madeira - Santo da Serra to PortelaThe walk between Santo da Serra and Portela is really, really pretty. Once you’re up at the levada, it’s again a very easy walk, with the water canal flowing right beside you. What make this levada interesting are the slopes it falls down. The walk is very quiet, we barely met any people, no big tourist groups, just to my liking.
When we arrived in Portela we just missed our bus to Caniçal. How lucky that we weren’t in a hurry and I had my Kindle with me. So we spend the next 2 hours reading and observing the clouds crawling up from the coast to the mountains.

Levadas – Water network of Madeira

Walking in Madeira - Santo da Serra to PortelaLevadas are artificial water canals build in the 15th century to carry water from the rainy mountains in the North to the drier South island and water the sugar cane fields there. Initially privately owed, a system of water canals was put in place sometimes using slaves to even out the paths, removing scree material and using explosives to make tunnels. Today, Madeira has the largest irrigation system of the world, a total system of 2150 km (1350 miles). Often it’s said that these days levadas are only used for tourists. However, we’ve seen Madeirans using them to water the crops and vegetables in their backyards or store their water in massive tanks for drought season or drinking water treatment. Yet, it is true that they are often used by hikers like us who enjoy the level walk with the water gently flowing down-slope beside them.

More about walking in Madeira:

More photos of Santo da Serra to Portela
Itinerary Madeira Walking Holidays
Packing List Madeira Holidays

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Walking in Madeira: Camatcha to Santo da Serra / Madeira, the Flower Island

Madeira Walks

1. Walk – Ilha to Santana / Where is Madeira?
2. Walk – Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro / Cristiano Ronaldo
3. Walk – Monte to Camatcha / Wicker Sledge Riding
4. Walk – Camatcha to Santo da Serra / Madeira, the Flower Island
5. Walk – Santo da Serra to Portela / Levadas
6. Walk – Marocos to Caniçal / Public Transport on Madeira
7. Walk – Baia d’Abra / Tourism
8. Walk – Canical to Machico / Summary Walking Holiday

Walking in Madeira - Camatcha to Santo da SerraCamatcha to Santo da Serra along Levada da Serra

Distance: 17.9km (11.1 miles)
Up: 71m
Down: 146m
Navigation: Cicerone Walking in Madeira Walk 4, Madeira Tour & Trail Map (1:40000)
Stef’s review: 3 of 5 stars

Leaving Camatcha in the morning, I heard police sirens for the first and only time on this Madeira holiday. And why? Because the freed the road for a cycling race. Isn’t that lovely? A cycling race. Quite a different flair in comparison to busy London.
What I really enjoyed about this walk, again along the Levada da Serra, was that we passed lots of eucalyptus trees. Not that I’ve ever seen any growing in the wild. They don’t smell unless you crack the leaves and here and there were light clouds of essential oil. I’m so easily impressed with things I don’t know. Like an indigenous clouds of eucalyptus smell…
Walking in Madeira - Camatcha to Santo da Serra
What I didn’t like so much was the decision we made about the last 3-4 kilometers of our walk: Towards the end of the walk we came to a junction where we had to decide to take the main road or a secondary road down to Santo da Serra. We decided to take the main road as it seemed shorter and we wanted to avoid any unnecessary, additional kilometers to walk. I wished we had taken the secondary road. The main road turned out to be incredibly busy, and as there was no pedestrian way, we had to walk on the road, constantly communicating if cars were coming from the front or back in case we needed to step aside. I felt really uncomfortable and stressed with so much traffic and would generally recommend to avoid all main roads on Madeira. On the Madeira tour & trail map these roads are marked red. So stay away from them and find an alternative route, even if you need to take the extra mile.

Madeira, the Flower Island

Walking in Madeira - Flower IslandMadeira is called the Island of Eternal Spring, so it’s not surprising that it’s also called Flower Island. Due to its mild weather throughout the year (24°C in summer, 17°C in winter), Madeira has the perfect conditions for flowers to bloom all year around and although at their best around Spring time, you’ll find a diversity of flowers across the island and across all seasons. With its colourful flora and fauna it’s a paradise for botanists.

More about walking in Madeira:

More photos of Camatcha to Santo da Serra
Itinerary Madeira Walking Holidays
Packing List Madeira Holidays

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Walking in Madeira: Monte to Camatcha / Wicker Sledge Riding

Madeira Walks

1. Walk – Ilha to Santana / Where is Madeira?
2. Walk – Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro / Cristiano Ronaldo
3. Walk – Monte to Camatcha / Wicker Sledge Riding
4. Walk – Camatcha to Santo da Serra / Madeira, the Flower Island
5. Walk – Santo da Serra to Portela / Levadas
6. Walk – Marocos to Caniçal / Public Transport on Madeira
7. Walk – Baia d’Abra / Tourism
8. Walk – Canical to Machico / Summary Walking Holiday

Walking in Madeira - Monte to CamatchaMonte to Camatcha along the Levada dos Tornos

Distance: 15.1km (9.4 miles)
Up: 784m
Down: 306m
Navigation: Cicerone Walking in Madeira Walk 1, Madeira Tour & Trail Map (1:40000)
Stef’s review: 3 of 5 stars

We started our walk from our hotel in Monte, which unfortunate for us, was kind of at the bottom of Monte, whereas the access point of our Cicerone walk was a 2k walk and ascent of 500m up. Good exercise before we even started :). On the way, we saw Monte’s traditional wicker sleigh riding. A wicker sleigh on wooden runners steered by two guys, sliding down the asphalt roads of Monte. Wicked!
Once we found the starting point of our walk it became much quieter, passing a few villages and private residential complexes, for my taste still a little close to civilisation. As the Levada dos Tornos is quite close to Funchal, we saw lots of big groups of tourists driven up the hill in a big coach and walking along the levada. For my taste a bit too many people.
Walking in Madeira . Monte to Camatcha Tearoom HortensiaHOWEVER, we passed the Hortensia tea room that advertised its amazing apple pie on a big wallpaper. So we decided to spend our lunch break there and I tell you, that cake was well worth it! (Isn’t it funny how you go for the things you love instead of trying new things?) Well, at least in this case.
Later that afternoon, we arrived in Camatcha after a 15k walk and stayed in a little self-catering bungalow with a very cute garden, waiting to get started again the next morning.

Wicker sledge riding – Toboggan Rides in Monte

Monte is famous for its wicker sledge riding or toboggan rides. The wicket sledges were primarily used for transport down to Funchal in the 1850s when they first appeared. 2 men in traditional white cotton shirts, trousers and a straw hat steer the sledge with their rubber-covered boots along a 2 kilometres long, mostly straight, narrow street. There are 2 sharp 90-degree curves that makes the steering really interesting, because you speed up to almost 50km/h. Nowadays, it’s one of Monte’s major tourist attractions and most tourists we’ve seen sliding passed us really enjoyed themselves. The starting point is at the top of Monte, at the Nossa Senhora do Monte Church. They have sleds for 2 or 3 people and prices are as follows: 1 person 25€, 2 people = 30€, 3 people = 40€ (as of June 2016).

More about walking in Madeira:

More photos of Monte to Camatcha
Itinerary Madeira Walking Holidays
Packing List Madeira Holidays

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Walking in Madeira: Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro / Cristiano Ronaldo

Madeira Walks

1. Walk – Ilha to Santana / Where is Madeira?
2. Walk – Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro / Cristiano Ronaldo
3. Walk – Monte to Camatcha / Wicker Sledge Riding
4. Walk – Camatcha to Santo da Serra / Madeira, the Flower Island
5. Walk – Santo da Serra to Portela / Levadas
6. Walk – Marocos to Caniçal / Public Transport on Madeira
7. Walk – Baia d’Abra / Tourism
8. Walk – Canical to Machico / Summary Walking Holiday

Walking in Madeira - Teixeira to Poiso via Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro

Teixeira to Poiso via Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro

Distance: 17.7km (11 miles)
Up: 783m
Down: 985m
Navigation: Cicerone Walking in Madeira Walk 23 (reverse), Madeira Tour & Trail Map (1:40000)
Stef’s review: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of the classic walks of Madeira. There is no public transport to Teixeira, so we booked a taxi from our hotel in Santana to Teixeira and started our walk around 8.45am. I was really looking forward to this walk as it covers the highest peak of Madeira, Pico Ruivo (1862m), the 3rd highest peak, Pico Arieiro (1818m), and we passed the 2nd highest peak of Madeira, Pico das Torres (1853m), which is located between Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro. The paths are well laid, save, and mostly wide enough to walk comfortably or they are secured by railings.

Walking in Madeira - Teixeira to Poiso via Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro

Stef’s Freak Out

Most people start at Pico Arieiro because it’s got a car park and do a circular walk from there to Pico Ruivo and back again. Now, this didn’t really fit into our plan so we decided to come from the back. Oh THANK GOD! Firstly, I wouldn’t have wanted to do the climbing up and down between Pico Arieiro and Pico Ruivo twice. JESUS! And secondly, ehm… I’m not a friend of heights, and there was one part close to the finish line that completely FREAKED ME OUT: we had brilliant weather, warm, sunny, but the clouds were hanging in the mountains, or more precise to left and right of that really narrow stretch with railings on both sides. Beautiful, but I’m not sure if the fact that I could see only clouds left and right helped my fear of heights or made it worse. But either way, I got such weak knees, I just ‘ran’ across that stretch which was what? 10 meters long? And it felt like an eternity. At the end of the stretch I couldn’t even look back on what I’ve just managed. The idea along made me feel sick. So I’m glad I had to do that only once and came from Teixeira rather than from Pico Arieiro. As a reward I got myself a Magnum Double Chocolate ice cream at one of the shops at Pico Arieiro. I even would have deserved two…

Walking in Madeira - Teixeira to Poiso via Pico Ruivo and Pico ArieiroFrom there we walked down to Poiso and got the 103 bus to Monte. Alternatively, we could have called a taxi to bring us down to Poiso/Monte, but this way I could walk off my Magnum a little and due to the fact that we had to walk another 2k from our bus stop in Monte to our hotel, but we had gorgeous views over Funchal and its harbour.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Did you know that Cristiano Ronaldo was born on Madeira? I didn’t either. He grew up in Santo Antonio, a neighbourhood of Funchal, the capital of Madeira.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened his own CR7 Museum in Funchal in 2013 which is dedicated to his life in football from his early days in Madeira till his time Manchester United and Real Madrid and contains some of Ronaldo’s greatest prizes and trophies as well as shirts, shoes and other personal things. Part of the museum is an 11ft statue of himself and can be found on Funchal’s Plaza del Mar. Entry fee: 5€.

More about walking in Madeira:

More photos of Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro
Itinerary Madeira Walking Holidays
Packing List Madeira Holidays

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Walking in Madeira: Ilha to Santana / Where is Madeira?

Madeira Walks

1. Walk – Ilha to Santana / Where is Madeira?
2. Walk – Pico Ruivo and Pico Arieiro / Cristiano Ronaldo
3. Walk – Monte to Camatcha / Wicker Sledge Riding
4. Walk – Camatcha to Santo da Serra / Madeira, the Flower Island
5. Walk – Santo da Serra to Portela / Levadas
6. Walk – Marocos to Caniçal / Public Transport on Madeira
7. Walk – Baia d’Abra / Tourism
8. Walk – Canical to Machico / Summary Walking Holiday

Walking in Madeira - Ilha to SantanaIlha to Santana via Vale da Lapa and Queimadas

Distance: 15.5km (8.6 miles)
Up: 590m
Down: 705m
Navigation: Cicerone Walking in Madeira Walk 24/26/25, Madeira Tour & Trail Map (1:40000)
Stef’s review: 5 of 5 stars

Ilha is about 8km from Santana where we stayed, so we got the bus from Santana to Ilha where we started our walk. Luckily, we met a group of French tourists and their travel guide showed us the access point to our walk. Then it was just climbing, climbing, climbing for about 1 hour until we reached the Levada do Caldeirão in about 850m altitude.
Walking in Madeira - Ilha to SantanaMy very first levada and probably the one I was most excited about. A fresh water canal shaded by high trees. And lots of tourists. Because levadas are levelled with no elevation at all it’s a comfy walk for everyone. It’s very green, mostly broad paths, and has a beautiful waterfall towards Queimadas.
Before the Queimadas car park is a very cute picnic area with the charismatic Queimadas guest house in the back. (A huge traditional Madeiranese house with a straw roof that, according to a German tour guide I overheard, can be rented for 35€/day.) Here, we had packed lunch before we descended down to Santana.

Where is Madeira?

Walking in Madeira - Ilha to SantanaHave you heard about Madeira before? It’s often talked about among hikers as a walking paradise. I had to look up where it is. Being part of Portugal, Madeira is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, about 560km (350 miles) off the coast of Morocco and about 900km (500 miles) away from Portugal. The closest civilisation is on the Canary Islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, etc) about 500km (310 miles) away.

More about walking in Madeira:

More photos of Ilha to Santana
Itinerary Madeira Walking Holidays
Packing List Madeira Holidays

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What is a buff, how to wear it and how to customise it

What is a buff? How to wear a buff? How to customise your own buff? Answers here:

Custom Buff – My Highlight of the Week

Ok, it’s normal that I’m excited when buying new hiking gear and I wouldn’t even find it worth mentioning, but this is one is so *eeek*: I got my favourite climbing moment printed on a buff.

 

Custom Buff with your Picture on

One day when I browsed the internet and looked for something completely different I came across Bags of Love. They do photo gifts (cushions, blankets, canvases etc), but I wondered if they have sports/hiking equipment as well. And *eeek* they had. I wanted something with my favourite hiking/climbing moment on and found the buff. So I uploaded the picture which we took at the summit of Toubkal (4167m – North Africa’s highest mountain) onto their design platform and got it printed. Super easy. I could choose different pictures for the front and back of the buff, so I got something neutral on the back (a picture of a surface of snow) for when I use the buff as a head band. So basically I got a 2-1 design.

Wering a custom buffcustom buff with photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to get your own custom buff, here’s where I found it: Bags of Love.

 

What is a Buff?

Now, a buff is something that probably every other hiker has. It’s a piece of tube fabric and it’s super practical. You can wear it as a scarf, head band, cap, wrist band, face mask and probably 50 other ways. Ideal for hikers in any situation and weather condition it’s incredible versatile. I do have the one or other at home because it’s a really nice fashion accessory (for hikers) as well, but I was always looking for something more special.

 

How to wear a buff

There are generally 15 ways of wearing a buff. (Ok, 50 might have been a bit exaggerated :).)

How to wear a buff

How to wear a buff

And for the first time, it came a little inconvinient that I have short hair lol…

What kind of buffs do you guys have? Post a picture of it in the comments or on my Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and show me what you’ve got.

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Gym? “No, Thanks”, Says The Gym Grouch

My Relationship To Gyms

Well. There is none. As an outdoorsy person I don’t see much of a point to run on a treadmill in a place where there is an subtle pressure to compete with each other. I prefer running in my next door park in fresh air (if you don’t think about the high-traffic main road that’s running right next to the park) under blue sky, and if I have to even in rain. There is also the benefit that it’s free although the Stoke Gifford Parish Council is thinking about charging park runners 1£ to use the park (What?!).

And there are even some apps out there that help you in your training, motivate you, push you and boss you around. (Thank God, mine is a female trainer, otherwise the app could have jumped in the lake).

Virgin Active #MyWorkoutFor Adventure

Station 4

Big Plans

Now, I’ve got big plans for this year and hopefully finish it with climbing Kilimanjaro. And admittedly, a bit of additional training wouldn’t be too bad. Just running won’t help me to climb that tiny volcano of 5,895 m. How handy that Virgin Active has a #MyWorkoutFor Adventure class that I attended last Saturday. It’s a workout particularily for trekking, with various stations to mirror lugging around a heavy bag to working on those leg muscles.

The Workout

Station 1:
Curve run: It’s like running on a treadmill but it only moves when you move.
Purpose: Leg endurance for walking all day.

Station 2:
TRX row: Lean back and hang in there.
Purpose: Upper body/back strengthen for carrying backpack all day.

Station 3:
Walking lunges with Bulgarian Bag: The additional weight of the bag over your shoulders puts good stress on your upper legs.
Purpose: Leg endurance for walking all day.

Virgin Active #MyWorkoutFor Adventure

Station 3

Station 4:
Squat to shoulder press with ViPR/Barbell.
Purpose: Leg strengthening for trekking / shoulder strengthening for manoeuvring bags.

Station 5:
Step ups/jumps across 3 boxes of different heights.
Purpose: Leg endurance and walking over different/uneven terrains.

Station 6:
Farmer’s walk with TiYR: Get into the 40kg tyre, lift it and walk with it.
Purpose: Walking while carrying heavy bags.

Virgin Active #MyWorkoutFor Adventure

Station 6

Format:
6 exercises – 30 seconds on the stations/10 seconds rest after each station – 3 rounds – 3 ‘tough minutes’ after each round (60 secs of tough bodyweight exercise) – 30 secs rest between rounds.

What Does The Gym Grouch Say?

I wish I could say that I stayed longer after the session, tried every equipment in the gym and got home completely fullfilled and exhausted. But I didn’t. –> Gym grouch.

But it was fun. I haven’t done curcuit training for ages and I definitely trained different parts of my body than usually. I could have done 1 or 2 rounds more as I had the feeling I just started sweating when everything was already over again. Although, I had sore muscles basically immediately until 4 days later. So maybe it was good that there weren’t any extra rounds :-). It’s good that someone is there to push you and it’s much more motivating to workout in a group.
I might even make signing up to the gym my next New Year’s resolution ;-)…

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