Wooden blocks spelling out the word blog

Blog Chat…10 Questions for Maggie at Trepidatious Traveller – camino blog

Blogging feels like one big interconnected community and, as well as being a weekly blogger myself, I enjoy following other bloggers, reading their words and understanding their issues and journey

Not all of the blogs I follow are travel blogs, but many of them are and each has their own unique ‘voice’ and take on what they are seeing and experiencing.

Over the next 6 months or so I will introduce you to some of my favourite blogs and share some of their blogging wisdom…

Continue reading “Blog Chat…10 Questions for Maggie at Trepidatious Traveller – camino blog”

Sunrise in Tuscany, Italy. Mist hangs over the grey valley as the sky turns pink

These Boots Were Made for Walkin’ – how to choose the right hiking footwear??

The first thing to get straight is that there is no such thing as the perfect footwear!

Choosing hiking/walking footwear is so individual that you really need to ignore 50% of what people tell you and choose the footwear that suits you best.

Now we have that out of the road, here are my tips and tricks, and you can ignore me too!

Continue reading “These Boots Were Made for Walkin’ – how to choose the right hiking footwear??”

letter-handwriting-family-letters-written

Top Tips for the Beginner Blogger

March 2019 saw me notch up my three year blogging anniversary. Yes, that is long time to be sending my waffly words out into the ether, but it has also been an interesting, challenging and rewarding experience from this side of the computer.

If you are thinking about getting into the Blogosphere, here are a few tips and tricks that I have learned along the way…

Continue reading “Top Tips for the Beginner Blogger”

Airline Review – Singapore Airlines

Flying is stressful!

As much as I get excited about each and every trip, there is always that feeling of controlled chaos at the airport check-in and the bun-rush to get the ‘best’ seat, and get rid of your luggage.

It couldn’t have been more different with Singapore Airlines.

Continue reading “Airline Review – Singapore Airlines”

Incredible India logo

Getting Your Indian Tourist eVisa – Stress-free!

India is a fairly exotic and somewhat chaotic destination so it’s no surprise that a visa is required for most nationalities to step onto their colourful land.

Here are a few things to be aware of as you work through the Indian eVisa process.

Continue reading “Getting Your Indian Tourist eVisa – Stress-free!”

Webjet Deals – Are They Too Good To Be True?

You may have seen the print and other ads for the Webjet tour business and wondered if they were too good to be true. The prices seem incredibly low and chockful of meals, entrance tickets and other add-ons, making you wonder, ‘how can they do it’?

Well, they can AND it is well worth doing…

Continue reading “Webjet Deals – Are They Too Good To Be True?”

two Cathay Pacific Plane tails

Airline Review – Cathay Pacific

Sometimes it feels like I am working my way through the entire range of airline brands in an effort to find a company who actually deliver what they promise.

And Cathay Pacific may be the one…

Continue reading “Airline Review – Cathay Pacific”

A clothesline extending across a street with brightly coloured shirts

The Top Ten Items I Never Travel Without

I suspect that there is little in this world more subject to personal preferences than what gets packed for an overseas or extended trip. Our individual sense of ‘priority’ is as precisely different as we are.

About now, I suspect a whole bunch of my friends are rolling their eyes as our all-too-infrequent weekends away together, highlight our contrasting packing styles. Me with my small, light, carry-on-style suitcase….and their steamer trunks!

Anyway, here are my top ten bare necessities… Continue reading “The Top Ten Items I Never Travel Without”

Stepping out on the Via de la Plata

How to Buy a Backpack…

One of the most important pieces of equipment for any traveller heading slightly off the beaten track is a backpack. Not everyone wants or needs to carry their own gear, but a backpack is certainly a great way to maximise independence and mobility.

Buying a backpack can be quite a confusing experience. There are so many brands on the market with so many actual and hypothetical features, it can be a real challenge choosing a pack that best meets your needs. Continue reading “How to Buy a Backpack…”

inspirational quote

Walking Poles. Love ‘em or Hate ‘em?

The use of walking poles is a popular topic of discussion for walkers of all persuasions.

If you find that your eyes are starting to glaze over already, then this post is not for you!

Hit the DELETE key now!

For the novice walkers or those considering including this piece of equipment in your hiking kit, then read on…

Continue reading “Walking Poles. Love ‘em or Hate ‘em?”

JetGo plane

Airline Review – Go nowhere with JETGO

Unfortunately this post is a tad redundant as JETGO Airlines went into voluntary administration last week! The joys of running a small airline, servicing regional Australia where the margins are slim or non-existent.

However, should they get back on their feet and into the air, I have nothing but positive things to say about JETGO. Continue reading “Airline Review – Go nowhere with JETGO”

Green chilli

Travel Tech for the Non-Tech Traveller

I am the most unqualified blogger to be writing about technology.

I could be described as a ‘late bloomer’ when it comes to technology, but perhaps ‘luddite’ is a better label.

Technology just doesn’t float my boat.

I don’t need to be connected 24/7.

I don’t need to Instagram my every meal.

Despite this, I do have a few essential tech items that are the first things to go into the packing pile.

Continue reading “Travel Tech for the Non-Tech Traveller”

Girl Power and the World of Walking!

Remember herWhy is it that as we age, our sense of adventure often dims, and our expectations of what we can achieve, or what is appropriate behaviour, changes?

Thankfully I think society now views 50 as the new 30 and 60 as the new 40, so the only limitations we are controlled, or driven by, are the ones we place on ourselves.

Continue reading “Girl Power and the World of Walking!”

How to get to the start of the Camino Frances

When planning to walk your first camino, there are a hundred things to get excited about and another hundred (or more) logistical questions.

  • Where will I sleep?
  • How far will I be able to walk each day?
  • What will I find to eat?
  • Will the weather be kind?
  • Etc., etc., etc.

Continue reading “How to get to the start of the Camino Frances”

Train travel in the past. Source: pinterest.com

Train Travellers of the World Unite!

I like trains and I love train travel, but not as much as Englishman, Mark Smith!

If you are contemplating a train trip ANYWHERE in the World, then make sure you check out his website, The Man in Seat 61.

Continue reading “Train Travellers of the World Unite!”

A Warm Welcome and a Warm Shower

I stumbled across the Warm Showers group a couple of years ago when I started following a blog about cycling the length of the Mississippi River in the USA. Peter and Tracy are the most inspiring couple, and tackle the most astonishing cycling adventures.

A couple of years ago, they started way up at Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota USA, and 48 days, and 2 968km later, they arrived at Venice, Louisiana, in the deep south of USA. Along the way in their blog, they kept describing the wonderful warm welcome they received from various ‘Warm Showers’ hosts. That really intrigued me and I had to find out more.

Continue reading “A Warm Welcome and a Warm Shower”

An Online Walking Encyclopedia

The thought of walking 1 000km across a foreign country could be considered a tad daunting. The body and spirit are willing, but the head says, “you’ve got to be kidding!!”

To get all your senses on board, you need cold hard facts, a good dose of wisdom and a sprinkle of philosophy.

Introducing – an internet forum dedicated to walking the camino.

Continue reading “An Online Walking Encyclopedia”

How to Lace Walking Boots

Background:

We learned the hard way about the importance of correctly-fitted boots. When planning our first camino we received some bad advice about what socks to wear and we bought our walking boots off the shelf. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

As we limped our way across Spain, we listened to other walkers as they shared their pearls of wisdom about how to best care for blisters, and compared notes on thick socks vs thin, and boots vs shoes vs sandals vs sneakers. We quickly dispensed with the double socks we started out wearing, and rued the day that we had not thought (ignorance is bliss) to spend more money and have our boots professionally fitted. In some ways it was a case of ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’.

When lining up for my second (and much longer) camino, I was determined to be smarter about my footwear. Following a recommendation from a fellow pilgrim, I telephoned in advance (I live 4 hours west of Sydney) and made time to talk with Stephen Crowfoot at the Paddy Pallin, Kent Street store.

Needless to say, my boot buying experience the second time around was COMPLETELY different. I tried on about three different brands and styles, and still Stephen was not happy with the way they looked/sat on my foot. He recommended I come back in a month or so when they had some new stock in store. On my next trip to Sydney – BINGO – a perfect fit and I walked out with a pair of Scarpas. Not cheap of course, but worth every cent considering the kilometres I was planning to cover in them.

(As an aside, the boots were 1.5 sizes larger than my normal shoe size. All the better to allow my feet to swell/expand as they warm up and wear out! This extra space is critical and was one of major mistakes we made with our initial boot purchases.)

That ol’ saying, ‘You get what you pay for’, was even more relevant throughout this exercise as I learned a brilliant lacing technique that made such a difference to the way the boot fitted and moved (or in this case – didn’t move) on my foot, ankle and leg.

I realise that this will not be gripping reading for some of my blog followers but it made such a difference to my foot comfort, I feel compelled to share with any other novice walkers out there. Or maybe it is a case of small things amusing small minds!

I am not 100% sure but I think the steps below refer to the ‘heel lock’ method which minimises the up/down (vertical) movement of your foot in a boot i.e. the tightness of the lacing around the leg stops the leg sliding in and out of the boot.

I will do my best to explain it in a number of steps:

Step 1.JPG
Step 1.

Step 1:

  • Lace the toe box as normal. Be sure not to lace it too tightly so that your feet have room to expand (as mentioned previously).
  • Cross the laces over as if you are going to tie a bow.

Step 2a.JPG
Step 2a.

Step 2:

  • Loop the laces straight up, behind the hooks.

 

step-2b
Step 2b.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3a.JPG
Step 3a.

 

 

 

Step 3:

  • Take the end of each lace and thread them diagonally across the front of the boot and through the gap/space in between the hooks (on the opposing side).
  • Pull the lace all the way through, ensuring each lace stays caught behind its top hook.

Step 3a.JPG
Step 3b.

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4.JPG
Step 4.

Step 4:

  • To tie the boot off, pull the lace out and away from the boot horizontally, not vertically.
  • Pull it tight.
  • This will snugly cinch the boot around the leg.

Step 5.JPG
Step 5.

Step 5:

  • Tie off the laces.
  • I use a double bow to ensure the whole thing doesn’t come undone and trip up my two left feet!

Happy walking!

N.B: I still got the odd blister on both my second and third caminos but nothing like when walking the Camino Frances. After 1 000km I think my feet have every right to blister and protest!

Other Useful Links: