Salta to Atacama Desert – South America Part 2

Sand-boaring with a view – Valle de la Muerte, Chile.

 

After spending a few days seeing the city of Buenos Aires, it was time to start the adventure of travelling from Buenos Aires to La Paz, Boliva. We decided to travel this part of our trip with a tour and went with G adventures. We met our fantastic group in Buenos Aires and flew straight from there to Salta, Argentina.

Salta was definitely a change of scenery from Buenos Aires. We left the big, wet and cool city to a warm, drier and smaller city. Arriving in Salta we caught the back end of celebrations for their Independence day. What we did see were a lot bbq’s on the side of the road.

In Salta we hiked up to the top of Cerro San Bernardo and enjoyed the beautiful views of Salta city while the sun went down. Horse riding felt like the thing to do while in Salta, so we headed out to a ranch enjoyed our second breakfast for the day. Then it was off riding for the rest of the morning and soaking the rural scenery.  After our horse trek, we were treated to a proper  Argentinian bbq feast. The food and wine was unlimited and amazing! I mentioned in my last post and I’ll say it again, Argentinians know how to do steak.

Later on we went out for round two of steak! Argentinians like to eat late, so by around 9 pm it was time to eat and and embrace the food coma all over again. This time we were treated to a show for entertainment, with singing and traditional dancing.

 

The view of Salta City, from the top of Cerro San Bernardo.

 

After Salta we headed into the Andes to the Atacama Desert in Chile. During the Argentina/ Chilean boarder crossing we experienced altitude of up to 4400m. Thankfully we didn’t stay at this altitude for too long, the old body was not ready for that level of extremeness quite yet.

The Atacama Desert is one of the driest areas in the world, we arrived at San Pedro de Atacama a small town in the desert. It is surrounded with dramatic landscapes that include desert, salt flats, volcanoes, geysers and hot springs.

Wandering around this cute little place and you will notice that it is the tourist go to place. There is plenty to do here and we were lucky enough to fit in a few activities. Sand-boarding in the Death Valley aka Valle de la Muerte, was the first activity we embarked on. We were surrounded by rugged rock formations and plenty of sand dunes. At the top of the sand dunes, we had spectacular views of the valley and of a number of volcanoes in distance.

 

Sand boarding like a pro, Valle de la Muerte, Chile.

 

The sand-boarding was hard work, but a lot of fun. This meant our next stop was to the Termas Puritama aka the Puritama Hot Springs. A fantastic way to ease those sore muscles in a nice hot spring. The hot springs are located at the bottom of a canyon and are all in there natural pool formations. A stream flows down in between the pools, making it a beautiful setting for a relaxing soak. After a lovely relaxing time at the hot springs, it was time for the next activity.

The Atacama Desert is high, dry, unpolluted and has the clearest night skies on Earth. We thought we would make the most of this and go on a Astronomic tour. Viewing the southern skies through the telescope we were able to see the milky way, Jupiter’s Moons, the sombrero galaxy and learn all about the southern skies. It’s amazing how bright the stars are away from all the city lights. The tour was finished off with hot chocolates all round and then it was off to enjoy the night with the usual late night dinner and a few drinks.

After all that fun in the Atacama Desert it was time to move onto our next destination….

BOLIVA!!!

But that’s for another day, I’ll love and leave with a few of my holiday snaps.

 

Lennae xxx

 

Cerro San Bernardo, Salta, Argentina.

 

My lovely tour guide.

 

Horse trek, Salta.

 

Walking down Cerro San Bernardo, Salta.

 

Driving through the Andes up to the Argentina/ Chile border crossing.

 

Paso de Jama, Argentina/ Chile Boarder crossing. Altitude – 4200m.

 

On route to San Pedro de Atacama Desert.

 

Termas Puritama Hot Springs.


Sporting my SKINS!

 

Hello my friends,

How are you all? I hope you’re all well!

During the past week, I was lucky enough to be contacted by the lovely Naomi at SKINS and received a pair of SKINS DNAmic Compression 3/4 Tights and a Remote T bar tank. I was super stoked to have received a pair of SKINS, I have always heard about how good they are and have been wanting to get my hands on a pair.

Over the weekend we had some lovely weather, this felt like a good time to try out my new active wear. The husband, Snowy and I headed down the coast, just a 30 minute drive from where we live and went on a beautiful coastal walking track up along the cliffs.

I had my new SKINS on and at first I noticed that the tights were very skin tight (I guess that’s why they’re called skins), but also felt light. I don’t usually like tight or fitting clothing, but I thought I would see how they go. The T bar tank was an instant hit, as I like to have loose fitting wear.

During our walk, I was surprised with the compression tights. They felt extremely comfortable but also felt very supportive. My movement didn’t feel restricted. I did a lot of walking up and down the hills, running in parts and stretching.

This left me wondering about the compression tights and what the benefits of them are. Here are a few points that I have learnt about SKINS compression wear below;

  • Increasing blood flow velocity and muscle oxygenation.
  • Reducing blood lactate at submaximal intensities
  • Increases power by increasing force production and lower body proprioception.
  • Reduces risk of injury by reducing swelling, as defined by limb circumference

 

After trialling out my SKINS, I have to admit I am a huge fan! It helps that they look good too! You should always look good and feel good in your active wear!

If you like the look of my SKINS wear or want to check out what else they have, you can invest in a pair by clicking here. They are great quality and well worth the investment. SKINS cater for men, women and children. They offer a great range of items ranging from compression tights, socks, sleeves to tops . Make sure you use my discount code LW20SKINS, to get 20% off all full priced items. This is code is only valid until the end of October. I can assure you they a worth the investment, nothing beats comfortable exercise wear.

 

Lennae xxx

 


Hola Buenos Aires! – South America Part 1

The Obelisk, Buenos Aires.

 

Hola my friends, how are you all? I hope all is well! I have been a little delayed with getting back to my world of blogging, but am now back to catch up and fill you in on all my on goings!

I have loads to catch up on and fill you all in on. The most important thing I want to share with you all now, is my awesome adventure to South America!

As some of you may know travelling to South America has been a goal of my ever since I became unwell with ME/CFS. The fact that I was able to get to this point and visit was huge!!!  I will be writing about my adventure over a few posts, so let’s get started and onto the good stuff……

After a 12 hour flight, from Sydney to Santiago, then a 3 hour delay at the Santiago airport and getting to know it (spoiler alert it’s not that big), then our connecting flight of 2 hours to Buenos Aires, Argentina. We had finally arrived at our Destination! Welcome to BUENOS AIRES BABY!

Feeling very tired, foggy minded and only just managing to keep our eyes open, we jumped into a taxi and headed to our hotel in downtown Buenos Aires. The drive was an experience, but we were yet to learn that was nothing compared to the Bolivian drivers in La Paz.

Luckily, we arrived during the evening, so as soon as we arrived at our hotel it was heads to pillows. Due to travelling through 12 time zones in the opposite direction, our body clocks were all over the place, this lead to a lot of ridiculous early rises over the next few days.

The weather was mostly wet and rainy and it was the middle of Winter. Thankfully we invested in some waterproof windbreakers and made good use of them, by hitting the city and exploring the streets of Buenos Aires.

Some of the attractions and areas we explored were;

The colourful suburb of La Boca, worth a visit to enjoy the atmosphere and markets. If you’re a football fan this is definitely the place for you with this suburb being the home ground to the famous Boca Juniors.

Plaza de Mayo, the government square, usually there are protest’s etc. It appeared we had missed the on going’s, however when we visited, the riot squad were still lingering around.

La Recoleta Cemetery, the famous cemetery where the rich and famous are buried. This cemetery is located in the suburb of Recoleta, it is a lovely suburb to visit and looks a lot like New York city in the movies. The tombstones at the cemetery are out of this world!

Palacio Barolo, it has beautiful views of the city. It has a lighthouse on top of the building that is worth climbing up the tiny staircase and into as the city views are amazing. During this visit we enjoyed a tour of the building and this is where I started to really learn about the Spanish and their inquisition.

Puente de la Mujer Bridge, enjoy a walk along the river set among some lovely restaurants.

Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world. The road has 7 lanes running on each side, whilst also having trams and buses run through the middle.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid, the beautiful book shop that once was a theatre. Having lunch at the cafe on stage was a lovely treat, while admiring the beautiful store.

Floralis Generica and the Obelisk are also must see attractions.

One of my favourite things about Buenos Aires was the cafe culture. I don’t usually drink coffee, but I found myself indulging in coffee and enjoying the cafe culture the city bought. I have heard people say Buenos Aires is the Europe of South America and I can now see why.

Buenos Aires, you were a real treat, you were friendly and chilled out, you were patient with us while we struggled with our Spanish! You were the best start for the beginning of our South American adventure. You also introduced us to Dulce de leche aka caramel sauce (which goes on everything),  Maté Tea aka yerba and proved that Argentinians know how to do amazing Steaks.

Until next time, Adiós Buenos Aires and Adiós my friends! I need to get writing about the next part of my South American adventure!

Ps: Here’s a couple of snaps below.

Lennae xxx

 

La Boca.

 

Puente De La Mujer

El Ateneo Grand Splendid.

Plaza de mayo.

View from the top of Palacio Barolo.


Goal kicking 4 years on!

Photo by Farid Askerov on Unsplash

It occurred to me that I’ve just hit my ME/CFS anniversary and I think it’s safe to say that I’ve kicked it to the curb! This past year has been filled with a bit of goal kicking and it’s not stopping anytime soon! Yeooow!!!

Four years ago, I can still vividly remember how my health went downhill fast.  The first year was the hardest, I barely had wins and as much as I tried to keep positive it was hard.  I held onto goals and put up pictures of things that symbolised my goals. I convinced myself that I would achieve these goals one day…….even though at the time, it seemed hard to believe. I held onto the idea and kept it for when I needed it the most.

Finally, I have achieved a number of these goals. I am extremely proud, to say four years on I am celebrating and smashing my goals! The hard work has paid off and most of all, the illness is no longer ruling my world.

A huge victory is that I am heading to South America in a few days, yep you heard right!!! It’s literally days away. South America became a long-term goal of mine when I become unwell. Most of my close family and friends know this and probably got sick of me saying one day I’m going to go when I get better! Haha well that day has finally arrived and I am pinching myself! I really can’t believe it has arrived.

It is very random how it all came about, it happened to be in my very early days of my illness. At the time, the doctors still didn’t know what was wrong with me.  I was trying to keep positive throughout the whole ordeal and I decided to make an inspiration board of what I was going to do or work towards when I got well enough. The picture of Machu Picchu came to me, I had no desire to visit it before. But that image of Machu Picchu stuck with me and I thought to myself ” I’m going, when I’m well enough.”

And it’s been with me ever since.

City2surf is another big thing that I have been working towards, which I’m excitedly fit enough for. City2surf is happening in August which I am excited to be competing in the event and I have also been fundraising for it. The charity I have chosen to fundraise for is emerge, they are an Australian based charity that dedicates themselves to raising awareness and funds to research for ME/CFS.

Returning to work and working like a normal person would, was another big goal. DONE! This also includes other living “like a normal person” life goals again. DONE!

My next ass kicking goal will be a tough one and means heading back to school! Bring it on!

It’s not until you lose something, that really puts things and life into prospective for you.

Any way my friends it’s time for me to love and leave you, I need to go pack!

Can’t wait to tell you all about my South American adventure.

Much love

Lennae xxx

Photo by Abraham Osorio on Unsplash


ME Awareness 2017

Imagine one day you wake up and you can barely move from your bed. You try to lift your head but it feels too heavy, almost like you are trying to lift up a heavy rock.

Your cat is lying beside you and senses you are waking, he walks up along your body. Ow! You didn’t realise he was that heavy. His tiny paws digging into your body are so painful. As you try to pull yourself out of bed, you feel stiff, heavy and achy and your joints are sore. Your body feels like it has aged decades to your eighty’s.

As you rise you feel your head spin and your body struggle to hold its self-upright. A million thoughts start to overwhelm your head and you start to wonder why am I feeling so awful? You barely make it from the bedroom to the lounge. Your body feels like it has just run a marathon.

Maybe you’re coming down with something, like the actual flu….. Or maybe today is just an off day. But then the next day feels much the same, days then turn into weeks, then months then years.

Just like that you have gone from be a young, fit, healthy and capable human being into a weak, venerable, confused and incapable human being. You can barely leave the house, let alone look after yourself and your loved one has turned into your carer.

Your doctor and other doctors can’t explain it, won’t acknowledge it, or know about it but can’t help. Leaving you at a loss as to where and how it all went so wrong……

Wow that sounds horrible and depressing! That my friends is a small taste of what life with ME/CFS aka Myalgic Encephalomyelitis /Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is like.

Today is ME/CFS awareness day! As a yearly ritual I like to get on board and help promote awareness on our intentional day of May 12th (read previous posts for 2014, 2015 , 2016 here).

Sadly there are millions of people world wide that are currently suffering with this illness. Many sufferers are left house bound, some are even bed bound. The recovery with this illness can take years, even decades. Unfortunately there is still a lot to be learned and research to be done about ME/CFS. Some health professionals still believe it is all in the sufferers mind, as there is still a lot unknown about the illness. Crazy right!?

I suffered with this illness back in 2013 and become completely bed/house bound for years. It was a very isolating and debilitating experience to go through. Thankfully my health is in a much better place now.

For more information about ME/CFS or to find out how you can help check out the Australia ME/CFS website emerge.org.au.

I am extremely excited to be completing in City2surf this year and fundraising for ME/CFS. Funds donated are going to emerge, they are a wonderful advocate for ME/CFS sufferers. If you want to get behind me or share some love and support click here for my everyday hero page.

Thanks for reading, I hope you have a wonderful day!

Much Love,
Lennae xxx

 

 

Photo credit: a.m_banks- Instagram

 


Walk for ME!

Taking in the view.

 

Hello beautiful readers, I hope you’re all well!

Can you believe it’s May already? Where has the year gone?!

As some of you might be aware for a few years now I have been suffering with ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). My health is a lot better now and my days with ME/CFS feel like more of a distant memory, however May 12th is International awareness day. As we are approaching awareness day pretty quickly, I want to put it out there that I will be dedicating a huge goal of mine to raising awareness and fundraising for ME/CFS.

Back in 2012 I participated in City2Surf for the first time ever, l had a fantastic time and was eager to participate in the following years event. Unfortunately that year I became unwell with ME/CFS and haven’t been able to enter since.

Well friends, I’m extremely excited to announce that this year is the year, that I will be taking on this goal!  Exciting isn’t it! It’s been worth the wait! I have always vowed to myself that, when the day arrived I would dedicate/ fundraise my race to the Emerge charity to help fundraise for ME/CFS.

If you’re not familiar with City2Surf, let me tell you a little about it. It is a 14 km race from the Sydney CBD out to the famous Bondi beach. The event is held in August and usually attracts more than around 80,000 people, making it one the largest runs of its kind in the world. It is a fun but challenging event that is suitable for most people with a bit of a fitness level, whether you are entering for the competitive race or just for fun, dressing up is always optional. You can find all types of entertainment along the race, it truly is a fun morning out.

I am super thrilled to be entering this year, this has been something I have had my heart set on doing for a few years now. I have built up my strength day by day from being bed ridden to where I am today.

I have meet many wonderful people online, world wide who suffer with this illness. They have all helped make what was a very difficult journey a much happier and brighter one. This one’s for you team!!!

I have started an everyday hero page through the City2Surf website, this page is where you can join me on my journey. You can view my training that I will load up a couple of times a week, with my number one trainer Snowy.  I will also keep you posted on my Instagram, but for my everyday hero page click here. I would love for you all to pop over to my page, share it, donate or just say hi, Snowy and I would love the encouragement!

 

Much love

Lennae xxx

 

City2Surf 2012.

 


Coconut & Goji Berry Bliss Balls

20170226_172406-01

 

I hit the kitchen over the weekend and created these delicious coconut and goji berry bliss balls. They are inspired by Pana chocolate’s coconut and goji berry flavour. I’m a huge fan of Pana chocolate and I love the coconut and goji berry flavour, having created bliss balls that taste similar is heaven. They go down like a treat and will definitely fix that chocolate craving. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

1 Cup of Shredded coconut
1 Cup of Cashews
1 Tbsp of Coconut oil
½ Cup of Goji Berries
2 Tbsp of Cacao powder
10 Medjool date’s

 

Add cashews, shredded coconut, cacao powder and goji berries into a blender, blend until you get a crumbly texture. Remove pips from medjool dates, then add them into the blender. Blend until mixed thoroughly. Add coconut oil and blend until mixed. Roll into small balls. Store balls in the fridge, they will be ready to eat within 30 minutes, or you can eat them straight from the blender! Enjoy!

 

Makes 10, time required 10 minutes. 

 

 

20170226_172925-02