Adding some Hotter pastel travel sandals to my holiday wardrobe

* This post contains an item that was gifted

One of my pre-holiday rituals is working out what to pack, that might sound an obvious thing to do, and it is, but bear with me. I have a tendency to overpack, I realise that that might also not be news, but my ploy now is to get out what I want to take, review it, prune it and try again. What I’ve learnt from this approach is that while I still overpack a bit, it’s way less than before, but also it’s a good way, for me for working out the flexibility that the clothes I take will bring.

Planning my holiday wardrobe

On the left the bottom white, navy, brown with pink spots and pale blue pile is my shorts.  To the right is my t-shirts and on top are vest tops. It’s far from a capsule wardrobe, I’ll admit but already I can see that I have options, with vest tops, t-shirts and shorts all earning their place in my suitcase. 

Which is good news, as for our upcoming holiday we’re combining a city stay with a walking holiday, and while both will be casual unless it’s super hot then I’m not much of a shorts in the city kind of girl,  I’ve  got some 3/4 length trousers lined up for there, plus a slightly smarter pair for evenings, which will also double up for the walking part of our holiday for evenings, and if we’re unlucky on not so sunny days.

But, as ever, it’s shoes that are my achilles heel (pun not quite intended).  Something comfortable to wear walking around the city, and then again practical for a proper walking holiday in Portugal’s Serra Arrabida on the Setúbal Peninsula, which we’re led to believe is virtually undiscovered.  With walks generally over 10 km each day, the longest walk is 18 km - a circular walk at that on day four,  and terrains that include forest tracks, country lanes, valleys and ridges proper, supportive and comfortable footwear will be needed. 

And that’s often where I struggle.  I have plenty of footwear, and more recently I’ve acquired plenty of flatter options too, but still none that I’d deem appropriate enough for such a trek.  So when Hotter offered me the chance to add their travel sandals to my walking holiday wardrobe and I realised that the pastel colourway was in ‘my colours’, how could I refuse?

hotter travel sandals will fit right in with my holiday wardrobe

When they arrived, my instincts about how well they matched my wardrobe was proved right.  There’s pinks, lilacs and blues as well as the greys, and holding them up against the clothes I’m planning to take shows that.  Trying them on  was the icing on the cake, they’re as comfortable as I’ve come to expect from Hotter shoes, and so I’ve a feeling that any dragging my feet on that long circular walk, won’t be due to my footwear. 

* This shoes were gifted by Hotter Shoes to review, I’ll be sharing how they - and my feet - fared on our upcoming walking holiday, as usual all views and opinions shared here and in my future posts are and will be my own.

India in colour: Memories of our honeymoon

Back in 2007 MOH and I honeymooned in India a few months after our June wedding. For me India was all about the colours, the sounds, the spices and the smells, some of which trust me you don't want to smell! The greens, blues, yellows, reds and whites of India are brought to life in this beautiful India in colour infographic by Great Rail Journeys.

India is a fascinating place and I've been looking back at some of my pictures from our trip. In 2007 I hadn't moved to a digital camera so these are scanned images of the photos I took - and I'm rather pleased how they came out. I think some of these are actually better than the printed versions I have!  

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Our trip started in the organised chaos that is Delhi.  Well, I assume it's organised, but I can't be sure...

RICKSHAWS IN DEHLI

RICKSHAWS IN DEHLI

IN THE COURTYARD OF JAMA MASJID, OLD DEHLI

IN THE COURTYARD OF JAMA MASJID, OLD DEHLI

THE DEHLI MEMORIAL OR INDIA GATE DESIGNED BY SIR EDWARD LUTYENS

THE DEHLI MEMORIAL OR INDIA GATE DESIGNED BY SIR EDWARD LUTYENS

THE LAHORE GATE, ENTRANCE TO THE RED FORT IN DEHLI

THE LAHORE GATE, ENTRANCE TO THE RED FORT IN DEHLI

In Jaipur our tour guide took us to a vantage place opposite the pink sandstone Hawa Mahal - or Palace of the Winds - so we could get the best picture, it's just a shame I cut the top off! At least with digital photography we can now check we've captured what we intended too.

JAIPUR'S MOST DISTINCTIVE LANDMARK, THE FAIRY-TALE PINK-SANDSTONE HAWA MAHAL

JAIPUR'S MOST DISTINCTIVE LANDMARK, THE FAIRY-TALE PINK-SANDSTONE HAWA MAHAL

Nonetheless, top cut off or not it's pretty amazing isn't it? It's essentially a high screen wall, built so women of the Royal household could observe street festivities while remaining hidden from the outside.

It's not only the sights that are colourful, there's also the trucks! Yes these are heavily decorated and here's just a couple that made us smile as we sat in horrendous traffic on our coach tour one day.

HORN PLEASE!  AHEM...

HORN PLEASE!  AHEM...

In Agra we left early for our visit to the Taj Mahal to get a head start on the crowds. But it wasn't long before there was colour and noise there too against the white marble mausoleum. It is truly an amazing and awe-inspiring special place, and I'll always remember our first glimpse of this fabulous place.

THE CLASSIC VIEW OF THE TAJ MAHAL

THE CLASSIC VIEW OF THE TAJ MAHAL

DETAILED MOSAICS ON THE TAJ MAHAL

DETAILED MOSAICS ON THE TAJ MAHAL

These are just a few of the highlights of our trip which also included seeing tigers in Ranthambore. India was an unusual choice for a honeymoon destination - so people told us - but it was one I wouldn't have missed.  I'm interested to know where you went for your honeymoon, or where your dream honeymoon destination is?

 

 Disclosure: this is a collaborative post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

 

 

Cycling on holiday: why I'm hooked

WITH MY HIRE BIKE IN BAD BAYERSOIEN

WITH MY HIRE BIKE IN BAD BAYERSOIEN

Well I'm half way through sharing the exploits of our recent cycle tour in Bavaria. You'll know it was my first cycling holiday and that I was a little wary beforehand; but I hinted at it when I came back and it's true I'm more than a little bit hooked.

Today I thought I'd share why I've found cycling on holiday to be such good fun.

1. It's a great way to sightsee

Yes it's a little harder to take pictures along the way and I wouldn't recommend taking pictures on the move, but the advantage of cycling is you can cover so much more ground than if you were on foot, so you get to see more of the place you're holidaying in.  We've done walking holidays too and believe me 25km on a bike is much easier than 25km on foot!

2. It builds a healthy appetite

Well I'm known for having a healthy appetite anyway but on this holiday we ate very well. The German cuisine features a lot of pork and of course the sausages or the wurst. Not only does cycling build a healthy appetite but you're also burning calories too. It's a win win situation.

3. It helps you sleep well

I'm attributing the good sleep I had on holiday to the exercise I'd taken during the day. After a full day of cycling, new experiences and a hearty evening meal I was ready for my bed and not only that my sleep quality was better too.  So much so that I was ready to do it all again the next day!

4. It gives a sense of accomplishment

Whether it's the distance, going up or down hills or mastering the gears on your bike, when you've done what you've set out to achieve it's brilliant - there really is no better feeling. When I started cycling again earlier this year there was no way I thought I'd be able to take my hands off the handlebars while I'm cycling. But I do - well not both at once - as I'm a lot more relaxed and confident on my bike (and on my German hire bike)

5. It's fun!

Honestly it is, it's not like running that sounds fun until you, well until you start running!  You're in charge of how fast you go and there's nothing like the feeling of going downhill with the wind in your hair. It's doubly nice if you're somewhere warm as it's a great way to cool down - but don't forget your suntan lotion as cycling is also a great way to catch the sun!

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The people at James Villas also think holiday cycling is a good thing and they've put together some cycling guides for five of their destinations. So if you're in or going to the Algarve, Cyprus, Lanzarote, Mallorca or Menorca then take a look; for each destination there's an infographic showing a beginner, intermediate and advanced route so you can choose which one suits you best. Three are available now and the others will be available throughout this month.

And don't just take it from me, Olympic Gold Medallist Nicole Cooke has also been talking to James Villas and sharing her top tips for cycling on holiday, so what are you waiting for? Get on your bike and do some holiday cycling!

 

 

 Disclosure: this is a collaborative post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.