Beautiful Greece-Conquering my fear

I’m extremely excited to be going to Greece, a country I have never been to  and always wanted to go. The downside of the holiday is that we have a 6am flight which means we have to be up at 2am, oh boy is there any point at all in going to sleep. I have to confess part of me was tempted to stay up until 2am and go straight to the airport and sleep on the plane. However, since I cannot sleep on planes, I ought to go to bed early and try and get up, the last thing I need is to miss the plane.  Nevertheless, needless to say, I did not have a good night sleep. I went to bed at but kept waking up every hour which was not much fun.

 

DAY ONE

We arrived extremely tired and ready for bed, however we had another 3.5 hours’ drive to the resort. How annoying, the flight was only 2.5 hours and the drive is 3.5 hours ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

HELLO GREECE

We arrived at Aristi Mountain Resort to be greeted by this beautiful view. Despite the long tiring drive, and the lack of sleep, when we set eyes on this beautiful place all seemed to be worth it.  Our hotel is nestled in the middle of the mountains one of which, the Vikos Gorge in the Pindus Mountains, is listed in the Guinness world record as one of the deepest gorges. We didn’t do much today apart from plan our week ahead and have an early night, it’s been a tiring day we have been up for more than 12 hours. Unbeknown to me, my partner told me this holiday was for me to conquer my fears and do things I have never done before, i.e. white water rafting, paragliding (thank you for very much for forgetting I’m petrified of heights), climbing, cannoning (hmmm another one I’m not sure of), horse riding, and relax and read some books. Hmmmm, say what?????

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DAY TWO

We had lovely supper the night before at a very nice restaurant by the village, however, I was extremely nervous of the white water rafting given that I’m not a strong swimmer. The question which was on my mind is what if I fall off and the current is so strong that it sweeps me away. My partner replies: ‘well then you will die’. The drive to the white water rafting centre was the longest drive of my life (even though it only took 20 mins). Upon arrival I felt physically sick, part of me wanted to:

  1. A) Give up on the whole idea and forget about it

 

  1. B) Go along with it and let God deal with it

However I was not prepared to give in and let my partner win on our bet. I decided to go ahead with it.

White Water Rafting

After the induction and simple instructions we got on our inflatable raft, funnily enough once we were on the raft all my nerves disappeared, I was scared for nothing,  this is really good fun. I should have done this earlier, at some places it was relaxing other it was a little more heart stopping moments. I must confess, I enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting and without a doubt I would do it again.

DAY THREE

Vikos Mountain

Today is our big day of walking/climbing the famous Vikos Gorge. I wasn’t scared or nervous since I have climbed before and knew what to expect, this was my favourite thing on the list, what can be more relaxing than walking and enjoying the view? Piece of cake. Our guide picked us up at and told us what to expect. The walk/climbing will take around 6hours, 6 hours I replied? Hmm I should have done my research re the Gorge never mind.

We arrived at the top of the Gorge around 10am, our guide told us we would start with a gentle walk down the mountain, stop for lunch around midday, and carry on stop by the river for a swim before embarking on the climb up the Gorge. So far so good, I love gentle walks followed by a swim, I’m not sure about the climbing but hey.

 

HEAVEN ON EARTH

This place is beautiful beyond description, being surrounded by all this lovely nature is pure beauty, and scenery itself takes your breath away. We live in such a beautiful world, all this lovely nature that God gave us and we more often than not take it for granted. After 3 hours of walking and some heart stopping moments, I was actually scared in some places it was so steep and one wrong turn, you would be dead.  We walked, enjoyed the views and of course the sky decided to open. This is nothing like the rain we get back home in London, this is tropical train, despite the weather being 30 degrees the rain was actually cold. We had two options either wait until the rain stops or soldier on. We decide to soldier on completely soaked, cold and feeling tired beyond anything else. The rain would not stop and we decided to skip the river and head back to the hotel. My heart sank when I found out we have another 2 hours to go, oh no. Thirty minutes until the finishing line I started to feel faint, sick and seeing double vision. Every time I looked down my legs gave away, the guide told me whatever you do not stop or look down. How can I not? I wanted to lay down there and wait for a helicopter to come and carry me or for someone to carry me. My darling partner was even more tired than me, but I soldiered on and when we reached the top I was happy my legs gave away and I collapsed on the floor with exhaustion and euphoria. I’ve made it, 6 hours OMG how?

 

DAY 4

 

I woke up with my legs and bottom aching so much I couldn’t get out of bed properly I was limping. Give me Barry’s Bootcamp class anytime. After breakfast another adventure day awaits us.  Today is the mother of all conquering my fear of heights, paragliding.

 

I was more nervous about doing this because I’m petrified of heights. The drive up to the mountain was very scary at times and the roads were so narrow, thank God I was not on the driving seat. I would have fainted going up there and probably left the car and walked down instead.

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VERTIGO

When it was my turn to be strapped in, my heart was in my mouth, I was feeling physically sick, and all I kept thinking was: what if the parachute cuts and I drop from mid-air all the way to the ground?   Before I had time to let my thoughts wander any further we were off. OMG, ok, I kept my eyes open because I wanted to see where I was going, however, when I looked down my whole stomach turned, I felt light headed and I was extremely worried. We were one kilometre above the valley floor! The instructor who was strapped to me must have seen how nervous I was and reassured me that I was safe and I should relax, he’s an expert and he’s been doing this for 20 years and never had any accidents. After that useful piece of information, I found myself more relaxed and enjoyed the view. I felt liberated being up there, all my thoughts disappeared and I was able to look down and enjoy it. I felt alive and just closed my eyes and enjoyed the feeling of being up there.

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Out of all the holidays I have been to, this holiday pushed me to the limits, I have done things I have never imaged before, it makes such a difference when you let all your fear disappear and enjoy the moment. Its liberating. I had a great time in Greece and I would return to the same resort again, the hospitality we received was second to none. THANK YOU ARISTI MOUNTAIN RESORT.

Back to London now and the first thing i need to do is head to my hairdressers to sort out my hair extensions out!!! I feel like having shorter hair for the summer, I’m going for the chop!  Here is the end result.

This is my summer look   #SLAY THE BOB

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My everyday beauty products

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Face

Avene Thermal Water       Avene Water

I use Avene thermal water over my skin after cleansing and make up removal. Also amazing to use after you have shaved your legs it’s great to cool off.

 

Avene Extremely Rich Compensating Crème 2746348

I have been using this cream for many years now. Like any girl, I have tried a lot of different creams and nothing agreed with my skin. However, this one which was introduced to me by beauty therapist does exactly what it says. Cream is rich but easily absorbed. Apply the cream every morning and night to a perfectly cleansed face and neck.

Santa Maria Novela Acqua Soave-Face Toner acqua-soave-santa-maria-novella_1024x1024

I love this product wonderful for the face and neck. Use it every day after washing my face. It leaves my skin with a healthy glow.  For me what makes this product my favourite toner is not only the effectiveness but the fragrance itself is very soothing and fresh.

 

Pitrok Chrystal Spray PitrOK Christyal

I use Pitrok Chrystal natural mineral deodorant. It’s based on pure natural mineral salt and doesn’t block pores and is alcohol and fragrance free.

 

 

Body

Magnesium Oil Recovery Spray byou10004_4_b

Training and recovery aid

After my weekly work out at Barry’s bootcamp, I use Magnesium Oil Recovery Spray

Magnesium is vital for optimal muscle contraction, skeletal strength, energy production and assists in sustaining the high oxygen consumption necessary. I normally spray it all over my aching limps after a shower or bath.

 

CHANEL No 5 Les Huiles Essentielles Pour Le Bain chanel

When I feel like spoiling myself and after a long day at work.  I use this CHANEL N°5 intense bath oil to pamper my skin.

The fragrance is amazing. I have used it in a shower and over a warm bath. It works both ways. The bottle is exquisite. The glass is thick and the liquid a pretty amber. That’s just the packaging though the actual oil is worth every penny and I bought this as a gift to my friend also, she loved it. Ladies, next time you are feeling down, have a bath with Chanel, I promise you it will make you feel like a million dollar

Remember Marilyn Monroe wore this fragrance to bed each night, now that says a lot.

 

Hair Vita Derm

Vita Derm Shampoo and Condition

My Brasilian hairdresser introduced me to this Shampoo and Conditioner about 2 years ago. I can safely say I have not looked back or used any other brand since then. This amazing shampoo and conditioner provides anti frizz action, hydration and immediately smoothness whilst leaving your hair feeling completely natural. It also protects your hair against pollution and humidity. I have found it difficult to find a good shampoo that I could use with my hair extensions, however, this product does exactly what it says.

 

 

Farmacy Restaurant, Westbourne Grove

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My second time at Farmacy, the new plant-based restaurant has just opened in Westbourne Grove, serving up vegan and vegetarian dishes, free from dairy, refined sugars, additives and chemicals. Today I went for breakfast straight after my Barry’s Bootcamp class, I had ‘Bee Grateful R GF housemade probiotic spirulina ‘yoghurt’ served with chia seed porridge, fresh fruit, crunchy almonds & bee pollen’. It was actually very yummy, I loved it.

 

LOSING MY SAFARI VIRGINITY – SOUTH AFRICA, MARATABA SAFARI LODGE

One gloomy Saturday morning in London, my partner says to me ‘darling I’m going to South Africa for work, I was thinking I could extend it to 5 days and we can have a nice little holiday together’. I paused for a moment, South Africa hmmm! I have never been but to be honest it never really crossed my mind, and fly for 11 hours for 5 days and spend 3 days on a safari holiday? That’s a little crazy. But hey why not!!!!!!!!!!!

I have never been on a safari holiday before (to be honest it never appealed to me), give me a beach holiday anytime. On second thoughts, life is all about new experiences so why not. My partner flew in two days before me so that he could get his work meetings out of the way.  I’m very much looking forward to my 11 hour flight, considering how much I love flying (not).

I arrived in Johannesburg early evening on the 23rd of June, completely exhausted after a 11 hour flight and if that wasn’t bad enough, it took one and half hour to go through customs. The good news is the train from Johannesburg to the main town was only 20 mins. After a long couple of hours travelling I was ready for bed.  Time to rest and tomorrow we will drive another 4 hours to our safari resort.

Our driver was a great gentleman, kept us entertained and before we knew it, we were 20 minutes away from the resort, and I must have nodded off without even realising given the long flight the previews day. It was early evening when we arrived, and the drive from the main gate to the safari lodge itself,  was 15 minutes. Whilst driving to the lodge, we saw two elephants who decided to block our path. The driver started to reverse back, ‘hmmm should I start to panic now, I thought?’

OMG – I must be dreaming.

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The resort itself was amazing, I could not believe my eyes, and it made the 4 hour drive worth it.

We stayed at Marataba Safari Lodge, which is located inside the reserve itself. This meant we often found animals like monkeys, zebras and antelope hanging out right around camp. Because there are no fences, armed guards would escort us to our lodge at night, this was because if we run into an animal on our way to the lodge, it can be dangerous, my human instinct would be to run which will not get me very far because if it’s a lion, that’s me gone!

Our safari group would start at 6am to have some coffee & muffins at the camp lodge and Shawn (our guide) also explained the plan for the day ahead.

View from our lodge:

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FELLING COLD, COLD, COLD

 

Me being silly and thinking even the African winter does not come close to the winter back home in London, I didn’t bring any winter clothes apart from one very light sweater, much to the delight of my partner. Let’s just say I had to buy a sweater and a scarf, yes it was freezing cold. ‘I kept thinking to myself, how it can be cold in Africa’. Lesson learnt!

 

After the quick meeting, it was time to jump into our open-air Land Rover.

We drove around for a couple of hours and saw various animals, it was an amazing experience being so close and personal next to the animals. To say I was perplexed would have been a bit of an understatement, I was in awe of the whole experience. It made the 11 hour flight and the drive worth every minute.  We saw Elephants, Cheetahs, Rhinos, Giraffes, zebras, cheeky monkeys (be careful they steal your things) amongst other animals.

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For me the best part of the safari was the river cruise where we saw anacondas, hippos, buffalos, elephants and the sunset, you have to see it to believe it. You cannot beat this view with a glass of Gin & Tonic in one hand and you’re loved next to you. I could stay here forever.

How can you beat this? Our river cruise watching the sunset, just magical.

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The only thing I didn’t like about the experience itself, when you go to sleep at night, you can hear the lions roar, and the monkeys jumping up and down your lodge. I can safely say, I would not be able to stay there alone. I was having trouble sleeping at nights, which meant I was exhausted during the day, being tired was not an option since we were there for only 2 nights.

 

Oh and how can you beat having a shower outside surrounded by nature?

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The whole safari experience in South Africa exceeded my expectations. I’m so happy to crossed this off my ‘things to do list’. I cannot wait to go back to Africa, for another memorable experience.

 

Seat Belt????? What do you mean seatbelt? – Madness of India

DAY 4

Today we are heading to Punjab to meet a supplier I have been in contact with, the car is picking us up at 12pm on the dot! Whilst waiting for the car at the lobby, I was praying that the car would be air conditioned because I don’t know how much more of this heat I can take.

The first thing I asked when we got into the car was, ‘where are the seatbelt?’ The driver replied, seatbelt? What seatbelt? These are only for novelty. In my head I was thinking, you expect us to drive for 8 hours without wearing any seatbelt? In this crazy traffic? My friend of course found the funny side and she was laughing away at my innocent yet serious question.

We take off and surprise surprise after 20 mins of driving we are pulled over by the police. Typical, I said to my friend, it’s just like the police in Africa I bet they want some money! We stayed inside the car and watched the driver plead with the policemen but they were having none of it. My friend said do not look a the policeman, we have 3 big suitcases they might think we have money blag bla bla.  Eventually our driver gets back in the car and we of course we asked him what happened, did you have to pay him? Yes he said, why I asked? Well I ‘JUMPED A RED LIGHT’ he said ‘Ha I take back what I said about all policemen to being corrupt.

The drive was long, the traffic was not bad at all, we eventually arrived in Ludhiana in our beautiful hotel. View Post