Destination: Lost

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Austria lakes and mountains: A week in photos

When I told friends and family that I was going to Austria this year, everyone asked me why.

Here’s why:

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Flying in Basingstoke – Airkix

So many Sunday afternoon’s come and go, full of guilt and regret. Too much alcohol, too much food, too much Netflix, not enough excitement. Sending you straight back to work wondering how feasible a 4 day working week would actually be.

Well I think I’ve found a cure for the tame Sunday afternoon blues – indoor skydiving.

Group shot at Airkix Basingstoke

We rocked up to airkix in Basingstoke on a Sunday evening a few weekends ago. The wind tunnel you do the indoor skydiving in is on the first floor, surrounded by sofas for those who just want to spectate. We were called in group by group to the video prep area and despite having visions of embarrassing myself in front of a birthday group of 7 year olds, luckily it turned out our group was made up of the 6 of us and a professional sky diving troupe (who obviously did not need to watch the video and spent the time practicing their formations instead.)

Fully briefed and kitted up, the instructor explained a few hand signals and took us one by one into the air tunnel.

I was feeling incredibly nervous. The sound of the wind was overwhelming, so much so, you’re given ear plugs for safety. I just had no idea what it would feel like.

Entry into the wind tunnel is simple and you find yourself in the neutral flying position with ease. You simply lean into the wind with your feet on the door frame and the instructor helps lift your legs up behind you. Legs out straight, back arched a little, chest up high, looking straight or as far upwards as you can and you’re flying! Flying indoor skydiving Airkix Basingstoke

It’s an indescribable feeling. Weightless, as if you are swimming, but still aware that there is a pillow of air holding you up. The air buffets against your shoulders and did feel a little uncomfortable at some points.

The air speed is controlled so that you cannot fly any higher than head/shoulder height of the instructor, but believe me, for your first go, that is certainly high enough! If your instructor is trained for tandem flights, you can pay extra and request to fly right to the top of the wind tunnel.

We each had two turns and in between had the chance to watch the professionals do their thing, which was very impressive. It also made me question the claim Airkix make that their indoor skydives, between one and two minutes long, are longer than a normal skydive, as the professional group took up the whole time available rehearsing a routine they would do in the air. Don’t get me wrong – for a first few tries at indoor skydiving, one minute is plenty. None of us had a clue what we were doing so we all bobbed around, trying not to bash into the windows, and one minute is more than enough time to do that.


A not very comprehensive guide to the beers of Central America

Which beer is worthy of gracing your new singlet? Here’s your guide to the beers of Central America.

Now, I’m not an expert beer drinker but between myself and the rest of the tour group, I think we drank enough bottles to be able to tell you what I liked, what I didn’t like, and what the best beer in Central America is. 

For me, there’s nothing I’d rather have in my hand watching the sun go down than an icy, local beer. Beer always screams summer at me. Although you’ll find me with a pint in a pub at home, something about it (okay, the budget price) always makes it my holiday drink of choice. Unless rum is also cheap. Then rum, rum all the time.  Continue reading

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I hate bungee jumping: Monteverde Extreme Bungee, Costa Rica

“Oh it was amazing, Kirstie, you’re going to love it,”

Evelyn’s voice was faltering a bit as she pulled herself back onto the cable car. It’s all that adrenalin, I thought, she must feel on top of the world.

Evelyn had just thrown herself 143 metres down towards a valley in the Costa Rican cloud forest attached only by a cord and some ropey looking ankle straps – the instructors had just fixed them with duct tape right in front of us. It was my turn next.

Monteverde Costa Rica bungee jumping Continue reading

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We can’t dance like the Ticos

Swinging into San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital city, early on a Saturday evening, we chucked on the nearest things to posh frocks we had. We were eager to explore the cosmopolitan life on offer after three weeks of beautiful beaches and colonial cities.

Around 10pm we took a taxi out to Centro Commercial El Pueblo on recommendation from our tour leader. It’s a warren of bars and clubs at night, some linked together, some hidden round corners, some that you can’t get to without walking through another and out the other side. There was a small charge to get into some of them.

Beer tower Costa Rica San Jose

We chose our first stop for a drink, the promoters still shouting “free party” as we ducked inside. The music was a mix of hip hop, reggaeton and (showing my lack of music knowledge here) more dance music that sounded like pitbull that wasn’t. This bar was pretty dead. Don’t believe the guidebooks that tell you it gets going here earlier than other countries. Continue reading

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#Blog4Trek The Second Round + Photos From The Out-takes

You might have seen my post a few weeks ago about what I would pack for a weekend away. That was my entry to Trek America’s search for their next blogger and to win a trip to America. Somehow I made it into the top ten finalists – I guess wittering on about how scared I would be to visit the moon worked!

Now I’m in the second round and we’re about to be cut down to just five bloggers. We were asked to take a photo of something red, white, and blue, in keeping with the all American theme.

It’s been all I could think about all week. Red, white, and blue was starting to creep into my dreams at night. I was spotting that colour combo in so many places I had never noticed before. I had a pretty busy week, what with end of term deadlines approaching, so I made sure to keep my camera on me for any possible chance to take a photo.

It took a lot of deliberating but I decided to go with this photo. It’s taken at the cinema I work at on campus and it was actually from the first set of photos I took. I thought you might want to see some of the others I took as well (I’m a little bit proud of some of them, I never really considered photography or any kind of artistic nature to be one of my strong points. Continue reading

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When the road is so bad, even the local bus gives up.

The man was chattering away to me in Spanish at the bus stop. Too bad I couldn’t understand a word of it. “Mas lento,” I pleaded but he wittered on. I resigned myself to nodding and laughing when his face erupted into a wide grin. Thinking about it, he was probably telling me that I was a silly girl for sitting out in the hot sun all morning, waiting for a bus that was never going to turn up.

Ometepe Island

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