I just recently finished a two-week trip to Italy – it was my “wish” for my 50th birthday, and what a birthday it was!
It was what they call a “Self guided” Walking tour and four of us set off for a wonderful adventure in a beautiful country.
Four days in Rome and then eight days hiking the Amalfi coast, visiting Mt Vesuvius and the ruins of Pompeii…it was incredible!
On the plane home my husband and I were re-living the adventure, chatting about the people we met on foot walking from town to town, and the exercise we got and how great we felt even though we had enjoyed all the food and wine that Italy is famous for. And it hit me that pretty much 90% of my vacations are what I call “fitness vacations”, hiking, biking, walking and more often then not, coming home feeling better than I did when I left.
And when I look back and really I am not sure which came first…the importance of fitness and the ability to pursue physically active trips or the desire to do those types of trips prompted me to maintain a certain level of fitness in my life.
But either way, I cannot imagine a holiday without the physical aspect of being able to walk for hours on end, explore villages, immerse myself in the culture, take time to understand the history, meet the local people along the way and stop as long as I like to take in the incredible scenery and be “in the moment”.
In Rome we chose guided “walking tours”. They were 4-5 hours a day, exploring Rome, discovering the hidden gems, walking up to the coliseum, Pantheon, Vatican city and the Spanish steps.
Then we headed to the Amalfi coast, where we trekked from town to town. We started in the town of Amalfi then onto Praiano, Santa Agata, & Sorrento.
We covered 85 Km in distance and almost 14,000 feet in elevation gain – there is lots of “up” on the Amalfi Coast, plus wild mountains – old fishing towns tumbling down to the water’s edge. Spectacular paths with views for miles. Bathing in little coves. This was a truly multigraded walk for the hardy strider.
Our route shows both faces of the peninsula – the craggy scenery of the eastern (Amalfi) end and the more accessible charms of the western tip.
Our final day was spent hiking a stretch to the top of Mt Vesuvius and wandering thru the ruins of Pompeii.
This is the best of both worlds…enjoying all the opportunities that come my way, and at the same time improving my fitness, immersing myself in the culture, seeing first hand the historic sites and just exploring this world – on foot, because I am able to.
So even thought a big part of my job these days involves sitting in a booth as an analyst with TSN covering curling– I will work hard to maintain my fitness while I am on the road. I have multiple yoga apps on my iPad, I try to stay in hotels with a gym, and I continue to take the supplement that will allow me to maintain my joint health and mobility – SierraSil Joint Formula.
Well, time to get back to researching the best hikes in the world and my next adventure for 2017!
Explore Magazine 50 best hikes in the world http://www.explore-mag.com/50_Best_Hikes_in_the_World