Niki Wibrow’s Top Tips for Excersise

One of the biggest motivational tools when working out is  music, however most of us tend to listen to the same type  of music over and over again without changing our playlist.  What was once motivating for you in the summer months  may no longer work now. Why not compile a completely new playlist with all your favourite songs included on it. This will really help to uplift your mood and keep you motivated through the winter months.

Grab a couple of bottles of water, a cushion or a pillow, a chair and a towel. Scatter your equipment around you, put on your favourite music channel on and begin.

Station 1: Legs wide apart feet turned out – sumo squat. Holding both bottles of water sit your bottom back over your heels and swoop your arms between your legs. As you come back up to standing straighten your legs and stretch your arms over head. Repeat 10 times.

Station 2: Grab your towel between your hands and raise it above your head – really pull against the towel with your hands. Keep your tummy pulled in and begin to twist from the waist from Right to Left – try to keep your hips still. Repeat 10 times

Station 3: Run up and walk down your stairs as briskly as you can. If you don’t have stairs try small shuttle runs from side to side. Repeat 10 times

Station 4: Stand on your cushion/pillow and begin to squat down and up, try to stay balanced. Repeat 10 times.

Station 5: Sit on the tip of your chair, facing out. Slide your bottom off the chair and wrap your hands around the front of the chair. Slowly drop your bottom towards the floor at the same time bend your elbows – tricep dips – then lift back up. Repeat 10 times.

Ask a friend or family member to join you in a weekly workout, pick a time and day that suits you both. Take it in turns to choose a different workout each week, with a different location. And try swapping playlists, you’ll be surprised how motivating someone else’s music can be. You can even designate one of you as the ‘trainer’ for that week. Or between you, you could share the cost of a professional trainer. Most reputable trainers come with a wealth of knowledge and expertise and can show you different training techniques and exercises that can help to kick start your training regime. Having someone there to train you can really help to keep your motivational levels high.

Autumn is the ideal time to try out new things, you probably won’t feel like your normal exercise class or activity, so why not try a completely new approach. Most local councils start new timetables in the autumn months offering a host of new activities – martial arts classes, football, ice skating, salsa dancing, badmington, tennis, yoga, ballroom/tango lessons. Why not sign up and try out these classes. Or invest in a new piece of fitness equipment, something you have never tried before. There are many products on the market that are inexpensive and very effective – skipping ropes, agility ladders, chi balls, hula hoops, bands, balance boards.

Choose bright vibrant colours which can really help to lift your mood in the winter months. As the temperature drops outside its very tempting to hibernate indoors. But there are a few things you can do to help to keep you warm on the inside. Layering your outfit really helps to keep your core body temperature comfortably warm, which is always preferable if your training outside. If you really feel the cold, place a few items of clothing on your radiator before your leave.

As the nights draw in exercise becomes less and less tempting, particularly if your favourite time to workout out or class is in the evening. Coming home from work in the dark and venturing back out into the dark doesn’t seem so appealing. As the day progresses we naturally find more excuses why we shouldn’t exercise. Therefore, try working out earlier in the day – before work or dropping the kids at school etc. It not only helps to kick start and energise your body but can also help to clear and settle your mind, in preparation for your day ahead.


Renew your sense of Wellbeing in Bali

Bali offers the perfect balance with its luxury spa estates, hidden yoga retreats and a shoreline blessed with some of the world’s best surfing breaks, not to mention the world-renowned Como Shambhala Estate

Bali is known for its exclusive retreats, spectacular jungle surroundings and long stretches of beach that serve the surfing community, not to mention yoga, kaftans and authentic wooden furniture. But, perhaps the most prominent thing Bali is it’s dedication to wellbeing and spirituality – it is the ultimate place to relax and rejuvenate.

Once you’ve had enough of the surf, crowds and hustle and bustle of Bali’s touristic Seminyak (don’t even bother with Kuta), home to the high-end boutiques and some of Bali’s finest restaurants, head in-land, to Bali’s spiritual, jungle and bustling centre, Ubud. As you drive the winding roads away from the coast, Bali comes into its own. The shops and mopeds give way to emerald paddy fields, lush jungle vegetation, art galleries and the peaks of Bali’s volcanoes far off in the distance. Nestled just outside of Ubud, on the banks of the River Ayung, you will find the ultimate in wellbeing destinations, the COMO Shambhala Estate, a residential health retreat that promises total commitment to your wellbeing.

The COMO Shambhala Estate, is focused not only on luxury accommodation but on providing guests with an unrivaled holistic, wellness experience. Each guest receives an initial wellness consultation upon arrival. With your personal consultant you can discuss your ambitions and requirements and then develop a plan of treatments and therapies for your stay. Between your treatments, therapies and physical activities (including whitewater rafting, yoga and mountain biking), take a swim in the estates natural spring pools which flow down into the river below or dine at one of the two restaurants serving the COMO Shambahla healthy cuisine – Glow or Kudus House. We opted for Glow, with it’s raw organic food menu, focused on providing delicious dishes designed to provide maximum taste and nutrition. Of course, you may wish to follow your cuisine recommendations, prepared specifically to match your tastes and needs by the estate’s resident nutritionist.

Accommodation involves a mix of exclusive bedrooms, suites, villas and residences, all with modern design features and indigenous detailing. Each is different from the next, in terms of style, positioning and mood, ensuring that there is something to suit even the most discerning of travellers.

The estates holistic approach to providing guests with a wellness experience focused of the mind, body and spirit sets it miles apart form anywhere else. The focus on the quality of ingredients in the food and in the spa products mean it’s easy and enjoyable to make the healthy choice, every time. Como Shambhala Estate really is a unique place, in an unforgettable location.

Visit for more information about the wellness breaks on offer.


Take Time out in Sri Lanka

by Harriet Chubb

Explore the hidden gem of the Indian Ocean, previously known as Ceylon; Sri Lanka has plenty to offer the luxury holiday maker looking to indulge both body and soul…

If you have a penchant for long-haul destinations but find it difficult to get a true grasp of the country in the precious few weeks holiday you have a year; Sri Lanka is a destination that is small enough and varied enough to fulfill all your cultural needs and can be experienced in  five-star luxury. Still a destination that is considered off the beaten track enough; you won’t find many tourists in Sri Lanka’s capital city of Colombo and you will find even less as you venture north east towards the jungle city of Kandy, where you can go in search of The Temple of the Tooth, the famed temple that houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha – a Mecca for Buddhists all over the world.

Due to its Buddhist roots, Sri Lanka has plenty of opportunities to experience a Zen-like state of health and well being. Yoga retreats are in abundance but do tend to be situated in remote Buddhist temples in the jungle so make sure you have suitable directions or a knowledgeable tour guide. Just two hours west of Kandy you will find the Ulpotha resort that specialises in yoga and ayurveda holidays, with a focus on organic farming and reforestation, this is the perfect start to your physical and spiritual escape.

After enjoying the excitement of Colombo and the more laid back, provincial city of Kandy, head to the south coast on a six hour train ride to the handsome town of Galle. With its UNESCO-site old fort it has quickly become Sri Lanka’s style capital boasting a myriad of chic venues and colonial buildings.

There’s still time to catch a tuk-tuk 30 minutes west and experience some of the most unspoiled beaches in the orient; Unawatuna and Tangalle are among the many where you can even swim with wild sea turtles. It’s no wonder that Sri Lanka has often been referred to as the pearl of the Indian Ocean – a pearl that’s bursting with history and culture and reasonably sized enough to squeeze into your year’s travel plans.


Forty One Lighthouse Street

Yoga & Ayurveda: Pamper your body and soul and stay at the ULPOTHA resort near Kandy. With awards and editorial from magazines such as Vogue and World of Interiors, this really is something to experience. For more information visit and learn about their Yoga holidays.

Luxury: Stay at FORTY ONE in Lighthouse Street, Galle, and you won’t be disappointed. A villa within the famous Galle Fort and with the option of a private chef; you can see why this is one of the most top end, boutique hotels in Sri Lanka.

What to eat: Coconut sambol, a mix of coconut and chillies, dried fish and lime – this will boost any weary traveller’s metabolism.

What to drink: Melon juice, straight from the melon with a hole and a straw, refreshment in its most natural form.

What to wear: A Melissa Odabash kaftan to cover your shoulders and arms in style.

What to listen to: Hotel Costes – relax with a cocktail to the mellow and elegant sounds of the band made famous by its Parisian Hotel.

What to read: The Inner Tradition of Yoga by Michael Stone – a concise guide to the philosophy of yoga to get you in the spiritual mood.

What to do: Meditate – in Sri Lanka meditation is as ordinary as breathing.


What to Pack: A Healthy Holiday in Sydney

Staying healthy on holiday can be tricky. But a healthy holiday in Sydney is easy, from the moment you get off the plane it is evident that this city is geared up for active bunnies everywhere. So that you fit right in, here’s what you should pack…

The beaches are so beautiful that you will want to take full advantage of them. Just about any swimsuit will do in Sydney, but you cannot go far wrong with Quiksilver – and a one piece is a wonderful way to look chic on the beach. Story One Pice, Quiksilver, in the sale at


Protect your eyes with Rayban New Wayfarers, Available in a range of colours at


Look stylish on the move with your Foxglove Pink Mini Leopard Print Bag, £85,


Sydney’s beaches really are breathtaking and you will be wanting to spend as much time on them as possible… so make sure you have something to play with! FB Frescobol Beach Bats, £110,


Running is one of the local’s favourite pass times in Sydney and you will not seem even the slightest bit out of place here in full running gear. We recommend going for a jog in the Botanical Gardens before breakfast. GEL-DS SKY SPEED 2, Asics, £92,

MSC Guide to Buying Sustainable Fish: Simplified

MSC Guide to Buying Sustainable Fish: Simplified

Because buying sustainably can often involve references to guides that list every fish under the sun (good or bad), which can be a lengthy process, we thought we’d just give you a list of the good fish, by MSC standards, that you can print and keep in your wallet for when you are next in Waitrose! The MSC are a global organisation working with fisheries, seafood companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public to promote the best environmental choice in seafood.

Fish you can eat sustainably:

 Abalone (farmed)

Alaska (MSC certified)


Blackbream or Seabream



Cod (Pacific)



Dublin Bay prawn, scampi or Langoustine (MSC certified)


Gurnard (grey & red)

Herring or Sild (Norway or MSC certified)

Lobster (MSC certified or western Australia)


Oysters (farmed of pacific)

Pollack or Lythe

Prawn (coldwater from NE Atlantic or organically farmed)

Red Mullet (from NE Atlantic)

Salmon (pacific or organically farmed)

Sardine (from cornwall)

Seabass (line caught)

Snapper (red from western Australia)

Sole (Common, Dover, Lemon)

Squid (jig caught)

Tilapia (farmed)

Trout (brown or sea and rainbow, organically farmed)

Tuna, albacore (MSC certified)

Tuna, skipjack (pole or line caught)

Visit for more information.

Have a Healthy Breakfast

A delicious, hearty breakfast is more important to our health than we think. It’s the fuel to your engine and can have an impact on how you feel for the rest of the day. Because most of us don’t have much time, we at Hip and Healthy have compiled our favourite easy-to-make brekkies that are sure to get your motors going and will suit a range of different breakfast fiends…

FOR TOAST LOVERS: Avocado on toast
As simple as jam and bread, just substitute the jam for an avocado – packed with healthy fats and vitamin E, as well as tons of fibre, about 20 other vitamins and folic acid, avocados have often been dubbed a perfect food. They will also keep your skin healthy and your body fertile. Add a splash of soy sauce and indulge.

CEREAL SCOFFERS: Nutty muesli:
This is super easy; just swap your Shreddies (which are full of sugar) for substantial, organic muesli. Our faves include Rude Health, Dorset Cereal and Waitrose’s own. Your body will instantly thank you for it, and you will not only feel fuller for longer, but you will need less to fill you up. All the nuts and seeds contain lots of lovely healthy fats as well.

PROTEIN PEOPLE: Poached egg on toast:
Muscle men and gym bunnies need a little protein to perk them up in the morning and for them, a poached egg couldn’t be better. They contain six grams of quality protein per egg, which amounts to 12% of your recommended daily allowance, a host of vitamins, including the much talked about vitamin D, and have been linked to good eye health – all this for only 70 calories.

TEA DRINKERS: Fresh mint tea:
If you rely on a cup of tea to revive you each morning – kick the habit now and replace it for a fresh mint tea. Your body will be grateful for the water, and the mint will help aid healthy digestion. This is especially good for those who have trouble sleeping or if you have IBS. Buy a mint plant (or even better, plant one), pop it on your windowsill and just tear off the leaves into the mug – add hot water and voila!

ASIA ADMIRERS: Rice dishes, such as Nasi Goreng:
More of a supper grain for Westerners, rice dishes are regarded as breakfast across much of Asia. Indonesia especially herald Nasi Goreng as the only way to start the day; a rice dish that contains egg, shallots, garlic, tamarind, chili and prawns. However, if this is all a bit much at 7am, then brown rice (cooked or left over from the night before) with a bit of soy sauce, avocado and scrambled egg makes a sterling breakfast option – perhaps try instead of a fry up.

Mandy Watkins: How I Relax


Founder of Hush and purveyor of all things cosy

Have a hot bath or shower. This always helps me get rid of any tension in my muscles. Use your favourite bath oil/soap and dryyourself with a linen waffle weave towel. Linen bath towels are fantastic to use as they get softer with every wash, are incredibly absorbent and they dry really quickly. They also gently exfoliate you as you dry which feels great. My favourite bath soap is Aesop Geranium Leaf Body.

Play games. Having kids has re-introduced me to the delights of great games, cards, dominoes. I also have a great puzzle app on my ipad that’s seriously addictive. It may not have the nostalgia of a floor puzzle but it doesn’t take up any room and once you’ve finished you can just start a new one.

Do yoga or any form of exercise. The more strenuous the better, when you feel like you can’t lift one more weight, run for one more second, stretch another millimetre it’s hard to think about anything else. You also feel incredibly virtuous afterwards and go to bed exhausted so you’ll sleep well.

Change into comfy clothes. If I’m not going out, the first thing I do when I get home, after kissing my kids, is get changed into something comfy, no bra, no heals, nothing tight. It sets an intention for the night and puts me into relax mode. This winter we are playing on the huge success of our long harem trousers from last summer and are offering three new silhouettes, which I can’t wait to wear. I think our Bubble Stitch Cardi is also going to be a great success; I love the textured feel to it. Our pyjamas are always a best-seller in the winter, along with our ever expanding range of cosy bed socks and accessories.

Watch a great movie. Endless channel surfing, trying to find something decent to watch on TV or watching something you’re not really enjoying can just add to a day’s stress. I prefer to watch a DVD instead – either a movie or a great series. My favourite movies are After the Wedding and The Sea Inside.

Light some candles. A cluster of glimmering tea lights creates a relaxing mood. A small amount of effort to light but, oh! so worth it. Candles scented with camomile or lavender will have a calming relaxing affect on your mind. Or anything from Diptyque (above).

Make something. Doing something you love is far more relaxing than doing nothing at all and I love a crafty project. Knit (I love Wool and the Gang for great patterns (, make a scented candle or create an ideas folder for your dream home/garden/wardrobe and fill it full of pictures you love.

Cook. Eating my favourite comfort food is guaranteed to make me feel better about life. Even more so when I make a bit of an effort to make the table look nice for a meal.  Sit at the table rather than in front of the television, light a candle, use your favourite plates and add a little vase of flowers…

For unreserved cosiness this autumn…

How wine can make you healthy!


Drinking red wine really can supplement a healthy lifestyle. Choose wisely and you could help ease your way to that elusive 100 Club, says Lee Osborne

Had a hard day at the office, stress levels going through the roof? Before you reach for your usual glass of Merlot think again! For there is a wine called Madiran that will not only taste delicious, but could raise your life expectancy in the process. Seriously. Madiran, the tiny wine appellation located in Gers, in the Gascony region of South Western France, is home to what scientists believe to be the world’s healthiest red wines.

Whilst research has revealed that drinking wine in moderation does have health benefits, after all our Gallic cousins have consumed wine with every meal for centuries, certain red wines are more beneficial than others. But why is this so?

The answer lies in the way the grapes are fermented in the winery. In the case of Madiran, the fermentation process of the native tannat grape is a lengthy one where the grape seeds are soaked for longer. This results in high levels of procyanidins and antioxidants, which in turn boost cardio-protection. Antioxidants are important for preventing your body from allowing free radicals to damage your cells. Free radicals are formed in your body as a residual effect, during the chemical process of oxidation, which is necessary for cell formation. The stronger the grape used in the process of making wine, as is the case with tannat, the higher the likelihood of increased resveratrol and antioxidant benefit.

One man who has devoted much of his working life trying to uncovering the myths of the wines of the Gers region and their heart preserving properties is Professor Roger Corder, a pharmacologist and Professor of Experimental Therapeutics at the William Harvey Research Institute at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. He was drawn to the region by a puzzle that has long had doctors scratching their heads: why is it that the French eat a diet with comparable levels of fat to ours, and have similar levels of blood cholesterol, yet four Britons die of heart disease for every one Frenchman?

Doctors traditionally put this so-called ‘French Paradox’ down to something present in red wine, but not in white, that protected the heart. But Corder was eager to delve deeper. If red wine is protective, why does it work better in some parts of France than others? The Gers region has twice the French national average of men aged 90 or above.

When he analysed the wines of the Gers, Corder found that they contained high levels of a plant chemical (or polyphenol) called procyanadin. This was partly thanks to the area’s native tannat grapes, and partly down to the region’s rustic production techniques.

Whilst championing the wines of Madiran, Corder is also rather fond of hearty reds from the ancient Muristella grape native to Sardinia.  Most notably those from Cantina del Mandrolisai, a winery based in Sorgono in the centre of the island. Sardinia’s population is made up of an exceptionally high number of centenarians. So if you happen to be holidaying there this summer you’ll know which cellar door to head to.

Quite ‘heart’ to come by Madiran is still relatively unknown and unfashionable in the UK and not as easily accessible as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. But if you track it down your heart will thank you for it one day. If all else fails Malbec or Pinot Noir are next in line to help preserve your heart.

(listed by grape variety, origin, ideal food pairing)

Madiran – South West France/Uruguay/California Central Coast

Food match: Cassoulet, Magret of duck, Fromage de Brebis (sheeps cheese)

Malbec – Cahors – South West France/Argentina

Food match: Steak with ceps or porcini mushrooms

Pinot Noir – Burgundy, France/Washington State, USA

Food match: Beef Bourguignon; Ahi Tuna, Salmon

Madiran, although relatively expensive in restaurants, is a fine accompaniment to a meal and would not be outshone by a Bordeaux red of the same price bracket.

Antidote Wine Bar, 12a Newburgh Street, London  W1F 7RR;

H&H drank: Clos Baste, 2007, AOC Madiran, 100% Tannat, £52.50

Comptoir Gascon, 63 Charterhouse St, London EC1M 6HJ;

H&H drank: Madiran – Château Aydie, Laplace, 2006 100% Tannat, £38.50

Want to avoid the restaurant mark up? Then buy here…

Château Barrejat, Madiran, Tradition, 2007; £7.95,

Plénitude 2006, Madiran; £17.99,

Corder, in his research, found that after only two weeks of a daily glass of procyanidin rich red wine, positive support for cardiovascular health was observed. It was found to improve the function of the lining of the blood vessels and protected against atherosclerosis, the thickening of the artery wall. So bottoms up!

Herbs that Heal

Words by Phytotherapist and Personal Trainer, Miss Savvy

Herb’s healing properties have been known for centuries. They take humble suppers to culinary heights and they also hold medicinal properties. As one of the best solutions to soothe aching tummies or settle stomachs, herbs are a no-fuss, easy-to-care-for (water them once a day) way to ease a whole host of ailments – I have my own herbal pharmacy on the balcony, and you could too!

A lot of the common varieties of herbs can be bought in sprigs at the supermarket but I encourage you to have a go at cultivating your own! A useful one stop shop for all herbs under the sun is Herbal Haven ( here you can play it safe and purchase parsley or branch out with the more unusual lovage or sorrel.

Loosen up with Lemon Balm

As the name indicates Lemon Balm has a soothing effect on the central nervous system due to the volatile oils citral and citronella that have anti-spasmodic properties. Just rubbing the leaves between forefinger and thumb and inhaling the delightful, citrusy aroma can be an instant calmer. Infuse the leaves to make a sublime tea perfect as an evening relaxant to transport you to the secluded garden of your dreams. This tisane can also ease menstrual cramps. To make, simply steep a handful in your teapot for ten minutes this can be drunk hot or cold but use within 24 hours. In addition, rub the leaves on bee and wasp stings or tear into a salad. Trim the plant regularly to keep it bushy and tasty!

Settle with Mint

Menthol, the active ingredient in mint, stimulates the production of bile and relaxes the stomach muscles, both of which are fantastic for the digestive system, making it the perfect after dinner cuppa! Just infuse a bunch of leaves for 10 minutes, strain and enjoy. If you have any left over in the pot pour four cups into a warm bath and submerge your body for a shot of energy and invigoration. I throw leaves from my grapefruit mint with gay abandon into salads. Be warned mint is a rampant one so best grown in a pot and contained. Keep pruning and it will reward you.

Thyme Eases

Rich in the volatile oil thymol, thyme is a superb antiseptic, since it contains antibacterial and antifungal properties and is therefore perfect for coughs, throat and chest infections. To make a soothing cough mixture simply infuse a few fresh sprigs in a cup of boiled water, strain and sip up to three times a day. Taking this remedy can also help with memory and concentration. Thyme is traditionally used to cleanse and protect homes by burning a few sprigs and wafting the perfumed smoke around each room. It’s also delicious tossed into stews & soups.

Parsley Phenomenon

So often the wallflower garnish but never the main act parsley is a nutritional powerhouse rich in vitamins A, C and B12, iron and magnesium. It supports the kidneys, liver and digestion and is an extraordinary immune enhancing food. This wonder herb is a Va Va Voom pick me up! So heap onto salads, pile into potatoes and stir through soups, sauces and dressings. Add towards the end of cooking to retain its vitamin content and colour. Make a tasty pesto replacing half the basil with parsley, add garlic and olive oil; this is raw food at it’s finest! For indigestion simply infuse a fistful of leaves for ten minutes and sip up to three times a day. Harvest regularly to encourage growth.

Wild Sage

Abundant in plant oestrogens sage can work wonders for menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats. Sage tea is simple to make – just pour boiling water over the fresh leaves, steep for 10 minutes and strain. It is a little stringent so sweeten with honey or agave nectar. For a stronger dose you may want to try Vogel’s Menoforce, which contains extract of freshly harvested sage in one easy tablet ( Sage is also good for aching and bleeding gums, sore throats and mouth inflammations just cool the tea and gargle away four to six times a day. This brew can also be used as a final rinse for a healthy scalp and to restore colour to dark hair. Do not use if you are pregnant or lactating.

Getting Cold Feet: One man’s trip to the summit


A trip to the Nepalese Himalayas entails a lot of experience (of which I am working on) and sheer determination (of which I soon discovered I had). Whether I was bending over an ice axe at the top of a mountain, sitting amongst the smells of incense burning inside a vibrant monastery, or even admiring the magnificent and often intimidating scenery, my recent trip to the Nepalese Himalayas had it all. Making a successful landing at Lukla airport marked the start of our month long journey amongst Nepal’s highest peaks. We had been dropped right into the heart of these mountains, which are stooped in tales of adventure, triumph, disaster, and passion. The Himalayas have a unique and compelling ability to captivate even the hardiest of adventurers. Looking up around me, it was easy to see why. Still only strictly in the foothills, the landscape was already eerily towering over us.

We had a month to summit two 6000 metre peaks, Mera and Island. Kit had been checked and re-checked; bags were packed and re-packed. Though, these concerns soon disappeared with the inevitable departure from Lukla for our climb that we had all worked so hard preparing for. Lukla is a community that has adapted to life in the mountains with apparent ease. Everyone is seemingly content with walking everywhere and carrying everything and they seem to have developed the strength of small giants. It became very normal to see substantial amounts of chopped firewood, hover past you, only to realise that a small man is bent double underneath it, carrying it.

Hours rolled into days and days into weeks as we made solid and steady progress up to Mera base camp. We climbed up, back down and up again, for what seemed like an eternity, as we became acclimatised to the altitude. Through the valley floors covered in sprawling bamboo shoots, up amongst the reds and pinks of the famous rhododendron forests and eventually up above the snow-line and amongst the ‘real’ mountains, already higher than most of Western Europe.

The journey came to its pinnacle on summit day. Feeling already sapped of energy, after a sleepless night perched up at high camp, I stumbled out of the tent and followed my head torch beam up 100 or so yards to the glacier. My numb fingers fumbled around with crampon straps but I was kept amused by the cursing around me coming out of the other team members. After three hours of slowly climbing the glacier in the last hours of darkness, we were switched out of autopilot as the sun silently emerged over the ridge behind us. The mountains began to develop a golden glow that was glistening off the snow all around us. Shedding off a few layers as the sun warmed our backs, we pressed on for the summit.

Nothing could have prepared me for the sight that we were greeted with as we climbed the last few metres to the top. The 360 degree panoramic view spanning three countries and some of the most famous mountains in the world, including the gigantic Mt. Everest, stunned us all into silence. As I stood on the summit higher than the six other continents in the world the sense of achievement and excitement was overwhelming. A journey so full of life-long memories, couldn’t have culminated in such an awesome, yet humbling way.


Words by Joe Jones

Stay in Stanley

Before the British moved in, Stanley was the largest settlement on the island. Today, it evokes an European meets Asia atmosphere with its café lined coast and open-air bars. If it’s a bit of peace and quiet that you are after there are two places worth visiting. Although better well-known for its stretch of sand on the northern Stanley coastline, the little beach on the south coast (to the left of the market) is much less crowded and a great place for a picnic. The other place is actually amongst the rocks that jut out to sea. Although, not the most comfortable of locations, the unobstructed views of the South China Sea on a clear day are beautiful, just bring a towel to use as a cushion.

Stanley is perhaps most renowned for its market, which is not all its cracked up to be. However, if you want to discover something a little more authentic then make sure you pay a visit to the market stall which is very close to the aforementioned small beach, on the left hand side of the main market if you were looking out to sea. Choose from beautifully, hand-crafted ceramics collected from all over China and wonderful antique wooden games. But remember to haggle.