Dec 24, 2008

Dec 23, 2008

Happy Holidays: Tis the Season for Giving and Receiving

This past week has been full of solid beach time. I´ve been loving it. I have a tan in December!

Chin Chang Workshop

I have been granted the chance to join the Synergy clan to help out at a workshop for a poor town in Chin Chang.The five of us headed off in the evening to meet up at Daniela´s dreamy place on the beach close to the town of Chin Chang. We greated with plenty of delicious food, fruit, good chatter and a lovely bed. In the morning we hung out on the beach, practiced yoga, synergy, I set up a slackline and swam in the ocean. Unfortunately Rosario got stung by a sting ray.... ouch but all turned out well after the extracter was put to use...
We headed to the workshop in the afternoon and were greeted by many excited children chasing our cars as we rolled into their town. We did a one hour stretching, synergy fun exercise and then were able to provide them with a few gifts. It was a very touching experience and at times hard to fully understand. It is a great thing being able to give. I hope more of these opportunities fall into my lap....

A morning bike ride with Pedro and Nina was a great way to start the day. We explored a new little area.... I loved the adventure and the random hike bike... haha...

Synergy class followed and it was the best thing to do right after a three hour ride... woohoo...

After some faff I found myself at a beautiful beach surrounded by beautiful homes.. we hung out with some friends and then stoped to eat this sandwhich that the name escapes me for now...

Sunday Alex and I set up the slackline in the park by the ocean... we attracted a great crowd, taught some newbies, did some synergy and just enjoyed the beautiful afternoon in the sun.

My spanish classes have come to an end so now it is all up to me and my great self discipline to continue the work I have begun.

I am excited as on Thurdady Alex and I are heading deep into the Amazon Jungle...more on that later.

for now:

I wanted to thank the many people that have given to be in the last bit while I have on my adventures down south.
Good friend Alex has opened his home to me. Has welcomed me into his circle of friends. Has taken the time to show me around Lima and has been an amazing friend. I have enjoyed chatting and playing and exploring with him. I have in return replenished his need for exercise (I am good at this).e have gone surfing, walking, slacklining etc.

Francisco and the Synergy Group
They have also opened their heart and arms and welcomed me into this fabulous energy. I have been reintroduced to Bikrams yoga, introduced to Synergy and have enjoyed being a guest at beach houses, birthday parties and children workshops.

Pedro and the biking gang
Another group of unbelievable people. Athletes, bikers and keen adventurers.Without them my bike would be gaining dust and my training none existent. They have allowed me to join their morning rides and showed parts of lima I would have never have experienced otherwise and have helped me train for the upcoming races.

My number one. Without his patience, support from Vancouver, love, care and everything else many things would be a mess and little ol´me would not beable to remain so calm... I love you! thanks

My family rocks.... they have supported and loved me no matter. I can not wait to see my dad and wish I could spend the holidays with them... they are always in my heart and my wishes...

Merry Christmas!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Dec 21, 2008

IGWA Race Report

IGWA a 6 day stage ecologically focused adventure race which took place from Nov 22 to 29 2008. Guadeloupe is a part of France and not it's own stand alone country. This is but one of the many fabulous facts I learned throughout the event. Guadeloupe consists of 5 islands Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre are the two largest. These happen to be the 2 islands in which we got to explore through a variety of means such as surfing, sailing, trekking, running, kayaking and many more. 18 international teams were chosen to participate in the event. Team Yogaslackers was lucky enough to be one of those teams. The Yogaslackers consisting of Lina Augaitis and Daniel Staudigel represented both CAN and USA. I will now share some of our experiences from the event and the islands of Guadeloupe.

The format of the race was new to most of us. It was a point based event with each separate activity worth a certain amount of points. Some events were scored against ourselves, others against some teams and yet others against the entire group. The day would be broken up into city cultural events, city sport events, land or water ecological events and land/water sporting events. The idea was for us (the racers) to learn more about the ecology and culture of the various areas we were racing through.

Our Story

After some missed connections and an unplanned stay in San Juan arriving into Guadeloupe (Pointe a Pitre) Daniel and I were greeted by a nice young native Guadeloupean. She and the driver dropped us off in St Anne, hotel "Pierre and Vacances". Everyday we were woken at either 4 or 5am to jump on a bus that would take us to the start line. At first this was a difficult thing to do with the time difference and great amount of travelling beforehand but we soon found a rhythm and 4 am felt like 8 (well not really but close enough). Each evening we had dinner as a group at a local restaurant followed by award ceremonies for the day before heading back to our hotel around 11pm to 1am.

Day 1 St Francois (Individual competition)

Events: Underwater IGWA hunt with snorkels and flippers; golf at international golf de St Francois; Surf; windsurf; city cultural questionnaire; night time IGWA hunt on foot at the golf course.

We were split into 5 groups and rotated between events. Daniel and I rocked the surfing but our lack of windsurfing experienced was demonstrated with our poor score. Our golfing skills varied between hits so each try proved to be a surprise. The first day the cultural events proved to be a little more adventurous for the non-fluent french speakers but we managed and fared well. The day finished in the heart of the St Francois market and creole festival situated right beside the beautiful beach. What a different yet beautiful place.

Day 2 St Francois (competing within our groups)

Events: Coasteering Olive Ay to Pointe des Chateaux; underwater ecology event/questionnaire; IGWA hunt by foot; cultural workshop at Place Eglise; Paddle surf sailing; kayak and golf.

Our first running event was a gorgeous coasterring race. A group start ending at Pointe des Chateaux. Albeit some mistakes Daniel and managed to be the 2nd team in. We ran on rocks, sand, trails, bush and more sand beaches. The heat was killer but the stunning backdrop made every bead of sweat worth it. We also had to run with our snorkel gear as again we had an hour to look at the mass of variety of coral and fish in the area. The afternoon we were again put into groups and experienced a variety of local sports accessible in St Francois. We were also tested on our native drumming skills as well as our ability to taste and identify native foods. We were lucky enough to go around with local Guadeloupean teams to further explain all the native cultures, and sports.

Day 3 Le Moule (group events)

Events: Coasterring Porte d'Enfer d'Anse-Bertrand to Croix Anse; swimming in a natural pool; underwater IGWA hunt; coasterring Anse de l'Autre Bord- Porte d'Enfer du Moule; cultural event in the cit of Moule.

Another great coasteering run high up on the cliffs looking down on crystal blue ocean, with the waves smashing into the rocks creating swirls of whitewater. Despite some navigational errors this was a beautiful run. Swimming in a natural pool in the ocean was a first for us. Natural ropes sectioned off the area and created lanes. Another coasteering event hopping from reef rock to reef rock down by the water to high on cliff tops was another highlight of the day.

Day 4 Basse-Terre Baillante

Events: Rapelling; kayak; snorkeling underwater ecology; cultural city of Bouillante event and a night time IGWA hunt by foot.

We began the day by rapelling down a beautiful waterfall (70m). I was nervous at first but quickly found my confidence and knew that I had a grin from cheek to cheek on my face. This was our day. We won every kayak leg (3) and enjoyed every minute of it despite the great wind. Pigeon island is a very popular diving spot for locals and the international divers who come to Guadeloupe to explore the land below the ocean. Just snorkeling we saw fish of every color, a huge variety of coral, turtles etc.

Day 5 St Claude

Events: Mountain run trial Montagne des Bains Jaunes to La Citerne to la Soufriere back to Les Bains Jaunes; cultural event in St Claude; archery and cultural workshop (identifying local spices).

The volcano Soufriere is covered by clouds 345 days of the year. The top rarely sees sun. We were fortunate to experience both sun and the view of the top of the volcano. The run is normally done as a hike but running is much more fun and a lot quicker. The trail consisted of thick mud, rocks, roots, trees, sand, steep climbs and descents, basically it had it all. The finish line was beside a natural pool of water. A great way to clean off and relax. I also found out this day that I do not hold a natural talent for the sport of archery. I am right handed but can only blink with right eye. Unfortunately for the sport of archery this is not a good combination. Does effort count for points? Matching local spices was easy for those culinary experts. Lucky for us Daniel loves to cook!

Day 6 Deshaies

Events: Coasteering Plage de Cluncy to Plage Graned Anse; obstacle course on the beach; coasteering Trial Plage de Grande-Anse to Deshaies; Ecological event at the Botanical Gardens; Archery; cultural event in Deshaies.

Lots of running in soft sand on beautiful beaches. It's one of those love/hate events. A very neat obstacle course was constructed involving coconuts, balancing, partner control, accuracy and running. The Botanical Gardens gave us one last look at the great variety of flora found on these islands. Archery proved to be much more successful on this day. A different creative strategy was in order. A banquet with Ti punch ( the alcoholic drink famous in Guadeloupe) good traditional food and awards ceremony ended our IGWA adventures. Team Yogaslackers finished a respectable 4th. Below I have included a list of my recommendations and thoughts about the island of Guadeloupe but I do recommend heading their to experience its beauty for yourselves.

The islands of Guadeloupe are french speaking. At times English is hard to come by but most of the time one can get by with pointing, hand movements and facial expressions.

If you are a fish or seafood lover this is an island made for you. Fresh fish/seafood is caught daily and cooked that same afternoon/evening. Being vegetarian at times was difficult as the locals didn't quite understand why I wouldn't eat their fish. Rice, lettuce, tomatoes, and beets are popular side dishes to ones main course. Lunch is their most popular meal.

There is plenty of water activities from snorkeling, surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, sailing, kitesurfing and diving. Water sports are the most popular but the rainforest will not disappoint either.

Getting there:
If you can avoid flying through San Juan, Peurto Rico I highly recommend it. Otherwise there are plenty of flights from various hubs. Air France and American Airlines are popular airlines that fly into Pointe A Pitre.

Dec 17, 2008

Finding Beauty in a city full of chaos...

It has been two weeks since my arrival into Lima, Peru. I have been lodging with my good friend Alex. An amazing guy,full of life, and passions. He has introduced me to some wonderful friends and I have also been able to find some fellow mountain bikers. A typical day consists of either an early morning ride with some local Peruvians mainly now good friend Pedro then 4 hours of Spanish class where I learn verbs, conversation and reading. A little session on the internet to catch up with friends and plan future trips. A run and some studying Spanish while suntanning on Alex´s roof top. Then either a yoga class, or just hanging with alex or friends or some night time activity. Through running, biking, walking and exploring I have found some fabulous little parcs, trails, hills, ocean etc. Alex and I have been surfing and shopped at the market...all of these are beautiful experiences and I feel blessed to have this opportunity.

Pedro and I went for a 5.5 hour ride to the local mountain area on Saturday. It was hot and beautiful. Although we did bike through the slums of lima on our way out to Pachacamac. It is a 100 km return ride. It is amazing to see the diversity of the level of clases and how people live. I sometimes forget that I have lived among the upper class my entire life.

Alex and I headed into the surf for our sunday morning session. I rent a board from local Carlos.... a great local who knows it all about surfing. I am definitely getting more and more confident each go and am even beginning to turn.... the waves in Lima are perfect and consistent... the water a little murky but who is thinking about that...?...

I love the market here. Alex knows his sellers and has his buddies so it is always a fun experience heading into the heart of the market...the fruit, nuts and veggies are an absolute bargain! i even liked the squid and ceviche.... My taste buds are adjusting.

Alex has opened his new restaurant. We headed there for lunch today! I am so proud of him!

I am going to head to the beach thursday night with a group of yogis to help run a workshop for kids. Francisco has begun a movement called Synergy and it is beautiful so we are going to let kids explore this great movement.

I had my first experience with an upset stomach... i was hoping my body was stronger than most but alas it has hit me.... not so bad just some quick runs to the bathroom...wink wink...

I am now looking forward to a week in the jungle.....woot woot

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Dec 12, 2008

A week full of new and wonderful adventures in Lima

Buenos mis amigos. Yo commenco mi clase del espanol. I have had four lessons and have been trying to learn as much as possible each and every day....I didnt realize just how much effort needs to be put into learning a new language. Its been a blast and I look forward to seeing my improvements...

Vanna Functional Training
Vanna is this amazing woman who is adventurous, fit and so nice and helpful. ...she is essentially one rad girl...Francisco and i headed there and got a solid workout out of her..My butt and back were feeling it the next day for sure... it is kind of like cross fit... we did lots of
sets of exercises using our own weight or medecine ball, bungees etc

Bikrams Yoga
thursday i went back to bikrams yoga... i truly am starting to enjoy
the sauna feeling and working hard in that kind of environment....the next day
i feel like a new is an amazing experience and one i
never used to enjoy.... i am enjoying discovering this new type of yoga, a great instructor and fabulous yogis...

BEST BIKES Mountain Bike Ride

so my favorite part of the week had been this morning...i went for a
ride with pedro and nina at 530am and it was so beautiful and fun and
adventurous and different (i am still riding a high). we went for a two hour ride to this local
hump of dirt (chorillo...quite beautiful in its special way) with a lot of monuments on it.... we rode some single
track which was a little single track made amongst broken rock, sand,and
dirt and then rode along the beach roads
hopping curbs and riding whatever dirt we could was so great
to be back on the bike...yay!

Pedro is a fabulous man who owns a wonderful bike shop in san isidro called best bikes and his friend Nina is a beautiful woman who has such a great smile and awesome attitude... I am going to have fun with them

tomorrow we are going for a 6 hour ride
somehwere...i cant wait!

Base Camp Rock Wall
after spanish class i headed to check out the local rock wall...and met Manolo..the guy who owns it
and we ended up chatting a bunch....yet another fabulous peruvian we chatted about life in the outdoors, biking, cimbing, trekking, he knows the best peruvian mountain biker
who lives in cusco and he himself has biked from argentina to lima 5000
km. I enjoyed the vibe so i think i will head there a couple times
after class to climb....
i am definitely starting to find my place in this huge city full of
crazy drivers and lots and lots of people....

oh and there is this olive tree park...a park full of hundreds of
olive trees and it was so cute i was biking through there last night
on my way home from yoga and there were couples sitting on every
second bench....oh the city of love....hahaha...gotta love
the latinos....they love their love....

hasta luego!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Dec 8, 2008

Lima....getting to know the city

The last couple of days in lima have been busy and fabulous. Yesterday morning Alex and I went surfing on the coast of lima. I met a fabulous surfer named carlos...we hit up the waves for a couple of hours in the morning...taught Carlos some acroyoga and then headed home. i caught some big waves and feel like i am improving everytime i hit up the water....yeah, i look forward to more surfing. I squeezed in a run in the early afternoon...the running has been short and on pavement. it is a great way to explore a new city but i definitely miss the northshore muontains and trails. We then headed toward a soccer stadium and watched two local teams beat it out Cristal and Alianza.... The crowds were nutty, the songs, the jumping, clapping, cheering, the riot was a cool experience....

the night i ended up with a terrible headache and tried to sleep it off so that i could wake up at midnight and head to a salsa club.....our evening didn´t turn out as the salsa clubs were all shut etc etc...oh well we definitely got to see many different parts of the city of Lima.

On Saturday, follwing some synergy yoga, a luncheon at a beautiful hotel, and a stair workout we walked over to alex´s new restaurant and cooked up a storm of a was tons of fun to play in a big kitchen.

i also had my first experience at a lia was nutty....dirty, lots of people but really cool....

later that evening we hit up a marinara bar, listened to some awesome live music and danced among many amazing dancers...

Friday was spent going for a run along the coast of Lima, and then searching for a party outfit...i found a sweet dress from a street vendor in a cool part of town called miraflores...also some cute sandals and some hoop earings...i was going out in style...

that evening we all attended Alex´s work christmas party....we drank lots of pisco sours(the national drink) and danced the nigth was a crazy party!

Today I am trying to rid of a huge headache that has bombarded my head..hopefully it goes away soon and tomorrow I begin spanish classes...woohoo

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!


Dec 6, 2008

Lina in Lima....

I like the sound of that! This internet connection isn't great and I still have to eat breakfast before I head to my first Synergy class with friend Alex so this post will be brief.

So far my trip has been great. I ran along the coast, found the park of love, bought a dress from a street vendor, ate dulce con leche, went to a peruvian christmas party, signed up for spanish classes and the list goes... and its only day 3. I'm having a great time and feel lucky to have this opportunity to travel and learn a new language, a new culture and meet a whole slew of interesting people.

today its yoga, synergy and more, tomorrow its surfing, and attending a national soccer game....woot woot.

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Dec 2, 2008

CHapter 2 IGWA complete Chapter 3 Peru to begin

An IGWA Race Report will be posted soon. Unfortunately or fortunately I am still traveling. The race went great....

Guadeloupe is a beautiful Island with lots to do.... We got to experience a wide range of activities as well as learn about the culture and ecology surrounding the island. I'll just say right now my new goal is to learn windsurfing....I am obsessed and so keen.... The yogaslackers placed a respectable 4th and was a force to be reckoned with in many of the events. I met a ton of fabulous people from around the globe and have made some beautiful contacts that I hope to keep. The organizers were fabulous and the fellow athletes even more so. I look forward to writing more about the event once I get settled in Peru.

I am writing this from the Vancouver airport. A place I just left 9 hours earlier and now find myself sitting back here ready for my next adventure. I will be in Peru tomorrow night eager to learn spanish, surf, ride, run, salsa etc etc....

I will do my best to keep my blog updated.

Live, Love, Laugh,...DREAM!


Nov 22, 2008

Stuck in Puerto Rico

Our flight from Miami got delayed and so we missed our last flight into Guadeloupe. It was one of those movie moments where we are sprinting and sweating and praying that the gate wasn't closed....we didn't make it AA put us up in the airport hotel gave on some food vouchers and put us on the plane for the following afternoon. I was angry at first and then remembered there was no point in getting all stressed with it because there was nothing we could do....and heck it wasn't so bad being stuck on a Carribean island. So Daniel and I woke up this morning morning ate some continental breakfast and then went for a run in search of a beach... after some running on the freeway, some hoping fences etc we found the beaches and alked along the beach and eventually ran in and went swimming... I love beaches with warm water! We eventually ran back all salty and sandy and now are getting ready to board yet some more planes....hopefully tonight we will find ourselves in Guadeloupe and start racing tomorrow!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!


Nov 20, 2008

Chapter 2: Leaving for Guadeloupe

Follow the Yogaslackers as Daniel and I head to the Carribean to race for the next week. The race is found at IGWA. We will also try and update the Yogaslacker website as well as this one.

Yesterday I went for my last big trail/beach run and night ride in SB with Daniel and today we went for a kayak in a double kayak.... It's been a blast here in SB and it will be sad to leave but I am ready for the next adventure.... and who doesn't love heading to the Carribean? I've been nicely acclimatized to the hot weather the last week and been training at least twice a day amongst some nicely deserved relaxation...

We are now packing and are getting excited about our trip (not that excited about the 4am wake up..but what can you do?).

Wish us luck and keep in touch!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!


Nov 19, 2008

Tunnel Trail/Rattlesnake.....running in SB

Andrew is off heading back North to Vancouver BC... it was hard seeing him off but luckily the fun continues... I have to learn to enjoy it all without him otherwise it will be a long long journey down south....

So Daniel and I hit up some trails for a little mountain run... again I was not disappointed with fab views, awesome trails and a great running partner! We also tried to catch a view of the damage from the nutty fires that engulfed the local mountains in Santa Barbara... We didn't get too close but close enough to see the sad damage....

We are now getting ourselves ready for our big trip down to the Carribean to race in the IGWA race in the Guadeloupe islands... The race involves a wide variety of sports and cultural events from surfing to golfing from cooking to dancing.... it will be a fun adventure no doubt!

Following IGWA I will head back to Vancouver for about 9 hours hit up the backcountry slopes of Mt Seymour for my little backcountry ski adventure and then I am off to Peru that same evening to live, learn and explore....

Live, Love, Laugh,...DREAM!


Nov 17, 2008

Mountain Biking in Santa Barbara

Andrew and I found an awesome trail yesterday... we were being turned around by the narrow streets and large fire trucks.... Luckily somehow by good chance we found one of the trails that Daniel told us about. We rode up some very technical uphills for awhile, enjoyed some amazing views of SB from the mountains and rode down some awesome single track and magically found ourselves back at the car....

Today Daniel took us up Little Pine trail in the backcountry and it was again an amazing ride... we rode up for 2 hours and then rode down some awesome single track through a variety of terrain... There were some areas that were mentally tough due to the high drop off into the canyons... Following the ride were gorged ourselves with burritos and nachos... delicious!

Andrew unfortunately must head back up to Vancouver BC... I will miss him a lot but am getting exited about the next adventure in the Carribean... Daniel and I are heading to a race on the Islands of Guadeloupe. IGWA is a two person 6 day stage race...

Live, Love, Laugh,...DREAM!