Walk With Me.

Walk With Me.

It’s the start of a brand new year and there’s big things on the horizon for me. To start with I’m in full planning mode for my trip in May and it’s going to be a BIG trip with lots of highlights. There’s a weekend retreat to kick it off, a 10 day walk along Hadrian’s Wall, a summit of Ben Nevis (contrary Scottish weather permitting), five days of day walks in the wild and windswept Orkney Islands, ten days in England with more walks being scheduled and a week in Paris (possibly to recover from all the walking with wine and cheese and pastries and all things French) and they’re only the main bits, I’m sure there’ll be lots of exciting things happening in between these. Walk With Me And the most exciting thing as far as I’m concerned is that I’m taking you all along with me. No, I’m not paying to fly you all over there and actually, literally, physically walk with me but I’m taking you all along through the wonders of social media and my Walk With Me project. You’ll get to see it all, from my training here in Perth to the famous wall that the Roman Emperor Hadrian had built (to keep out those damned barbarians) and the wilds of the Orkney Islands. If you’re lucky I might even take you to Paris with me to wander the streets and over indulge in the culinary delights of that city. So how will this work? Come take a virtual walk with me. Blog posts Before I go I’ll be keeping you updated with...
My Travel List

My Travel List

Five years ago I wrote myself a list. I was approaching sixty and I wrote a sort of Bucket List of places I wanted to visit before I turned seventy *said very, very quietly so no one heard me.* I called it my sixties list. A few days ago I came across that list. Now to start with I don’t like the term Bucket List, it tends to imply that the said bucket is in imminent danger of being kicked, and it certainly isn’t, there’s going to be a lot going on before any kicking gets done. I prefer to call it my ‘Travel List’ or my ‘To Do List’ or my ‘Must Go There List’ or yes, my ‘Sixties List.’ Now, anyone with a reasonable grasp of maths will have figured out that, if five years ago I was approaching sixty then now I guess I’m approaching sixty-five (there’s still 8 months to go so don’t rush me). No matter how much I ignore the fact, birthdays do happen but as you know my philosophy is to take them with a pinch of salt, just because there’s a specific year written on that bit of paper we call a birth certificate doesn’t mean that we have to be constrained by the fact that everything stems from there. We’re here to live and make the most of life so let’s do that. Well anyway, five years ago my list looked like this: Everest 60th anniversary trek. Morocco Cinque Terre House Swap – Canada Paris (again) Peru – Hike the Inca Trail and explore the ruins of Macchu Pichu Coast...
Adventure Travel – Why?

Adventure Travel – Why?

Adventure travel has become so much more available in recent years and more people are heading off to undertake more extreme adventures. As I plan my next adventure, hiking the length of Hadrian’s Wall and a bit of wild hiking in the Orkney Islands, I’ve been considering the whole question of why some of us do the adventurous/extreme things that we do? Why do we push ourselves to the limit and sometimes beyond that limit? And do we actually enjoy the stress and the pressure that we put our bodies and our minds under? I mean it would be so much easier to just stay in nice hotels and hire a car or catch a train and see all the sights that everyone else sees when they visit. But oh, so much more boring. I recently did one of those random quizzes that you get on social media, I don’t normally do them but this one piqued my interest, it was travel related. My results (taken with a pinch of salt obviously) indicated that I was an Active Explorer,  so pretty accurate really. But as to the why of it all, why I want to do something a little out of the ordinary when many others are quite happy to take it easy on holiday, well, the answer escapes me. I don’t think there’s any straightforward answer to these questions. In April 2015 I completed my second trek to Everest Base Camp, it was a more difficult trek than the first, there was a lot more ‘weather’ to contend with, we had a diem horribilis when the heavy snow...
Lukla Airport – up in the clouds.

Lukla Airport – up in the clouds.

When I made the decision to trek to Everest Base Camp to celebrate my 60th birthday in 2013 I don’t really think that I thought it through, it was one of those ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’ moments. As it turned out it was one of the most exhilarating and rewarding things I’ve ever done and it challenged me in ways that I certainly hadn’t anticipated, but initially I didn’t realise what I would be in for. Then I did some research and, talking to myself as much as anyone else, it was a case of, remind me again why I’m doing this. I think I made my first mistake in planning the trip when I delved into the Wikipedia site on the airport at Lukla. Not a good idea as it turns out. Sometimes I just don’t know when to stop, because then I made my second mistake, I watched U Tube footage of a plane taking off from Lukla airport. Google maps showing the terrain really didn’t help either. Lukla is the starting point of several treks in the region and to get there requires a short flight from Kathmandu in a Twin Otter aircraft.   World expeditions, in their blurb, describe it as ‘a memorable flight with amazing views’. I didn’t doubt it for one minute. Notice the mountains in the picture? Well the pilot, of a tiny aircraft, needs to navigate his way around those mountains, banking and descending through several layers of cloud and mist, apparently without the help of landing aids, using just his own keen sense of sight...
I Do Believe it’s Time For Another Adventure …

I Do Believe it’s Time For Another Adventure …

As the walrus is renowned for saying, The Time has Come, however unlike the walrus I’ve moved on from speaking of many things, I’ve settled on those that are important and taken some action. What am I rabbiting on about? As I mentioned in a blog post at the beginning of the year, I had plans to do a big trip in 2018 and was working towards achieving that goal. The plan has changed slightly because, well, that’s what plans are for but the good news is that the trip is on, the itinerary 80% fixed, flights booked and paid for and much of the accommodation organised. Woohoo! I’m so excited and I really have to share, so here’s what I’ll be doing. The adventure begins when myself and a friend fly out of Perth on 7th May heading for Edinburgh. I’ve never flown into Edinburgh before, it’s always been Heathrow when I’ve visited the UK so that’ll be something different to start with. After three nights meandering around Edinburgh it’s on to my weekend retreat in a wonderful Scottish country house near Kinloch Rannoch which I’ve already told you about while Kim amuses herself in the nearby village. As she put it she’s not into downward dogging on the top of a Scottish hill. From there it’s a train ride to Newcastle upon Tyne where we’ll begin the walk along Hadrian’s Wall, all 135kms of it, after which we’ll be hiring a car in Glasgow for a drive up the west coast. We’ll be stopping near Fort William for a couple of nights and the plan, if the...
Decisions, changes and travel.

Decisions, changes and travel.

The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that I’ve been a little bit absent lately, from here on the blog and from my Facebook pages – both personal and business. Or maybe you haven’t even noticed I’ve been gone. I hope that’s not the case, I hope you’ve missed me To explain. I had ‘stuff’ to attend to. I’d come up against a bit of a wall, it was blocking my way and preventing me moving on with life, I needed to get around it, or over it, or through it. I needed to break it down, brick by brick if necessary. It was time to make some life decisions and implement them, and I needed the space and time to do this. Those decisions weren’t easy, there was some serious soul searching going on, some big questions asked and answered with an honesty that we generally struggle to produce in our lives and ultimately a complete change of lifestyle and direction was called for. The good news – that wall has gone, I did break it down and I am back on track – a totally different track and heading into a totally new and exciting future. Some details, in case you’re interested: –       I sold the home that I’ve lived in for the last 12 years. –       I sold or gave away many of the unnecessary ‘things’ I’d accumulated over this time. –       I put my good bits and pieces – some furniture, photo albums and things that I didn’t want to part with into storage. –       I packed a suitcase of clothes, a plastic tub...
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