A few photos

OK, so now we’re back in Lukla at the trail’s end, awaiting our flight tomorrow morning back to Kathmandu. All in all, not feeling to bad – don’t feel like I have any leftover symptoms of HAPE, and my legs are surprisingly lively. Soon put that to rest with a few beers.

We’ve splashed out ($15) on a posh room at the North Face resort, with our own shower and everything. Actually ended up in exactly the same room as I shared with Colin two years ago. Worth every cent to get the smell of two weeks trekking off.

Anyway, in advance of my return, I thought I’d post a picture or two to show you what its all been about.

And here’s a picture of me where the last one was taken. Looking rather happy for a man about to develop altitude sickness. And below is a picture of what I’m going to be doing later this evening.

Thanks to everyone who has donated, and if you haven’t, why not?
Weather and flight logistics permitting we should be back in the UK on Tuesday evening, so see you soon.

Last minute snagging list…

Apologies for a little delay in recent posts, I assumed that this would be building up to a frenzy in anticipation of our departure. The reality is there is a frenzy of activity, but it is pretty much dealing with all the crap that needs to be dealt with so there isn’t a tsunami of crap when getting back, together with a good old fashioned snagging list

If you’re not familiar with the concept of a snagging list, then you’ve never done any larger scale home improvements or dealt with any kind of builder. It’s basically a “yes, we know it’s not right, we’ll get around to fixing it… eventually… possibly…”  list of faults.

As with any remotely complex enterprise, even though this is not construction, there will always be a snagging list that needs to be worked through. So far they have been relatively painless;

  • Problem – a flight schedule change which meant the return flight from Kathmandu to Delhi arrived 2 hours after the flight to London left
  • Solution – sit gibbering for an hour or so at the thought of another 24 hour delay in Delhi airport. Check other flight options and think about whether to book an alternate return (i.e. spend more money), then find out when calling the travel agent they’ve changed it back again so it’s all ok.
  • Problem – only having 2 hours of ‘government office open’ time to get trekking permits, in the wonderfully labyrinthine bureaucracies of either the Nepal Tourist Board or the Trekking Agents Association of Nepal offices
  • Solution – arrange with a trekking agent to do it for you by email, thereby opening yourself up to all sorts of identity fraud due to the need to email your passport detail page. Spend money to achieve this
  • Problem – realise insurance doesn’t cover trekking over 2000m. We’re going to 5600m
  • Solution – try and read the small print on lots of policies from comparison websites late at night, give up and call a broker in the morning. Spend money.
  • Problem – realise between the departure time of wife & child’s flight to Cyprus and mine to Nepal from Heathrow there is a 13 hour gap.
  • Solution – decide to go separately. Book extra parking. Spend money.
  • Problem – trekking partner Beccy’s hip is sore, worry she won’t be able to trek
  • Solution – hopefully this will calm down. If not, hire donkey / yak / porter,

SPEND MONEY

OK, relatively painless in a kind of spending more money way.

I shall be sending around begging emails shortly, as I still have a distinct lack of people who’ve said they’ll sponsor me who actually have done. It’s NOT THAT DIFFICULT

Apologies in advance if you have.

Show me the rupees

They say the best things in life are free  (bah bah bah bum)

But you can leave them to the birds and bees, I want money!

(ooh, ooh-eeh ooh – that’s what I want)

It being less than two weeks before I risk life and limb in the nether regions (Not to be confused with Netherlands (disambiguation)) of the third world, I’d like to point out to all and sundry a couple of things

  1. I’m not doing this for my health. The ancillary benefits are no doubt great, but if you know me then the idea of an ‘exercise high’ is about as likely to arise in conversation as ‘I like what Cameron is doing on NHS reform‘, i.e. no chance.
  2. This does actually involve a certain level of risk. Sadly last week one of the tourist flights from Kathmandu crashed, with the loss of 19 lives. This has happened at least once a year since private airlines started in Nepal in 1992, and is unlikely to decrease given the terrain, weather and commercial pressure to keep flying.
  3. There is a secondary risk when going to altitude of cerebral edema or pulmonary oedema due to the reduced air pressure. I am less worried about this, having been high before, and this being in my control in terms of how high we go, but it can hit anyone even if they’ve been high before
  4. I am doing this to raise money, but I am funding myself. This is an mportant distinction compared to other options where the money raised goes towards the trip. I will point out that the linked site does also offer a self-funding option, but most people don’t go that way.
  5. I am doubling up on the self funding by adding in the frankly stupid idea of making a film at the same time. For example; is an utterly pointless wander around the block, but demonstrates the principle I will be using for filming it as stop-frame
  6. Most importantly; I am proudly raising money for Tommy’s

OK, not the Tommy’s I meant, although they do a mean burger, I mean, just look at the diagram –

they’ve got arrows pointing out all the lovely bits of gristle and everything.

Want one..

anyway, I meant to say I was raising money for Tommy’s

Damn, that’s not right either

Let’s face it, no-one is going to donate to a borderline alcoholic to go to a bar… Unless they really do (or don’t) like them…

One last try. I’m raising money for Tommy’s. OK that is a link to my Justgiving page, here’s a link to Tommy’s charity page so you can read it. The most important thing is this –

And I know myself, and for many others it does not.

Is that the time? $£!!!

Anyone who has idly navigated to the home page of this blog may have noticed a countdown widget that I’ve added. When I did I got a bit of a shock, as it tells me today there is only one month and three weeks left until the trek.

Normally I would be quite sanguine about this, after all there is a lot you can achieve in the 53 odd days I have left. However it is a little more concerning as in those intervening days I have to fit in;

  • 34 days of work. A drag, but someone’s got to fund the trip. Oh that’ll be me then.
  • 3 days in Paris. It is our wedding anniversary after all.
  • 3 days of weddings – and probably 2 days of recovery to go with them.
  • My father’s 70th birthday party; another day and another day recovering.
  • 4 days of weekends either away or with visitors where I won’t be able to get much else achieved.

Not even counting the ad-hoc bits pieces (small child wrangling, band practices, fish maintenance) exaggerated tabloid-style maths tells me I have only 5 days left to prepare.

How did that happen?

Next thing you’ll be telling me I should use early mornings and evenings to train….

Perhaps you could help my motivation, and if you haven’t already I could give you a gentle nudge in the direction of sponsoring me?