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Tag: travels

When a bird sounds like a jet plane

When a bird sounds like a jet plane

I went for a walk in the jungle at dawn. Alone. Of course I did. Still jet lagged and awake at at 5am, it seemed sensible to be up and ready at the park gate in time for the 6am opening. With no electricity and not a huge amount to do during that hour, I was early, arriving at the gate around sunrise. It’s possible to be admitted to the park before the opening time, but you have to pay…

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Sensations and Suggestions of Guatemala

Sensations and Suggestions of Guatemala

As a contrast to the otherworldly landscapes of my first day in Guatemala, today I take a trip to Antigua. The old capital of Guatemala has many reminders of the Spanish invasion from the Baroque churches to the Moorish arcades. The colours are incredible and though the centre of town is very clearly changing to accommodate the increasing tourist population it is still charming. Antigua was designed around a grid system which helps navigation but also conceals several surprises. The…

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Day 34: Heavy Packs

Day 34: Heavy Packs

The planned early start fell by the wayside quickly; the prospect of a hotel breakfast and the failure to arrange a ride to the trail yesterday combined to delay our departure from Tehachapi until around 8.30am, which meant hiking after 9am. It’s definitely warmer by then, and the temperatures have been rising as predicted. The stretch from mile 566 where we rejoined the trail is dry for 17 miles, meaning that along with the full resupply of food for 6…

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Day 13: Idyllic Idyllwild

Day 13: Idyllic Idyllwild

Sleeping in the shadow of mount San Jacinto tonight after a race for the waning light. What a change from this morning! I was in Idyllwild first thing to run some errands: buy more food and ibuprofen, wash socks and recharge batteries (literally and figuratively). The day started on a high with a message from Chug to arrange breakfast. He, Dolittle, 12Percent and I walked the hundred yards to the Red Kettle in down jackets and remembered that this is…

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Day 12: Flying

Day 12: Flying

I’m glad I left this journal until the evening. I was planning to start it at siesta time but the morning really sucked and I was in a terrible mood when I stopped at 11ish. It had been all downhill, and not even short and sharp because the PCT is graded for horses. So 5 miles of gradual, knee-grinding downhill. I was tired and hot and needed something to look at but the scenery hardly changed owing to the gradual…

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Day 11: Moving Again

Day 11: Moving Again

Siestas are definitely something I could get used to. An early start meant hiking in the cool part of the day, as well as alongside a shady creek. This made for a huge contrast as the sun came over the top of the hill. The trail started to climb and the temperature was rising. The desert smelled of rosemary today. At 10:30 I decided to make lunch and veg out for a while, not hiking again until 2pm. I found…

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Day 8: Shutdown

Day 8: Shutdown

Warner Springs Resource Center is a pretty amazing illustration of the kindness of people on the trail. A school building across the street is staffed by volunteers who do laundry, cook, bake cookies and manage a small resupply store for filthy and hungry hikers. Much appreciated after a long, hot and dry stretch of trail. But the San Diego county health department has shut them down because they can’t find permits for cooking, sewerage and whatnot. All the hikers who…

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Day1: Campo to kickoff

Day1: Campo to kickoff

I hiked alone for most of the day. The early start was great and the clouds kept the temperature down until around 11:30am by which time I’d done 14 miles. Little did I know the last 6 miles left to Lake Morena would be the hardest of the day. There is no water at all in the first 20 miles this year, so I was carrying around 7 litres in the morning but hadn’t drunk much owing to the cool…

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Stressless Pre-hike Prep

Stressless Pre-hike Prep

I’ve found myself oddly unworried by the journey and the remaining preparations. The two days in San Diego have been the perfect lead in to the hike tomorrow. There has been a continuous stream of people arriving and leaving, all with different stories, yet all here for the same reason. Without any marshalling we come together to talk, we drift apart to do our chores. Our first trail angel is wonderful – helping, advising, accommodating. We have all made progress…

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NYC – Day 10, Part 2, Ice Time

NYC – Day 10, Part 2, Ice Time

To finish off 2013 with a bit of activity, I wandered up to Midtown to skate at Bryant Park Winter Village. It’s actually really beautiful. The park is taken over by the rink, but there are also wooden shops with crafty goods in typical Christmas-market style. And a giant Christmas tree. Obviously. The great thing about this rink is that it’s free to skate if you bring your own skates (although rentals cost $19 which is kinda the same as…

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