Travels

Currumbin, Mount Warning and Sydney

I’m fortunate to be sent by my work to places that form new bases for adventure and exploration, places that it might take me longer to get to under my own steam. It’s how I got to Australia this year. I was in Gold Coast for a week, and took advantage of a clear weekend to go surfing, visit Currumbin…

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Hiking, Travels

What do you think when your head’s full?

I made a somewhat desperate impromptu escape from London to one of my favourite parts of England. I grew up not far from the Peak District and continue to love its dramatic landscapes. My favoured destinations are in the Dark Peak, the higher and wilder uninhabited northern part. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea; it’s bleak and windswept,…

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Travels

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…

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Travels

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…

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Hiking, PCT 2015, Travels

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…

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Hiking, PCT 2015, Travels

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,…

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Hiking, PCT 2015, Travels

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.…

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Hiking, PCT 2015, Travels

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.…

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Hiking, PCT 2015, Travels

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…

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Hiking, PCT 2015, Travels

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…

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