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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Hiking, Travels

Soloing the Sawtooths

After my friends had departed back to Portland, I set out back into the Wilderness alone. Hiking alone sounds antisocial, but for me it’s an opportunity for introspection and examination of my connections with others at a distance. As they say, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’. I’m not sure that’s necessarily the case, but it’s certainly possible to realise…

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Hiking, Travels

Volcanoes in Guatemala

Being in a new place can be an intense experience. This is more likely when it represents a marked departure from the things and people I’m accustomed to encountering day to day. Guatemala has provided plenty of opportunities for new sensations. The place that I’m staying is palatial, with a balcony on each floor looking out towards the volcanoes that…

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Hiking

Paying a visit to the gods of old

Don’t you love friends who greet you not with “Hello” but with “Let’s go on an adventure!” whilst unconcealed excitement sparkles in their eyes? I do. So when my friend Alkis suggested flying to Greece for the weekend to climb Mount Olympus, I didn’t have to think long – I’d booked flights before I’d asked for the time off work.…

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Hiking, PCT 2015, Travels

One Month On

I thought a lot about finishing the hike during the last few days before Canada. I expected to miss the fresh air, the tranquility and the exercise. I expected to miss the regular interactions with other hikers and the unwavering company of my closest trail friends. Add to this the fact that being out on the trail teaches a certain…

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Hiking, PCT 2015, Travels

Day 150: Journey’s End

Only 11 miles to the border this morning. I spent a good amount of time during those miles imagining various injury scenarios. I’ve heard of someone falling and breaking their ankle 6 miles from the border. Perhaps I could still hike with injured arms or a broken face? Or maybe crawl along with injured feet? Other hikers will help, surely?…

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Hiking, PCT 2015, Travels

Day 149: Almost There

Almost immediately out of the campsite the trail narrowed back to a ribbon along the steep side of the mountain. We met a deer eager to avoid the rocks and gradient and using the trail to find breakfast. He was entirely unfazed by hikers, continuing to munch on the trees as we approached. It took a few yards of following…

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Hiking, PCT 2015, Travels

Day 148: Old Friends

It was cold this morning! Good job we had stayed at the trailhead where there was an outhouse to provide some shelter. Good job too that we were only part way up the hill and had a good climb first thing. As the trail emerged from the woods, frost and ice became visible on the plants and the grit. Nevertheless…

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