Land of the Incas

Machu-Picchu

It is now less than a week until I travel to South America for the first time in my life and quite naturally I am absolutely stoked at the thought of going there.

For many years is has been one of my dreams to trek along The Inca Trail and see the magnificent ruins at Machu Picchu and finally that dream is being realised.

We fly to Bogota next week to catch an onward flight to Lima and then on to Cusco. After a couple of days acclimatising in Cusco and the Sacred Valley we’ll finally get to start our five day hike to the fabled city in the clouds.

I am guessing that by the remoteness of the trek in the high Andes there will be a period of radio silence in regards to updating this blog but rest assured when I get back I’ll be posting all the usual trip reports and photos etc plus an article detailing my own unique take on what it takes to walk one of the world’s most famous hikes.

So stay tuned and speak soon.

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The Laugavegur Icelandic Trek – Day 3

Álftavatn  Emstrur (Botnar)
Distance: 16 km | Estimated traveling time: 6-7 hours | Max Altitude: 608 m
Elevation change: 40m

After yesterday’s long haul, today promised to be rather more pleasant and easy in comparison. First off we would make our way across the Brattháls hills and then head eastward towards the Hvanngil gorge. Eventually we would cross the Bratthálskvísl river on foot (a much anticipated and feared prospect), then further on the Kaldaklofskvísl river would be crossed by bridge, and finally the Bláfjallakvísl would be forded again on foot. One thing was for sure we were going to get wet today! Continue reading “The Laugavegur Icelandic Trek – Day 3”

Ode to the eccentric adventurer!

In-Tents-480x319

“But there are men for whom the unattainable has a special attraction. Usually they are not experts: their ambitions and fantasies are strong enough to brush aside the doubts which more cautious men might have. Determination and faith are their strongest weapons. At best such men are regarded as eccentric; at worst, mad…” Legendary Mountaineer – Walt Unsworth

I can particularly relate to this quote of late having suffered from my own amateurism during a little microadventure during which having hiked 15km to my wild camp spot of choice in the mountains to only then realised that my tent had dislodged itself from my backpack and was nowhere to be seen! Not a good scenario when confronted with only one hour of daylight and temperatures of no higher than -4°C to -6°C predicted for the night ahead.

Having to bail after 5-6 hours of walking and embarrassingly have to hitch a lift back to my start point and then drive back home to London with my tail between my legs I understand very clearly where good old Walt is coming from with this snippet of wisdom.

But the ‘unattainable has a special attraction’ to me so I will return and hike the same route again and take a new tent with me, and get it right this time.

People think I’m mad and probably quite eccentric but I have ambitions and fantasies that are strong enough to brush aside the doubts which more cautious men might have.

All power to the eccentric amateur adventurer I say!

Ascent of Goatfell and North Goatfell – Isle of Arran

The Route: Goatfell and North Goatfell | Distance: 12.4km | Time: 4 Hours
Height gain: 954m | Max Altitude: 874m | Start: Brodick Castle Grounds | Finish: Corrie
Map: OS Explorer OL361 | Date: 12/06/2012

Route Map

The clouds finally lifted after a week spent on the island and the high summits where finally revealed for the first time since landing ashore all those days ago. The opportunity had come at last – Summit Day!

I excitedly packed my rucksack before I had even had time to consume my breakfast. The car door was quickly slammed shut and I drove south towards The Goatfell Range eager for some high adventure in Arran’s highest mountains. Continue reading “Ascent of Goatfell and North Goatfell – Isle of Arran”