Seven More Sleeps to Go!

Please forgive the less than riveting title to this post, but it has just dawned upon me that it is in fact a true statement, so it has to be as good as any that I can come up with at this moment in time, given the fact that I am feeling hopelessly and outrageously underprepared for this trip.

The unpreparedness comes now from a lack of training. I know, I know – I have said myself so many times that I must not make the mistake of not being fit, but the fact is I haven’t got it at the moment, and that is such a shame. I have been away too many times in the last two months, and have been lacking in the discipline that I should have had to make the most out of things. Going to the gym when you are in hotels is just not enough, and sometimes just doesn’t even happen.

In the last two months I have had trips to Cannes, Paris, Dallas (twice), San Francisco, and Munich. I think I have been away from home for 16 of the last 22 days, which is ridiculous. I now am home from a week long trip and all of a sudden the Himalayas are therefore almost upon me.

But prepared I must get in every other way that I can, so at least I turn up with the right equipment. There are probably three areas of most concern, apart from the fitness aspect. They are kit, medical supplies, and clothes. All of these stem mainly from the weight allowance of 15kg which I have been told is set in stone.

As far as the kit itself is concerned, I think I am mainly there. I have for example about four jackets, one hooded permatex, one fleece, one goretex waterproof, and one down. I have my sleeping bag (borrowed from a friend Anna – thanks Anna :)), my Thermarest, down mits, balaclava etc etc. I will do another post on this – there is so much of it. I will be able to rent the majority of my technical climbing equipment when in Kathmandu.

I have a lot of the medical stuff yet to get – painkillers, diarrhoea medicine, water purification tablets, blister plasters, wet wipes etc etc., and will do this at the weekend before I go. All of these things add up in weight of course, and so I have to be careful. I also have the not small matter of contact lenses to sort out – I use dailies when I go away, and so for 22 days I need at least (allowing for ones I drop or spoil etc) about 60 contact lenses.

As far as clothes are concerned, well I have to see what I can put in after I get everythimg else in. I have a feeling though that I am going to end up one stinky guy at the end of 22 days!

Finally for now, I came upon a great quote online when doing a bit of trawling last evening – which I wanted to share, and it goes as follows:

What is so compelling about trekking through an unknown country is the immediacy of existence. Life is instantaneous. There is no past or future, only the present; and that consists of simply putting one foot in front of the other. That simple act can be achieved without conscious thought (if all is going well), or it can be the most difficult or painful exercise imaginable if the way is rough and you’re dogged by illness or injury. On the trail when things go well, the days expand and every moment is cause for celebration; the journey itself becomes intoxicating, life enhancing. It is the ultimate great escape. Not an escape from reality (as some might suggest), but an escape into reality – an opportunity to divest oneself of the restraints and clutter of ‘normal’ existence, and to be cleansed by an awareness of what little it takes to survive and live well – if only for a few short weeks in a year.

Live the moment. Live it well. Live now.

I think the above is attributed to a guy called Kev Reynolds, an author of a number of books on Nepal and other adventures. I love the quote – I may have to read more of his stuff. It is getting a bit late for me to order any more books, and I certainly don’t have room for any more that’s for sure.

Until the next time – when I will put some pictures up of my war room – it’s getting a bit busy in there 🙂

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