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           A Journey of Adventure, Love & Destiny

 

 

Friday
Sep262014

The Illusions: I don’t think they were designed for this!

Lugging around a pack weighing just about the same as a small chubby child is never fun for ones knees or spirit, especially when it’s over half a year! That pretty sums up KAPE 2 ATACAMA, my most recent mission to see the world from a very different perspective.

I crossed the Atlantic with the power of wind and then, by just bus and hitching rides, I managed to climb some of the most inspiring icy peaks the Andes has to offer. It was an experience which showed me the real importance of light and reliable equipment.

In this case footwear was a real pain in the neck to sort out prior to setting sail. I say this because, not only did my toes have to stay protected in precarious canyons, chilly mountains, clammy swamps and slippery boats. There was also my biggest fear, bustling rugged cities. Not the best combination.

Hi-Tec’s Illusions were never my first choice as an everyday shoe. They have a sliver of rubber and then not much else. But, the fact that they are so minimalistic made them particularly resilient when travelling. Basically, there are no fancy bits and bobs waiting to be ripped off and that made them such a super companion.

I was there, ultimately, to climb, however there was a large amount of time between leaving Cape Town and arriving in the hills. Again, I asked even more from these little pair of kicks and they bombed along on training runs through asphalt and light trail.   

I’m pretty sure the Illusions weren’t design to deal with what I put them through, but they did it. They’re not a shoe for everyone with little support and little protection. However, if you’re like me, wanting something light and simple which keeps you separate from the elements, this is a great shoe. 

 I’m back from my adventures for a bit, but no matter if I’m going for a jog, heading to the crag or getting my fitness up to a respectable level, the Illusions are my choice.

Go to:   www.hi-tec.com

 

Saturday
Aug092014

The End: The Next Adventure Awaits

Nothing amazes me more than how quickly the time has gone.

I set off in February, at that point in my life I was pretty unconvinced that I’d even be able to see a snowy peak let alone climb one. This was all due to the fact that just finding a boat gave me more greys than any 20 year old should appreciate. Then I had an ocean crossing under my belt and the adventure was just beginning…

Over the next 5 months, I made my way through South America covering a distance equivalent to two return Cape to Cairo’s all by foot, bus, and hitching. In terms of the KAPE 2 ATACAMA mission it was all done as purely as I could have ever hoped. The many white knuckle transits could be blamed on my poor looking bank balance which also left me with barely palatable food and mite infested hostels. I was even left with no choice but to find a job in one very wild hostel which left my body battered and ill equipped for the steep climbs that unknowingly lay in front of me.   

As I’m writing this I do feel that many of you may find this string of events rather undesirable.  I won’t lie, a comfortable hotel room and a meal which didn’t include boiled eggs and synthetic mayonnaise did consume my psyche for a vast majority of my trip, however what worthy adventure doesn’t tear you away from your creature comforts.

Quite honestly, I wouldn’t change a single thing about the expedition (well, except for that damn mayo!).

The heart ache and sacrifices made me appreciate the good moments even more.  From the incredible peaks we scaled to the hilarious, humble and kind friends who lifted my spirits when I missed home all too much. I think, if I didn’t have the Roi’s, the Andy’s, the Nico’s and the Cluadia’s of the world with me, it would not have been the colourful trip I experienced…

No matter if the summits were made or if the Atlantic was crossed, what I learnt more than anything was how important and valuable friends and family were for me. From playing cards and listening to muffled music while we waited out a blizzard on Yannapacha to sipping Yerba Mate and playing soccer on a beach in northern Peru with my newly adopted Argentinean family (who I rarely understood!). The moments spent with these likeminded and adventurous people are the memories I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.

Don’t get me wrong, the friends, family and supporting folk back home and around the world were equally responsible for helping through Latin America. So, as I’ve arrived back to the incredible oasis which is Cape Town I’d like to share my thanks to everyone who made this adventure possible. Firstly to my sponsors who gave me the goods which kept me warm and safe from sea spray to chilly summits. To my incredible load mouthed media partners who were sharing the message continuously. To the groovy ones who donated to the expedition, yep, every little bit helped.  Most of all, to my family and close friends who kept me going when I was keen to thow in the towel.

This trip has shown me more than ever before how important it is to get outside and start exploring and I hope that maybe, just maybe, K2A has stirred up some excitement and desire in your life to get out and have an adventure of your own.

 

 

 

Monday
Jul212014

Home Time: Its A Process

As it is all too common on any big trip I've done, finishing it is always the hardest part. I have this knack of letting preparations and the adventure consume every part of my life. Which makes reflection and finding my feet when I get back to the real world rather intense.

From the minute i jumped onto that boat my life was unscripted and beautifully intense. Over the past 6 months I've experienced and learnt more than I could have ever hoped. However, there's a catch...with all the new smells, sights and climbs comes a point where you are numbed by the constant stimulations.

So, i've extracted some entries from my personal journal. This is for me more than anyone else, however if you've been following the expedition from the start this is what was going through my head during all the ups and downs of K2A14.

"
DAIRY ENTRY
Day 3: A drip of a day...
02/03/14

There has been a constant drip from my hatch, so with a sodden bed and a sinus headache I wasn't in very great shape when I woke for my first shift. I've been sleeping under towels, but the fact that I'm even under this nasty drip which has found a way into my left ear while I'm asleep has, oddly enough, made me start to really love sailing.

DAY 4: I'm slowly getting the hang of it...
03/03/14

By no means do I feel happy about sailing right now, I'm uncomfortable, drowsy, nauseous, however I'm over happy to be on this adventure!
Nothing is really planned nor rushed. I'll get to land when I do, Surf when I surf, and climb when I climb.

I'm reading Tim Butcher's, "Blood River". Its about him retracing of Sir Henry Morton Standley's expedition down the Congo River.

He dealt with rebels, malaria stricken villages, Congo politics, civil war, people who have never seen white folk before nor areas with no public radio!

For me to worry about traveling through Brasil...its a bit of a laugh.
"

Sunday
Jul202014

Good-bye, Peru 

I don't know if these status are 'sweet' or 'creepy'...all I know is that I've said my final good byes to a country which has taught me so much.
The people, the close calls, the adventures and of course, the climbs. So, thank you to all the people (you know who you are) who I've shared incredible experiences with and to ‪#‎Peru‬ for hosting us.‪#‎K2A14‬ ‪#‎huaraz‬ ‪#‎backpacking‬‪#‎makingmountainsmetaphors

Thursday
Jul172014

The "Heading Home" Part of this story 

Oooooo...look what I found in the middle of no-where :-) it's fitting cause I'm pretty much on my way home at this point. It's almost 6 months that I've been trucking on for and I feel like I've packed quite a lot into that time. I'm not sad that it's over, more than anything I'm so happy that after all the planning and prep it all worked out... I'm also missing my dogs a bit. Just 50 hours left of bumpy bus rides. #peru #Nextstopchile #K2A14