Olympic inspiration for Vaughan
32,161, 32,162 ... Less steps and more biking this week but I did feel inspired by the Olympic opening ceremony to break my own personal best by completing 1,750 steps in one session - no medal ceremony for me though! More Rowan Atkinson than Mo Farrah.
The Olympic motto urges athletes to go faster, higher and stronger which strikes a chord with my love of mountains. As a 13 year old on Helvellyn's Striding Edge I can clearly remember looking back and being awestruck by how high we were and the unimaginable power that had moved through that landscape to shape and sculpt the valleys, peaks and ridges below me. From that moment on I was hooked on walking in these special places.
With my son on Helvellyn in 2010
There is something magical about travelling through landscapes like these, ever higher, seeing the lower slopes fall away and new vistas being revealed. High altitude trekking only enhances that experience for me. As you go higher it gets harder but the sense of achievement grows with every upward step. This is how I explain why I love trekking to those who are puzzled why anyone would want to go on a holiday like this. Of course a trek is much more than holiday, its an adventure and an experience that takes you out of your comfort zone - and that's when the magic happens!
Last week I was planning to send off of my visa application but there is a hitch! I'd completely forgotten that you need to send your passport with the application and as I'm travelling abroad 3 times in the next few weeks I can't afford to be without it for more than 2 weeks (which is the advised time for a traditional postal application). So I'm in need of a plan B. Luckily help is at hand in the Mountain Kingdoms trip dossier which advises you can use a specialist company to handle and speed the application for you so that's what I'll need to do. All of this brings back memories of my first trip to Nepal when a friend and I had to travel up to the Nepalese Embassy on consecutive days - all very last minute stuff. I have to admit I'm not very good with passports. Last year I lost mine in Lima airport - a rather (ok lets be honest) very panicky 20 minutes ensued before it turned up in lost property. At work we always try and design ways of doing things that can't fail so I think a passport pouch that I can put around my neck the day before I travel may be in order.
More next week...