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Mountain Kingdoms are worldwide walking and trekking holiday experts with 30 years of experience in running trekking holidays as well as select trekking peaks, cultural tours and cycling holidays. Whether you’ve travelled with Mountain Kingdoms before or just love to travel, we’d love to hear your tales. Email us your Travellers’ tales

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One small step….

By Vaughan Sydenham in The Himalaya, Guest Bloggers - 31st August 2012

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By Vaughan Sydenham

77,031, 77,032 ...... these are very small steps indeed but are hopefully taking me ever closer to being as fit as I want to be. I'm trying put in at least one session a day now and in the last few days up to around an hour at a time with 4 to 5,000 steps. An hour is a long time to spend on a stepper machine so I'm using my I-Pod to provide some inspiration and distraction. Hopefully that won't be needed on trek!

This weekend saw the passing of one of my childhood heroes - Neil Armstrong. President Obama, paying tribute, wrote of the power of one small step and that also reminded me of all those Everest heroes I have read about over the years, taking their final steps towards the summit. I'm really looking forward to my flight around Everest and getting a unique view of the summit as well as the excellent views that the trek will bring.

My Nepal visa arrived back safely on Friday - I can't fault the turn around time at just 5 days door to door thanks to the visa agency I used (CIBT). Well worth the extra cost for peace of mind.

Planning for a trek is always part of the fun and I've started to gather my kit together now so I can start to make a list of things I still need. The MK trip dossier is a great starting point but there will always be those little extras that you'll want to add. Its nice to take a few photos of your family and where you live to show the trek staff - they are always fascinated to see where you come from.  I also like to take a Frisbee for a little light entertainment with the porters at the end of the day - they always have much more energy left than  do! I'm toying with the idea of taking a kite this year as I think it would be rather good fun to fly against the back drop of a Himalayan landscape.  I can remember watching kids flying tiny kites above the roofs of Kathmandu - they had these huge reels with lines that took the kites hundreds of metres into the sky - caused some almighty tangles!

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