EBC: Part 3 – This time it’s personal

I summited!

8 days of pure slog, battling with cold weather, samey food, and an extremely overweight backpack, I managed to make it to Everest base camp.

The camp itself. It’s completely underwhelming – there’s fuck all here apart from wind torn flags, and happy tourists. Naturally I celebrated the only way the English know how

Cigs and whiskey!

The final few days we’re honestly like nothing I ever thought I’d see on planet Earth – at points it really did feel like trekking on the moon. There’s almost no life above 5000m.

Apart from the odd rogue Yak that’s living off the grid.

“You didn’t see nuffin fam”.

The air is that thin, that you can feel your heart racing to get as much oxygen pumping about the blood as possible.

And signs like this don’t exactally do my ‘worried-about-the-lack-of-oxygen’ sense any good.

When this is the forecast every day, it’s understandable that the only things that breathe here are tourists and sherpas.

I did realise once at base camp that I was stood on a glacier! This wasn’t something I’d even though about till I saw these massive sheets of ice poking out from the rocks. Definitely very cool (pun partially intended).

Up until this point, I’d been fairly jammy with lodging in my own room the whole way up. Unfortunately, Gorak Shep is quite a popular stop for several different hikes around the Himalayas. As such, the only space they had for me was in the Sherpa’s dorm. By the end of the night, there was about 20 of us crammed into this room, with myself being the only non Nepalese in there. The owner was dead apologetic, and gave me the bed for free – I have no idea why, as the Sherpa’s we’re absolutely loveley (despite there questionable singing, and dal bhat farts). I crossed paths with a few of them on the way down, and they even asked ‘how was your sleep last night?’.

I’m on the way down now, back to Lukla, and only one final trek away from catching a plane back to Kathmandu. At this point, I find myself asking ‘what has the EBC taught me?’

Firstly, that I look like a confused homeless man after ten days without a wash at 5000 metres up.

And even after a good clean, it’s not much better…

But for sure, tenacity. I have trouble sticking something out and seeing it through to the end – as I’m sure many people do. Waking up with a purpose, a goal and knowing by the end of the day, that goal has to be complete was a fantastic driver for me, and is something I’ll take away from this hike. The difference here is that on a mountain, your next goal is obvious – go more up and don’t die. In life, your next goal won’t present itself that obviously, you have to search for it – and that’s going to be my next task, find something to be driving towards.

Everyone I’ve meet on this trail is driven – you have to be if you want to make it to the peak, and that really rubbed off on me.

There were plenty of people suffering from altitude sickness (luckily, I managed to swerve it). I didn’t see a single one of them turn back, because they all wanted to make it to the top.

The company here is fantastic – everyone has their own little streak of crazy, which makes the people here amazing. During the day, I was locked into my music, one foot ahead of the other, but at night, there’s a great camaraderie in the tea houses.

They all absolutely reek of socks though.

Those going up are so eager to ask those coming down questions. “Does the trail get harder? How cold does it get? Should I spend a day in X place? Are there any bears?”. I say the same thing to almost all these questions – if you’re determined to get to the top, you will, everything else will fall into place.

I ran out of money just before the summit, and ended up having to beg a chap at a bakery for cashback on a visa purchase. Buying a load of fake gear in Kathmandu meant equipment failures too, but honestly, part of the fun of going up this thing was working out ways of sorting these problems. That’s something I don’t think I wouldn’t have been able to experience with a Sherpa, as these guys are shit hot at their jobs, and take your safety more seriously than their own.

I’m currently sat in a little German bakery in Namche Bazaar drawing, drinking tea, and eating the best cheese croissants I’ve ever had in my life…

…and I geniuinally think I’ve found my favourite spot in the world right here.

Nepal is absolutely inspiring, the people here are so welcoming, and the tourists are all a little bit crazy. This is by far and away my favourite country on this planet, and I will 100% be returning.

Everest, you’ve been a beautiful bastard

But it’s time to love you and leave you.

Peace all x

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EBC Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

Hey all

It’s day five of my trek up to base camp, meaning I’m (hopefully) at the halfway point. Currently writing this from a town called Loboche. This comes after staying in Tengboche, Dingboche and Pheriche. I don’t know what -che means in Nepalese, but from what I can gather it means ‘cute little town in the middle of fucking nowhere’.

First views after leaving Namche – this really felt like the part of the trek where the forests we’re ending, and the mountains begining.

A smashing view of clouds being formed, feat: My left index finger.

A beautiful view of what I later found out to be not Everest. This is Ama Dablam, and is about 2km smaller than Everest. She’s still a beauty though.

My first broken equipment! RIP bandoleer, you we’re great while you lasted (a whole three weeks)

Nothing like seeing a spangled bridge to really inspire confidence in the days ahead.

I met a very good boi, and a very jealous boi.

The battle for my love ensued. The first time I’ve ever has two bitches fight over me.

Second equipment failure! Piece of shit sleeping bag holder has gone – this hasn’t been an issue yet, but I’m quite worried it could become one.

I ended up MacGyvering a new sleeping bag strip from a belt, and spare buff. Mountain rules baby!

Somebody suggested popping hot water in a bottle, and slam it in my sleeping bag at night, for a rachet hot water bottle. I bought all my gear from duff shops in Kathmandu, but apparently if your bottle is made in the USA, it’s all good.

Score! Actually got some decent gear…

Well fuck my freezing cold life.

I finally found Everest! I’m at least 50% sure this is the one anyway

The Toblerone confirms it!

Some more evidence of how badly an 8.1 magnitude earthquake can fuck up your country. This valley was littered with chewed up bridges. In the background you can see that half the mountain came down. A phone camera doesn’t do this justice – it’s absolutely breathtaking to be in and about this. Nature is metal bros.

This is a note from the old king of Nepal, whom was deposed in 2008, when the monarchy here was abolished.

That’s all for now folks – tomorrow I should be hitting base camp, followed by the long trek back down to Lukla. What goes up and all that…

Peace all x

The EBC begins!

Namaste all

The solo travels have begun, and with that, I’ve finally arrived!

After spending just over a month in India, my suitcase is rammed with beach an summer clothes. As such, being greeted by a cool -10 degree temperature was a solid kick in the dick.

Kathmandu is a cracking city, and definitely has a strong Indian vibe about it. It is definitely a lot cleaner, and I’m getting hassled a bunch less in the street

But their power cable system leaves something to be desired.

I spent the day gathering my permits and equipment for the 12 day hike to base camp.

Ready for the trek! Or as ready as I’ll ever be.

Next up was a flight to Lukla – cutley known as the most dangerous airport in the world. It’s a terribly short landing strip, situated between two mountains, and it’s usually not visible due to cloud coverage.

And was also delayed to shit.

I’ve never flown in a rotary plane before, but let me tell you, for a solid thirty minutes, I felt every bump and vibration wriggle right up my spine. This video shows how much the plane was actually shaking

First glimpse of Everest- I’m coming for you big man

Suited, booted, and looking really stupid.

My first steps on the trail, and already speachless.

There was some damn fine ass to be seen too

The first of at least ten suspension bridges I’ve crossed so far. I love this picture – it looks like the poster for an adventure film.

These granite rocks are everywhere on the trail – not certain on their significance, but they definitely look cool.

Because even Sherpas like reggae.

This was the first and last time I’ll cross one of these with donkeys on. This bridge was wobbly to shit.

My bunk for the night for 200 rupees. No shower, no electricity, and -20 degrees outside. Sleeping here was the first time I really felt like a proper traveller.

Casually woken up by the local helicopter.

A landslide caused by the 2015 erathquake. There’s evidence of this all throughout the trail, but most if the damaged buildings have been repaired at this point.

I love how they added the excessive clause here – definitely one for the Brits and Germans.

This is Namache Bazar – a city at 3400m altitude, and a solid place to spend my Birthday!

Pretty much the last thing anyone would ever want here.

Apologies for the lack of commentary – it’s a mixture of cold, altitude sickness and downright laziness on my part. Ten more days, and I’ll be back at sea level, where hopefully my brain starts working at it’s full capacity again!

Peace all x

Mum-good-bai

Howdy chappos

What a mother flipping world shaking fantastic month it’s been. We made it to Mumbai in one piece, on what I can only assume was a nightbus borrowed from the queen. Leather seats, built in TV, and free biscuits to boot. The drive was about fifteen hours from Hampi, but I slept like a baby, meaning the time absolutely flew.

Mumbai has a very similar vibe to Dehli, as it’s very much a transport hub. From chatting around, not many people really seem to spend any significant time in Mumbai, and really only use it as a stopgap to other places – in a similar vain to Dehli.

First up – the waterpark. We had originally wanted to see what Goas waterpark scene was like, but after being told it was a glorified shed, decided to hold our need for watery based excitement until now.

No pics of the park im afraid, but some of the boat used to get out (and the three hour que running up to it)

Evening time meant Diwali celebrations, And Diwali celebrations mean a shitload of fireworks

🎵Heaven. Im in heaven.🎵

The park we passed sounded like an absolute warzone – kids of about 10 years old we’re lighting crackers and launching them. The UK needs to catch up, as we didn’t start abusing fireworks till at least 12.

Next up, we visited the Dharavi slum. When the idea was first floated about, I didn’t fancy this, as turning a slum into a tourist attraction is not something I think im OK with. Our Romanian pal Cosmin persuaded me, by saying as long as we spend money, we’re helping to become part of the solution

But first was tackling the transport. Indians don’t fuck around when it comes to getting on and off trains – you need a firm foot, and a good spine to survive these trains.

Dharavi in some of its glory. Complete with skyscrapers in the background.

We entered the washing district, where over one thousand industrial washing machines are homed. The people living here clean garments for the local hospital to use.

I took a gamble on some street grub here. The price for this was 7 pence, but I gave tripple that. It was absolutely delicious, and has converted me to street food here.

Finally, the Kabaddi game! For those who don’t know what Kabaddi is (and I’m assuming everyone), it’s like tig was made into a sport, and the rules we’re written by a four year old.

This video should clear up any questions you have about the sport.

Tickets we’re three quid, and jerseys seven, so naturally we fanboyed the fuck up

Uuuuuuuu-Mumba!

After smashing Jaipur pink by 25 points, we came back to the hostel for the ends of the Diwali party.

For anyone in Mumbai, I can’t recommend Mumbai Staysion enough. Bar far the best value for money hostel I’ve ever stayed at. Clean, cheap, and dope staff.

And with that, my India adventure is complete! 6 weeks this country has been enough, but I definitely want to return in future to see so many other places that have been recommended.

But for now,

India Complete! 🇮🇳 [✔ ]

It’s here I say goodbye to my pals, and start my own journey to Nepal. You can keep up with Kyles exploits here:

https://thekmcblog.wordpress.com/

He and the boys are off to Sri Lanka to sit on more beaches, and live the kings high life.

Myself – next destination is Nepal, where I try to drag myself to Everest base camp in a 12 day hike.

I think the waterpark said it best…

Peace all x

Don’t worry, be Hampi

Howdy all

As the weeks away are starting to turn into months, time here is becoming less about what to see, and more about the amazing people were meeting. Moving from hotels to hostels was such a leap, in that our booze and cig consumption has skyrocketed, meaning the amount of tourist sights seen has taken a hit.

Nick, Chanti, Bailey, Pimm and Nahid – you’re all beautiful people, and I’m more than happy to poop in the same bathroom as you all anytime in the future.

Halloween came! Alas, I was totally unprepared, but managed to MacGyver a costume from a pair of undies and some goggles

At least three people got it, so it’s considered a success in my books.

At the party, a call went out for a drummer for a wee jam sesh

I gave it my best, but it’s been a decent time since my last drum. Nick absolutely killed it on Bass though- the guy is a monster with that thing.

Goa has been a cracking place to meet all sorts of people from many walks of life. So many people have found their home here, and I completely understand why. Whatever you want, you can have in Goa, and without the hassle and secrecy of the North. The cops do have a habit of closing parties down, but you cant have everything your own way all the time.

I do love this place, can see why so many people decide to build a life here – despite the six months of rain each year. It’s the closest thing to paradise I’ve ever been lucky to be part of.

I cannot recommend Gypsys hostel enough either – if anyone plans to visit the North of Goa, this is the place to be. It really is a home full of the craziest people I’ve ever met.

Despite the power cuts during poop time.

The markets in Goa are a real high point too. I got roped into braiding my beard for far too much money (I’m a sucker of the highest calibre when it comes to negotiation).

It’s less viking, and more like a cotton factory explosion than expected, but fuck you I like it anyway.

We took our scooters back South, and handed them over. I’d taken a tumble on mine, and had to fork over some ‘stupid-cunt-driving-into-a-ditch money, which turned out to be less than a tenner. Worth.

We headed back to Palolem beach for a third time, because this place is absolutely enchanting. A chap at our hostel had told is about a secret beach over the rocks, and naturally we went about searching for it.

Mission accomplished! It took about an hour to get here, and a lot of climbing, but it was a great adventure. Nothing has made me feel more like a traveller so far than following a vague set of instructions on a whim. For the next people, we’d happily draw a map like a pirate, and let them follow the X.

We also took the chance to take a boat and see some dolphins!

But the little fuckers are almost impossible to catch on camera, so you’ll just have to take my word they’re here.

The boat ride was a great opportunity to see Palolem from another angle though

We even witnessed a proposal on one of the hidden beaches (butterfly beach)

A man could get used to this kind of life..

Bedford and Joey got roped into shoring the boat while we bravley stood and watched

This is Bedfords ‘Stop-taking-photos-you-fucking-mug-and-help-us-out face’.

Next us was our first experience on the night busses here. They come highly recommended, from a lot of different travellers we met as a great way to get around India.

This is the least blury photo I managed to get ahold of due to a. Being tipsy, and b. Our driver racing over speedbumps like they didn’t exist.

At least half this journey was spent in the air due to the speed we were going. I honestly wasn’t sure if we had paid for a night bus, or an anti gravity chamber. Tony Hawk would have been jealous of the amount of airtime we got in this thing.

Our next destination was Hampi – a place we had never heard of until arriving in India, but a place that absolutely everyone we met had recommended. We decided to do no research, and just jump straight in.

One of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

Hampi is full of crazy geological formations, that we’re generated while the crust of the earth was still a semi liquid. This liquid solidified into the formations we see today, and onion skin weathering separated each of the rocks into it’s own piece.

A better explaniation was given by out tuk tuk driver. Hampi is a gift from the Gods.

I can get on-board with that.

A new city means a new place to stay! After getting scammed by a shitbag tuk tuk driver, who advised us that the bridge to out hostel was under repair, we were persuaded to take accommodation in the centre on Hampi.

Naturally, we got the fuck out of there asap, grabbed a new driver, and headed to out original hostel, the wanderes luxury.

Manju was on duty here to look after our bags, and make sure we were seen to.

Our driver picked us up the next day, and told us he had some cracking temples to show us. This collectively made our balls run back inside us, as we thought we’d managed to escape temples for food after leaving Rajasthan. Even Twiggy, who has only been with the group for a couple of weeks, asked us if we were sure about heading to the temple.

This is Sugrivas cave – about a twenty minute walk from the original temple, over decent sized boulders, and done without shoes. This used to be a home for snakes – whether that is literally, or mytheroligally, I’m unsure, but the cave was cool to explore

Next up, it was time for some swimming in Sanapur lake.

And a wee spot of cliff jumping.

Evening time took us to a place name hippie island. All we were told about this place is that the views are great, and we can get good thali and beer.

Great views ✔

Good thali ✔

November 6th was also Joey’s birthday! This was celebrated by getting piss drunk, and buying clown pants

They guys at wanders luxury we’re dope enough to throw a birthday party in the evening too

They even made a cake!

The next leg of our travel is Mumbai, which is also going to be our final destination of India before moving onto Nepal. If I survive night bus part two without a concussion anyway.

Peace all x

A-Goa-ings on

Howdy all

It’s been a while since the last post – I started getting this ‘oh shit, Chris, are you OK?’ Messages from pals, and realised how overdue a post here was.

All is great! We’ve been living the beach bum dream for a solid week now, and it’s still not getting old.

We picked up some scooties! Three quid a day for the next ten days. These things have been absolute lifesavers for getting about Goa, as we’ve been able to head to the secret spots people have told us about.

First up was Fatrade beach. This guy was right on our doorstep, five minutes walk, or a thirty second scoot. A very quiet beach though.

With some absolutely banging seafood

And another absolutely banging sunset

Some more KennyD action shots. This man will be able to start a callander by the time we’re done in India.

Next up, Palolem beach. This place was an hour ride away from our flat, but the drive was immense. Most of the route was at treetops level, so we were riding through the leaves of the jungle.

It’s rides like this that could make any man want to own a motorbike.

This place is truly something else. Most serene beach I’ve ever seen, period. It looks like a beach straight from a five star movie.

Pussay patrol on full alert

Followed immediately by getting stuck in quicksand.

Palolem was the perfect level of busy too. It’s touristy, but still spacious. Amazing beach, and if anyone reading this ever heads to Goa, this beach needs to be number one on your list. Absolutely breathtaking.

Even got in a spot of climbing.

Evening times brought us back to the apartment. Beers are even cheaper here than the North, and a bottle of old monk rum is about £2 for 700ml. This stuff is truly the cheat code for getting smashed as cheap as possible in Goa.

As Joey quickly discovered.

Our apartment even had a pet frog!

I tried getting closer, but he gave me the old frog stank eye

We also decided it was time for a spot of cooking. I took lessons in Johdpur, and it seemed daft to not put them to the test.

Looks good, and tasted fine however the paratha shape needs some work. No idea what any of these meals are called, but they had a shitload of lentils and chilli in.

My kitchen aftermath. Anyone who knows me will be surprised that the kitchen was only this messy.

Next up, we took our scooters to North Goa. The North is a lot more touristy than the South, as it attracts more of the party crowd. We arrived about a week before the season really kicks off here, but we’re doing our best to sniff out the parties that are going on.

Anjem beach was the first beach we saw in the North. Completely average beach, very touristy, but has a lot of good places to eat.

The waiter in the corner must have been waiting five minutes for us to land the perfect selfie.

Evening times, I wasn’t feeling too good, and so returned to our hostel early. Within minutes, an offer of a reggae party down the road was given to me, and I dragged myself off to it.

The hopping frog, a cracking little venue, with some excellent vibes, cheap drinks

And a three hour powercut!

The last of the summer rains landed – according to Glenn at our hostel, normally there’s one final rainy washout before the winter season starts. Normally it’s at the tail end of September, but this year it’s been quite late. These rains brought winds and lightning, for a good few hours.

Power out here, also meant power out at the hostel. A palm tree fell, and took out the lines connecting us to the main grid. No Wi-Fi, meant people came out and socialised! However no power, also meant no pictures.

Chatting with staff at the hostel, we were told about Hilltop on Sunday – a day party going from 12pm till 10pm.

It’s was a pure psytrance mini festival! The place was buzzing, but I turned up stone cold sober, and after driving here, it had to stay that way. We’ve been told about something similar on Tuesday, so a TukTuk might be on the cards. There’s only so sober I’m able to keep when rum is less than 2 quid a bottle.

Especially when I’m surrounded by people like this

Peace out y’all x

Where we a’goin in Goa

Howdy chumbos

We managed to make it back to Dehli in one piece. 16 days has been a helluva ride, and Radjasthan has been very good to us, but it’s time to start level two of India. We got ourselves booked into Hindustan once again

Which meant another visit to Myson’s pad.

At this time, we also said farewell to Vinnie. This chap has been absolutely immense for the whole of our journey. If anyone has any plans to visit North India, let us know, and I’ll happily give you his contact details. He really brought the country to life for us, and was able to answer literally any question we had.

10/10 Vdog. You’ll be sorely missed.

Next up, was our journey down South to Goa. We’d opted to go down by train instead of airplane for two reasons:

1. I wanted the authentic Indian train experience, and the chance to see the country passing from the carridge.

2. We’re all cheap fucks.

Having a look at the timetable, it looked like we were travelling from 9am till 8pm. A decent twelve hour journey we were ready for.

This was our smiley happy faces.

Then we discovered that the arrival had a +1 next to it, which meant a 36 hour train ride

This was quickly after that moment.

36 hours on a train sounds horrendous, but it wasn’t all that awful. The cabin was small, and the farts we’re rancid, but we truly did get to see some amazing countryside

We also sampled some of the fine cuisine Indian railways have to offer

This Thali was 90p.

This face reviews it better than words ever could.

36 hours (plus delays) later, we made it to Goa

Evening time meant more beers and wine. It was an absolute joy to find that beers in the South are about half the price of those up North. Score!

The next morning we took a trip to Fatrade beach. This beach is about 5 minutes walk from the place we’re renting.

And it’s absolutely gorgeous.

We got chatting to some locals, and they let us know that we arrived about two weeks before the tourist season here really kicks off – which meant we had the place pretty much to ourselves

We stuck about for the sunset, figuring it would go down over the sea.

It was completley worth it.

Bedford busted out the Kenny D, which made for some decent sunset pics

The next few days aren’t very planned, so if anyone has tips for stuff to do in Goa, id love to hear them! We’re looking into picking up a couple of scooters, and working it out from there, so any advice would be wonderful!

Peace x