Let’s Explore … Nepal

Let’s Explore … Nepal

Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha. A country I have wanted to visit for a while now and in 2017 we flew into Kathmandu and drove up to Pokhara, where we were met by our guide Dawa. Dawa, nicknamed ‘D’, has been up Everest a mere 3 times so this trip for him would be a walk in the park, quite literally. D and his team, who consisted of ‘Nemo’, JB and B, all legit names of course, walked ahead of us the whole way, each carrying about 20kgs… After a brief break Nemo would often skip past us up the path in his flip-flops whilst we all watch in awe togged up in walking boots, poles and buffs galore.

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The highlight of our walk was an early morning stint up to Poon Hill to watch the sun rise over the Fishtail mountain.

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The Fishtail, properly known as Machapuchare, not unfamiliar in sound to Machu Picchu in Peru, has a fascinating story behind it.  I am sure the story varies depending on the teller but our version is that adventurers tried to climb it and it was far too dangerous so the mountain was then declared a sacred holy mountain never to be climbed again.

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One thing I loved about Nepal was the wildlife, and the abundance of it. I saw an array of beautiful butterflies to bees, a praying mantis, song birds, birds of prey, grasshoppers, monkeys and the spiders were huge! One thing I did spot when out camping on a 4 day rafting trip were these large cat footprints. Out of the 208 mammal species that it could have been I somehow don’t think it was a snow leopard! I thought it might be a fox, D didn’t know but after doing a bit of research it would make sense if it was a Fishing Cat..

Kathmandu is an interesting place, and I think you can get to know it very well if you were there for a long amount of time. We however were not there long but in that time we explored Monkey Temple, Swayambhunath and also explored the hindu crematorium Pashupatinath Temple which felt very surreal. Once a family member dies in Kathmandu the body is purified and prepared at the Pashupatinath Temple, then lit on fire beside the Holy Ganges River.

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video coming soon.holly.

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Gear Review for Overboard

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Overboard Bags are a British company who’s products I never go travelling without. Starting off small, Overboard have become a leading brand in waterproof bags. Whether I am going for a stroll in the Suffolk countryside or a mountain hike in the Lake District, my rucksack will always be packed with colourful Overboard dry bags.

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I prefer using dry bags than just relying on the waterproof backpack cover because the rain will always find a way to get in, especially in the Lakes, and also it is a more organised way of packing. I know that my phone and purse are in the yellow one, that my spare clothes are in the blue one and my lunch is in the red one. So no matter what the weather is doing I can get into the right one quick and easily.

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So after using the dry bags for a few years I thought I’d try out their 90 litre Adventure Duffel bag for my upcoming trip to Nepal.

I was going on a multi day hike through the Annapurna Mountain range near Pokhara. This would really put the bag to the test. When on the multi-day hike I had my day bag, with all relevant dry bags full of sweeties and such, then a wonderful, stealthy porter will carry your overnight bag, so ideally this needs to be as light and squidgy as possible. He will then tie said bag to another bag, of equal weight, put a rope around his head and off he goes, bouncing up the path in flip flops. The same path you are about to take, but in your expensive walking boots and poles. I don’t think a Nepali has ever used walking poles!

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The duffel bag faired very well, it was picked up and put down on rough stone surfaces, also known as chautaras (resting spots) for 5 days straight, it was brand new before the trip and by the end it looked used (which in all honesty is how we like our outdoor gear to look isn’t it!) After walking we went on a 4 day rafting trip where the bags proved themselves yet again!

I would recommend Overboard gear for all sorts of adventures no matter what country!

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Lifeventure Thermal Mug Review

One thing I love almost more than walking, and exploring, and that is tea. A strong ‘builders tea’ to start my day, and finish it.. And of course a few in between.. But when out filming walks you can’t just put the kettle on. Of course that isn’t a complaint but there is one thing I always carry with me when out walking and that is my trusty green Flask. The proper name being a Lifeventure Thermal Mug.

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It’s the equivalent of about 2 cups of tea and fits in the side of your rucksack perfectly. It’s lightweight and keeps your drink hot for hours on end, so even if you forget, which is the depressing reality all tea drinkers experience now and again, it should still be warm by the time you really need it.

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It is often odd weather when filming in somewhere like the Peak District, one moment it is warm, the next it is hailing, and that is just what happened during this trip, but no matter what the weather I will always have tea!

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If it’s not builders tea I often go for a Clipper Organic Peppermint Teabag too. This isn’t only a refreshing drink but they have a great ethos. They are, I believe the first tea company in the UK to go Fairtrade, they also use unbleached teabags, it’s a win win!

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So whether you’re taking a walk in the woods, up a mountain, or exploring some fab National Trust locations, a thermal mug is the perfect companion! And yes, Mike you are too!

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.holly.

Let’s Explore … The Blog

My ‘Let’s Explore…’ videos are snapshot POV edits that I put together to give a taster of what I get up to when I’m not working! Below you will find edits from a few of my adventures from the last few years from exploring the Chilterns on our doorstep to venturing in the Swiss Alps. There will be more to come so watch this space, and if you have any ideas on where to go next leave me a comment!

Nepal was the big trip in 2017. We walked the Annapurna Region which is just spectacular. I am looking forward to going back and walking some more, harder routes!

Gryon is a beautiful little village in the Swiss Alps. I have been going now for about 5 years. I always stay with Merlin and Gemma in Chalet Martin, you can check out their website here: www.gryon.com

This is a little video from a road trip around Dorset. It isn’t just a walking edit, we get some cycling in there too.

‘Let’s Explore… Sardinia’ is another adventure using the Sony action cam. The underwater case makes it perfect to use on a holiday by the sea.

Croatia is a beautiful country. We have a lot more exploring to do so need to go back, but here is a taster of the scenic national parks and surrounding islands.

The Ridgeway is something a bit more unusual for myself, this was solely biking. This is a route that travels through ancient woodlands, valleys and has beautiful views pretty much throughout.

Ireland, mainly Northern Ireland in this edit, again we will have to go back and explore further West, it is on the cards!

Our first edit, strolling through the countryside that is on our doorstep, a beautiful Chiltern walk. Many more have been had an will create a new edit once I have collected more footage.

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

2016 was the Diamond Anniversary for the DofE Awards and through The Outdoor Guide I have been commissioned to create an end of year edit that collates all their events from their 60th Anniversary year.

Throughout the year ambassadors and celebrities had taken on challenges to raise money and awareness of the work the DofE does with young people. On top of creating their end of year celebratory video, I filmed the Countess of Wessex cycling 450 miles from Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace, London. I also edited together a film of Julia Bradbury sleeping on top of the O2.

All below, please watch in HD.

Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Anniversary Film

Countess of Wessex’s Diamond Challenge

Julia Bradbury’s Diamond Challenge

 

Let’s Explore… Croatia

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Travelling has always been important, not just going to the places and the food, but meeting new people too. Croatia has been on my bucket list for a while now and finally I managed to bag a trip, albeit a short one.  Watch the video of the trip here.

14681915_10154622681794158_8725972837615300256_oMy partner and I hired a car and explored the Krka National Park, the waterfalls and surrounding canyons were beautiful. We could have stayed for much longer, however we had a ferry to catch to Hvar.

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Hvar was spectacular. It was a short drive to our Airbnb cottage, the heavens opened as we turned up but that didn’t matter as the view from our room made up for that. We spent the rest of our time exploring the islands around Hvar, and all I can say is that it was tranquil, I can imagine in the height of summer it is a different story…

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Watch the video of the trip here

Mammut Insulated Jacket Review

 

I thought my life was complete… I have a great job, amazing boyfriend, motivating family, I was happy. Then this bright florescent green Mammut jacket came into my life. I have to say I have never been warmer!

Even though it is an insulated jacket, it still can pack down pretty small and is really light weight. I wear it as an every day jacket too, and it has lasted years. It doesn’t bead how it used to but it also doesn’t leak.  I have to say, the pockets are great with cold fingers because the zips close downwards, so once your hands are full with sweets, in one quick swipe the pocket is closed, instead of faffing with two hands and dropping all those bombs of energy.

This synthetic jacket has explored Wales, been to the Alps in Switzerland, and on adventures in the Lakes. I don’t go anywhere without it. I am not a warm person, so being able to throw this on, and with it’s waterproofness, it hits all the right spots. Then if I do get too warm I can open my pit vents! So would buy this jacket again? Yes I would, and in green? Well that is my colour!

Salomon XA Pro Review

These are my second pair of Salomons, the first I wore down on the fells in the Lake District. Is there such thing as too much running? In this case apparently so! As time went on and the ice started to appear I had to replace my bright green shoes with another pair, of green shoes. Apparently green is my colour… I have worn these out running and hiking, mainly in the Chilterns, so nothing too strenuous! They are by far the comfiest trail shoe I have worn.

They have good grip, I wear them as general everyday shoes and it hasn’t worn down at all, so much better than my previous Speedcross 3. They are lightweight and quick drying so everything you are looking for in a shoe. These are not the Gortex version as I brought them as my summer trainers. Not to say a pair of Gortex Salomon’s wouldn’t hurt! Their next adventure we will be leaving the Chilterns and heading to … The Lake District.

Buff Review

Everyone loves a good Buff, and for me, this is the item that I always have in my rucksack. But for those who have never heard of a Buff before, it is a lightweight neck scarf for travel and outdoor activities. It can be used as a headscarf too, in fact, there are so many ways you can wear your Buff, it is their usp if you like.

The great thing about this product is that they not only come in amazing colours and designs but they can easily be squashed, I mean, packed into your bag. Then come, rain, sun or snow just pop it out and work out one of the many ways to wear it! They also do a knitted version that is amazing in the depths of winter. I have it below in Margo Orange.

 

 

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