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.
The highlight of our walk was an early morning stint up to Poon Hill to watch the sun rise over the Fishtail mountain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
My 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.
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…
Image, Instinct and Imagination: Landscape as Sign Language
The exhibition, unveiled by Julia Bradbury answers the question Professor Appleton poses at the start of his book: ‘What do we like about landscape and why do we like it?’
Simon Warner’s landscape photography allows visitors to try out their newly acquired skills of landscape interpretation.
Here is a short film about the exhibition held at Royal Geographical Society where geographer Jay Appleton and photographer Simon Warner join forces to explore Jay Appleton’s Prospect-Refuge Theory of landscape appreciation.
First published in his book The Experience of Landscape where aesthetic taste in landscape and landscape art is shown to derive from primitive, hunter-gatherer instincts for viewpoints (Prospect) and shelter or concealment (Refuge).
A trip to the Norfolk coastline will never let you down, whether the sun is shining or the thick ominous clouds are present, it always seems beautiful.
A lot of this coastline is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and there are various Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation that pass through and protect a variety of flora and fauna, so dogs are meant to be kept on leads.
Holkham is one of my favourite beaches in the whole of England and I believe many others voted it as Best British Beach last year. It must be the perfect mix of golden sandy beaches and the dunes with the protection of a pinewood forest.
This coastal area has two long distance footpaths, they are the Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path, both originating from old Roman roads. I am yet to walk them but maybe this summer.
Off shore windmills are becoming ever more popular and in my opinion I don’t think they are an eye sore at all. It’s just one step closer to green technology and I don’t think they damage the aquatic ecosystem too much. Not as much as other energy sources to say the least.
As the path winds from the harbour down to the beach, it weaves through fields and these are the fields that provide the perfect hunting ground for a variety of birds and you will always spot bird watchers perched up along the way.
When the day comes to an end there is nothing better than sitting on the beach with a sandy bum, some fish and chips, locally caught of course and watching the sunset behind the horizon.