Friday, 27 January 2012

T minus one week

It's been a long time coming but this time next week i'll be heading out! My flight leaves Birmingham international at 8pm next Friday. I think i've done everything. My mom and sister have absorbed all material possessions. I currently live in a posh squat, sleeping on the floor now the bed has gone. I'll send out squat party invites later today.

Tibet has closed its doors to foreigners from mid-February to the end of March as it's the anniversary of the 2008 riots. The Chinese government have decided outside eyes not welcome. I've had to delay my Tibet visit. Instead heading to South East Asia from New Delhi , then flying back to Kathmandu to pick up the tour into Lhasa. Not ideal geographically but certainly better meteorologically.

I'm having a nightmare with camera insurance. Who wants to insure someone to take an expensive camera around the world for a year?
Edit: Seems that Glover & Howe are willing!

About this blog. I've added a "follow by email" link to the right there. Now your inbox can get spammed with my daily mumblings should you so wish. I've fixed the fishtank. I think there was a crack in in and the fish escaped. I've never had much luck with fish.

Friday, 20 January 2012


My bedroom is in a state of disarray. I like to think it's organised chaos. Pulling all my wardrobe out, throwing clothes about, moving wires around but not actually putting them in anything. Finding things i've not seen for years and getting completely sidetracked. I have the attention span of a puppy. Couple that with high sentimentality and you can probably see why this isn't going well.

I bought far too much bubble wrap. FAR TOO MUCH. I have no idea what was going through my head when i went into the 99p shop on the Kingsland road. It's very easy to think "wow, everything 99p. I'm going to buy everything". Hmm. Guess i could wrap the TV again.

Back to sentimentality. I'm throwing out my £6 pair of Matalan pumps. I would call them plimsolls but i've been informed from a good source that plimsolls have to have a plimsoll line on the side, as in a plimsoll line on the side of ships. I've had these pumps for a year, and they're probably the comfiest and best £6 i've ever spent. Goodbye friends of my feet!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Reality check

Just booked my initial flight to Mumbai! This is it, i'm definitely going now. It feels a lot more real since getting back from the Alps. I find it hard to concentrate on anything else if there's snowboarding to be done. I fly on the 3rd Feb, from Birmingham. It made more sense, leaving the flat and London, then spending a day with the parents before getting dropped at the airport.

More vaccinations this morning. I've spent a fortune already and not left the country yet.

In a twist of my mind, i decided to sell my car. I couldn't bear the thought of getting rid of it before, but it seems more of a shame leaving it sitting in a garage for a year. It's going to a friend, so i should get some status updates now and again. I will miss it. It's been such a good car to me. Here's a shot i took when the Portway in Bristol was closed for cliff maintenance.

Monday, 9 January 2012

La recherche de la neige

Quick post from the Les Arcs. We've been out from sunrise to sunset. Completely wiped post-dinner and a glass of wine. The snow's been generally good in the resort, but super-amazing if you go up high looking for it. Here's at shot of me and Amoose traversing across a powder-bowl looking for some sweeeeeeet untouched.

Thursday, 5 January 2012


Had the next part of my vaccinations this morning. Rabies, Hep-B and a lovely cholera drink. I've had to push the departure date back to the start of Feb now, as i need another 2 rabies jabs. Bit annoyed that i didn't get these done sooner but it's only a few days change, and luckily i've not yet booked the first flight to Mumbai yet.

Still undecided on which Malaria tablets to take. The cheaper weekly Mefloquine with some not very nice looking side-effects: headaches, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, loss of balance, sleep disorders and abnormal dreams - those are just the common ones. The other option is the more expensive daily Doxycycline with no common side effects - choices choices!

Got India visa today, but more importantly my passport back with it. This makes me very happy. Snowboarding tomorrow is ON!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


Everyone's back at work, Christmas and new year a distant memory. The rat race has fully kicked off again, and I'm at home. As much as i don't want to be a part of that at the moment, or out in the high winds and driving rain, it feels mighty odd, not having a job.

Had to go to the India commission this morning to clear up some visa issues. Seems they don't like it when you cross stuff out with pen on the application and I had to do the whole thing again. They said it should be back by Thursday. Lets hope so, as i'm going to France on Friday and need my passport back!

On a more positive note: the Vietnam visa finalised! Love the stamp.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Android blogger

Ventured out on this beautiful day to take a few pictures around Islington, with the laptop and card reader, trying to emulate being away. Popped into Costa for a coffee, got the laptop out and transferred the photo's fine - then tried to connect to Wi-Fi and realised Costa don't actually have Wi-Fi! Doh. Got onto another Wi-Fi but it was painfully slow so i couldn't upload any photos. I'd call that a fail. Mental note: check for Wi-Fi before i purchase anything.

This did prompt me into finding the Android blogger app though, which seems to work nicely.

Here's some fallout from someone's NYE party i noticed on the pavement. Did amuse me!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy new year!

Welcome to my travel diary! This is mainly for me to look back on in my golden years but also for family and friends to keep track of me over the next year+. I'm not particularly good at writing, and have never had a blog before so i hope it doesn't read too bad - let me know in the comments if i'm giving you a headache!

I was going to build this diary on my website but found out that blogger now links nicely into Google+, Google photo's, Google maps etc. and seeing as i store my whole life in Google services it made sense.  I'll use my website as my photography portfolio and general hub for my web presence.

So. January 1st 2012. This is where the adventure starts. For those that don't know, at the end of January i'm heading off for at least a year, backpacking through India, Nepal, Tibet, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia etc. and down to New Zealand, around this time next year. Apart from a DSLR, laptop and kindle i'm packing light, very light. I'll go into this more in a later post but for now i wish you a Happy new year! Make it a good one :)