Hey guys and welcome to my new series where I will showcase some of the amazing places I have been lucky enough to visit over my years of travelling. My initial goal when launching this website was to have a place where I can talk about 2 of my favourite things, poker and travelling, but after taking a step back it became apparent that I haven’t really contributed too many blog posts about the art of travelling and so I have decided to create a new section which may appeal to the non poker loving bunch among you. So first up is that little mountain they call, Mount Everest.
When I first set out on my trip across India and Nepal I really only had one plan in mind the entire time, I would hike across the Himalayas. I was lucky enough not to do this once, but twice. The first trip, The Annapurna Base Camp, could have been called a trial run for the main event. It took me around 12 days, and within that time I befriended Sherpas, walked through avalanche zones, smoked copious amounts of hash and stupidly hiked straight after a snowstorm, having to create the path myself as the ground was covered in snow. Nevertheless I made it to base camp and as you can imagine the rush was pretty exhilarating. But I wasn’t in Nepal for the Annapurna Base Camp, I wanted the classic tourist route and the mountain that I had heard about all my life. Everest was the real draw.
Many of you may know 2 things about me:
1. I don’t like flying
2. I like to save money where possible.
Put those 2 things together in Nepal and instead of flying to the ‘start’ of the Everest route in one of the most dangerous flights in the world and doing the 12 day trek from there, I took an 8 hour cramped bus ride to the very edge of the Himalayas and decided to walk along the entire way. I didn’t see a mountain for the first 5 days of trekking. And I wouldn’t return to civilization for a whole 28 days.
This is an amazing way to take the journey if you have the time to do so. You get a real sense of heading into the wild and that first glimpse of seeing a snow topped mountain is pretty awe inspiring. What’s another key note to mention that this is one of the most trekked areas in the entire world, it’s pretty hard to get lost. Obviously helping the local economy out in the form of Sherpas is undeniably useful but if you’re on a budget or simple want to tackle the route by yourself then it’s really not that hard. Take a map and some money and you’ll be in no trouble at all as there are at least a couple of guest-houses in every little village along the way.
So as I grew ever closer to the Himalayan capital that is Namche Bazaar, the mountains that surround the area start to engulf you and the immense scale of the beautiful beasts really comes to fruition, and I wasn’t even the heart of them yet. It had taken me 6 days just to reach the start of the real adventure and the adventure that followed is nothing but a pure magical experience that my writings could never do justice. From the people that I met, to the scenery that I saw, to the poker that I studied, to the same menu that crops up at every guest-house along the way to that joyous occasion where I sparked a small spliff and ate a Mars bar at Everest Base Camp, to those gruelling days where the last thing I wanted to see was another mountain or the time when I decided to hike 12+ hours and came back in the dark all because I thought Premiership football would be on in the local pub only to find out it was the international break (yes they have a pub in Namche Bazaar). It was an adventure that brings tears to my eyes just remembering it all and to think that I made it all happen by myself makes me unashamedly proud. This was something that I had dreamed about, and instead of keeping it just a dream, I made it my reality.
So I’ll leave you all with some pictures I took along the way and a little video that I have managed to edit together. Sorry for the shitty video quality and terrible sound but this video best sums up my Everest adventure. If you guys have any questions in regards to cost or logistics then feel free to write in the comments or send me a facebook message.