Monday, 20 August 2012

Where Has the Summer Gone?

Summer! What Summer? I hear you cry! Well, here at Expedition Wise we've been too busy to really notice it, and so it has been quite a while since our last blog.

Our Boss and grand explorer Brian has scaled Mt Elbrus once more and has managed to fit in a quick trip trekking across Iceland and leading a group up Kilimanjaro (for the 16th!) time over the summer months.

Tom has done several 3 Peaks amongst other things and as I type, is pitting himself against all the elements that Stirling has to offer, as he takes part in the Adidas Terrex 5 Day challenge, involving moving himself and his team across 600km of Scottish land, by foot, canoe and mountain bike! Not for the fainthearted and we eagerly watch the website for updates of his progress.

I took part in my first charity challenge with Expedition Wise, acting as Rear Cyclist for a JDRF (Junior Diabetes Research Foundation) on a London to Paris cycle. This was great fun and quite humbling talking to some of the participants about their experiences of living with Diabetes.

The London to Paris cycle challenge took place back in June and is fading in the memory now, but bits that lodged in the mind are:-

·       The rain was horrendous on the English part of the journey – but somehow my little group and I managed to avoid it every time – we even managed to avoid the hailstones. Yes, that’s right. Hailstones in June. And why not?

·       The uphill into Portsmouth. No-one warned me about that, did they? Excruciating at the end of the day and endless. Somehow, I didn’t expect an uphill to the coast....

·       I’m not so good in the dark and so the ferry room was a bit of a shock.... pitch black! Still, they played a gentle melody in the morning to wake us all up at silly o’clock!

·       It’s true what they say about road surfaces on the Continent – as smooth as silk in most places and a joy to ride on.

·       Chocolate box houses. Everywhere.

·       Cycling through Paris is such a contrast to the countryside. We were cycling on a Sunday and to say rural France had taken the day off would really be something of an understatement! And then the hustle and bustle of Paris. Pure madness and a case study in organised chaos!

·       Paris is clearly used to manic looking groups of British people careering around the Arc De Triomphe on bicycles – the sound of car horns tooting encouragement filled our ears as we made our way around the iconic route.

·       No disasters befell our group; the worst thing that happened was one lady packing her passport into her bike saddle bag. Not really a disaster in itself, but she needed the passport to cross the channel and the bike was all packed up in the van, with several other bikes in front of it.... At the end of a long days’ cycling and with tea beckoning, it felt like a disaster.

In other news, we are busy working on our challenges for the remainder of this year and then on to 2013. Keep your eye on our website for news of our two new series of challenges, Brutal Events and Race the Sun.