Heading to the (really big) hills


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Posted on September 29, 2013


autumn tree

A Blog from Rob, penned on the way to Heathrow

I am off again.

My life seems to gently vacillate between being close to home and being a heck of a long way from home. I am lucky that I can adapt quickly and easily to both lives. I also know I am lucky to be able to travel to many wondrous parts of the planet.

This time I’m going east to Nepal for two remote treks. I am swapping Keats’ ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ for the incredible Himalayan peaks that push pure white rock shards into an airless single blue. Different worlds maybe, but both wonderful, both inspiring.

I have only seen one English autumn in the past 12 years, which is definitely a shame as it is probably my favourite season. I love the way that nature quietly goes about its business all summer only to give a final flourish, a spectacular seasonal fireworks party. I have noticed the trees turning to the warm end of the spectrum this past week, especially the nearby horse chestnuts going from their listless green into golds, scarlets and umber.

In Nepal I begin by heading eastwards to Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world, for three weeks of tough trekking. The monsoons will still be present and there will be mud, and leeches. It is my first time in the region, but all the stories I have heard of the place are inspiring.

From there it’s westwards to complete a circuit of Manaslu, the eighth highest lump of rock in the world. I have been on this trail once before, under difficult circumstances, but I still love the place. I am looking forward to returning and seeing the region through fresh eyes. This second trek will be even more special because Harriet will be travelling with me.

Jon Krakauer wrote that ‘Happiness is only real when shared’. I’m not sure I entirely agree with him, but I know what he means. In any event it will be great to share the trail, my happiness, with Harriet.

And maybe there will be a few golden leaves hanging from the trees when we return.

~~ (More from somewhere-nowhere here, and If you want to see pictures of Nepal head to Rob's gallery here.) ~~

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