Monday, December 27, 2010

7 things sunday - 7 questions

Over the last few days we have been meeting with people and they are all very interested in out Himalayan trek.
these are the 7 most frequently asked questions -

1. Was it hard?

- yes!

It was probably the hardest thing I have ever done. I walk a lot and have done multi-day walks, but this was something else!
It was high - between 3000 and 4000 metres most of the time. We crossed many deep river valleys, which meant descanding 300 + metres and then climbing up the other side.
I couldnt sleep very well and I lost my appetite, which made the walking even more challenging.

2. Was it cold?

- yes!

The nights were generally very cold - minus 5 to minus 15 degrees celsius.
The mornings were frosty and clear and then the weather closed in during the afternoons and could be foggy.
One day it snowed and we camped in the snow, but this was slightly warmer due to the insulating effect of snow.
We were equiped with good quality trekking gear - but....................
it was still cold!

3. Did you have to carry all your gear?

- no!

We went on an organised trek with High Places, who organised all the tents, food, guides, porters and pack animals - dzos (cross between a yak and a cow) and ponies.
So we only had to carry a day pack with water, warm clothes, camera, things we neede during the day - and most days I didnt even carry that, because I was so slow someone else often carried it for me - it wasnt heavy.

4. What were the other people like?


Because we are not used to going on organised tours this was a very different experience for us. Having everything done and being with a group of people every day.
I think we all got on really well considering our different backgrounds and that sometimes the conditions were challenging and pushed our limits sometimes.
We managed to have lots of laughs shared many funny stories and had no fights!

5. What did you eat?

The food on the trek was all vegetarian, which suits me just fine! And was indian, tibetan, nepalese.
We had a local cook who produced the most amazing meals in the most remote places.
Breakfast - porridge, muesli, eggs, toast or chappatis.
Lunch - 2 or 3 vegetable dishes with chappatis
Arrive at camp - tea and biscuits or popcorn
Dinner - soup and poppadums, 2 or 3 vegetable dishes - curries or stir fry, rice, dahl, roti. Fruit for desert.

....and lots of chai!

6. How did you shower?

We didnt!
for 13 days we didnt!
Every morning the staff brought us a bowl of warm water and we could have had one in the afternoon too when we got to camp.
that was it!
When we finally got back to civilisation and had our first shower in 13 days it was the most blissful thing!

toilet tents

7. Would you go again?

Yes - and no!

us and Everest

At first I thought I would never be able to do anything like that again. It really took a lot out of me and I lost several kilos (not a bad thing!)
But I can't get the whole thing out of my head - I love the mountians and the local people and I just want to see more. I want to go to Nepal, and Tibet and the place we were supposed to go to this year - Ladakh in northern India, but maybe I couldnt do another long trek, unless I was really, really fit.

But I have wanted to go to the Himalayas for nearly 30 years and although it was hard, I made it and I saw things I never thought I would see, like 3 of the 5 highest peaks in the world! and I should be satisfied with that, but now I just want more!
But not next year - but maybe the year after? Who knows?

What are your travel/vacation plans?

Monday, December 6, 2010

A tasty weekend

The first weekend of December hosts the famous Millthorpe markets and as an enticement to come and help me, I invite my OH to Orange the day before and we indulge in a drop of wine tasting.
This year we visited the delightful Mayfield winery on the site of an old farming property.

The tasting room is in the old schoolhouse which also has a function room at the back.

There are two lovely cottages where you can stay if you over imbibe!

We were also tickled by the birds - geese, peacocks and guinea fowl at the vineyard.

Other wineries we visited this year - Mortimers, Philip Shaw (who had the best Savignon Blanc I've tasted! and the most delightful labels).

We feasted on dips and chocolate coated hazelnuts from Totally Local before our main course of wood-fired pizza from Pro Vista pizza.

Unfortunaltey due to all the rain we've had lately the wonderful Millthorpe markets were cancelled, so we ate brunch at Tonic at Millthorpe and indulged in a little more wine tasting at Angullung tasting room.

photo from here

Then we rolled on home - a lovely weekend spending money rather than earning it!

Millthorpe photos from here

Friday, December 3, 2010

Canoeing and creating

I meant to post this last week as the canoe trip was the weekend before last (east coast aussies will know how wet it has been the last week!).
I really wanted to get outdoors but to do something that didnt involve walking! (for obvious reasons) and we hadnt taken the canoe out for yonks. Our first excursion wasnt that great because we put in at an oversize pond in the middle of a picnic area, but luckily on the way back we found a navigable part of the Nepean River and spent a very pleasant couple of hours messing about on the river.

We bee eaters and kingfishers and lots of water dragons - all these are killingly difficult to photograph with a little camera from a bobbing canoe - so you will just have to take my word for it. (apart from the waterdragon)

It was very special because the two men in my life were there too.

Meanwhile back at the ranch.......I made earrings, just 'cus that's what I like doing.
I love the czech glass drops and have now started wire wrapping them. However I didnt have copper earwires to go with the copper wrapped aqua beads.
Now I know that many jewellery designers make all their own earwires - but I dont!
I buy them.
But I really wanted copper earwires and I searched on-line to see if I could buy them - well of course you can buy them - you can buy simply anything on-line!
Then I had a "eureka" moment and thought "I can make those with the wire that I have and then I can finish the earrings today"
So I looked on-line for a tutorial ( I know those clever clogs of you who make the afore-mentioned earwires will be laughing at this!)
I found an easy tutorial on cut out and keep and Bob's your uncle! (my kids think that is really funny 'cus they actually do have an uncle Bob!)

And I made some bracelets -

and some little simple earrings -

What have you been up to this week?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My creative space

Hi! and a bit excited to be playing along with this bloggy fun! (even if it is the last one of the year : ( )

Today I turned a bit this pile -

and some of that -

into this -

that -

and the other -

My creative space is hosted by kootoyoo here. Pop along and have a look - there is much craftyness and lots of lovely crafty folk!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday wishlist

Today I wish for some quirky furniture -

A smiley moon in the sky -

smile by raceytay

and still in a whimsical mood I wish for -

I wish you all a very happy December and the first day of summer for us down-under people!
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