Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Autumn news

Sunny on the Ross of Mulls granite crags although getting colder hats and gloves are out. 
As the tiles are being stripped from the house roof and the first snows arrive its an end to the summer. Seems for this summer that the Scottish West Coast has been the place to be with a pretty good summer compared to many parts of the UK. Its just started to quieten down now on the island as we now have a group from the SAS due to arrive although they will be looking after themselves so a chance to prepare the house for the winter.
I have been out with a couple of groups on various activities over the last few weeks. I have also written a magazine piece which should appear in the next 'Trek and Mountain' on the subject of navigation overseas. I have updated my profile on the MTA website which by clicking the link to the side 'find me' you can have a look, it appears I have been there since 1999, has it been that long! Its a good site and great resource for those involved in the scene. There should also be the new AMI site available to view perhaps today so keep an eye out for that here.
I have also updated my own site which is now live and the various links are down the left hand column for the various pages. It offers the standard fare with outdoor courses but also has a page offering some webdesign and also video editing. Just have a browse for further details.
Camels used for crossing fast flowing rivers, China. Stephen Goodwin 

I thought I would add a couple of images from Dad as he was leading a group in the Chinese Himalaya in what looked to be a very remote section of mountains. He came back with a new river crossing technique using camels to cross rivers on but using a donkey named 'scout' to first head into the river and check the flow, if the donkey came back or was washed away then a new route was looked for. Always the donkey that gets it.

Now the autumn has arrived thoughts are turning towards the departure on the Big African Ride which starts at the end of October with lots of gear check with a constant eye on the FCO site for any political developments which seem to happen on an almost daily basis. Nothing to put me off as yet though. I shall be flying out from Glasgow with Alan Kimber who will be coming with me down to Aswan where I get the ferry into Sudan.

Total since April ! 
I haven't been out for many training rides although throughout the summer the speedo is suggesting that I have done nearly 3500 miles which I think should help prepare me. Reading lots of reports from the ride that others have taken start slow and build up as you go. To quote Don Whillans 'the training is done on the walk in'

For full details on the ride have a look at www.bigafricanride.moonfruit.com

Anyway I think I better post this before its all lost as the lights are flickering, some huge gusts are coming through and a large branch just hit the side of the house. Power cuts here are not that uncommon !

River crossing with the camels, China. Stephen Goodwin