Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Brief catch up, Middle East, Africa and Australia......

Miguel on the lead climbing in the Stardust area United Arab Emirates 
Adrift, sea kayaking in Omani waters of the Musundam Peninsula 

A catch up blog seems quite tricky when left for over a year but hopefully this post should act as a catch up for an eventful few months which has taken me from Kenya to the Gulfs UAE and Oman back to Kenya and onto the Australia’s Western Cape and back home to Nanyuki Kenya, all in a short space of time. Rolled into that was ten days on Mt Kenya which gave me some good time to reflect on recent times. The best times in my career for life contemplating moments have happened under a fly sheet cocooned in a warm sleeping bag with the following days clothes in a stuff sack for a pillow. 

Camping in Haffa bay, Oman 
A few months in the UAE and Oman have passed since the last post making it a second round in the area and a chance to explore some more of the area. The highlight being a sea kayak journey along the stunning Omani Musandam coastline. A very wild and rugged coastline running from Khasab to Dibba Oman a town which is split between the UAE and Oman. Various inlets and beaches give for great camp spots. 
From the UAE it was a return to Kenya o which Nanyuki now feels very much like home. Returning it always takes a moment to adjust from the heat of the Middle East to Kenya’s turning seasons to winter which always feels chilly at first.
 Its been busy so far this season with various groups from Schools to Military passing through. 
Working one day in the forest though looking at a new climbing area my whatsapp pinged with a message from the director Nick requesting some help with a trip we where running in Western Australia, great I thought. 
A day later it was off to the airport via the troubled Quatar to Perth. Australia had always slipped me by but I had always been keen to visit Australia. 

Sunset from Gracetown Western Australia 

A giant Jared tree in Western Australia 

Landing in Perth the first thing which struck me was how cold it was, expecting Australia to be shorts and t shirts was certainly not the case the winter in Western Australia is akin to a Cumbrian Autumn. I headed across town to Cottleshue a suburb of the sprawling Perth. A great area right on the coast and waking in the morning found it bustling with surfers, bikers and runners all along the stretch of coast in front of the house. After some kit sorting the pick up was loaded and we headed out to the Western Cape home to the Cape to Cape trek. A stunning coastal walk from the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse to the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse covering I35 kms of coastal scenery. We had a group arriving from Singapore who where there to cover the trek over the eight days recommended for it. I had a reccie along the first sections of the trek. Its a pristine bit of coastline and one which was very popular with surfers with numerous named breaks all along the coast. I haven’t seen waves come in in such perfect shapes and consistant fashion, they also looked big to me, a place where you would need to know what you where doing and have a greater understanding of the ocean. 

Starting out on the Cape to Cape in Western Australia 
The group arrived late at night and I spent a few days with them at the start where we checked they would have the skills to complete the journey with minimal supervision before Nick continued with the trip and I flew back to Kenya to meet another group  heading up the mountain. They continued and made it to the end. 
Although a short trip to Australia it was enough to spark the interest to get back and see much more of the country. 
After a long flight it was back to Kenya and straight home to pack for the mountain with our regular Peponi school trip which went well. No sooner than I was down I was back up again this time with a Singapore school, we had a good trip despite some pretty snowy and icy summit conditions. 

Although brief thats roughly the last year in a few paragraphs. At the moment its busy with various programes going through so more in time............. 

Surfers off the Western Cape Australia 

Miguel bouldering in the Jebel Jais area, United Arab Emirates