“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

packing and prep...

Ok so I didn't warm to the whole nappy trial, but they have still earned a spot in the back pack as they did indeed worked as advertised - it was just an incredibly weird feeling. Plan B, The She-Wee, is having a bit more success and also earns its place in the pack (particularly now I have mastered it one-handed!).
Have had some responses from the hotel too; apparently wifi is indeed in place despite their intermittent website saying "none present" so I imagine it's not that reliable. The hot tub is €7 an hour for 3 people - although in the temperatures they are experiencing right now in the mountains, I'm not sure I will be brave enough to try it anyway. Guess it depends how rank the water is compared to how rank I am.
The camera gear is packed and ready to rock, the clothes are needing a rethink on account of the 4 degree temperature shock - these bears better show up! - I have also managed to borrow an awesome Hero4 GoPro to have some fun with. Started the shoot plan, but it's a little weak at the minute - turns out not that many people have experienced this kind of trip yet - or else they are not up for sharing their shots with the world yet. Starting to get quite excited. Bucharest does not interest me too much, but I hear it has an interesting old town. We are spending the final weekend in the capital at a small hotel which is owned by a work colleagues cousin from Israel, called The Liad. I intend to spend the weekend sipping wine from the roof terrace bar which I hope won't be too chilly by the time we get there.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

less than a fortnight to go!

Ok so it's time to get prepared for the next trip.... Brown Bears!!!!!!!
Got the final paperwork today from Sakertours... bit concerned with the following advice...

"In the hide is no toilet but if you need you can use water bottles you just need to ask from your guide."

I thought perhaps I would take my She-Wee, but to be honest there's peeing in a funnel into the bush and then there's peeing into a funnel in a confined space with two males, one of which is a complete stranger. So I have opted to try out a new solution.... the adult nappy, and ordered myself some to try out ahead of the trip... I'm intrigued to know if the "maxi" really does hold 3370ml as advertised... how much is the average pee anyway? Google tells me the bladder feels full on 300ml, so in theory I can pee ten times into this thing... I can't imagine what that's going to feel like, let alone smell like! Which brings me to the second piece of advice....

"Please do not put perfumes or smelly creams/cosmetics on you before you entering to the hide."

Bang goes the mossie cream then. Let's hope at 1500m above sea level the mossie's are not the problem on the Hargita Mountain.

The hotel looks good, 3 stars, with en-suite bathroom and on-site restaurant so should be plenty comfortable. Advertises a dartboard too so I'm sure we will find a suitable pastime to entertain ourselves with.
Our guide is a local birder and amateur photographer who apparently speaks very good English - so at the moment I am feeling fairly relaxed about the whole thing. My travelling partner, Keith, however is having a challenging month, what with foot trouble and now lens trouble I bet he's wishing he'd got himself a Nikon. :-)