It’s surprising how lazy I become on updating this blog when I’m living in the UK… I guess when working full time I don’t think there is anything worth reporting!

So here is a summary of 2014!

 

Shropshire Mud Run (10KM)

My first 10km run and it was freezing cold, extremely muddy, we were chest height in a swamp for 2+ km! Good fun though!

London to Brighton Cycle – On Road

83.6km (+ 20km getting to/from the start line) over 4:40minutes

45 minutes stuck at the 22 mile mark due to accident on the road – Rest was mostly smooth sailing :)

CX tyres didn’t get delivered in time so I was on full knobblies on my MTB.

Holi Festival

Big party in London. Intoxication, paint and music… you guess the rest.

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Tough Mudder – Midlands

12 miles, 24 obstacles, 4ish hours? GREAT FUN!

 

London to Brighton Cycle – Off Road

This was HARD. Hardest thing I’ve ever done and I’m not sure I would be happy doing it again.

120km + 15km getting to/from start line over 9hours 40minutes (6 hours 30 minutes in the saddle) off-road where even when flat you could feel the mud dragging you down. Few points on the journey I wanted to just stop and give up but kept pushing.

Huge thanks to Mike & Rich that helped me through!

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Foreign Travel….

I did manage a long weekend in Milan & Rome and a week in Barcelona. Milan I don’t think I would go back to but I absolutely LOVED both Rome & Barcelona!

 

So that’s it. A quick summary of 2014! This year I have a few things planned:

Snowboming.com next week!
A couple 10km mud runs in April
Tough Mudder again in May
and then summer is upon us!

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Long weekend in Scotland. High winds, random snow storms, LOADS of snow and a smidge of sunshine!

Costs:
Flights £80 return (+ £40 for me to take Board).
Accom £25 a night inc full breakfast.
Car Rental & Fuel £50 each.
Lift Pass £20 a day.

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Wow Scotland is an extremely pretty place. The drive from Glasgow to Glencoe area was dark and blizzardy but didn’t give us any problems and then B&B we sayed in (Fern Villa) was very nice.

Day one: Both local resorts were closed due to 80+ mph winds so we went for a nice 2 hour drive to Cairngorm which had half the mountain open and only 60 mph winds!

 

Day two & three: Over at Glencoe. Half the mountain open and plenty of snow – Photo’s below!

 

Got LOADS of GoPro footage to go through before making some sort of video… watch this space!

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Jump for joy!

I’ve moved to a new WordPress blog with a shiny new travel based theme! All the old posts have been ported over and some of the formatting is a bit messed up but to be honest I’m not that fussed… It’s all about the future!

Coming up this year:

March – Snowboarding in Scotland
April – Easter weekend parties and 10k Mud Run
May – BIRTHDAYS!!!
June – London to Brighton Cycle
July – TOUGH MUDDER!
August – Festival Season!
Sept – London to Brighton Off-Road Cycle
… More to be booked!

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Well as some of you know I’ve gone and done something silly… Signed up to Tough Mudder on the 12th July 2014.

Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, over 1 million participants, and more than $6 million raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world. 

The team has been formed!

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The training has started!

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Now to ask you guys for some donations! Tough Mudder is all about raising money for Help for Heroes and while I would love you guys & gals to donate out of the goodness of your own heart I’m going to throw some crazy incentives out there to watch me suffer even more!

Fundraising Goals:

£100 – I will (attempt) to have an epic (most likely terrible) handlebar moustache for the event.
£200 – MOHAWK! I will visit the on site mohawk station and get shaved!
£350 – Legs (below knee) waxed
… More to come as I think of stuff and everything will be filmed for your entertainment.

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Just a quick post to fill in the gaps before starting afresh!

After coming back from all that fun in the sun over in Miami & Roatan I landed a IT contract for Deloitte in Birmingham for a few months. This got me enough money to shoot off to Canada on a 1 year working via in Sept 2013.

I spent the best part of 2.5 months in Toronto having fun & looking for work before landing a job as a Lift Operator at Blue Mountain, a ski resort in north Ontario… Summary: Good people, shit job, cold, no money, free ski pass, learnt to ski / snowboard.

In March 2013 I got offered an IT contract back at Eisai for 6+ months. Took it and here I am today.

 

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This is an old draft that never got published but basically sums up my time between Oct 2011 and March 2012 when I was in Roatan doing my PADI DM & OSWI courses!

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Sorry for not updating during my last stint out of the country… I don’t really have any excuses other than I never got round to it and with ‘working’ / diving 6 days a week it wasn’t highest on my priority list.

October

Location: Miami, USA
Accommodation: Hostel – Miami Beach International Travellers Hostel

  • $17 a night with free breakfast, lunch & dinner (basic but free!)
  • One block from the beach.
  • Party night every night with free/cheap drink and cheap entry to night clubs.
  • Damn good people!

Highlights: Ozzie Bar, Nikki Beach, Awesome Cuban sandwich’s!, HALLOWEEN!

 

November

Location: Roatan, Honduras
Accommodation: Intern House! <PHOTOS!>

  • 11 Bed / 5 Rooms house with a few issues, no windows, broken floorboards, pet cat that hates people and bats… I loved it.

Summary: I started my PADI Divemaster internship with Subway Watersports (6-8 week program to go from Advanced Open Water to Divemaster) which basically entailed working in the store 6 days a week, hauling tanks, helping guests and getting my dive numbers up while also doing my own training for Rescue Diver and Divemaster.

Highlights: Obviously the diving & fellow interns however we also had some amazing guests during our first month… An awesome couple who invited the whole team round to their rented house and cooked a massive Thanksgiving turkey dinner and also Eugene who joined us for a big party night in town and must of spent a small fortune keeping drinks in our hands for the entire night.

 

December

Location: Roatan. Honduras
Accommodation: Still at Intern House

Summary: Me and my dive buddy Mark finished our DM and both started working for the store the next day. Our days now involved either taking customers (mainly cruise shippers) diving, snorkelling trips, kayaking (while trying to come up with something to point out when there was nothing to see) or helping out with the interns.

Highlights: Passing all the required stuff for DM, starting work, Christmas (Thanks to the bosses Kim & Ed for putting on traditional English/Canadian spread) and New Years (drinking games, midnight skinny dipping in the ocean, hijacking local resort & still going at 7am)

 

January

Location: Roatan, Honduras & Miami, USA
Accommodation: Intern House > Miami Hostel > New House!

Summary: Beginning of the month involved more of the same from month before however I had now decided I wanted to continue my diving education and work towards my PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor cert so I would be able to teach people to dive! woo!

I had to leave Honduras mid Jan to go on a visa run (tourist visa is only 3 months) so I decided to pop back to Miami for a couple weeks and use the opportunity to buy myself a full set of scuba gear from the states. Also got given a long list of things to buy from everyone at work as the selection on Roatan is a tad limited and quite pricey.

Sooooo 2 weeks in Miami doing more of the same from last time (party, sleep, beach, repeat) but also some shopping and relaxing.

Once I was back in Roatan I moved in with Mark into a house just down the road from the Intern House… it was nice having my own room and some space/quite to study in for the PADI OWSI which involves a lot more theory than DM did… Check out the photos <here>

At the end of the month I had a diving accident. 2 standard dives (1x 70ft Max 40min – 1hr Surface – 1x 55ft Max 45min) with 2 guests and another DM leading. Nothing strange about the dive, no fast accent or anything yet soon as I was back on the boat I was very dizzy & I couldn’t move my right arm or leg.

Summary of what happened: Put on O2, driven to local medical/chamber, 4 hours on O2, some random checks, no time in chamber, told I may have a hole in my heart (PFO – patent foramen ovale), had to fly to the mainland next day to get an ultrasound of my heart, put to sleep, tube down throat, woken up, told all OK, fly back to Roatan, back to work!

 

February

Location: Roatan, Honduras
Accommodation: House in Birck Bay

Summary: Stopped working now that I’m starting my OSWI with an awesome course director from Hawaii (Tim Palmer) – Lots of work, lots of theory, lots of training…. Good fun though!

An examiner came down from PADI USA to Roatan to test the groups from 4-5 of the shops on the island. It was a 2 day exam consisting of Confined Water, Open Water and class room demonstrations & teaching and also written exams…. quite nerve racking as if you failed you couldn’t retest until the examiner came back next month.

Everyone passed with flying colours and then big party afterwards!

 

March

Location: Roatan > Miami > Home
Accommodation: House in Brick Bay > Airports > Home!

Summary: After completing OSWI we continued to work towards Master Scuba Diver Trainer with our course director Tim. Again it was a lot of work as we were limited on time but overall good fun!

But alas it was time to head home… only problem was that the only cheap way I found was extremely long.

Sat 6am: Ferry from Roatan to Honduras mainland
Sat 10am: Coach from La Cebia to San Pedro Sula
Sat 4pm: Arrived at San Pedro Sula Airport… Time to get comfortable…
Sun 9am: Flight from San Pedro to Miami
Sun 1pm: Arrived at Miami International Airport
Sun 4pm: Flight from Miami to Dusseldorf, Germany.
Mon 7am: Arrived at Dusseldorf.
Mon 9:30am: Flight from Dusseldorf to London
Mon 10am: Arrived at London Gatwick Airport
Mon 12pm: Bus from London Gatwick to Birmingham
Mon 4pm: Train from Birmingham to Shrewsbury
Mon 6pm: Home, sweet, lovely, omg where is my bed, Home!

Wow its been what? 2.5 years since I’ve posted here… I’ve also found some unpublished drafts from the last bit of time so I’ll throw those up and then set a “Let’s start again!” post after them for future plans!

Rough draft: at work so no spell checking or pictures, will sort things out later. I also really shouldn’t of left this so long, it’s been a couple months now and I can’t really recall the order of things.

I will start by saying I failed… well I didn’t actually fail because I was never offically trying and you know what they say, don’t try can’t fail. What I’m talking about is the whole no flying thing. When I was in HCMC I noticed that I was rapidly running out of money and still had to get all the way down to KL for my flight home… the plan of bumming around Thailand for a month until the full moon party just wasn’t going to happen, in fact at this point I wasn’t even sure I could make it to KL and survive until the time of the flight.

The plan was to join the guys on a bus into Cambodia and then go across into Thailand and bangkok before heading down to the Islands… this was about the same price as a flight from HCMC to Bangkok but with the added cost of the Visa and the few extra days it would take it just didn’t look feasible with my remaining assets so I jumped on a plane to Bangkok and skipped Cambodia completly… not the end of the world as I do plan to go back as I missed out of Laos anyway.

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Nha Trang

Now up to 7 of us in the group (Jess, Rach, Izzy, Matt, Andrew, Julia & Myself) we hit the more backpackery / party town of Nha Trang just in time for the full moon party!

Start with the standard stuff: The hostel was alright, at first it was annoying as we booked in as 5 people but they split us into different rooms (different floors actually) but in the end wasn’t all bad. Me and Rach got a 4 bed room and a new room-mate who we adopted… Dickie!

So here’s what we got up in during our week(?) there.

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Hue

Well we didn’t actually do anything in Hue. Actually apart from going round the corner to confirm our onward bus tickets I didn’t leave the street the hostel was on. None of us felt that great and the only thing we could think of was the food we had when we were at the DMZ… it didn’t immobilize just increase laziness.

The bar at the hostel (Hue Backpackers) was a brilliant place. Food wasn’t bad and drinks were great. From 5-6pm was unlimited free beer (you just had to finish a bottle before being given another) and then happy hour was soon after.

On the first night there the barman was giving free shots to everyone every time the Roosters (Australian rugby league) scored… they won against the Panthers 34/12 – Everyone was pretty drunk before 10.

Here we met Matt and bumped into Andrew & Julia again… seems they are a few days behind us.

Hoi An

600+ tailors in this town and it shows. Continue reading