Three Butterfish

December 24, 2016

The day started around 2 or 3. I usually check the time when I wake but didn’t do so on this occasion. The hut is warm. Too warm and I am lying on my sleeping bag in a sweat. The boys and girls around me are sharing snoring duties. As one stops another starts, the baton handed back and forth as sleepers shift and stir. I am sure I was contributing to the chorus. In my half sleepy state the atmosphere is surreal. The hut is bathed in LED white light, reflected in off the water and beaming from the moon. Read more

Ricky Baker

July 19, 2016

IMG_0248Machu Picchu Diary

Friday 1 July 2016

1337 hours and the aircraft frame vibrates and shudders as the undercarriage, not designed to be aerodynamic in any way thrashes through the air below us. As the undercart is cleaned up over Botany Bay everything settles down and the slightly alarmed look on Kavitha’s face vanishes. We have been delayed an hour due to congestion at Sydney airport, a delay that only reinforces my impression that this piece of infrastructure is a serious embarrassment. Anyone in denial over Badgeries Creek has not repeatedly been inconvenienced by this third world airport of ours. Anyway, I am assured our flight will make up time over the Pacific and that our already tight window to make the connection through to Lima will not be further constricted. “Relax” the assured cabin attendant tells me. “We know who has tight connections on this flight”. His multitude of boy scout like buttons and badges twinkle in the sunlight thrown into the cabin by the low Sydney winter sun.  I know he is just assuring me in order to get me to my seat but there is little else I can do or say. Read more

Prelude to Machu Picchu

June 29, 2016

summit (3)For reasons that elude me now I failed to post my Kilimanjaro diary when we ascended that mound in 2014. As my thoughts now turn to the Salkantay Track and our walk up that path to Machu Picchu I dug out my diary/log from our previous expedition. My final entry is an interesting prelude to our next major adventure. 

23rd December 2014

On QF566 and an hour out from Sydney. And so it ends. I have done the last head count and with it the cares of the trip drop away. It has mostly gone as planned though the unexpected cost of tipping porters is a disappointment as were the additional costs here and there which I had attempted to cover in the planning. Everyone seems to have accepted these surprises with good grace but I am keenly feeling them as planning failures. I console myself with the fact that I have taken 15 trekkers to the top of one of the worlds deadliest mountains (more ‘climbers’ die here than anywhere else) and back without mishap. Read more