Radio Saved me During Lockdown

This is an article I wrote a while ago describing how the comfort of radio helped me through a lonely lockdown.

The pandemic has helped loneliness mutate into a pandemic of its own. Isolating has become a normalised part of our lives; especially with the aftermath of the dreaded ping looming around all of us. We have become used to not seeing those we care about. Many have grown used to the loneliness that isolation brings. But is there an opportunity to ease this loneliness? We are surrounded by negativity. It can be overwhelming. Yet, it is so important to cling to any form of positivity we can. Sometimes this positive influence is hiding in places we may not think to look. 

I remember Christmas last year. All of my friends had gone home to their families yet I was unable to. I remember waking to a silence that filled the room and stuck. There was no “good morning” no one asking “how did you sleep?”- just quietness. Within those weeks I understood loneliness in a completely different way. My friends and family were out of reach, all I had was myself and my own thoughts: thoughts that became more and more negative as the time passed and I spent more time on my own. I have always been quite fond of my own company. After all, I have known myself since I was a little baby, so my assumption was that it would be okay. Yet I have found that the unattainable nature of companionship in lockdown turns your own company into something a bit more ominous. I have realised there is only so much of my own company I can handle. Yet, I soon discovered voices in a place where before there was only my own. In fact, I found a whole group of people who would speak to me throughout the day, sharing stories and music. I had discovered just how much I needed the radio.

Keeping active was intensely helpful when I spent most of my days stuck inside. Keeping physically fit helped keep me going through lockdown. Personally, I prefer to run with someone. Running with someone keeps me distracted, it takes away my tiredness. However, my running partner had gone home to her family, therefore, I had to find companionship through other means. I needed ways to make my one allowed outdoor exercise last more than ten minutes. Radio is where I landed, and it was a very smooth landing. Presenters became like friends who spoke to me every day. On my runs Greg James from Radio One talked to me and gave me something to focus on: he provided music that boosted my energy. The radio helped me through an activity that reduced my lockdown blues. His morning shows helped bring a smile to my face when positivity had been so hard to find.
After my runs, I had a day within the confines of my house awaiting me. Yet this seemed far less gloomy when I excitedly awaited the Radio Six presenters Shaun Keaveny at one, then Steve Lamacq at four. I couldn’t go out on the weekends, but I had Craig Charles’ ‘Funk and Soul Show’ to look forward to. I felt like part of a community. To quote one of the many songs I have discovered on the radio, “We’re isolated, but we’re connected because we are one”- this has been the experience of the radio for me. It helped me discover connection and contact when on the surface it seemed impossible.

The Protest of the 30,000 in Argentina

Whilst in Argentina we witnessed the protest for the 30,000 killed during a dictatorship in Argentina. I wanted to learn more of this important period in Argentinian history. These are my findings.

A deserted walk

My girlfriend and I were walking to the gym at around 9:30am. We noticed that no one was around. The streets looked deserted. In the centre of the second-largest city in Argentina, we only saw about 5 people during our 10-minute walk. When we reached the gym I asked the coach what was going on and he explained to me it was a day of remembrance. 

“For what?” I asked. 

“for the 30,000. On this day every year, we remember the people disappeared in, um, 1976 to… 1983, lots of people were disappeared from their houses, it was the same way as the, the, Como se dice en ingles, el Gestapo?”

I then reverted to Spanish saying “es lo Mismo en ingles”. This was a mistake, as he then spoke solely in Spanish, and my comprehension of Argentinian Spanish being as bad as it is, I learnt nothing more. 

I decided to do some more research into these protests. And make up for the block of missing information. Here is what I found out; 

Jorge Rafael Videla

What sparked this protest was a military dictatorship named the ‘national reorganisation process’ that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983. Led by lieutenant general Jorge Rafael Videla (and secretly backed by the US, as a tool to combat the left)  Argentinian armed forces seized power against Isabel Peron (the president at the time) in 1976, during a time of growing political instability. After this coup d’etat, all congress and democracy were suspended and the president and his ministers were elected by and from military personnel. This led to what the junta self-proclaimed as the ‘dirty war’ – named so as it was deemed necessary to use “different methods” (some of which we will view) to maintain social order and eradicate enemies of the state. 

The dirty war 

The dirty war was a period of state terrorism. Within this period people suspected of having association with; left-wing Peronism, socialism and communism, were killed. These killings occurred in a series of horrific ways. One of the coldest was a systematic technique of ‘Disappearing’ people – a technique initially used and justified by Hitler’s Night and Fog Decree, in which people endangering german security were to be arrested or spirited away under cover of “night and fog”. In this Argentinian period, people were kidnapped on the streets, in their homes or in their workplaces and became victims of enforced disappearance. It is believed that between 9,000 to 30,000 people, including babies, children and teens, were ‘killed’ during this period; the number being so vague due to the nature of state terrorism. 

The March of Mothers of Plaza de Mayo 

To keep the memory of this blood period alive many protests have formed, one of which being The March of Mother of Plaza de Mayo. The march takes place every Thursday at 3:30 and was initiated in 1977 when women began to organize protests to demand answers concerning their children, whose whereabouts were unknown. The largest protest is on the 24th – the day the military coup took place and the violent dictatorship began. Today mothers still protest to plea for information about the fates of their children. Another significant protest is the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, who protest to find their children, but also their children’s children too. 

The Protest in Cordoba

On the 24th of May, we experienced the Cordoba protest for the 30,000. A huge stage was erected in the centre of the city, on which a free concert took place. Throughout the night there was a fusion of music and speeches about the ongoing struggle to get justice for the 30,000 and the current political situation. A big, red wreath with the number 30,000 was on the stage. On a huge projector, were images of people protesting and images of those who had not been found. People spent the night dancing and singing in memory of those lost.  

As you may have read in a previous post of mine that Argentina is in a bad political and economic situation. Despite the danger of speaking against the government, the people did so passionately and powerfully. The desire and demand for justice was evident amongst all the people here. It was truly special to see and I feel honoured that I was able to witness it.

Bee Breakfast

A proposal I have for a restaurant.

I have a proposal for a restaurant theme. I wish to paint the experience I have in mind. 

You will enter the restaurant and sit down for breakfast. You will order a coffee with waffles and your girlfriend will order toast with chutney. You will sit and enjoy pleasant conversation, taking in the beauty of the place. There will be an open plan with comfy, colourful seats. Your food comes quickly and you begin to eat. The chutney is perhaps the favourite, however, one bee appears and sits in the chutney and as you try and swat it away another appears and sits in the chutney. You see the bees and being the horrible person you are you kill them as you really like the chutney. You think this solves the issue and your girlfriend beegins to eat her chutney on toast. But before you know it about 5 more bees appear and sit in your chutney. There is nothing you can do about the bees so, with great regret, you put the chutney on the table next to you. You will see a gathering of about 10 bees meet up and chow down on YOUR chutney. The bees still bug the hell out of you and are right in your face. They are the small annoying type that has no respect for personal space and can’t beehave.

You cram down your breakfast and coffee, as at this point all you want is for the bee stress to be over. After much swatting and cursing, you finish your breakfast. You remember that both you and your girlfriend are allergic to bees so you go pay at the bar to avoid any more bee time. You pay and as you leave, you will realise, the place is bee themed. It is a bar with a real beehive right next to it. The decor is all bee based. And there are pictures of bees everywhere. 

You will feel very conflicted. Firstly, you think why the hell would someone make a bee themed restaurant, and secondly, I’ve just killed two bees in a bee restaurant so I need to leave right now. As it goes, karma comes along the next day and you have clearly got stung by a bee and your finger looks like a sausage for three days. 

That is the experience I have in mind. I would like to know what you think about this. Please let me know in the comment section below.

Yanomami – ‘the fierce people’?

Originally posted on Mollys misadventures and travels ❤:
In 1983 a group of Brazilian gold miners invaded the protected area known as ‘Yanomami Park’ and murdered 16 Yanomami people, including a baby. This was declared by the court as genocide and 2 of the miners remain in jail today. Yanomami park is home to 27,000…

A really wonderful and informative piece about this tribe and their struggles.

Mollys misadventures and travels ❤

In 1983 a group of Brazilian gold miners invaded the protected area known as 'Yanomami Park' and murdered 16 Yanomami people, including a baby. This was declared by the court as genocide and 2 of the miners remain in jail today. 

Yanomami park is home to 27,000 Yonomami people. It also houses large levels of gold deposits. This has historically led to gold mining invasions, beginning in 1980 when 40,000 Brazilian gold-miners invaded Yanomami land (Amazon Region). Although titled as Yanomami park, the Yanomami people still don't have legitimate ownership of their land. Resultantly, Yanomami people have joined organizations to fight for their rights. But with soaring gold prices and limited state protection this resistance comes to no avail. 

“Our land is our heritage”

Shaman Davi Kopenawa Yanomami

International support is necessary. The government needs to recognize the land ownership rights of the Yanomami and implement tougher sanctions against gold…

View original post 979 more words

How to get to Belize on a budget — Inside Out With Rahul Yuvi

I recently wrote an article about travelling to Belize for Raul Yuvi’s Blog. Go check it out!

We were advised by my girlfriend’s university that to extend our tourist visas, all we need to do is exit the country and then re-enter… simple. We chose Belize. Belize is a Caribbean country just outside of Mexico.

How to get to Belize on a budget — Inside Out With Rahul Yuvi

Confusion

Sometimes, as someone learning a new language, you find yourself in confusing situations. Here is an example.

We walked down the stairs of our small apartment. Through the glass door on the bottom floor, we saw an old lady with a trolley. She looked sweet. We walked through the door and greeted the lady with Hola’s and a Buenos Dias. She turned towards us and began to speak. I was surprised. It was a torrent of fast, mask-muffled Spanish. As she spoke her voice went up and up and up. Harsher and harsher. She kept speaking and by the end, I had translated a grand total of 0 words. Before we had a chance to answer her, she huffed and turned away. In her mind, she had cleared up her issue. I looked at Molly, hoping she would have understood.

“did you get any of that?”

“not a word, I heard something about sitting but that doesn’t make much sense”

“Why was she so angry?”

“No idea”

We turned to walk into the street and saw she was going in the same direction we wanted to go.

We decided to go somewhere else.

To Mask Or Not To Mask?

I initially wrote this for my university’s newspaper when covid rules were about to be scrapped in the UK. It is a study into mask wearing and gender. It is now just under a year since then and I thought it would be interesting to be able to look back and consider – where are we now?

Initially published on 20th of July 2021

After the recent government announcement, the question on everyone’s mind is: to mask or not to mask? We will soon see a palpable divide between those that continue to don the mask, and those who choose to toss it. 

Statistically, gender plays into this divide. A recent poll showed that 73% of women will continue to wear the mask whilst it is recommended by health experts, while only 63% of men said the same. 

Perhaps the issue of mask-wearing opens the curtain to another prevalent issue, which is the construction of masculinity. It is argued that social media has increased the pressure of ‘toxic masculinity’ on men. The 24/7 nature of social media means the mask of ‘toxic masculinity must stay on. There is no escape from seeing others portray themselves as tough and masculine, and subsequently, no escape from portraying yourself in the same way. 

The wearing of a mask is seen by many as submissive. It goes against the masculine connotations of taking risks and presenting yourself in a tough way. The mask has been referred to as “shameful” or as a “sign of weakness”, which I have seen displayed in abundance in my hometown of Colchester. The wearing of the mask for many men is already seen as emasculating, even while it is mandatory, therefore, once masks become optional, the act of wearing one will be politicized. It seems as though for many the label placed upon it will be one of weakness and femininity. These labels have already been seen in countries where the wearing of a mask is optional.

The problem with this macho attitude is not merely going to affect the perpetrator. Currently, Britain still has one of the highest infection rates. A large-scale loss of the mask will increase infections significantly. Perhaps this issue shines a light on the danger of our current construction of masculinity and illustrates the universal dangers it can create. Statistical trends suggest we will see a large wave of men discarding the mask, despite men being more vulnerable to the virus. The paradoxical nature of this drives home the lack of sense behind this side of masculinity. It surveys that change needs to happen. And finally, it should make us consider – what are the true reasons some of us choose not to wear the mask?

The Clash of Cultures in Corozal

Within the Caribbean country of Belize there is a very striking disparity between the Chinese community and the Belizean. What are the reasons for this? And how did it originate?

The Hotel

On a recent getaway, we travelled to Belize. Belize is a Caribbean country just outside of Mexico and is a former English colony (the notes still show the queen’s face). It has the lowest population in Central America and to my great excitement – having spent six months in Mexico where I am still learning the language – the primary language is English. 

We packed our bags and after a long journey, we made it to Belize. 

We checked in and a Chinese man with the name tag Henry was at the desk, watching something in Chinese on his phone. We said hello to him and he greeted us with a big smile. We said we have a reservation and he looked quite confused, saying nothing but “HUH”?. After about 10 minutes of more Huh’s and Molly pointing to our name on his computer screen, Molly managed to sort out our room. Over the next 6 days, it was very evident Henry had next to no English or Spanish. On one occasion I asked for a bowl and after I made an array of bowl gestures he said “AHH” and returned with a plate, and then after some more gestures a metal dog bowl. Knowing I still had to ask for a spoon I settled with the dog bowl, and after Henry brought a fork, then a knife, I finally got in luck with a tiny plastic spoon. I soon discovered that a dog bowl makes for a very strange tasting cereal.

The Community 

I thought it was quite strange that the owner of a hotel in an English and Spanish speaking country (whose tourists are predominantly American, Canadian and European) could only speak Chinese. I decided to research and some interesting information surfaced. The Chinese and Taiwanese community within Belize make-up 0.7% of the population, totalling 1.,716 people, of whom 1,607 speak Chinese as their first language. This community initially arrived due to the British migrating the Chinese into Belize (referred to as British Honduras at the time by the colonials) as indentured servants working in the sugarcane plantations. They were subject to horrific conditions, and of the 474 workers initially sent, within four years only 211 remained accounted for, many committing suicide or fleeing to native groups. The Chinese have been migrating constantly ever since. Whilst in Belize, every corner shop, pharmacy and about three-quarters of the restaurants we saw were owned by the Chinese and Taiwanese. This is due to a number of factors. In the late 20th century there were lots of citizenship by investment programmes in which applicants had to invest a certain amount of money ( $50,000 USD) to attain citizenship. This resulted in lots of people arriving in Belize with the economic agency, as well as a higher level of education, meaning quite soon the businesses shifted towards the Chinese and Taiwanese. There continue to be good relationships between Taiwan and Belize today, therefore, there have been more citizenship programmes bringing Taiwanese business owners and today the Chinese and Taiwanese control most of the economy in Belize. There are some other historic events that caused a big wave of Chinese immigrants, with a couple of examples being the caste war and the Torreon Massacre

The divide

There is a huge social gap within the Chinese and Belizian community, and as tourists, we were in quite an interesting middle ground. We were shocked that we only encountered one Asian shop owner who seemed to be able to speak only some English which led to many occasions where I had to mime products, such as lathering my arms and gesturing towards the sun to ask for sun cream…they did not have it, so my game of charades was for nothing. I saw no interaction between the owners and the community, with quite a big example being the meet up on a Sunday, where the whole community meet by the ocean to swim, barbeque and drink, yet there was not a single Chinese face. We had a very interesting conversation with a group of Belizians who told us that they really want to be able to speak Chinese, but the Chinese community refused to teach them and that they only stock their stores (the only stores available) with Chinese products that the Belizians don’t particularly like. There was a clear animosity within their voices. On the other hand, there did seem to be a lot of racism and discrimination towards the Chinese community. We noticed a lot of spray paint outside all of the stores. We saw no Chinese people on the streets, and on the one occasion where we saw a Chinese woman riding her bike, she looked extremely uncomfortable and was extremely fast, scanning every direction skittishly.

The End 

Though six says is not close to enough time to fully understand these relations, it seems like there is a very complex racial and economic divide between these two groups; one that goes back centuries. It is hard to say how this issue can be resolved when it is so ingrained within the people and the economic structure. 

If you want to hear a more laid back blog about our adventures in Belize then leave a comment!

Climbing Pico De Orizaba

This is a tale of the greatness… and the stupidity, of our climb up the highest peak in Mexico.

“You guys are not wearing the correct gear for this” 

Shivering, unable to feel my fingers, feet, nor face, I say. 

“Well, will we be able to gget up? Like, is it ssafe for us to go up because I am rreally fucking cold!?”

“Okay, let’s go” 

And the snowy ascent began. 

The Biggest Climb of My Life

At the start of writing this, I am unsure how it will come across. It may become an epic tale of my girlfriend and I adventuring up the highest peak in Mexico, or, it may come across as a hands-on guide on what NOT to do when climbing the highest peak in Mexico. If you read on, I leave it to you, the reader, to decide what this post is. 

Pico De Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba is the highest mountain in Mexico and the third highest in North America. It is a dormant volcano (at least I hope so) and is the highest volcanic summit in North America. It reaches 5,636 metres above sea level and has the largest glacier in Mexico. Or in other words, it is big and scary and who would possibly want to climb that? Well, the answer to that question is my girlfriend and I. We had recently conquered the volcano Malinche with Molly’s parents (an act we would have been immensely proud of, had we not gruellingly reached the top, hiking sticks in hand, only to be greeted by a young woman who went up IN SOCKS and was wearing a ‘wildly’ (no pun intended) impractical leopard print jacket. Not to mention the guy that had carried his pet beagle the whole way on his shoulders). Despite the embarrassment, it was clear we both wanted to seek another adventure of this kind and in response, Molly’s parents very kindly gifted Molly the classic 21st birthday gift of a guided tour up the highest peak in Mexico. We were thrilled. 

Preparation

We found our guide and looked at the guidelines to see what we needed to take. It read :

Spare change of clothes 

Headlight 

Sleeping bag 

And that was it. 

We began our search. We figured that we needed to get some more layers, however, hiking clothes in Mexico were limited to ‘North Face’ which was far too expensive, so we went to the next best place – Walmart. Here we found said sleeping bag, headtorch and a few extra jackets to layer upon. We were all set, feeling very accomplished and prepared, as though we may even be too warm going up pico. Unsurprisingly, this turned out to be far from the truth. 

Mexico city 

For the journey, we had to meet our guide in Mexico City and then travel to the base at pico. We stayed in a hotel that night. We were immediately worried about our choice as a poster at the entrance of the hotel surveyed, first and foremost, the prices of staying in the hotel for 2 hours, then 3 and then 5. Our preconceptions of the hotel were not wrong and for the entire night, we were serenaded with distant sounds of moans and groans. I achieved very little sleep – for a very different reason than our fellow guests. 

After a lovely stay in a lovely hotel, we awoke and met with our guide. He seemed sweet and very impressed by the lightness of our bags, exclaiming “wow, you guys pack light” – a comment I was proud of at the time. We then made our way to the basecamp of pico. 

Base camp 

The drive to the basecamp was bumpy, rocky, steep and very dangerous. It was about a 35-minute drive going straight up, over some of the worst roads I have ever seen. Running water had caused huge slits in many of the sections and the terrain switched from mud to desert, to ice in brief intervals. It was breathtaking. The flatness that lay behind us became further and further away as we continued venturing up. It felt as though we were journeying to a new planet; in a very shabby spaceship. 

The base camp was a little red barn on a flat piece of the mountain. The front of the cabin looked over expansive valleys in the mountain and behind it lay the overarching peak. The cabin had a section for tables and a section for beds, which were just layers of wooden planks where you could put your sleeping bags. There were no toilets so we had to go behind a big rock; which turned out to be everyone else’s idea so it was not particularly pleasant. This part would be my biggest criticism of the camp. There was nowhere to put toilet paper or rubbish so people just left it on the mountain. All around the campsite rubbish could be seen.

The night before

To go up Pico at a safe time, you must begin the ascent at about 12am. This means that, although the ice is still very evident on the way up, it will begin to thaw on the way down and you are able to safely reach the bottom before the sun goes back down. Therefore, we had to go to sleep at around 5-6pm. The cabin was ice cold, and our sleeping bags proved to not be sufficient in the slightest to keep us warm. Due to the altitude my breathing that night “sounded like a hoover ” so Molly was faced with the difficult decision to sleep next to a henry hoover for warmth, or be cold but peaceful.

The climb 

We woke at 12am and after a brief breakfast of peanut butter on toast, we began our climb. What struck us first was the brightness of the stars and moon. The surroundings took on a grey tint, and in the distance, the glacier was bright white- smirking down at all of us. During the initial stages, Molly and I felt really strong. We powered past the other climbers and could see their head-torches in the distance. The rocky terrain proved difficult with the ice and we had to be careful to sustain our footing. We took only two or three breaks during the initial section which was known as the labyrinth because it was so rocky and maze-like. During our breaks, we looked at the surroundings and were amazed by the scale of what was around us. The coldness was very manageable at this point and I had to unzip my coat to ensure I did not sweat. However, as we gained more ground and the looming glacier became ever closer, the wind began to increase in both coldness and intensity. My hands began to numb and I began to shake. I zipped my coat back up. 

The rockiness began to disperse as we got higher, and all signs of all wildlife were gone. Before us was nothing more than a few more rocks, then the glacier. We walked through the last section before the summit. While sheltered by the rocks the wind felt cold but manageable, however, as we walked past the final shelter we were struck by a torrent of wind. As it struck, all the feeling in my face left and I could not stop shaking. It was so strong that it rocked us back and forth as we made our way to the base of the glacier. 

At the base of the glacier, we had to stop to don our crampons. The stop made me really question whether or not this was actually safe for molly and me. Looking at Molly and seeing the way her body was shaking I knew I was not the only one regretting our choices of clothing. Filled with images of my large nose (an easy target to the cold) and my fingers falling off, I asked “wwill we be able to do this?” to which the guide said, “You guys are not wearing the correct gear for this”. Shivering, unable to feel my fingers, feet, or face, I said. “Well, will we be able to gget up? Like, is it ssafe for us to go up because I am rreally fucking cold!?”. Then after a brief pause and the final snap of my crampon, our guide said “Okay, let’s go”. And the snowy ascent began. 

The Glacier 

Head down, all feeling gone, we started walking. I can easily say – as a boy from Suffolk who had been up one mountain in his life – that this was the hardest thing I have ever done. The glacier, though foreboding at a distance, was terrifying up close. Though still dark the glacier shone bright and looking up, all that could be seen was a steep abyss. We pushed our crampons into the ground and began waking up. Being the first climbers of the day to reach this point there was no clear footpath and the ground held a layer of soft snow, meaning we had to be really steady to keep our feet stable and not fall (a fall, in our lack of proper kit, in my head at the time, would have resulted in us freezing immediately). On the way up my toes began to hurt more and my nose was running under my face mask, which quickly froze, meaning I had to swap it around frequently, exposing my face (nose included) to the cold. Roughly 35 minutes in, the thought of us reaching the top became a distant dream, yet the thought of going down was just as intimidating. I felt dangerously cold, my trouser leg had become slightly exposed due to a slip and my legs began to shiver too. In my head, I was in a life or death situation, (in hindsight a little bit dramatic) and the only option was to complete the goal and reach the summit – whether or not I lose some fingers or toes. This sounds very heroic, and would have been, were I not to have been grunting and shouting and making every noise under the sun – noises reminiscent of our hotel guests in Mexico City, but again, for a very different reason. 

The peak 

We marched, and we seemed to be getting close – we must be close. I shouted to Molly, who then shouted to Ricky, how much more and he said about 30 minutes. This was either a lie, or those were the longest thirty minutes of my life. The higher we climbed, the more intense the wind became, the thicker the snow and ice. However, we were nearly there. I could see the peak. This was the windiest part of the walk and my whole body was numb. We marched, kept our heads down, and we made it to the top. The peak had a metal cross that held many flags and ribbons from previous climbers. It was unbelievably cold as we now had the wind blowing from every direction. 

I have always assumed that the top of the mountain is the point at which you feel completely accomplished, and makes all the pain and difficulty worth it, however, I did not experience it at that point. I felt amazed; Molly said “we are the highest people in Mexico right now” (minus planes, that is cheating) and it was an incredible thought, but it did not hit me until later. The sky was black, yet a bit of blue was starting to emerge. The other distant peaks were beginning to show. This was the most incredible thing I had ever done, yet I felt quite displaced as if I was not actually there.

The Way down

We took a very bad quality picture of Molly and me at the top and made our way down. 

The altitude sickness only started to kick in on the way down and despite cramming down bar after bar, and drinking Powerade by the bucketload, my head began to feel very light and I had to be very careful to sustain my footing. The sun came out on the way down and the views were breathtaking – yet I still had the feeling of separation I had at the top, in fact, it was intensified due to the lightness of my head. We walked down the same way we came up. Whilst going up it was one step forwards two steps back, on the way down it was 1 step forwards two more steps forward. It felt like we were skating down, past the other climbers going upwards whom I did not envy. As we got further and further down the coldness subsided and I started to regain some feeling.

After we finally got to the bottom we rested by the camp. We had just climbed the highest peak in Mexico, and finally, it started to sink in a little bit. We were exhausted, my feet were bleeding, Molly couldn’t feel one of her fingers, however, the overwhelming feeling was of pride. We had just pushed our bodies further than we had ever done before and I can genuinely say it felt worth it. 

The Conclusion

I would say that the top was one of the highlights of the experience, but it was not the highlight. I loved the experience of planning and being excited about the trip, I loved the journey to base camp, I loved the process of getting up, I loved the feeling of being on another planet, I LOVED the feeling of getting to the bottom and I loved having a Chinese and a few beers that night in Mexico City to celebrate. It was the process that was incredible and the knowledge that; if we can do this, we can do so much more. 

So… the moral of the story is;  you are probably capable of far more than you think possible – and wear the right fucking kit.

Has anyone experienced any climbs in which they have felt completely unprepared? I am asking both out of interest and to make myself feel better.

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