This Thursday (the 1st September) I'll be giving a talk at the fantastic Tollymore National Outdoor Centre.
The Centre itself is a great location, and I'm delighted to be able to tell my story there for an hour or two. Tollymore is near Newcastle, and more detailed directions are on their website here.
So if you're based in Northern Ireland and keen on cycling, adventure or just feel like coming along for something a bit different, it all kicks off at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5, and even better, all proceeds go straight to UNICEF. Good stuff, eh?
I'll even promise a few as-yet unseen clips from the upcoming documentar
See you there!
Somehow over 4 months have passed since Rob first mentioned his idea for a new expedition. It's a cliche, but it's incredible how quickly time seems to move when you're trying to get a lot done. Our time has been productive though, and we now find ourselves with a big date looming - we're just over two months away from the beginning of the journey.
So in less that 10 weeks, we will take our first tentative step out of Sainshand, and head south into the Gobi in search of adventure and excitement. Already that thought sends shivers down my back, and I assume the cause is an equal dose of bubbling anticipation and anxiety. Oddly though, most elements of the expedition itself are not phasing me (yet!); rather it's the logistics and preparation side of things that are in danger of consuming my every waking hour. So what exactly is needed to put something like this together? Well, a lot, it seems.
In Rob's last blog he detailed a shortlist of how we are having to divide our time. In the weeks leading up to our departure, we'll keep you up to date with how all these things are going, and we'll also have guest blogs from specialists in some of the key areas of our preparation. We'll also try and focus on certain areas of our journey every so often, and so today I'm going to post a few bits of info about the Yellow River. Paddling down this for over 800 miles would undoubtedly be a highlight of any expedition, and as someone with more experience of land-based thrills and spills, it appeals to me even more. So here's a few of the key facts and figures that I've picked out from my research.
Rob and I will paddle around 800 miles of the middle section, and will pass caves where many villagers live by digging themselves homes into the vertical cliffs!
Over on our Walking Home From Mongolia site, Rob has blogged about our preparation, make a helpful (and frighteningly extensive) list of what we need to do. Below is his blog:
There are many, many things to do to get ready for an expedition of this scale.
Here is my shortlist of things we are having to pour time into over the next 2.5 months before we leave (I will blog individually about many of these as time goes on). Leon and I will share these tasks, and my wife Christine is also being amazingly helpful (it was her who built this cool website).
Dear friends, readers and casual passers-by,
I am delighted to be able to announce the launch of my new expedition (and undoubtedly the hardest thing I'll have ever attempted!) - Walking Home From Mongolia
The new website is http://walkinghomefrommongolia.com
Setting off in November, it will be an epic 2,500 mile journey from Mongolia to Hong Kong by foot and portable kayak (packraft), and is being supported by National Geographic who will broadcast a TV show of the journey. I will travel in winter, from the wastelands of the Gobi Desert to the glittering skyline of Hong Kong, via the Great Wall of China, the Yellow River, the ancient city of Xi An and the limestone peaks of Gulin.