Hi everyone, its Fiona here.
We've been overwhelmed with
all of your messages - it's absolutely fantastic to be receiving support from
everyone, including all our cycling, hiking, travel and work friends. It's
also great to hear that a Canadian school will be following our quest to climb
Mt Everest. (By the way Liane, we're not familiar with your school system,
what age are the students you're teaching at QECVI?).
A song about climbing Everest
I'd also like to give MC as special thank-you for the song he/she submitted
titled "Live Your Dreams". For those that haven't seen this, I'd encourage you
to have a look (it's a message in sent in to our last update). I think its
lyrics are relevant to lots of situations (except maybe the line about "your
head it throbs and you feel sick - it's hard to breath the cold thin air" -
that combination of feelings are probably reserved for mountaineering. You've
set the bar high, but I've thrown the challenge over to my Dad who has been
known to produce the odd poem when sufficiently motivated. Anyone else out
there? These will be great to show around base camp.
Our farewell party - yes,
we're really going
Yesterday, our family put on a farewell afternoon so that we could catch up
with most of our friends and family before we leave. Seeing everyone made it
all suddenly seem very real - almost everything has been crossed off the list
and yes, we're really going now! It also made us realise just how much we will
miss everyone while we're gone. Two-three months, is not a long time to go
traveling around Europe, but it's a long time to be on the side of a mountain
for without many of home comforts!
We took along some of our
equipment as a bit of a "show and tell" and I loved the question "So if you
didn't put this on [the down suit], how long would it take to freeze to
death?" I didn't have an answer for that one - nor do I really want to know as
I don't think we'll be forgetting to put it on!
We received a fantastic gift
of an Australian flag covered in messages from our friends and families. Its
all wrapped up so that we can look at it after receiving the traditional Puja
blessing at base camp. We also received a laminated four-leaf clover - we'll
definitely be carrying that with us.
We were very pleased to have
John Willis at the farewell - Paul's outdoor education teacher from St.
Leonards who introduced Paul to hiking, climbing and other sports. I think
Paul's father greeted him with something like "this is all your fault you
Both of our families and many
of our close friends have contributed in so many ways to getting us to a stage
where we're able to have a go reaching our goal of climbing Mt Everest.
Whether it's been fitting in around our rather inflexible training schedules,
looking after our house and dogs while we've been away, or encouraging us when
it's all gotten a bit much. We both feel like we've got fantastic support
Flying out tonight - if the
plane can hold all our gear
It's now about 12 hours until we fly out of Melbourne tonight. Our flight
leaves at 1:15am, flies to Bankok with about 4 hours stop-over, and then
continues onto Kathmandu, Nepal. Our first big hurdle will be negotiating the
huge amount of luggage we have (approximately 140kgs!). Thai Airways have
given us an extra baggage allowance, but that only takes us up to 80kgs so we
definitely have some sweet-talking to do. Will let you know how it goes.
Our next update will
hopefully be submitted over the satellite phone from Kathmandu.
All the best, Fi
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