Friday, March 2, 2012

And so it begins... The 2012 Yak Attack, Nepal.

The 2012 TORQ Yak Attack. Nepal.


So it’s actually going to happen! The registration event went off promptly at 12 noon today in the beautiful sunshine, in the equally lovely garden of the Kathmandu Guesthouse. As you might expect I turned up promptly (5 minutes late) at the Dawn til Dusk mountain bike office to register; completely the wrong place! So I slipped in to the garden, blended in with the crowds and tried not to look like I had turned up late.
Phil Evans gave a brief for the assembled competitors, the press and the gathered throng.

Phil Evans giving the pre-race briefing at the Kathmandu Guesthouse.

The competitors were then called up in turn to collect their race number and Torq Fitness gift pack (Event Sponsor).
I asked fellow rider Paul Topham to take a few photographs for me when it was my turn. Now it’s really lucky for me that I’m not superstitious; I was handed number 13! I had to laugh.

It really could only happen to me!

Each competitor was then requested to give a short interview to who are covering the event online with video footage etc. I’m not sure what they thought of me when the interviewer asked if I had a message for everyone at home; I smiled at the camera, gave a little wave and said “Hopefully I’ll still be alive!”.
We then had a very nice, informal garden party where the competitors mingled and chatted for a while. And that was it really; everyone slowly dispersed to carry on with their own preparations.

Roll on tomorrow! 

Competitors at the briefing.

Neil Cottam chatting with Phil Evans at the registration desk.

You just couldn't make it up! My "lucky" race number.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kathmandu days and preparing for Blast-Off!

Like a modern day Billy The Kid!

Dave, Wilco and I arrived back in Kathmandu on the 19th February, several days in advance of our predicted arrival. We flew in from Lukla on what must be one of the coolest flights on earth! Well that’s if it goes smoothly of course; luckily ours went with barely a ripple and took a mere 20 minutes from take-off to landing. We realised just how far we had walked in the preceding days as we flew back over much of what of we had covered on foot! The High Himalaya is just a impressive from the air.
We spent a few days recovering from our wounds and did a little sightseeing. We ate as much food as we could including copious quantities of cake from the local bakery. We deserved it, we figured!
We bumped in to new found friends from the trail and toasted them in the bars of Thamel. Beware of the local “Everest” beer. It gives an Everest sized hangover! Ouch.
I spent separate afternoons cycling around the city with both Dave and Wilco; and we had a lot of fun running the gauntlet of the outrageous Kathmandu traffic. If you can survive there, you can survive anywhere!
We booked ourselves on to a kayaking trip for a couple of days (Thursday & Friday) with Adventure Aves Nepal. The trip was a lot of fun, the instruction from Bishnu Gurung was first class and the food was excellent; the equipment was mostly UK imported and was in very good condition. Check them out if you are ever in the region and fancy some adventure. We paid $100 each and it was well worth it. They offer a number of packages for differing levels and also a spectacular looking White-Water Rafting trip.
Some of the rapids were wicked and we even had to by-pass one due to the level of difficulty/danger. It was a lot of fun riding that one on the safety raft; I’m pretty sure we would have lasted about 5 seconds trying to negotiate it in a kayak!