Saturday, July 28, 2012

Climbers Old, not so old and not so young

This week I met, after several years, one of my best climbing buddies, the infamous Jim Lowther along with another friend Jim Fotheringham – the legendary British climber. While JF is a dentist by profession and all of 60 years specializing in curing snoring besides making first ascents around the globe, JL is of my age (47 – 48) and claims to be a poor farmer in the Lakes UK, never mind the fact that his peerage belongs to the Earls of Lonsdale that once upon a time were perhaps the largest landowners in UK, while as you all know I do nothing and claim to be doing nothing either and let someone prove that I do of anything worth mentioning! We had another member to this informal (over the beer glasses and huge plates of burgers) meeting all of 44 and a reborn alpinist from US, Eric, who was a champion mountain biker and took up climbing few years ago. I never thought of asking how he justifies his existence on planet earth otherwise, so his profession and occupation remains as of now a bit obscure and mysterious. Between us four we had more than 100 years of climbing and adventuring, covering all the continents and nearly every mountain ranges known to man.  

We met at a supposedly 4 star hotel in Delhi, when Delhi is reeling under heat stroke and these three had just landed back the same morning from a stupendous expedition in Zanskar. So they were super acclimatized (for whatever they felt like doing), super hungry and thirsty (for whatever lay within reach and pocket) while I was super dazed and fatigued and dehydrated and itching to get out and get back to the high Himalayan peaks.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Braving Brazil

A big bright smile, vigorous nod of the head and a pair of thumbs raised straight up towards heaven works wonderfully in Brazil. And that’s how I sashayed my way through the world’s largest catholic nation for two months. I learnt a lot except the tongue. In fact I returned with less Portuguese in my vocabulary than I had begun my journey with. As always wherever I travel, I met and befriended an incredible number of people, fell in love with the land and with its beautiful women, with the air, with the music, food  both solid and fluid, beaches, animals and above all with the buses.

This is an introductory post on Brazil hence I will highlight and touch upon certain aspects that I find memorable and briefly mention all the regions I caroused through; time and inclination permitting I shall elaborate upon these as well in future posts.