Talking at the RGS Microlectures

 

Absolutely over the moon to announce that I’ve been chosen to talk at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Microlectures event taking place this March 🙂

It’s such an incredible honour to be able to talk on the stage at the RGS. As well as sharing the stage with 5 incredible adventurers, including Val Ismaili

Geographical journeys: microlectures

 Thursday 15 March at 7.00pm (doors open at 6.00pm)

We are excited to announce our speaker line-up for the 2018 Microlectures!

Join us for an action packed evening of adventure and discovery from the next generation of speakers. Six adventurers will have just 10 minutes to share their inspiring journeys in an illustrated short talk with a geographical theme.

Charlie Knight
The Long Way Up: Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail
Faced with doubts and depression, Charlie took the ‘black dog’ for a walk through America.

Emma de Heveningham
Himalayan Popup Picturehouse: the highest cinema in the world
With a cinema in her pack, Emma travels to remote communities in the mountains, sharing stories at nomadic camps and monasteries.

Chaz Powell
The Wildest Journey: walking the Zambezi
Undeterred by local conflict and brutal terrain, Chaz’s source to sea walk along the wildest river was far from easy.

Elspeth Luke
Running Scotland’s Watershed, a ribbon of wildness
The first woman to complete this journey, Elspeth ran the spine of Scotland, surrounded by bogs, rain and beauty.

Hattie Field
The Ger in the City: exploring migration in Mongolia
The steppe is changing and rural nomads are moving to the cities. Hattie spent two months finding out why.

Val Ismaili
Seeking Solitude, Finding Solidarity: on foot through the Caucasus
Val’s solo through-hike of the Transcaucasian Trail turned into an unexpectedly emotional journey, featuring lone shepherds, hospitable families, and homemade vodka.

The evening is hosted by anthropologist and broadcaster Mary-Ann Ochota and organised by the Society’s Younger Members’ Committee

Advance tickets: £12, RGS-IBG members £9, advance group of 10 £90.
Door tickets: £15, RGS-IBG members £12. telephone 020 7591 3100 email events@rgs.org

Tickets available here – http://www.rgs.org/WhatsOn/London+Lectures/Microlectures

Walking from Birmingham to London!

 

After an incredible 8 days of hiking 130 miles from Birmingham to London via the Grand Union canal…

I was then chuffed to take to the stage in front of 70 adventurous like minded folk at Tales of Adventure to talk all about my wild Zambezi adventure!

It was an honour to be amongst good friends and the 2 other inspiring speakers, with Ian Finch talking about his incredible journey by canoe down the Yukon river, and Anthony Goddard telling us all about the fascinating world of adventure mapping with ZeroSixZero

What a great night!

Photo: Fraser Waller

Preserving fish

 

The biggest source of food along Africa’s rivers is of course, the fish……

But the fresh fish would rapidly deteriorate unless some way can be found to preserve it…

Drying the fish in the sun and wind is a great method of preserving it that works by removing water from the fish, which inhibits the growth of microorganisms.

Open air drying like this has been practiced since ancient times to preserve various different foods…..

Cooking along the Zambezi

 

Cooking along the Zambezi was kept simple. I carried a small light Trangia pot and cooked on open fires. This saved me carrying a stove and fuel, saving weight and cost. Cooking only the foods I could source from the local villages I passed through.

My diet consisted mostly of Nshima, pasta, rice, vegetables, fish and village chicken.

But on some occasions when I couldn’t source food, I had an extremely healthy diet of biscuits and fizzy drinks. ..ha

Psychological Effects

 

I have become very aware of the psychological affects that returning from an expedition has on my brain.

That sense of complete euphoria which runs alongside such an epic journey is staggering to say the least.

But once a journey is complete, the satisfaction (although phenomenal) is extremely short lived….

The initial congratulations and hoorahs soon end and people quite quickly stop mentioning it, even forgetting which part of the world it was where you were walking…

You then start feeling lost and without purpose, and begin trying to fill the gaps between now and your next epic adventure….

Catholic Mission Stations

 

Near Tete city there is an old Catholic Mission built by the Portuguese at the end of the 19th century. Since traditional life in Sub-Saharan Africa has for so long focused on day to day existence and societies rarely have enough surplus to construct monumental architecture, few buildings of historical existence from the past remain today. Most traditional structures along the river are small and temporary and return to the earth within a generation of construction. So, unlike many places around the world, that are full of temples, palaces, fortresses, and monuments, it’s hard to find physical traces of the past in the places here. Aside from a few settlements and some ancient petroglyphs, there is almost nothing in Mozambique from before the Portuguese era. So at over 100 years old, the Mission at Boroma is a historical anomaly, and one of the oldest man made structures in the region.

Dodging a Black Mamba!

 

The dry overgrown bush paths were often havens for the many highly venomous snakes…..

This left me feeling very nervous and treading very carefully indeed!
On one occasion we came across a fully grown Black Mamba, which luckily for us scurried into the bush to our sides, leaving us shocked with our hearts in our mouths and thanking our lucky stars!

Part of the RGS Explore 2017 team :)

 

Absolutely honoured to be amongst the speakers at this years #Explore2017 @rgs_ibg

Explore is the Society’s annual fieldwork and expedition planning weekend and is taking place over the weekend of 10-12 November 2017 at the Society’s headquarters in London. With over 90 leading field scientists and explorers, it’s incredible to be part of such an awesome line up of inspirational people! 😊