All posts by The Wildest Journey

Leading in Morocco

During March I will be leading an Outlook Expeditions team to the Jebel Sahro mountains in Morocco….

We will spend a total of 8 days in country, with four of the days trekking through the Jebel Sahro..

The mountain range is starkly beautiful and offers a complete sense of isolation, that can’t be found in the more populated ranges in the north of Morocco.

The Jebel Sahro is also a region of extreme contrasts and its overriding experience is one of pure solitude and remoteness….

I can’t wait 

2018 Another big year of adventure..

Another big year of adventure planned for 2018

 

After the completion of my 2016/17 source to sea Zambezi journey by foot. I have decided to turn  my focus onto 2018 and a whole fresh new year of adventure and challenges.

 

I  decided to kick off my year by walking from Birmingham to London via the Grand Union canal  whilst wild camping and learning in depth about the unique history of the British waterways, as well as embracing the beautiful surrounding countryside and urban suburbs that this 130 mile route takes. On reaching London I then delivered a talk at Tuesday evenings Tales of Adventure. It went extremely well and was a truly fantastic beginning to what is set to be an eventful year.

 

Leading and Teaching –

 

Within the next few months when the new UK summer season begins. I  will be back teaching Bushcraft in various forested regions throughout the UK. Both with the Bushcraft Company and with my own group – Wildest Journeys. Then from June until  early August I will be leading 2 youth expeditions with Outlook Expeditions.  One in Malawi and the other in Zambia and Botswana. Its always very rewarding being able to pass on the skills and knowledge that I pick up from my many personal adventures over the years, especially when leading groups in various parts of their expedition phases that incorporate the regions surrounding the Zambezi river. 


As well as leading and teaching. I will be visiting various schools to go through the exciting options for their chosen destination, and helping students plan their own unique summer expeditions.

 

Personal journeys –

 

During mid to late August, I will be taking on a personal expedition in Zambia. The plan will be  to retrace the final footsteps of Dr David Livingstone, to learn all about his final movements. My journey will then finish at his final resting place in Chitambo village at Ilala near the edge of the Bangweulu Swamps in Zambia. This adventure will be wild yet exciting and will see me trekking yet again through another very remote region within Zambia.

 

I also have plans for various smaller personal expeditions during 2018 both in the UK and throughout Europe, these will all be announced spontaneously just before they happen, and will go towards my goal of training for my International Mountain Leader Award. As was as pushing myself to tackle incredible life changing journeys and experiences.

2018 is also a hugely important year to plan another big  journey for 2019. The expedition will see myself and a small team walking in an extremely wild part of Sub Saharan Africa for around 6 months, whilst aiming to cover in excess of 2000 miles. This is sure to be a very exciting endeavour and will be a unique worlds first expedition pushing our physical and mental boundaries to the limit.

This expedition is due to be announced later on in the year once the team is in place and all details have been ironed out.

With exciting projects for the year ahead. I’m planning to do various talks during 2018, and with speaking engagements lined up throughout the year with the likes of the Royal Geographical Society and Explorers Connect. I look forward to sharing my stories about my many past explorations and hopefully inspiring others to take on their own incredible life changing journeys.

 

 

It’s sure to be a great year indeed!


Photo credit: Fraser Waller

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.