Falling Debris Article...Sudan
I don't recommend visiting Sudan as it is a dry country in that there is no drinking (as well as it being in the Sahara) although I can give you the numbers of a few black market dealers there. It is a strange place the government doesn't like tourists and makes it has as hard as possible for you to visit and once your in you have to go and register as an alien I wanted to get a photo next to the alien registration sign but I wasn't allowed and since it's a police state and everyone carries guns I decided not to. The people however are really nice and we were invited to a wedding (the food at weddings is very good). I visited some Pyramids (slightly smaller than the Egyptian ones) which we had to ourselves. at night I decided to go round the pyramids at night humming the Indiana Jones theme tune and jumping out and scaring people however the police came with there dog and everyone got away except me who they decided was a spy because they saw flash's from somebody's camera (which you need a licence to use and they're very funny about) so decided to shoot me. Anyway long story short they missed and I handed myself in. Mohammed (this is the name for everyone in this part of the world) decided eventually that I was innocent my lack of any equipment made it fairly obvious I didn't even have footwear let alone a camera on me. Although I did have the paper work for a camera. Only 2 other people had licence's and I had gained mine on the grounds of being a rectal inspector so my paperwork was in order. we get lots of paperwork as we travel through the different countries so we play a game who can put down the funniest job I've been the following an Alchemist, Glacial welder, Gimp, a woman, pilot, postman, outdoor instructor, PGA caddie and a rectal inspector I was questioned leaving Sudan by customs about being a rectal inspector luckily I had spent a week in the local village before my boat left so new lots of the local people including the customs official who luckily thought I was a funny guy.
Egypt is nice beer is just as expensive as in Sudan which is odd since it's legal here anyway I've already had a fair few beers. Now I am just trying the local food. Egypt seams nice with the sun, sand, palm trees, strange ancient monuments built from sand that should have fallen down etc. however I've been unable to take any pictures since my camera in on our truck which goes through customs separately and it took us 4 hours to get through customs they're not too efficient which is odd since they didn't check my passport one member of our group did get his bags searched and he was stopped because he had a knife. Now I see why it was my job to look after the cooking equipment which included some of the biggest knives you've ever seen. We traveled on the boat with some Italian climbers and one guy had his camera and passport stolen before we got to customs so we told the customs official who we thought it was and 3 chaps got arrested and the Italian got his passport back but we had to wait hours as they were showing us where to stay.
Sorry about the quality of writing but I am in a rush. So here goes
Hells gate national park was great you can climb and see the following animals at the same time Warthogs, Owls, Eagles, Buffalo, Gazelles, Giraffes and baboons. I actually got babooned off a route. Whilst in hells gate I accidentally put up an E2 multi-pitch route with a professional gambler called Ian.
Frog is the next place I climbed it was an Army firing range but the army was busy else where. The local Masai dogs were friendly. We celebrated new year with a drinking Marathon and ended up in an Irish bar which we had to travel thought the riots to get to but everyone had a great time.
Mount Kenya was delayed because of the political situation in the country. We stayed at a great campsite full of animals the Columbus monkeys were the best although the dogs were good fun as well. We made a rope swing and Danny hurt himself. Mount Kenya was great I climbed without guides or porters however got sick I spent a night at 4800m but decided it was best to come down. I got down faster than the porters who have a reputation for speed. We then headed towards Ethiopia although it took longer than expected as we broke down in bandit country.
My Birthday was spent in both Kenya and Ethiopia and most of the time was spent in a dessert. As I shared my birthday with Jason we went of on a beer mission and managed to buy beer in a dessert. In the evening we camped at a hotel full of UN people which has become a theme in Ethiopia. I had to ask directions at the border and a man with an AK47 grabbed my arm but I wasn't going to argue.
Ethiopia my phone doesn't like to work in Ethiopia so have been out of contact with the world since arriving. Ethiopia is very medieval in appearance the houses are made of mud and fields ploughed by cows. There are also camels, donkeys and goats everywhere. Beer here is about 20p. In Addis I spent 2 days with Dancing matt an instructor from Edale trying to by an AK47. We have had lots of visa problems go beurocracy. Juice however in Ethiopia is amazing and is served in layers of different types.
Tigaray has big sandstone peaks however they're very unstable and the rock breaks every time you pull on a hold. It's so loose that people have managed to carve churches into the rock. the other thing about Ethiopia is that it's like being in a zoo where ever you go you get followed and watch and every now and than there will be shouts of give me money, give me water, give me pen this I blame on aid workers and am considering starting and anti-aid charity. the one time I was left alone was when I bought 4 chickens for tea however the locals decided that I needed more and kept trying to sell me chickens everyday from then on.
Axum awesome granite routes and world class bouldering although the boulders are getting quarried. Everybody is becoming ill we have pneumonia and typhoid going round presently I am very unwell and on anti-biotics hoping it won't last too long. Have been kept up at nights by hyenas but other than that the wild life here is ok with the exception again of the local children and the guy who cycled into me whilst I was carrying a tray of eggs with cracking consequences. One morning I woke up having not washed for a while and generally looking a wreck to be greeted by a rather large video camera. It turns out that the tourist board wanted to make a short programme on the strange climbing people visiting their country. It has had its advantages because since being shown on TV people are more than happy to give us lifts plus they know where to drop us off.
I've probably missed out lots and misspelt even more but I will edit it all when I get home.
Off now to Sudan the embassy messed up so we've only got ten days to get through but that means I get to go climbing in the Sinai mountains.
I spent Christmas in Kenya's equivalent of Butlins. I was woken by a flock of Geese but I didn't get to eat any of them. I spent the day playing poker the drinking version and didn't even notice when the campsite was hit by a tornado. We had our own Santa but the place also had a Santa but it wore a mask and was scary. We celebrated Christmas together and had our own band play. We thought it would be a good idea to let of some Bangers and as a result cleared the local Bar and the Army turned up with AK47's to tell us off so we all hid behind Emma our leader.
Have been travelling around Kenya. Have seen lots of great things Crocodiles, Monkeys, Hippos & Zebras. The climbing has been good started in Lukenya where the rock is perfect. Then spent one day at a place called Lake Baringo where there is 15Km of rock. However everyone voted to leave as it was too Loose and to be fair I led a 75m VS Multi-pitch and on one particular climb everything I pulled on fell out just missing my Belayer and one rather large hand hold has bashed my leg pretty bad but it's alright it's my fault for climbing a route called falling debris. At lake Baringo we also played pull the crocs tail however the game was ruined when the croc ran away.
Additional info, having looked at my rope since writing this I found it was cut in two places and it now has the glamorous role of hot rock volleyball net.
The website has become outdated so I'm working on adding new content from my recent expedition/the last 3 years and am having the site redesigned so check it out on a few weeks time.
- I've been playing in the Himalayas check out Steffi's blog
- I'm now available for public speaking
- Check out Jon's diving website
- I've just returned from the UAE for some winter action. I plan to return early Feb.
- My attempt to be the first to circumnavigate the Musandam peninsular in Oman ended for me in deportation. Here is a link to the trips facebook page.
- I've just spent few epic days climbing in Scotland. Here is a link to Steve's article on the trip.
- Visit my Old News