Nigel Vardy

London Calling…

Tower-Poppies

I’m a country boy.  I was brought up with dawns full of birdsong and church bells, and evenings surrounded by bats and owls, so I always find big cities crowded and overpowering places.  Miles of armour and concrete have always made me cringe, yet cities can have their charms too.  They hold many historical palaces, libraries, castles and society’s, and are useful places to meet friends and colleges.  London draws me occasionally, but there is always an adventure theme…

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Where Conflict and Cold Collide…

Compass

100 Years ago the ‘War to end all Wars‘ began. Across Europe (and later the world), nations faced each other in what became the bloodiest conflict known at the time.  Millions of men, some regular soldiers, but many fresh troops, defined the phrase ‘Trench Warfare‘. For centuries, the cavalry charge had been the dashing face of warfare, but suddenly heavy artillery and deep mud ground the advances to a halt.  Many simply drowned in the mud, rather than by falling to the enemy.

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Time…

Pocket-Watch

Language is full of sayings and quotes about time. ‘Time is of the essence, ‘Time is money’, ‘Time marches on’ etc.  This unending continuum drives many people’s lives at a relentless pace and without respite.  For some, it rules their lives, but should it..?

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Seven Peaks – Seven Islands part VII – Madagascar

Sunset-off-French-Mountain

Here’s the seventh and final miniblog about my Seven peaks – Seven Islands challenge…

From the islands capital – Antananarivo (known locally as Tana), you fly north to the coastal town of Diego Suarez to begin the trip.  Diego is one of the world’s largest natural harbours and is a quiet town, full of crumbling French colonialism, 2CV’s and graced with wonderful sunsets.  Here you depart by 4 x 4 as far as the road will go (weather and mud permitting), before the trek begins.

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Seven Peaks – Seven Islands part V – Sumatra

Gunung-Kerinci

Here’s the fifth miniblog about my Seven peaks – Seven Islands challenge…

Climbing Gunung Kerinci is one thing, but just getting there is another.  The bus journey from Padang can be anything between six and nine hours, and crosses the spine of Sumatra.  Be prepared for an arduous, but hilarious time!  You usually arrive in the village of Kersik Tua after dark, but the dawn brings extensive views of well manicured tea plantations and the peak itself – cloud permitting.  Rain and hailstorms are not uncommon here as you are already at 1500m.

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Is modern communication destroying adventure..?

TEDx

Technology has entered our modern lives with a vengeance.  Whether we like it or not, the digital age has crossed the globe and there seems little escaping it.  I recently spoke at TEDx Derby, and challenged an audience of creative and technology driven people to think differently about the umbilical cord of the mobile phone, wi-fi and worldwide web…

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Seven Peaks – Seven Islands part IV – Borneo

Kinabalu-Dawn

Here’s the fourth miniblog about my Seven peaks – Seven Islands challenge…

As the highest point between the Himalayas and Iran Jara, Mt. Kinabalu stands at 4095m (13,435ft) and towers above the surrounding hills and jungles.  First climbed in 1851 by Sir Hugh Low she is now a huge visitor attraction and climbed by over 30,000 people a year.

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Seven Peaks – Seven Islands part III – Japan

Fuji-Sign

Here’s the third miniblog about my Seven peaks – Seven Islands challenge…

Most of the worlds mountains were first climbed in the Victorian era, but Mt Fuji (3776m-12388ft) must hold the oldest recorded 1st ascent – 663AD..!  Japan is an ancient country with deep-rooted traditions and I would urge a little research into etiquette before you visit.

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Old Friends, High Winds and Clotted Cream – The Fourth Frostbite Report…

Telemark-tour

I had been watching the weather and avalanche forecast for weeks before I headed north to the Cairngorms with my friend Ian.  The web was full of reports of horrific looking conditions, with deep snow and driving winds battering the highlands.  Thankfully the journey north was swift and ridden with only with tea and pies, but the first night was a bit disjointed…

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Seven Peaks – Seven Islands part II – Greenland

Taxiing-on-the-Ice-Runway

Here’s the second miniblog about my Seven peaks – Seven Islands challenge…

Climbing in Greenland is an honour that few have experienced.  The flight from Iceland over the Denmark Strait is enough of an eye opener, particularly as you approach the teeth like mountains of the coast, but the Watkins Mountains are a magnificent range of ice-capped peaks.

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