Welcome to Nepal

Welcome to Nepal

Friday, 23 February 2007

Introductory weekend


I set off in the pouring rain for Betws-y-coed and Capel Curig. Visibility was horrendous and my wipers were squeaking mercilessly. I found the hotel without any trouble and checked in. A nondescript room awaited me. My thoughts raced back to the many times I had stayed in grotty hotels, working away from home... more than often without other tutors and lonely.

I also remembered the time I was billeted at Capel Curig Army Camp - once with 4QLR in the early 80s - and later with the ACF in the late 90s. It was here that I remember chatting to a guy who had applied for Special Forces selection and was waiting to see if he had been accepted. A really nice chap. I think I was on guard duty that night, so I looked around my room again and decided it was certainly much better than the alternative down the road.

Although we were not due to meet up with the trekking party until 9.00pm, I decided to go to the bar and buy myself a pint. I started chatting to a guy at the bar, only to find he was nothing at all to do with the trek. He was a musician who was spending the week up in North Wales with his band, writing a new album. I discovered we had climbing and walking in common and he was very interested to hear about the trek to Everest. He was very widely travelled... I just wish I had asked him his name and his band. For some reason I had the impression he might well have been well-known in music circles... but I was never to know!

I left the bar to go to my room and came down again later... ordering a coffee and blueberry muffin. Despite the fact that 9.00pm came and went, no formal announcement had been made to greet the trekkers. The bar was full of people eating and drinking, but short of standing up and announcing who I was, or going round each table in turn, I didn't know how else to find out who was who.

A little later someone else arrived and I overheard him asking about the Xtreme-Everest event, so I introduced myself and started chatting. He was a young lad, aged 27 with a Batchelor's Degree in Computer Science. Currently he is developing software and code for the new generation of 4G mobile phones. I must say I was slightly in awe of him, but we managed to have a really interesting conversation about his job, after which I retired to bed at about 11.50pm.

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