Peak UK Challenge

Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles, the summit is 1,345 metres (4,413 ft) above sea level. Ben Nevis stands at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands, close to the town of Fort William. The summit is the highest land in any direction for 459 miles (739 km).

Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, at an elevation of 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) above sea level, and the highest point in the British Isles outside the Scottish Highlands. It is located in Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd. It is the busiest mountain in the United Kingdom and the third most visited attraction in Wales.

Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England, at an elevation of 978 metres (3,209 ft) above sea level. It is located in the Lake District National Park, in Cumbria, and is part of the Southern Fells.

Hiking up the three peaks in just one…year -)

Acrophobia? So I return.

Five years had passed since that unfortunate accident and I decided to return to the Tatra mountains to conquer the infamous peak and the newly required acrophobia once and for all. Equipped with experience, determination and adequate safety gear, I made my way slowly up along the beaten track. The weather conditions were favourable and added to the enjoyment of hiking up Zawrat. As every mountaineer would tell you, ascending the mountain is ‘less dangerous’ than descending it. You are exhausted and pays less attention to staying focused and vigilant to the steps you make down the trail. In my case it was the sudden panic attack and completely frozen body and mind. I was petrified to move even one step down the hill. Luckily, another group of mountaineers were passing by and gave me not only mental but practical support. Once I had company of other experienced hikers, I felt much ‘safer’ and all the fear faded away. I gradually started to enjoy mountain trips to other parts of Europe and the whole world.

Tatra Mountains. At the start of my hike.
Important to stay on the trail
Mountain gear is as important as the skills how to use it
Taking it step by step
Rocky, snowy and dangerous
Trail down to safety
The infamous Orla Perc trail
The easier, more picturesque part of the trail
Cloud-coated, seemingly sleepy mountain
What doesn’t kill you makes you…thirstier

Winter Mountain Accident

It has been a few years now since I bounced off the rocky mountains but I decided to refresh the details of my unfortunate and scary mountain accident on this blog. The tragic events took place on the infamous route called Orla Perc in the Tatra mountains. The reason for bringing this up is simple, to warn other mountaineers, hikers and tourists to be observant and vigilant before setting off to the higher parts of the Tatras, especially in winter.

Waiting for the rescue team to be airlifted to hospital

This is a short excerpt from my recording I made shortly after I fell off the rocky mountain while traversing back in the Tatras Mountains. I had survived the fall not only because it was in winter and most of my bouncy ride down was on half-frozen snow but for also my, as it turned out, strong mental state during that trek. This mountain area has had a history of quite a few fatalities in recent years. In a nutshell: my whole life flashed within ‘seconds’. I was trying to grasp air and protect my head. That’s all you could do if you manage not to panic in a self preservation instinct kicks in. The rest is gravity. The real pain comes later if you don’t lose consciousness, of course. App 30ft down and I landed on my back. I “surveyed” my body for possible fractures, torn muscles, ligaments and tendons. Nothing, expect mauled face and a pain in my rib cage…. or what I thought. What happened was, when adrenaline fades down you start to feel the REAL consequences of the fall. Internal organs are violently shaken, ribs cracked, concussion, wrist disabled, hypothermia. It was remote area and I knew if I’d stayed I would not have made it till next day. I crawled slowly back down to the next passage in the hope of finding mountaineers. For one mile I was slowly moving on my bottom and feet, struggling to breathe, getting disoriented by every minute. The physical pain was becoming unbearable but mentally was keeping strong and my fight to survive was evident. Inch by inch, breath by breath. Stop. Look around and again. I could not shout, I was too exhausted. By the time I was found I had lost some blood, the body temperature dropped, I lost sensation in my legs and hands, going snow blind and into a coma. Luckily, soon enough I was airlifted to hospital and ….become doctors’ wonder. I had been thoroughly examined and later discharged on my request. Part of my nose was shattered and my whole body was covered in bruises for weeks. I returned to the same spot recently to recover from fear of mountains. I made it this time.

This video has been age restricted as it contains bleeding from my face. It was taken shortly after I fell and the adrenaline was rushing.

Statue of Virgin Mary, Quito

The highest statue of Ecuador, at the hight of 41 meters, is the Virgin of Quito. The monument was open to public in 1976. It was sculptured by the well known Spanish architect Agustin de la Erran Matorra. This amazing monument is mounted on the hill of Panecillo.

Statue of Virgin Mary
Statue of Virgin Mary
Impressive and admirable
The inside structure of the statue
The platform
The view from the platform
The view from the platform
The painting displayed in the entry hall

Zahedan – The city armed and safe

Zahedan was my resting place and above all the starting point in my adventure to the archeological site near the town of Zabol situated close to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran border. After the unique experience I had in Mashhad, I was more than eager to explore even more of this Persian land. That was the archeological ground of The Burnt City. Firstly, let me tell you, when I set off for a journey to Zabol, Amin Hotel I stayed in was simply not having it, the idea that a Western guy is venturing into the politically disputed region. They told me to pack up and take all my stuff with me, in case I will not make it back. Besides, if the police forces arrive to the hotel, they cannot be bothered explaining my very existence, to put it simply. Anyway, on my last day to depart from Zahedan, the armed forces arrived at 5am at the hotel and escorted me to the Bus Terminal and made sure I purchased the correct ticket. Once I boarded the bus, they left the Terminal. I was now heading to Chabahar in the South of Iran.

All the photos are taken from the police car with two armed motorcycles escorting us along the way.

Close Encounters of Camel Kind

Behind this beautiful garden Dolat Abad, I found camel’s inn. A group of these lovely creatures was enjoying eating hay, occasionally giving us a suspicious look, or smile. It was really nice sunny day for exploring this lovely ancient city of Yazd.

Lunch in Dolat Abad Garden, Yazd

Dolat Abad Garden is a truly amazing place to admire and rest. It is one of the nine Iranian gardens registered in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. The Garden boasts the tallest windward in the world (33m) that had been built in the centre of it, drawing the attention and interest from around the world. As its history goes, Mohammad Taghi Khan Bafghi, the Yazd ruler established this garden as a residence for Karim Khan Zand and Shahrokh Mirza some two hundred years ago. Dolat Abad Garden was built around 1750 and is a priceless reminiscence of Afsharid and Zand Dynasties.

Jameh Mosque of Yazd, Iran

James Mosque’s great feature is this square shape which makes it look like Kaaba – Great Mosque of Mecca. The decorations done by bricks, tiles and plaster make it one of the most wondering mosques in the world. Moreover, The lighting of Jameh Mosque is provided indirectly by reflecting to the white plasterworks of walls and the dome. Jameh Mosque of Yazd is located in the historical district of Yazd and was registered in Iran’s National Heritage in 1934. Wonderful place for history lovers.

Shipyard and boats of Qeshm

“While other yards on Qeshm have fallen into disuse or been converted into repair shops for older vessels or fiberglass lenj workshops, Guran’s small community of shipbuilders is sticking to tradition, continuing to build wooden lenjes by hand, plank by plank, using the same basic principles that have stood for centuries—all without the use of a blueprint.”

Qeshm Cemetery and Fortress

This part of Qeshm Island offers also this military complex dated back to Seljukian Era (3rd century). The castle consisted of four towers and and a rampart gate made of mortar on western side. The remains of Naderi castle and four observation towers are symbols of the historical importance of this port. A nearby cemetery adds to the mystery of this place.