Monthly Archives: February 2012

Not long now

Went to the US embassy today with a pile of proof that I’m coming back to Mexico, have a job, a decent bank balance etc. Needn’t have worried, I got it approved in about 3 minutes.

In other good news, my tendon and foot is getting better and stronger. I walked for almost 2 hours today with no ill effect. Don’t f*** around with tendons, these things heal very very slowly even with a slight injury.

So, 5 weeks to Atlanta to buy most of my gear, unfortunately will miss a friend by just 2 days there. Hope to see you for an ice cold Jack Daniels somewhere along the trail, Alec.

I’m going to stay with the lovely people at the Hiker Hostel in Dahlonega, GA on the 3rd April, ready to hit the trail the next day. They pick you up from an Atlanta metro station, give you breakfast, a bunk and take you to the trail head the next day for a mere $75. Bargain. I’ve pestered them with numerous enquiries and they’ve been nothing but fantastic. I can even get some things shipped there for pick-up on my arrival.

The sort of ultra-lightweight wimp that I’ll have to get used to.

I have two choices on day 1.  I can walk the approach trail or I can get a ride right to near the start of the trail proper at the top of Mount Springer, GA.

All the time I’ve been thinking about the Appalachian Trail I’d never considered not walking the 9 mile approach trail, but in all honesty, I think I will probably skip it now. Hike your own hike and all that.

Blah blah blah, I know the arguments in favour of doing it and it’s all old hat. I don’t want to climb 3500 feet on my first day with a whole load of new gear. My contribution to discussions in the first couple of days will be whimsical hypothesising about how badly my first day could’ve gone.

In other news, good friends Simon and Lucy will be arriving here in Mexico for a couple of weeks this Thursday. After a good few days enjoying the delights of the capital we”ll have a week to climb pyramids, avoid tarantulas and eat delicious delights in the southern state of Chiapas.

I’m a through walker

According to my blog stats, someone found my blog today by searching “through walker 2012”.  Rather be called a “through walker” than a “thru hiker”,  I muse.

For now, I’m sure as can be not a hiker and I also don’t spell through, thru.  So well done,  my anonymous internet fan,  you got me.  Although it makes much more sense than English English,  American English is,  one feels,  kind of like texting in the early 19th Century.

Aaaaaanyway,  preparation is coming along as well as it always has,  as in zero.  It’s happened,  it really has,  I’m approximately 5% prepared in terms of the physical.  Always told myself this wouldn’t happen,  but it did,  procrastination-off loser.  However,  I do feel my mind is 80% there n I’m still going to kick 70% of your arses.

For now then, there’s a competition on to win food drops and so on.  It’s pretty cringeworthy at times and the winner is going to be that dude that has the good production,  but Stealthpanther is my favourite. Bloody Hollywood.

Four 14 hour days deep into this week and I’m tired and drunk after 3 beers.

If I stink this much after a day’s work,  help you if you run into me on the trail.  

Nighty night.

My parents’ wonky offspring

Just had my girlfriend’s cousin, “El Ojos” and his colleague round to take impressions of my feet for custom insoles.

Turns out from the X-ray I had done last week that I actually have a bigger-than-normal-spiky-calciumy-boney growth on the back of my heel. Just a lil bit, nothing that wouldn’t exceed your recommended daily dose, should I slip it in your milk.

My Spanish is just fine, but bad enough to prick up my ears when the word operación was thrown between them. Never mind that it wasn’t actually a possibility! I could also get it “bashed” into powder to (I guess) allow it to be absorbed by the body but as it wasn’t the source of my problem and didn’t cause any issues on a 500-mile hike, so why risk causing myself another issue?!

Just a sideline small extra into this epic little story of mine.

Right at the top, the pokey bit. And there’s my view of Mexico City behind!

Yes, Mum and Dad, now for you guys. It turns out my feet are quite different from one another! My pigeon-toed left foot is high and dry above the sole and my right foot has no weight on the small toes. Apparently, so they said, one day my feet may look something akin to a crow’s mid-orgasm.

But for now, I’ll be all good once I get my custom insoles.

Appalachian Trials

I bought my first Kindle version of a book yesterday.

Don’t worry my friendly bookshop running friends, this is once in a blue moon affair! Real print will always be the way, even if it means carrying an extra pound on my back. I don’t have a Kindle, by the way, you can download software for your computer from

The book I bought was “Appalachian Trials” by Zach Davis, a gen-you-eye-n thru-hiker from the class of 2011. This is a fresh approach to AT thru-hiking preparation literature.

It’s not a diary, nor a gearlovefest, this book focusses on the psychological preparedness for the trail. Something I feel that many many potential thru-hikers overlook when getting themselves ready for the trail (70% failure rate).

As far as I know this is the only mental-slant focussed book on the market and it’s a goodun. It’s concise and complete and offers many insights that I haven’t seen mentioned before.

Yes, this is a plug. But not because I know the guy (because I don’t). But because it’s a great entertaining read and give it’ll you a good insight into the different mindsets of thru-hikers and how to make your experience a successful one. It’s also full of extra FAQs that many sources don’t deal with.

It”s a Good Badger and it’s only $8.

Buy it here 2012ers