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When students trek for ‘charidee’ (think of the kiddies)


My friends Alex and Rosie lived in Swansea, which was my next stop after Port Talbot.

I had met them when we all signed up for the Everest Base Camp trek while at university. Until now, that had been my biggest adventure. The whole trip was a comedy of errors. I was loosely assigned as “Adventure Leader” and my co-leader pulled out a few weeks before the trip, citing a dying pet lizard as his reason. Our tour company went into liquidation while we were halfway up the mountain, leaving us unsure whether we had any return flights booked. The local newspaper in Plymouth published a wildly inaccurate front page headline announcing that “Charity Will Pay to Get Them Home”, the reader comments on which were fairly abusive. I managed to fall over on the second day and land on my knee, causing it to triple in size. I had to complete the rest of the trek using some borrowed walking poles essentially as crutches and our Sherpa insisted on giving me some rather dubious “sports” massages involving attempting to dig his fingers under my tendons while asking if I had a husband. Oh, and let’s not forget that when we got back to Kathmandu, we went out to celebrate our achievements, all got horrendously drunk in an Irish bar and one of the boys missed the toilet, defecated on the bathroom floor and I ended up cleaning it up.

Yeah, it was a weird trip.

Extracted from ElizeDowner’s brand-new book, Coasting. Available on Amazon, of course, or direct from the publisher here.

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