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Published: June 11th 2013
11.5 without the water
After a murderous 8 hour bus ride, three bus loads of us arrived at the Urumqi airport, all seemingly making their connecting flights as they were still sitting on the ground held up by high winds.
I hailed a taxi, flashed a bit of envelope the travel lady had written the name of the hotel on for me and hoped for the best.
Except for a bit of the after match blues the next morning, I was happy to have come to Urumqi. The Hotel is perfectly situated, near lots of easy cheap food, with smiling helpful people when Ferangi starts to glaze over.
So its been pretty much, sleep and eat, do the washing and eat, play with photos and eat, go to the supermarket and eat, do my exercise regime so that it doesn't just start poking out the front and eat some more. I think I have lost 10kilos since I started the campaign, hes got that really boney chicken hawk look about him now. The Ukrainians response to the question, are you going to do another one? Was that it was probably just a bit too tough on a maturing body.
other hand if I were to do another one................perhaps I will go and eat first.
Before we go looking for more deserts I want to thank my few followers for taking the time to pop in and give your support it just gave me such a buzz. Angie, Selina, Andrew, Bron, Bird, Kibbies/Rob, Patty, Joey, JP, linda, Hamish, Anetta, Trudy (and thank you for helping me set up the blog ), Sal, Jacko and my good friend Kk for her support and managing the blog during the race, it was lovely to have you all visit. Perhaps don't go rushing off entirely just yet, there will hopefully be the odd bit of entertainment as Plonker tries to find his way round some of China, follows the polo to Mongolia and all going scorchingly well, maybe a late entry for the Mongolian Sunrise to Sunset again, i'm feeling cocky and theres not the time left that there used to be ! Haha
Back to the desert........... de brief and reminders
The training schedule was good except for the fact that I didn't do enough of the strength work, core and upper body and a lot of swimming would
have been good, instead of just packing it in completely. The schedule I had implied that some hill work would be useful, should read, a lot of very big hill work is essential. The 10kg pack should be there from the beginning, growing out of your skin, I can still feel mine three days later. The weight has to be 8kgs or less, which will involve a lot more work with the food and sports nutrition.
Most agree its at least a $10,000 campaign, including flights and entry, make mine nearer $12,000. The October 2014 Atacama still has its head above the parapet and with the whole thing being done between 6 and 10,000 feet I think to make the thing even bearable a minimum of 2 weeks should be allowed beforehand for altitude touristing and hiking, then theres no sense in going all the way to South America, just to turn around and come straight home again! Huh. OK............ Who's in ??????
Upon reflection. Always smiling Tony, Manchester United, one of the people I met up with very early on, 3 or 4 time participant, 5or 6 time volunteer, gets to be in parts of the world
tourists don't, gets to work and be with an amazing group of people, all leading lights in their own lives, let alone when they are grouped together participating in the same event. Shoma Takahashi, a mere 21 year old, as seen in all the photos sporting a pink devil wig all day every day, who took out the spirit award always there with a smile and encouragement, at the race finish till everybody was in, where was I? Tucked up in my bag of course. Agnes Cheng a phenomenal young woman who got the Cable-French prize embodying the event and charity, you can read more about some of these amazing people on the home page of the 4desert gobi march site. Mate.... by the time I came to get my "1st old man home" award, I was humbled out of existence, I had to go to bed.
OK, stepping out of the comfort zone, supposing there was a small Atacama team, could we look at basing it around a charity close to home, scattering sparks to see if a fire may light.
See you again in a few days with some travel updates.
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