gillg

gillg

gillg

57, in love with the world. Fell in love with Nepal. Then Iran. Now? ....
Where to next?

2016 Bibbulmun Track End to End 1050km in my home state. UPDATE 13/4/19- IT"S FINISHED!!!!!!!!!

2017- Well, that'd be the USA again then Mongolia.
Update- Mongolia is to be shelved for yet another year. Instead there is a wedding to attend in Edinburgh- but first, The West Highland Way to be walked.

2018 - Tajikistan is calling

Update- Tajikistan indeed did call, as did Kyrgyzstan. It was amazing - a 23 day 2500 km Fann Mountains/Pamir Highway Odyssey then amazing trekking in the Tien Shan. Blog hasn't even started!

2019 - Pakistan is in the pipeline

Update- Pakistan was incredible- K2/Gondogoro La Trek and the Hunza/Upper Hunza. Also took in Xinjiang Province through the Khunjerab Pass. The blog???? OMG, I have no idea when I can write it up (see above re Tajikistan).

2020- Georgia and Armenia- solo trekking plus looking at all those amazing old churches and trying the Georgian cuisine

Update- COVID happened, Georgia and Armenia on hold (along with every other overseas destination as per Australian Govt rules, did another 1050 km End to End on the Bibbulmun Track over 49 days but starting south and finishing north this time. Also got to go to Christmas Island as it is technically Western Australia).

2021- COVID continues to decimate. Can travel within Australia so it was an End To End of The Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory in July. Managed to travel to Tasmania in August/Sept and hiked the Three Capes and all of the trails on Bruny Island.

2022-
Q: When will WA open?
A: When we hit a 90% double vaccination target. Tipped for end of January/Feb...

2022- Finally got out of WA- Ladakh happened, via Delhi. Sensational trekking, loved Ladakh immensely. Finished with a quick drive through Rajasthan.

2023-
The Hebridean Way- 320 km walk then Shetland and Foula- sensational.

2024- The plan is
Feb/March- West Bali
May/June- Beijing to facilitate a tiny dip into The Great Wall, Mongolia- Altai trekking and a reunion with my best French friend
Sept/Oct- Uzbekistan, Turmenistan, Kazakhstan


"They do say that there is a thing called mountain exhilaration, that when in high places a strange elation seizes one; akin to ecstasy or madness."
-Han Suyin



Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Outer Hebrides September 13th 2023

Hebridean Way Day 1 Vatersay to Barra Ferry Terminal 32km (includes lost bits and backtracking), up 798m, down 805m. Dawn drops me at the Vatersay Community Hall overlooking 2 lovely white sand beaches. First hurdle- finding start point… Got slightly waylaid by a cake box- little cupboards filled with cakes and slices and an honesty money box. Oh OK- a big fat slice of victoria sponge doesn’t weigh much… Start walking, it’s on the road to Barras main village-Castlebay, past a 1944 plane crash site. The wreck is still there. Lots of sheep. Generally good walking conditions- sunny and windy. Overcast and windy. Rainy and windy. Rainbowy and windy. Just windy. Terrain pretty flat. Approaching the first causeway was a small fishing operation and a marked change in views. 8km down and I’m on Barra- island ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland September 12th 2023

The BeginningStarted in Glasgow- caught up with my sister, brother in law and nephew then a sunny day of exploring and food shopping for the hike.Day 0What’s in store?According to the blurb…“The Hebridean Way walking offers keen hikers a unique opportunity to walk the length of this spectacular archipelago. Over the course of 156 miles (252km) the route goes through 10 islands, crosses 6 causeways and includes two stunning ferry journeys. It is a route of astonishing variety – one day you may be walking on an exquisite deserted beach, with silver shell sand stretching far into the distance.The next you may find yourself amongst wild mountains, wandering past remote freshwater lochs as eagles soar overhead”.To begin the Hebridean Way you first need to get to the island of Barra, which is actually the second island ... read more
Pipers Tryst
Full Scottish
Glasgow

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory July 6th 2021

Another Solo End to End Trek (Larapinta East to West) started 21st June and completed on 6th July 2021. Entirely influenced by COVID-19 travel restrictions in Western Australia, I chose this as my longish distance trail for the year. Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory were classified as ultra low risk states and the Larapinta was the most intriguing. I was hesitant, the heat is not my friend and even in winter you can get hot days in the NT but I was up for it. Booked frequent flyer flights from Perth to Alice Springs with the intent of spending a couple of nights in Alice pre-departure then another week with a hire car post trek to drive to the Uluru region, Kings Canyon, Devils Marbles, etc. This report differs to my usual day by ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory July 5th 2021

Larapinta Trail 21 (>225km) Part 3- Serpentine Gorge to Mt Sonder (The End) Last trek post, I promise! It busied up a bit at the Section 7/8 stage, these sections being the most popular with day hikers/section hikers and larger tour groups with their own campsites. Prior to this I'd walk for many hours without seeing anyone. It was also at this stage you'd see the same faces on the trail and at camp each night. A diverse lot, all sorts, all ages; from a family of 4 with probably an 8 and 10 year old (machines) through to a 78 year old Scotsman with 2 new hips and previous back surgery and veteran of the Appalachian Trail and many others (the most tenacious person that I've ever met I think). By then I had met ... read more
Mostly healed up!
After a cuppa, raring to go

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory June 29th 2021

Larapinta Trail 21 (>225km) Part 2- Brinkley Bluff to Serpentine Gorge WARNING- Millions of pictures continues... So now I'm at Day 6. Glorious sunrise, frozen fingers. Steep traverse down from the summit this morning- rugged and rocky but not so bad really. Long morning of multiple terrains including an extended gorge navigation climbing up and over lots of boulders in Spencer Gorge. Saw my first snake! In the afternoon got to climb again to Windy Saddle and along Razorback Ridge with steep drop-offs as well as very steep drop-offs. Non-predicted Situation #3- getting slightly off track on the ridge- map said avoid steep unstable shale and loose rocks- that of course is where I ended up! Having rescued myself to rejoin the trail the day got massively easier. Got into another dry camp in a river ... read more
Ready to Head Down The Other Side
Spinifex Country


Larapinta Trail 21 (>225km) Part 1- Pre-departure to Alice Springs to Brinkley Bluff The Larapinta Trek exceeded any expectations, not sure what I actually expected beyond it being wide and vast and a “moderate-difficult” graded trail, but it was that and so much more. I finished on the 6th July, it has kept me feeling very high for the last week or so of travelling around the Red Centre. Now that I am back home here is how it all went down.... As usual I was very well prepared on the logistics, not so much on the training. Excellent spreadsheet. Flew into Alice Springs for 2 nights pre-trek to get my resupply boxes and a few fresh food items as well as having a look around. Stayed at a functional, budget, but well located, motel. The ... read more
Day 1

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Peaceful Bay July 31st 2020

Day 8... Peaceful Bay to Giants via Rame Head 30.1km Today should have had the asterisk *HARD- I suspect I might have put it on yesterday's line on the spreadsheet instead of today's! Why was it hard? Leaving the chalet wasn't hard, I was looking forward to sleeping out again and I left it cleaner than I found it (I was also cleaner in my very fragrant newly washed clothes), the only trace left behind being my now dry free towel and a note to say thanks and that one of the power points kept tripping the fuse box. It wasn't the dawn start- the light down at the beach was stunning and even ducking the short showers wasn't an issue. The wet vegetation and narrow tracks were easy- gaiters prove themselves again. It wasn't the ... read more
Tall Pine Marker Post at 0.6km

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Peaceful Bay July 30th 2020

Day 7 Boat Harbour to Peaceful Bay 24 km My spreadsheet planner has an asterisk against today- I've marked it "HARD". Eek. Reason being coastal section with possibility of impassable beach plus the Irwin Inlet crossing with the canoe (there's always a chance that there might not be a canoe or there will only be one meaning multiple crossings towing canoes from one bank to the other). At any rate, great sunrise and I'm walking by 0700 and the vegetation is a bit overgrown and soaked. Glad for the gaiters. At the top of the hill I get a message to say that there is a chalet (no toilet or shower) I can rent for $65/night $20 more if I want linen!!!, "please confirm"- I do so, a bit grudgingly, no linen thanks!). That out of ... read more
Looking Back To The Hut
Owingup Swamp Glowing Yellow
5km Mark- Valley Descent

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Boat Harbour July 29th 2020

Day 6 William Bay to Boat Harbour 20.4km On the track at 07:20, kind of overcast, cool morning. At Mazoletti Beach 20 minutes later, the trail is open but the beach has to be accessed via a drop off onto the beach, the stairs have disintegrated and there is a handy rope to get yourself down. The weight of the pack makes for a rapid descent! Beautiful light across the sand and to the beach and I'm in luck because the sand is only half soft and sinky and half firm as opposed to fully soft and sinky. My other stroke of luck is that there are two ground parrots on the beach- fascinating little bird. There are also a small group of hooded plover. Given the amount of 4WD tracks I always despair that their ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Denmark July 28th 2020

MY APOLOGIES- I have stalled on writing this up- I did finish! 49 days this time. Just as speccie as the first time- hope to finish writing up at some point! Day 5 Denmark to William Bay 20km Breakfast prep in the Caravan parks' camp kitchen is unhurried, luckily, as it takes about 15 minutes to work out how to get the induction stove turned on for my egg boiling fiesta. Very nice to have a toaster and kettle too although I don't miss these things at all when I'm on the trail. Farewell Geoff under a bright blue sky at 9am, the trail head is directly opposite the caravan park, zero chance of getting lost. The first 6.5 kms for the day is spent exiting Denmark through a series of bush tracks, footpaths, wooden bridges ... read more
Denmark to Nornalup Rail Trail
Noice
The Idyllic Wislon Inlet




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