It's strange being back. You go and do something special, some would say life changing, and you get back and nothing has changed. People ask how it was, and the response is usually something like "awesome". Then they ask what it was like, and again I say something like "incredible", and "how good it was to get everyone up and back in one piece", and "how we won the game". I find it very difficult to answer these questions. Not that I don't have the answers, but that what we did was an experience that none of us will ever forget. Something that the 48 people, and the incredible work of the support team of Sherpa's, will ever forget. Putting this in to words is a challenge.
On the face of it we flew to Kathmandu, got another flight walked for 9 days, played a game of cricket and walked back. We had a couple of nights on the sauce when we got back, and ate rubbish food for the best part of 3 weeks. What more is there to say? I'm very modest when it comes to this sort of thing. and anyone who knows me, knows how I don't really like to talk about myself much, or about OUR achievements.
Here's what we did though:
We managed to get a group of 48 incredible people together, for an expedition we will never forget. We endured days of trekking, often in silence, and on limited food. We spent 2 weeks in the highest and most stunning range of mountains on the planet, climbed over 5000m, combated altitude sickness and rubbish banter from our mates. We laughed and smiled with hundreds of kids during the trip. We endured a grim virus that picked people of at random. We made some great friends, friends for life. We captured the world's imagination, and hit the headlines all over the globe. We broke a world record, and we raised in excess of £100k for charity, which will in turn bring happiness to thousands of kids across the UK and Nepal.
These are the highlights, but what I will remember most are the dark times. The times when some of us couldn't go on because of illness, when we walked 2 hours in the dark to catch up with the rest of the group, because we were stubborn, and that's what we had set out to do at the start of the day. The words of encouragement; the arm around you from the person you least expected giving you support. These were the times that I knew we were doing something special, not just the fund raising and the world record, but for me it was the Band of Brothers and Sisters that we will know as our friends for many years to come.