Socks, cream teas and pin cushions

Trip Start Jun 30, 2010
Trip End Jun 01, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Very excited, we have a sponsor! Come this weekend we will be proudly sporting what are (probably) the most gorgeous mohair socks in the world, thanks to Steve from Corrymoor and his pedigree angora goats. From Stockland in the Blackdown Hills, Corrymoor socks are local, natural, and brilliantly colourful, and I can't wait to put them thorough their paces during the12 treks we've planned to do around the globe. 
Bar a few accessories, all kit, clothing and medical bits have now been assembled and tested, packed, weighed and unpacked, packed and weighed again. Keen to get our rucksack weight to under 12Kg we have become somewhat obsessive. During our Corsican GR20 trekking holiday last year we each lost over a stone in just 10 days, in part from hauling unnecessary kit. So obsessive is good.  

We’re still feeling like pin-cushions - Swine Flu and Japanese B Encephalitis added to the vaccine list since the last blog - and we reassure ourselves daily that the sore arm and curious side effects, plus the minefield of pharmacies and drug pricing, and strange vials in the fridge, will soon be a thing of the past.  

I am now officially on holiday, having been given a lovely send-off yesterday by the team at the Blackdown Hills AONB. Phil is saying his goodbyes at work today, and laying on a cream tea for his colleagues, with Rodda's Cornish clotted cream no less! The number of heartfelt wishes, and requests to receive our blog, has really taken us aback.  

Despite the holiday status, we’re manic, trying to blitz the still extensive 'to do' list. The house has been stripped bare and everything has gone into storage, except for a few necessities, and we're in full-on DIY and cleaning mode as we prepare for utility and agency inspections, and our first tenants who move in this Monday.  

Alongside all the frenetic domestic activity, the trip itself is starting to feel more real now as tickets and confirmations come through. The Trans-Siberian-Mongolian rail, the Chinese trains and the Shanghai-Osaka ferry are all confirmed, and our passports have been safely returned from various consulates with exotic looking visas attached, including a pass for the Sikkim restricted area in West Bengal. Our reading and research continues, and thanks to various Rough Guides, Lonely Planets and Trailblazers, Phil has now pulled together a tantalising route overland between India and Nepal, including two Himalayan treks back to back. Those socks are going to need to be seriously good!
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