Ben Winston

Not your average travel blog

….Still 9 months to go

Click the link if you’d like to donate:
A pretty productive weekend as the majorities enjoyed the British summer sunshine (all in two days) and I rested my strained metatarsals under some frozen peas with too many episodes of Game of Thrones and the Ashes warm up against the black caps (sorry, we’re not allowed to call it that).
Yesterday I released the blog to the globe, well, to a few friends and family so they could be the first to tell me that I’m mad and that maybe I should be concentrating on other commitments now that I have turned thirty (their British stiff upper lip way of saying they’re worried about me without saying it). Come to think of it, not one of my 60 or so family members reacted with surprise, fear or concern. It was as if I’d mentioned that I had bought some new shoes (which I have). A couple did ask, before I had chance to tell them the news, if someone was getting married – not me though! They thought I was passing on the news of another couples engagement. Charming. Mentioning my challenge seemed like an anti-climax. Can we just have another wedding? Oh, and my gran wants grandchildren whilst we’re at it.
I’ve made a few visual changes and edited a lot of the ‘fixed’ material on the blog pages. I’m certain once I’m on the road, I won’t have the luxury of an entire weekend to spend in shops, browsing possibly much required items or busying myself on my electrical equipment, relaxing and writing. I’ll make hundreds of mistakes but I hate bad grammar! Time for my learned friends to send notes to me on the art of constructing a sentence with correct spelling and grammar. Grandma saves lives (it really does).
I was excited when I left home yesterday; to seek a little advice on footwear, camping equipment, to speak to a few staff members of well known outdoor adventure stores about trekking long distances and about sponsorship, marketing….and socks. It was a disappointing outing. Understandably, visiting an outlet selling adventure accessories and apparel on a bank holiday weekend might not have been a good idea, but only because they were seriously understaffed for what I thought was actually a minute amount of custom. Having been introduced to the “Shoe Specialist” I was a little disappointed to only be given the advice that I could read on the tag against each shoe and what I already knew about what I needed for my feet (something to keep them intact). Whilst the specialist struggled to serve five people at once (who wouldn’t?), I managed to measure my own feet (I think I managed it but I’m not a specialist) and test the height of my own arches (neutral to low – so depressing). After a few pairs being dropped at my feet and waiting twenty minutes for service (and going for a walk on the in-shop tread mill), I left. I did however find a pair which should keep my feet in fine fettle whilst I train for next nine months. I imagine I’ll need another pair at least this side of Christmas (hint for any interested sponsors). I made sure I ordered a pair in the right size from home….from a different shop. Now I have a pair of boots for some training and a little “off-roading”. I bought a pair of Mammut Cirrus GTX Men’s Hiking Boot with the need for them to be; durable, strong, extremely lightweight, waterproof and breathable with gortex material. I also went for a hard-wearing sole and heel with sturdy ankle support, but above all, they were comfortable. Should do the trick.
My outing wasn’t a waste of time. At least I tried on a few pairs and found out what I needed to know. I just lacked any professional help. I also purchased a variety of Bridgedale trekking and summit socks. Again, to try out a few different types to see what works best to keep my feet from falling apart, both in my new daps and in the summer climate. I found some ‘serious’ sleeping bags (the 750g Vango one tickled my fancy) and I checked out a few impressive multi-tools – I’m a guy, I cant go into a shop that stocks knives with tools attached to them, without checking them out – a replacement is required as when I last looked, I seem to have lost mine…bad times.

Although I’m expecting a lot of disappointing responses from sponsorship and support requests, one guy in particular yesterday really didn’t deserve to be working in an adventure outlet. I mentioned my challenge and he asked rather negatively if I was doing it without a support vehicle. Understandably, I could see his logic, but pessimistically and admittedly, I wanted to shove his free Salomon uniform up his a*** and tell him to try getting his spotless, off-road trainers a little dirty. He was the least supportive and enthusiastic person I’ve ever met in an adventure store. There was definitely more support in my new pumps than in any of him. He definitely wasn’t “To the max”, or knarly. Who said I wasn’t down with the kids?

After the first encounter with negativity, I wanted to change the whole challenge and began questioning my ability, my safety and my sanity.
I’m not normally influenced that easily, but this is a new adventure, a new continent, a new challenge and it’s completely alien to me. Although I’m heading to a western nation, I’m heading somewhere completely unknown, technically alone. I then just realised, after having a quiet word with myself on a London bus, that the guy was a complete muppet. My soul was consoled.

So much so, that I had a pint whilst admiring St Paul’s and the Thames.


Click the link if you’d like to donate:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on May 27, 2013 by in USA on $6 a day and tagged , , , , .

Where am I now?

After extensive work and tours through Southern Africa, most of my time is spent between Malawi and Europe.
Go Untamed Safaris was striding into top gear, but volatile poitics in 2019, Covid in 2020, the impacts of Russia vs the World as well as insesent corruption forced my hand.
The dust is now settling. Everything has changed. New chapters are about to be written.

Top Posts & Pages

Some attractive mature nudists
Washington (Seattle and Olympic National Park)
Info: The Writer
A geriatric, old swan from Scotland
%d bloggers like this: