On the Friday morning, Sam started his journey in the early hours up to Bangor, where he jumped in the van with me as I would be staying in my van for the four nights outside Glenmore lodge. I definitely regretted taking my new summer bag for Madagascar as I woke in the middle of the night with ice next to my face but after some layering up of everything I had with me I made it through the night. At least we were still having snowball fights in April.
The tone was set very quickly for the course, a lot of information and a lot of questions, some more relative than others. I won’t bore you with everything as the course covered everything that could possibly go wrong on an expedition from illnesses to injuries, drugs to legal aspects to water and food. We were also shown how to intramuscularly inject, staple and glue wounds and deal with various scenarios of casualties in very awkward positions. However, as everything was covered it did highlight how many things are out to hurt us. It made me a bit more nervous and I’m definitely going to be militant about the little parasites that feed on you from the inside. You have to take a few days after the course to put things back into realistic threats.
One of the best things about this course is at the end you get a shopping list and a personal pharmacist that can equip you to kill all bugs and allow you to get prescription level painkillers and antibiotics which is crucial for us as we are expecting to be a long way from anywhere these would be available. The more we prepare the more it’s making me think that the kayaking is going to be the easiest bit, apart from when we meet a cave crocodile. That puts another level on siphons.
This course (and flights) were made a lot cheaper because of Bangor University who gave a big chunk of money to me and the team. So I would like to thank the University and Richard Bennet (Director of sport) personally for endorsing the Expedition and making it a lot safer.