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And now the end is near…

And now the end is near…
I’ve done my last day at work for a while. It’s a strange feeling to walk away from a place that you’ve really enjoyed being at, knowing that you won’t return. 
Two and half years ago I got a phone call for a short term project – “Three weeks work, four at the most”. I’d worked there a couple of times before and was familiar with the people and familiar with the drill. I didn’t anticipate two and a half years to be honest, but I’ve loved it for the most part.
Progress, however, means that I won’t return; production is moving out to the far east – Vietnam – and the south east – Essex. The world keeps turning. That’s life.
It has provided me with a decent income and plenty of flexibility to pursue my passions.
Today I fly to Nepal for ten-plus weeks. It’s been worth it. I’ll miss the people, some of whom I consider to be good friends and not just colleagues, but we’ll meet again.
People, friends, characters.
You can travel all around the world and see the most amazing things but you will always remember the special people more than anything else. The memories you make in life are almost always connected to people. I like people.

On Monday morning I will be drinking coffee and laughing with other special people, my friends in Nepal. And I can’t wait.

On Tuesday I will be heading west towards Rara Lake and the road less travelled.
My friends Jenny Caunt & Santosh Rai, proprietors at Himalayan Singletrack in Thamel, Kathmandu, invited me along on a reconnaissance trip to discover new trails in this rarely visited region of the Himalayan Kingdom. A Himalayan Kingdom that is crying out for tourist dollars to help fuel the recovery in the wake of the 8.1 magnitude earthquake. A road less travelled, yet travelled with friends, is a road to remember.

I will also be assisting with this years Yak Attack again. It’s the tenth anniversary race this year and it is something a bit special. The lure of the Upper Mustang has drawn an unprecedented number of racers, some of whom I know well. It isn’t just a race, It is a gathering of people like no other event I’ve ever known. Racers come back year after year to challenge themselves against the might of The Himalaya, but for all of the returnees it isn’t just a race, it is a reunion, it is a place to meet friends of old, and friends yet discovered. It’s all about that people thing, again. I can’t wait.

And for the rest of my time in Nepal? Who know’s? I’ll take whatever comes my way. (Hopefully a few beers, some partying, and maybe some mountainbiking inbetween times :D)

The closure of the factory brought with it an opportunity of a different kind. I bought a van.
When I eventually drag myself back home in the depths of winter I’ll have my new van to look forward to. If you’ll spare me the time I’d like to share that journey too; the journey of my new van from a neglected, heavily logo’d, company runabout, through to a lovingly converted mobile home. You may have to be patient though, it could take a while. (It could take quite a while just to remove all the logo’s). I plan to do it slowly and I’d like to document the whole process right here, warts & all.
I enjoy writing my blog. I enjoy sharing my personal journeys with the thought that others may be enjoying them too. Stick around and we can travel a little farther… together. I’d like that.

My new (old) van. Destination Unknown.
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Thank you for looking, see you soon.
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Consume less, live more. Plant more trees.

About The Author

Neil Cottam

Neil is the founder of Chase The Rainbow. He has spent a lifetime exploring the outdoors, from a childhood climbing trees and scrambling his bike around old pit heads to hiking in the Himalaya and backpacking around Europe and Asia.

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