Monday, March 10, 2014

La Vida Es Un Carnaval! Life is a Carnaval!

Prelim upload

The 2014 Carnaval de Barranquilla! 

Barranquilla's Carnival is Colombia's largest folkloric celebration and is also the biggest carnaval in the world after The Rio de Janeiro's Carnival. This year it is celebrating 10 years since being designated  by UNESCO as a "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity"!

This year was a special opportunity to attend, a number of family and family friends are part of the committee who organizes the carnaval, the family of this years Queen and our family are friends, on top my cousins good friend is dating the sister of the Queen... No way we were passing this opportunity!









Sunday, September 8, 2013

WRC Rallye Deutschland!

Decisions Decisions....

On this particular Aug weekend I had a tough decision to make... Either go to the Belgium Formula 1 race at Spa for Saturday practice or go for the weekend to Trier Germany for the WRC Ralley....

Having been to a few F1 races in the past and having just attended the German F1 race I went for WRC...




Here is a souvenir I brought home with me from the above rally car!






More pics at the album: https://plus.google.com/photos/101657604073960122394/albums/5921301322305612881

Monday, August 12, 2013




Mount Kilimanjaro SUMIT! We did it! 6:30am Aug 2nd! Over $10,000 (still counting) raised for two charities in Colombia; FundaciĆ³n del Quemado and OperaciĆ³n Sonrisas. Thanks everyone for the support and encouragement! There is still time to donate!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Climb for Colombia!

Please visit www.ClimbForColombia.com for more info!


We are now two weeks away from the start of the climb. I have done my part and now I need your help!

This adventure has double motivation. From one side its the adventure and experience and from the other its spreading the good name of Colombia and helping less fortunate kids in Colombia.

As I have mentioned below the climb is being 100% paid by me and thus 100% of the donations will go to the charities below.

To make a donation please CLICK HERE for spanish to english directions. 


The Charities: 


Fundacion del Quemado (Foundation for [a person with] Burns)



Fundacion del Quemado was founded 17 years ago with the goal of developing a non-profit foundation for the aesthetic, psychological and social rehabilitation of kids in Colombia who have suffered burns to their bodies. The Escobar family has been collaborating with this foundation for over 10 years. Earlier this year my younger brother suffered severe burns to his hands in a car crash so as a family we have experienced what it means to need medical services related to burns.

Donations to Fundacion del Quemado will be used for medical equipment (like this equipment purchased in early July) and operations.

Presentation Fundacion Del Quemado

 








Operacion Sonrisa (Operation Smiles)


Operation Smiles is a non for profit foundation that specializes in correcting facial deformation of the lip and palate specifically with the intent of helping the individual talk normally. They have been operating in Colombia since 1988 and since 1994 under global Operation Smile foundation. In 2012 Operacion Sonrisa has performed more than 3,100 operations and it in entire history more than 21,000 operations.

Donations to Operacion Sonrisas will be predominantly used for surgical procedures.

Presentation Operacion Sonrisa






To make a donation please CLICK HERE for spanish to english directions. Then please send and email to Andres@ClimbForCololmbia.com to indicate your donation amount and to which foundation it was sent. If you don't send me an email I will not be notified of the donation. If you would not like your name on the donor list please let me know as well.

All donations over $30 will receive a letter from the respective charity for tax purposes.




The Climb: 

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the African Continent and the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895 metres or 19,341 feet above sea level!

"The Kilimanjaro National Park shows that only 41% of trekkers actually reach the Uhuru summit with the majority turning around at Gilman’s Point, 300 metres (980 feet) short of Uhuru, or Stella Point, 200 (660 feet) meters short of Uhuru. Kilimanjaro is often underestimated because it can be walked and is not a technical climb. However, many mountaineers consider Kilimanjaro very physically demanding."

The expedition company selected is www.PeakPlanet.com. All the flights, and the expeditional  is booked and all the gear has been purchased!

There are several routes to the peak of Kilimanjaro, our expedition will take the Shira Route which is one of the less traveled and most scenic routes. The expedition will last 8 days and has between 50 and 60 hours of on your feet hiking and around 33miles/53km.





Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Almost the Last Adventure....

One week ago the struggle was to make it out alive! Here I am today, thankful to be alive and thankful for everything God has given me!



As some of you may know I am in the process of training for a charity climb up Kilimanjaro.... Here is my 3rd training hike....

Start of the hike....


A two-day desert-mountain training hike took several drastic turns for the worse! What should have been a simple 30 minute hike up and down the base of a mountain to get a better look at a route, left us unable to safely come back down to where we had left our backpacks with all our supplies and emergency gear.

No way we were making it back down this way...


From the 1,600m peak, I was told by the 50-year-old Monk who lives in a cave on the mountain, it would only take 5 hours to hike down to the base of the mountain along a different route that would be safe to descend.

1,600 meters.


Not an issue when it's 7am and you have food and six liters of water. It does become an issue when it's 120*F and it actually takes 28 hours and you soon run out of water. We spent 13 hours without water or food and an additional 15 hours drinking the minimum to keep our mouths from feeling like we had had a cup of superglue and sand shoved down our throats; because that how it felt the whole time! Dehydration and extreme exhaustion quickly set in; every step was a struggle to maintain any sort of composure and I was constantly out of breath regardless of how slow we were moving!

Father resting under the sun after I tied the sole of his shoe back on using his shoe lace. The sole had had completely fallen of.


It was impossible to walk more than ten minutes without collapsing under the sun onto the hot desert floor to regain the strength to even stand up again and try to take another step. After laying on the floor to rest it would take me 10 second after I sat up to regain my bearing, like 20 seconds with my head at waist level and then another 20 seconds before I would take a step and not fall over from being dizzy!


Half way down. From here it took another 10hr of hiking and an overnight rest.



Ultimately, I was rescued by a search and rescue party of two Jeeps that the father had run into when he raced ahead to get help. The Egyptian search and rescue helicopter making final preparations to take off just minutes after they found me.

After over six liters of re-hydration liquids and a visit to the hospital for an IV, blood, urine, EKG, and ultrasound test, along with a head CT scan, the doctors confirmed there would be a full recovery!

The longest 28 hours of my life! Amen!

AEGS

Monday, March 25, 2013

Gilf Kibir expedition; sneak peak.

Hello hello...  ok i know I have been falling back big time on posting fotos... Have a back log of the East Africa trip, Lebanon, London, a few random desert trip and the Gilf.... :-/ Hope to catch up soon!



Waddi Hamra, the Red valley. Located on the north side of the Gilf Kibir plateau close to the boarder of Libya and Sudan.The sand and rocks in this valley are red due to the iron oxide in them. The other side of the valley is much more red and less orange.Part of a 10 day, 2,400km desert trip of 4 jeeps along with 3 support vehicles and 5 military escorts for security.








The Foggini Mestekawi Cave, one of the worlds most spectacular examples of prehistoric cave carvings and paintings. Located on the south side of the Gilf Kibir plateau close to the boarder of Libya and Sudan.
Discovered in 2003 it contains over 1,000 individual figures dating back to more than 11,000 years. Mind blowing is the depiction of animals like buffaloes, giraffes, octopus, ostriches and other unidentifiable animals that 11,000 years ago lived in what today is one of the driest and most inhospitable place in the world.The climax of a 10 day, 2,400km desert tripof 4 jeeps along with 3 support vehicles and 5 military escorts for security.

Check back soon for a full report!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

London sneak peak!

Took advantage of an unexpected 4 day holiday in Egypt to fly over to London!

Click for larger version.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Shark Teeth Fossil Moto ride...

Hello! 1st real post of 2013... and its going to be a quicky!

Was an interesting weekend... Original plan was to go on an unofficial company/work department desert trip but due to some complications it got cancelled, backup plan was to go climb Mt. Sinai/St. Catherine Mountain in the Sinai Peninsula... But then Thursday night Dave called me up to see if I was up for a overnight camping trip on the bikes with some others in 4x4s.... Sounds like a plan. I can basically go climb St. Catherine any weekend alone, but I cant go out into the desert on the motorcycle alone; to risky even with the satellite phone.

The Jeep sad because she was not going to get to play in the sand! [Note how clean the Jeep is.. For the work trip... Before that with all the rain it was more of a brown color! :) ]

All loaded up in Dave's truck!

Its been more than a month since I have gone on a proper motorcycle trip (due to all the travel, so its not that bad)... But I really have missed the desert and the bike! In this trip we went to a familiar area but took a different and very beautiful path.

Mid trip... Up on an escarpment after playing in those dunes for a while.

The next place we stopped at is what made this trip extra memorable! Steve took us to the side of a mountain where he has found lots of shark teeth fossils in the past. Yup, that's right, shark teeth in the desert. In one of my previous blog entries; mid post I talk about a visit to a whale cemetery. In short the whole desert use to be underwater and that's why there are shells, whale and other marine fossils!

I must admit, Steve found almost all of these fossils... It was Steve, Phill and me looking for shark teeth for like 45 min and the record ended up being 12, 0, 2. Steve has more practice then we had! I was in my moto gear with knee pads and elbow pads... After a while of not finding anything I was crawling almost kissing the ground... Steve was just walking slightly bent! 




After a long day of riding we made it to camp!



For dinner Sarah cooked a delicious chicken curry! (Mark was missing in action with back pain, may have been a good thing for the cooking part) 



Once the sun set the temperature dropped quickly... It was in the low 40's *F/4+ *C... I really did not want to make my tent so I just slept outside... Good thing I brought my winter sleeping bag that is rated for 0*F Never got cold... But I did sleep right next to the fire, more for amusement then for warmth.


After sun rise we had a really really good breakfast! Lets just say it was better than my everyday cereal and better then on the weekends when I make eggs!! Thanks Steve and Pam!


Sausage and bacon imported from the UK, beans, mushrooms, bread and fried eggs!

The rest of the crew headed out for a few more hours of playing in the desert and Dave and I headed back towards Cairo...

Great weekend!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hello from 2013!

Hello from 2013!

2012 ended with a bang and 2013 started just how I would have liked!

For the Christmas holidays I was fortunate enough to go on a 11 day safari from Dar el Salaam in Tanzania, though Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe; ending at the magnificent Victoria Falls!

The 1st weekend of 2013 I took advantage of a 4 day weekend we had in Egypt for Coptic Christmas and I hopped over to Lebanon!

But with all that time off comes a lot of make up work at the office... Hope to post pics in the next week or so... 

Here is one picture from Zambia to make you hungry for more!


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