Going high for 5545m!

Only a few days away til I jet off to Kathmandu, Nepal to start my trek to Everest Base Camp and Kala Pattar, altitude 5545m!

I’m booked in with the travel company Intrepid, who have organised the guides, porters and teahouse/guesthouse accommodation along the way.

Not sure about how I’m going to fare on this trip.  The trip notes recommended 12 weeks of preparation involving running, cycling, swimming and weekend hikes.  Though I’ve been doing a lot of walking and some hiking, travelling around means that I haven’t been able to prepare as much as I would have liked.   We’ll see how it goes… Continue reading Going high for 5545m!

Capitol Limited to Chicago

After an overnight stay in Washington, I caught the 4:05pm Capitol Limited for the next leg of my Amtrak journey to Chicago.  As an overnight train, the Capitol Limited has a full buffet car service for dinner and breakfast, as well as a cafe car which is open pretty much all hours.  “Clyde”, the guy in the cafe car made frequent announcements over the train’s PA, making the items in the car sound a hell of a lot better than it actually was (using adjectives like organic, gourmet, fresh, tantalising… etc).  I witnessed first hand the quality of what’s on board when I woke up hungry after falling asleep pretty much boarded the train.  Little did I know that by doing so, I missed the conductor walking through recording reservations for dinner (a dinner which is well rated by the guy at Seat61.com) so I had a a pretty limp, processed chicken burger and rehydrated juice made from “organic and artificial ingredients sourced from the USA and overseas” instead.  At least it contained a heck of a lot of sugar (the burger and juice) (45g for 500mL or something?) so after the initial sugar rush, I was able to sleep again. Continue reading Capitol Limited to Chicago

The East Coast: Washington, D.C.

Note: My map of attractions for Washington, D.C. can be found here. Yes, I flipped the featured image…

If you want to experience the best trains in the United States, you can catch the Acela Express 150mph train which covers the leg between New York and Washington, D.C.  Or, for about half the price, you can catch a standard Amtrak train.  I went for the latter – a train called the “Northeast Regional”.  Being only around 40 minutes slower than the Acela (3hr 25min vs 2hr 45min?), I couldn’t justify the extra $. Continue reading The East Coast: Washington, D.C.

The East Coast: The Fighting Town of Philadelphia


A short journey by bus from New York will land you in the ‘fighting town of Philadelphia’ – a.k.a. the hometown of Rocky Balboa.  And along with the Philly Cheese Steak and a friend from College who has just moved back to Philly, visiting Philly wasn’t that high on my list of things to do.  With bus tickets costing $18.00 return from New York however, I decided to make the trip anyway. Continue reading The East Coast: The Fighting Town of Philadelphia

Empire State Building or Top of the Rock?

If there is a city where I would be happy pay to visit an observation deck to view the skyline, New York would be it. Arguably, the most famous observation deck in the city is also located near the top of arguably the world’s most famous skyscraper and icon of the New York skyline since 1931; the Empire State Building located on 33rd St. Needless to say however that by viewing New York from the Empire State, you will miss out on viewing the Empire State. Continue reading Empire State Building or Top of the Rock?