Davinia and I spent a week exploring the Isle of Man, a relatively small island state in between Great Britain and Ireland. Her mother and her mom's partner did a fantastic job of showing us around, feeding us (really, really well), and just generally being awesome.
Some might know of the bigger feats, such as reaching the summits of the 14 peaks that rise above 8,000 meters or summiting the "Big Three" in the Alaska Range (Denali, Sultana, and Begguya, also known as McKinley, Foraker, and Hunter). But one mountaineering list I was completely unaware of, until I was standing on a summit in Scotland, is the Munros.
We were able to escape the city for a long weekend out at Kolsai Lakes with some of my awesome friends here. The second night we camped on the shores of the second lake, and it was the night of the "Super Moon," which meant we had some fun and animal spirits were high.
After gaining about 500 meters from the road, the border guards caught up with us. Luckily, we were 500 meters above the road and a few kilometers away, and the guards were not to anxious to leave their Lada 4x4 or the road. They shouted and whistled at us, but we played deaf until we arrived at the top of the ridge, and at that point we lost sight of them until we would arrive back at the observatory later that evening.
The time I spent in East Java was undoubtedly incredible because of the friendly people, wonderful food, and being able to see where one of my best friends has been living for almost two years now. But to be able to climb Lawu and see such an incredible sunrise next to a great friend transformed the experience into something like that first trip to Cologne n 2005; it was a trip that increased my passion for both international travel and my love of mountains further than ever before.