Crossing Scotland

The four of us sat in the car at the trailhead in Glencoe, questioning what to do. We watched dozens of tourists exit their tour buses, snap a few photos, and return to the bus completely soaked. Climbing was ruled out after some deliberation, so we drove to Glencoe Village for lunch, turned the car around, and decided to return to Edinburgh with our tails between our legs. Scotland's weather was simply too mean, but I'm sure that if you can get to West Scotland on a clear day, it is probably one of the most beautiful views in the world.

First Munro – Mayar

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.

The Unpronounceable City: Edinburgh

The highlighted cultural activity in Edinburgh was the Scottish Museum of Modern Art. Some of the art was questionable, but some was absolutely fantastic, especially the neon words at the entrance (perfect after reading The Dharma Bums by Jack Keruac), and all the work by Victoria Morton, especially Dirty Burning.

Images from Cumbria

After the marathon, Davinia's dad took us on a small road trip all around the Lake District, with stops in Barrow-in-Furness, Kirkstone Pass, Glenridding, and, as a perfect post-marathon walk, Easedale Tarn by way of Grasmere. The rocky green hills and lakes were awesome to see, and definitely got me excited for my indefinite time here in England.

A Marathon in More Ways than One

What I did not anticipate was that I would lose feeling in my toes during the mountaineering mission in Kyrgyzstan, so I ended up running this marathon without feeling in most of my toes, except pain when I ran downhill, especially on asphalt.

The Last Yurt on the Left

As soon as we were on the other side, a podgy Kyrgyz man in a crowd of other men watching the clearing of the slide started screaming at me in Russian, too quickly for me to understand. He approached me with his hand raised, as if he were going to hit me in the back of the head, so I flinched and got out of arm's length as quickly as I could. The rest of the crowd, which included military and police officers, didn't even give the situation a cursory glance despite an obvious foreigner about to be whacked in the head.