Thanks to Alan Hardy for his talk today at Castle Park bandstand. A small audience enjoyed his tales of life afoot, starting with his excitement as a young boy, when Everest was first climbed. (1953 for those who want to estimate Alan's age without chopping his leg off and counting the rings.) Young Alan imitated the adventure by putting a stick in the top of a pile of rubble on a demolition site. Alan expressed concern that today's young people are not given the opportunity to explore and play like that, and so may never get the bug for adventure outdoors.
Alan chatted about his hikes across the Scottish highlands, and in the Himalayas. But it wasn't all about walking and fording rivers, it was about people he met on the way, and a bit about food and drink - well you do get an appetite don't you?
The audience were interested in the differences between solo trips, and walking with another person or in a group. Alan had no particular preference; each option had its advantages and downside. Walking alone meant that you would see more of the natural world; groups of people make more noise and smell, which means less animals and birds to see. Besides, some people are driven crazy by their own company after a couple of hours! The audience enjoyed Alan's company for 45 minutes. Look out for him giving illustated talks to local groups after the summer.