Monthly Archives: August 2017

Hiking in Snowdonia

I just went on my first UK hiking weekend!

Given how much I enjoy being outdoors and exploring when I’m on holiday, it’s a bit ridiculous that I haven’t done it before. I’ve trekked in the Himalayas and been on walks/hikes in several other countries (Bolivia, Peru and Brazil in the last year alone), but not in the country I’ve lived in all my life.

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t literally my first hike in the UK – I was able to dust off some old walking boots that haven’t left the country (the cobwebs testify to their dormancy over the last decade or more) – but I’m pretty sure it’s the first time I’ve climbed to the top of anything in the UK.

I’ve thought about this quite a bit; the fact that it’s so common to take for granted what’s on your doorstep. I’ve noticed it all over the world, particularly with Australians, and I’ve joked about falling into the same trap when it comes to what the UK has to offer.

So I’m very grateful to my cousin Claire for inviting me to go to Snowdonia for the weekend, so I could start to put that right. She’s preparing to do the Inca trail to Machu Picchu with my Uncle Jim in October, so this was part of their training. We were also joined by another cousin, Jo, and Claire’s friend, Michelle.

The weather played a huge part in our weekend and the two days were extremely different. On Saturday we were hiking to Cadair Idris, but we hadn’t gone far when visibility started to get worse, which meant we basically spent the rest of the hike in the clouds. At the point we decided to turn back, rain was falling, the wind-chill had picked up and visibility was only about 10-20 metres as we “looked” over a cliff edge (we were supposed to bear right to get to the summit, but we weren’t to know). It wasn’t extreme weather, by any means, but bad enough to sap some of the enjoyment out of it.

Sunday, on the other hand, was perfect! Well, almost perfect! We were climbing Snowdon and the day started with a cloudless sky. It stayed bright for most of the day, apart from at the summit which became shrouded in cloud just as we were approaching. It was a good day for photos, as each part of my photo wish-list was catered for (blue sky, water and elevation) – I’ll add a couple, but you can see more of my photos HERE.


The walking itself was good fun and everyone did really well – especially my uncle, who noticed a huge improvement since his previous hike up Snowdon just a few weeks earlier. You can see some more details of the hikes on Strava:

Saturday at Cadair Idris on Strava

Sunday at Snowdon on Strava

My biggest challenge was actually getting to Snowdonia and back from Cambridge, but I was very fortunate to be picked up and driven door to door – 8 hours each way. My friend Matt did the Cambridge to Manchester journey and my uncle did the rest – a huge thank you to both of you as well.

I wasn’t overly keen on the prospect of camping and in the end we didn’t need to. On Friday night, the five of us squeezed into a 3-man “pod” at Hendre Hall. Since we arrived late and left early the next morning, it did the job and made for a cosy night’s sleep. Saturday night we were in a bunkhouse, which had a very handy “drying room” for all our wet clothes.

I’m sure this weekend will be the first of many, so a big thank you to Claire, Jim, Jo and Michelle for making it such a good trip.


Female Education & Camfed

Female education is essential for the success of every one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which outline what the international community has committed to achieve by 2030 (read more about the SDG’s here or watch this video).

That might sound like hyperbole but it’s true. I thought about going into more detail about how each SDG can be linked to education, but the infographic at the bottom of this post does that for me. Instead, I’ll talk about the charity I’m currently working for, which is making huge strides in sub-Saharan Africa.


Camfed aka The Campaign for Female Education is an international non-profit organization tackling poverty and inequality by supporting girls to go to school and succeed, and empowering young women to step up as leaders of change.

Camfed’s tagline echoes the message above about the broad impact that focusing on female education has on society’s greatest challenges: When you educate a girl, everything changes.

Camfed often cites that an educated girl will:

  • earn up to 25% more for every year in secondary school
  • reinvest 90% of her earnings in her family
  • be 3x less likely to become HIV-positive
  • marry later and have a smaller, healthier family
  • resist gender-based violence and discrimination
  • invest in her children’s education

Camfed’s bread and butter is supporting girls to go to school, but their flagship program is CAMA – the alumnae network for Camfed graduates. Since CAMA was founded in 1998 it has flourished (they recently hit the milestone of 100,000 members) and acts as proof of the multiplier effect of female education. Read more about CAMA here.


Camfed has just announced its #UnlockFutures campaign, which means that any donations received between 11th October 2017 and 10th January 2018 will be doubled by the UK Government. Please consider donating to my sponsorship campaign during this period – you can find out more in my blog post and my sponsorship page.

Read more…

If you want to find out more about Camfed’s work, their website is full of resources, including numerous stories from individuals. There are lots of videos on their YouTube page and you can also read more about female education here:

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