Egypt was my first country high point for several months after a difficult summer, losing a close family member, a fantastic person and a true friend. As I spend a great deal of the time on my own during my country high point trips I needed some time to be in a place mentally where I could just focus on the task at hand.
The final summit of this multi country high point adventure saw me heading to Grenada.
Trinidad and Tobago was the third country of a multi-country high point adventure where I had already successfully stood on the highest point in Barbados and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines a few days earlier. I caught a pre-booked shuttle to my hotel to spend the rest of the day relaxing as I had an onward flight to Grenada at 22:00 the following evening so had planned for an early start allowing myself enough time to get to the trailhead in the mountains, climb through the jungle to the highest point of the country and then have time to spare to pick my spare gear up from the hotel before heading to the airport.
After already successfully standing on the highest point of Barbados, The next stop on this multi-country high point Caribbean adventure was Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to climb their countries highest mountain, La Soufriere. I flew the short distance from Barbados to Saint Vincent on LIAT, only taking around 45 minutes. Once I had landed and gone through the usual landing card and passport control routine, I bypassed the baggage carousel with my hand luggage, headed through customs and into the small arrivals area where my Airbnb host was already waiting. I walked over and introduced myself as I had recognised her photo from the Airbnb website. We were soon on our way making the short drive to her nearby home via a local shop where I picked up some food and drink in preparation for the climb the following day.
I was a little apprehensive when heading back to the Caribbean after the way my previous country high points trip had unravelled a few months earlier. That time while in Aruba and Curacao I had 5 cancelled flights in 5 days with InselAir the only airline who flew to my next destination of Sint Maarten at the time. With the flight from there too now missed by the delay, I had little option but to abandon my trip, losing a great deal of money in the process. I know delays and cancelled flights are quite common in the Caribbean but this time I knew I wouldn’t have to just rely on one sole airline if any problems arose. So I booked the same as I always have done giving enough time for any of the usual unforeseen events.
I arrived in Curacao a day later than planned due to my flight with InselAir from Aruba being cancelled the day before. I had already contacted the guest house while still in Aruba asking them to hold the room for me as I would still be travelling albeit just to stay there for the evening before flying onto St Maarten.
My first country high point in the Americas and the first of a planned 9 day 5 Country high point adventure. I flew from Birmingham to Amsterdam where I had a comfortable sleep in the airport by remaining air-side on arrival (Several mice running around despite being on the second floor) followed by a Tui flight from Amsterdam to Aruba with a short layover in Bonaire en route the following morning.
As with the majority of my potential high points, I’m always on the lookout for cheap flights to nearby airports which can potentially lower the cost of my trip considerably compared to having a preplanned list of specific high points to climb per year. Therefore the flight price usually dictates where I climb and travel to next.
Having only ever been to Montenegro briefly before (around an hour while climbing Maglic in Bosnia Herzegovina) I was looking forward to finally having the chance to see more of the country on this trip.
Another trip to the Arctic circle. This time I ventured even further north to climb Halti, the highest point in Finland and the most northern country high point in the world.