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Moving of our own volition is one of the first displays of freedom, and to walk at our own pace is a statement of it. The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once wrote in a letter to his sister-in-law: “Every day I walk myself into a state of well being and walk away from illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts and I know no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.” Walking is an exercise of physical and spiritual well-being. The ways in which we take a walk and the distances we cover are usually details that we don’t regularly consider, but for three local men, the path that led them through some of the world’s most rugged and awe-inspiring mountain ranges and the distance they covered will be forever etched in their minds.

Mark Randall, Stephen Hermida, and Joe Celecia have come together to tell their story in a new book: HIMALAYA – From the Rock to a High Place. The book, written by Mark, includes photos by Stephen, a travel photographer, and shares the accounts of their experiences travelling through Nepal’s famous Three Passes Trek. Known to be the hardest trek in Nepal, the trek bypasses the 5000m high point on six different occasions whilst the majority of the trek still remains higher than 4000m. The book also includes the account of Joe Celecia’s third climb in the Himalayas, which through the hard-earned experience of previous climbs and his sheer tenacity becomes the first Gibraltarian to supersede the 7000m mark in the famous mountain range.

Through his sheer tenacity, he became the first Gibraltarian to supersede 7000m.

Many will know of Mark’s other adventures, recorded in his two previous books: Walk to the Rock and On Ancient Trails. This joint venture explores the majesty of a far-off gem and of the enduring nature of the human spirit, as all three individuals reached their goals through naturally formed obstacles and trials that were unique to each of them. Mark began these tests of endurance after he was medically advised to walk himself back to wellbeing after a back injury, but this back injury caused him numerous sleeping problems on a trek during which many climbers succumb to exhaustion. Stephen, though a seasoned adventurer, was embarking on his first trekking expedition and had to come to terms with an endeavour many would have worked up to, and Joe overcame the struggles of previous expeditions on which problems with equipment that was meant to aid him became an impediment. The natural obstacles were clearly evident to the three men, beyond the feeling of strain and fatigue, as the book explains the realities of the dangers of this trek including the ordeals they faced and the accounts of their fellow adventurers. As with all great ventures, not everything goes to plan and readers will be given a glimpse into what it is like to be at the mercy of such a dangerous terrain.

However, the book is not just about a struggle in pursuit of a goal but also of marvelling in one of the wonders of this planet. More so it is about people, whether those they encountered in Nepal and the culture and traditions that formed them or the ones that they trekked with. The story told is one that will have something for everyone; those with an eye for adventure, those seeking to learn about a place that many of us will never see, or those that hope to find tuition in enlightenment.

This venture explores the enduring nature of the human spirit.

HIMALAYA is currently available as a kindle ebook from Amazon and printed copies will hopefully be released in October or November of this year, the printed book will include photos by Stephen. Stephen has also contributed a foreword to the book. As with both his previous books, Mark will be aiming to donate the earnings from this latest book to a charity. His previous book, On Ancient Trails led to a donation of £8,000 to five different charities and will hopefully be available as an ebook in the near future. His hope is that his walking journeys will continue to help others into further well-being. It seems that the many miles of this earth he has walked will help to further the life journeys of many others.

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Head always in the clouds and feet always strolling. I have many books but only two Chihuahuas, which are usually the cause of many late article submissions as they tend to climb from my lap to my laptop. I still haven't been able to indirectly quote 'The Office' in any of my articles, which I feel is a weakness on my part as a writer. However, I know what to do: "But in a much more real sense, I have no idea what to do." Nearly married to the H-Bomb