July was possibly one of the craziest months on Remote Year so far. We were based in London after our initial plan to be in Istanbul was changed early on in the program. For most of us, this wasn’t entirely a welcomed change.
After spending four months completely out of our element in Spanish-speaking countries, we
were going to be in London, one of the most Americanized cities in Europe, in my opinion. Due to this, lots of people went home or took side trips, which meant there were always people coming and going. My month was no exception.
After my short trip back to Maine, I arrived in London reinvigorated and ready to explore. I ended up joining last minute on a trip that would come to be known as the #almostthreepeaks challenge. The actual three peaks challenge is to hike the highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland in 24 hours. No easy feat, but hey, gotta love those rose-colored glasses.
The first bump in the road was when it took us about four hours just to get to the airport and rent the car. I believe we took somewhere between 5-6 trains and buses before finally getting to our destination. From there, we had another six-hour drive to Wales, our first stop. When we woke up the next day, it was pouring rain with no end in sight. We’d made it this far though and we were going to hike the mountain, rain or not.
After four hours, the six of us were completely drenched and frozen to the core. We immediately huddled back in our van and found the closest restaurant to warm up and reassess our weekend goals. Initially, we had intended to continue on and hike a second mountain that day, but that clearly wasn’t going to happen. At this point, the only dry clothes the boys had to wear were ours.
We decided to opt out of the mountain in Scotland and continue onto England to hike the third mountain the following day. We found a cozy hostel next to the water after lots of calls to different places along our route. After an amazing Indian dinner, we went to bed early to prepare for another early start and long day. While it wasn’t raining when we woke up, the wind and fog was beyond anything I had ever seen.
To provide some additional motivation as we trekked up mountain number three, there was actually a marathon happening on the same path we were hiking. So, a few of us dug down and found some energy to ran down the mountain, splashing through the puddles and trying not to tumble the whole way down. While there may have been times I thought I was going to collapse or be blown straight off the mountain, the whole experience was wildly exhilarating.
At the end of the day, we ended up only hiking 1.5 of the three mountains, but it was an adventure nonetheless. We celebrated our relative success with wine and pizza in the van all the way back to London.
With love, Paige