Two Days In The Kombi

My NOT so little project is starting to take shape now. I’ve had this bus for a few years now and have always been tinkering with her. Lately I have stepped it up a notch in hoping that I will take her on one BIG adventure soon.

Tattered Passport

Two Days in The Kombi

Lately I have had her engine repaired, she now has a new cam, her carbies have been re-built, I have had some pretty sick White Wall Tyres put on her and now have painted the rims black. Inside I have been hard at work putting some recycled cupboards in, my wife Kristy has made up some of the coolest curtains and the other week I have had a new Pop-Top fitted. We have also given the inside a coat of paint.

Thank you for stopping by Tattered Passport. If you have liked this post I would love to have you subscribe to my blog. Simply click on the “Follow” button at the bottom of your screen. You can also find Tattered Passport on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane

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My Spiritual Awakening at the Peace Stupa in Bhutan.

Every morning I pinch myself, I just can not believe that I am actually in Bhutan, it is just as incredible as I thought it would be, possibly even more, if that is possible? The day starts off with a drive down a crazy road down the side of a cliff, then a suspension bridge across a raging river and a hike up a mountain through fields getting ploughed by cows up to a Choeten built by a Kings Mother. Some start to the day hey???

After we crossed the prayer flag covered suspension bridge I watched a local farmer ploughing his field with the help of his two cows. My guide was a little surprised that this caught my interest. I find this style of farming, almost micro farming absolutely fascinating. Us westerners are so used to big super expensive machinery farming broad acre farms and mass producing food. So watching one man with his wife ploughing his small patch of land with his two cows and a wooden, most likely home built plough was not just a step back in time but a peek into a simpler life, a life that intrigues my imagination. As we walked through this valley I soon realised that this was a beautiful way to farm. I walked through fields of large, well cared for tomatoes, fruit trees covered in fruit and fields and fields of lush green crops. The small farms were producing such a high grade of food, with no machinery or complex irrigation systems. Zig Zaging their way through the terraced fields were tiny little streams, these were the only way that the farmers would irrigate their crops. Along the streams I noticed systematically placed rocks, these were used as gates and were moved to redirect water into the terraces and flood the field and moved back when it was complete, how simple yet so effective this was.

As we turned a corner I watched as the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Choeten grew out of the thick trees. This Choeten was built by the current Kings Mother for peace to the Bhutanese people and the world. This Choeten is very unique, not only in Bhutan but else where in the world. It is the only Choeten/ Stupa tourist are aloud to enter in Bhutan and the only one that I have ever seen inside myself any where. It was a real treat to see inside such a breathtaking building, even if it was not a ancient Stupa. It was built for peace so the immense feeling of peace as I entered came as no surprise to me. Once I made it to the top of the four stories always walking up in a clock wise direction, I could look over the vast mountain range and I felt this feeling of insignificance. How can the human race have such a massive detrimental effect on this world. Emotions came flooding in, all the horror through out the world, all the wars all the animal cruelty all the environmental destruction that we cause and we are just this little insignificant dot on the planet. I just do not understand.

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Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Choeten

As we walked back down the mountain I was very quite, my head full of emotion, I feel that my guide and now very close friend Pelma felt this and shared a traditional Bhutanese love song with me (you will hear part of the song in the vlog). I love music so this was great, I always love to hear music from the country that I am visiting. Thanks Pelma, I hope you do not mind me sharing your singing with the internet???

That afternoon I was treated to something really special, we made our way up a huge mountain, slowly navigating our way around the tight windy road to visit a magical monastery, perched high on a mountain over looking the valley and the incredibly windy road that we came through the other day. As we walked through the gate of the monastery I was surprised to see some Australian Bottle Brush growing.. The distinctive smell of incense and the sound of monks chanting flowed over the valley. The very unique

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Young Monks Chanting

sound of young monks playing and chanting caught my ear and I went to investigate. The young boys were reading their scripts in the garden next to their class room, all dressed in their red robes, their smiles were contagious. I watched for a while and when I caught a few of the kids intrigued at this tall, strange, long haired traveller I nodded and snapped a few photos. You should of seen the kids faces when I showed them their photo in the view finder, it was just one of those moments that I will never forget.

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My Monk guide

We walked up to the main temple and I was invited in on a tour by one of the monks. I was introduced to two young monks one 13 and the other 18. These two boys were the “True Re-incarnation” of the 69th Chief Abbot and the 9th Chief Abbot. This was such an honour to meet these two young boys who will grow up to be very wise old men. On the way home we visited a nunnery, perched on the tip of a mountain and in one of most windy places I have ever been, I could hardly speak.

Have you had a sense of clarity or a moment of “what does it all mean” I would love to hear about your spiritual moments whilst travelling, please comment below.

Thank you for visiting Tattered Passport, and thank you for reading my little blog. If you have enjoyed this post please feel free to share with your family and friends. You can follow Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or simple by clicking on the “Follow” button at the bottom of the screen.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

My BIG Secret Revealed. Seriously…

So I can finally tell you all my BIG secret. I am heading on another adventure, something so BIG and so exciting, something that is truly life changing. I am moving, I am moving somewhere incredible, I am moving somewhere very cold, somewhere a long way away from Perth Western Australia and I am going for 4 Months.

Where am I Going?

I am moving to Antarctica. Yes you actually did read that correctly. I am actually moving to Antarctica. I will be based at Casey Station working as an electrician. This is such an opportunity for myself and my skill set as an electrician. I will be learning so much not only about my trade but about myself.

As you all could imagine Antarctica is so remote and so isolated that I am not sure of how good the internet will be. I will be trying to keep you all posted on whats going on down there as much as I can. So stay tuned, Follow, Subscribe, Like and Share with your friends and family as Tattered Passport will be in Antarctica.

Thank You all for all your amazing support and I am so happy to share this amazing moment with you all. This community is growing into quite the little family and I love everyone of you.

I will be attempting to get my Daily Vlogs up to date before I head off for my training in Hobart, Tasmania on the 27th October, so you will be seeing a heap more action on both my YouTube Channel and my Website. So spread the word.

Thank You again.

Don’t forget you can find Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and hit the Follow button on my website.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane

Emo Yaks, Avalanches and Mt Everest Base Camp. Daily Vlog: 16

Daily Vlog: 16

Today is “The Day” the day that I have been training for, over 12 months of sweat, tears and even some blood, (insert “tough mudder” joke here). We wake up before sunrise, pack up our gear, have a wholesome breakfast and hit the trail for a very big day. We find ourselves all psyching ourselves up, Clare gives us the usual morning “Day 13” chant and we are off.

Only a few minutes in and a heard of out of control Yaks storm our parade. The young Yak Herder is having a hard time with a few of the yaks, as they decide to do what ever they want. They are massive creatures, so big if they decide to not listen to you there is not much you can do about it. At one point they get very close to me and give us all a bit of a fright.

I’ve woken up with a few sniffles and my back is starting to stiffen up, making it a difficult day for me. I decide i need some motivation so I chuck the iPod on and guess what changes my mood and gets me going??? South park’s very own, Cartman singing Sail Away.

mykombiandi, nepal,

Our EPIC trail.

We stop for morning tea at Gorak Shep and prepare ourselves for the 3 hour hike to Base Camp. We stop and look down the glacier and can see base camp, it’s a long way but we can see it. Once on the track we quickly learn of the dangers of this mountain. As we pass memorial after memorial, I stop and read everyone. It is a stark reminder that it all can change in an instant and re-enforces what I am doing here. I have made a personnel choice to live my life, to see the world, really see it, not just from a window of a tour bus that brushes over what is really going on, but to live and breathe adventures.

Mykombiandi

I’m in the Himalayas!!!

We pass a few people, no where near as many as we had been expecting. The trekking season had come to an abrupt stop only a short time ago and the effect was everywhere. My thoughts drift again to the 16 Sherpas who had just lost there lives on this mountain and how massive the effect has and will be in this region. We could see a few yellow tents left

mykombiandi, base camp,

Its just there, so close now.

at the expedition base camp, but the “Tent City” that we had been told about was missing. There were a few porters walking back to Gorak Shep caring all types of gear, including a big chest freezer on their backs. The vibe was strange in the region, you could feel the tension, you could feel the uneasiness. Then it happened, we heard a huge crack and our trip leader yelled “Avalanche”. I turned and seen it, an avalanche, it was, incredible, awe inspiring and I felt the magnitude and power of Mother Nature. The avalanche was on Nuptse and ended in the Glacier. I was quick enough and was able to caption most of the action on camera. You will see some on this daily vlog.

mykombiandi, everest avalanche

The power of Mother Nature

mykombiandi

We made it!!!

When we finally reached base camp the emotions were high through out our group. Everyone had been training and preparing for this moment, It was magical, it was beautiful, it was Base Camp. I let this feeling wash over me and really enjoyed the moment. At one point i remember looking around and thinking to myself, “I made it, I am at Mt Everest Base Camp, Nepal” I am here.  The old saying “The journey is more important than the destination” well I understand this now. Base Camp is just a few rocks pilled up, a bunch of prayer flags strewn around and a little sign. Its the 15 months of training and preparing, its the 13 days of trekking, its the people you meet, the sites you see, the problems you face and the lessons you learn that make the journey.

I hope you have been liking this series through Nepal? Have you been to base camp? What were your experiences? Are you planning a trekking adventure through Nepal?

Thank you for stopping by Tattered Passport. Please LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE with your friends. You can also find Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram and now YouTube.

One Life, One Search.

Peace Out.

Shane

Walking on Ice. Daily Vlog: 13.

Daily Vlog: 13,

Gokyo to Yakkaka,

mykombiandi

Gokyo village

Today we get to trek across the Gazumba Glacier, the glacier we could see from the summit of Gokyo Ri yesterday. The trail was quite treacherous, we had to watch out for falling rocks from the cliffs on each side of the glacier.

mykombiandi

The treacherous glacier track.

The track was just rocks on rocks and very difficult to walk on, but so exciting. I loved looking at all the different patterns in the ice and rocks and wondering where they had come from and how

mykombiandi

Loving life on the Glacier

mykombiandi

Kristy and Shane on the Glacier

old they were? The glacier lakes were pretty cool as well, they were a mix of colours, bright blue, crystal clear and a turquoise green.

Once out of the glacier we walked along a valley until we made it to the Tashi Delek Lodge for lunch. I was a bit upset as I though that we had climbed a little, until i saw a sign that said 4700m, we had started at 4800m. At lunch the Australians sung a song for Ana-Maria the Columbian, “Waltzing Matilda” after that Ana-Maria sung us a song.

mykombiandi

Walking in the valley before lunch

After lunch we had to start to climb, it was getting cold, the clouds were quickly rolling in and the wind was picking up. We new we were sleeping at 5000m tonight and that we were currently at 4700m. Putting two and two together we had a big climb in front of us. The track vanished into nothing, there was ice everywhere, it was getting colder and colder and the air was getting thin, it was a hard afternoon. Then we saw a tent and a collective sigh of relief was released over the group, but we soon realised that the tents

mykombiandi

We are almost there

were on the other side of the ice. So we very carefully walked across the ice and found our tents. Tonight was our first World Expeditions “Wilderness Camp”, I had been hanging out for this type of camping. The tents were not the same tents as the World Expeditions “Permanent Camp” they were little A-Frame tents with thing foam mattress’s on the ground. The toilet was a hole in the ground with a tent and a make shift seat. Our dinning room was a bigger tent with a fold-up table and fold up chairs. It was the warmest place, as there so many of us in there, so after dinner we played a few games of cards.

Thank you for stopping by Tattered Passport, if you have liked this post please Like, Follow and Share. You can also find Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram and now YouTube.

One Life, One Search.

Shane

Daily Vlog: Day 9. Getting High in the Himalaya.

Mykombiandi:
Daily Vlog: Day 9:

Phortse Tenga to Dole:

The day starts off with a steep climb up the mountain on the other side of the river we crossed last yesterday, where we get to see our first bit of ice. After setting up camp a few of us go for an afternoon walk to get some altitude and were treated to a beautiful view but were battered by the icy cold wind that cuts straight through you.

mykombiandi

Getting close to the edge

That night mother nature put on a show for us, It starts to snow, us Aussies who don’t get to see snow get a  little excited! We finish the night with one of the funniest games of “Celebrity Head” I have ever played.

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Our first ice for the trip.

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Afternoon hike up the mountain

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One Life, One Search!

Ghat to Monjo; Daily Vlog Day 4.

The first night on our epic adventure to Mt Everest Base Camp had us staying at a little town by the name of Ghat. Ghat is approx. 2hrs walk down hill from the famous Lukla town. World Expeditions have a permanent campsite situated on the edge of the river. World expeditions tents are roomy and the beds rather comfortable. You could imagine after the season that the tents could be a bit ratty and a few of them were. Our zip was broken but with assistance from my “Leatherman” I managed to fix it.

mykombiandi

What a place to chill out for a while

You would of all heard by now that there was a huge tragedy up the mountain. I would like to take this opportunity to express my condolences to the family and friends of the lost sherpas.

“We held your hearts in ours, we never forgot and never will. May your souls rest in peace”

mykombiandi

Such magnificent beauty.

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Monjo Camp 2850m

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Check out our tents.

Here is the Daily Vlog, Day:4

Ghat to Monjo.

Thank you for stopping by mykombiandi. If you have liked this post, you can follow me simply by clicking on the “Follow” button. You can also find mykombiandi on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

One Life, One Search.

Shane

 

We land at the Worlds most dangerous Airstrip. Lukla: Daily Vlog; Day 3.

One of the parts of this adventure that I was looking forward to the most was the flight to the infamous Lukla Airstrip. The day started early and you could feel the anxiety in our group starting to build. I was getting more excited and when saw the aircraft I knew this was going to be cool flight.

mykombiandi, lukla.

The BeyondEverest project crew waiting for our flight.

 

mykombiandi, Lukla

Getting excited for a flight.

 

It is a strange feeling when you start to fly and you just keep going up and up. You can feel the aircraft preparing to land but it is not descending. Then all of a sudden you see a mountain very close to the wing of the plane and then you land.

Check out the Daily Vlog, Day 3.

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=pzm0PSUFYOU

Thank you so much for stopping by mykombiandi, If you have enjoyed this post please share with your friends.

I would love to hear from you. Have you been to Lukla? What were your experiences?

You can follow Mykombiandi by simply clicking on the “Follow” button. You can also find Mykombiandi on Facebook, Instagram and now YouTube.

One Life, One Search.

Shane

 

Breakfast with a Turkish Drug Smuggler

One of the things I enjoy about travel is meeting people and just chatting, listening to their stories. It is a great way to learn of places that you should visit and gives you a real insight into another world, far away from my home country.

This morning was one of those moments, I had to pinch myself. I was having a conversation over breakfast with a German, a Swiss and Turk in a roof top bar in Kathmandu, that alone was incredible. We were talking about our travels, about what we have seen and done in Nepal. Everyone’s Nepal’s story were completely different yet all so exciting. I had been trekking, the german had been training in mixed martial arts with the Nepali special forces, the Swiss had been living in Pokhara and the Turk had been living with the Holly Men. Half way through breakfast the Turk just casually drops “Do you know if they have body scanners in Bangkok?” Followed by “Well I guess I have a lot Pot to smoke in 10 days”

Ummm the interesting people you meet hey?

What crazy meetings have you had whilst travelling? Just comment below, I would love to hear about them.

Thanks for stopping by Mykombiandi, If you have liked this post please click the “Follow” button and feel free to share with your friends. You can also find mykombiandi on Facebook, Instagram and now YouTube.

One Life, One Search.

Shane

My Locked Up Abroad moment.

It all started a week ago when I was Kathmandu between my Everest Base Camp trek and my Bhutan tour. I bumped into this dodgy Indian jewellery shop owner whilst wondering around the chaotic Thamel markets. I had a brief chat and I thought that was it.

When I returned from Bhutan I had all but forgotten about the shop owner until I again bumped into him. He invited me into his Jewellery store and we started to chat about my travel through Bhutan over a cup of tea. It started off all above board. He showed me through his shop and wanted me to by something. I picked out some earrings and and pendant for my wife. Turns out they were proper gemstones in silver and cost $500 AUD. I said thank you but I can not afford that, I explained that I was travelling cheap and that I have no money.  We exchange conversation and he said how much have you got I pulled out a $50 Aussie note and that is it. He said “ok, money is not important, you are my brother” So i got it for $50 AUD.

Thats is were the conversation turned south quickly. He said do you want to earn an easy $5K? My radar went up straight away, I new exactly what he was going to offer to me and I was not interested. This was his sales pitch:

Dodgy Shop Owner: I import gemstones into Australia and I have maxed out my import levels. So I want to do more business in Australia. So I will send you a package with “My Gemstones” and then I will just come past your house and pick up the package. It will be fine and I pay you $5K”

Me: Bubba, Thank you but no thank you. This sounds to good to be true and just doesn’t sit right with me.

Dodgy Shop Owner: It is fine, your government will not find out.

Then all of a sudden his brother walks in and started to put the hard word on me to do it. A little later his wife walks in and I was blocked. I could not get out of the shop. Bubba and his brother were really trying their hardest to get me to receive “the package”. Saying things like, “It will be just be gemstones”, “It will be just be a like you are sending some souvenirs home from your holiday” “you are my brother”. I new exactly what was going on and want out with out getting them worked up and it turning bad. I kept my cool an managed to get out safe and sound.

I am safe and sound and sitting in a coffee shop writing this now. So fellow travellers heading to Kathmandu, be aware, there are drugs and dodgy scammers everywhere in this city. Be alert and do not get involved, doesn’t matter how smooth and nice the dealers seem to be. They will tell you all levels of lies to get you to do there dirty deeds. You will be the one that gets done and they will be no where to be seen.

Be safe and enjoy your time in Nepal, aside from the dodgy people Nepal is an incredible place well worth the visit.

Have you been to Nepal? Have you got any crazy stories? I would love to hear them. Just comment below.

Thank you for stoping by mykombiandi, If you have liked this post don’t forget to “Follow” just click the follow button. You can also find mykombiandi on Facebook, Instagram and now YouTube. Feel free to share this post with your friends.

Thank again,

One Life, One Search.

Shane