Today I am delighted as part of #Blogival to bring you a guest post by James Chilton author of The Last Blue Mountain. James has very kindly put together a post about five essential things for when he’s travelling.
From Gabon to Guyana, Shangri La to Kamchatka, through rainbow markets and exuberant rainforests, across impressionist landscapes and a high altitude desert, author James Chilton’s delightfully diverse collection of travel writing will whet the appetite and feed the imagination. The Last Blue Mountain takes readers far off the beaten tourist tracks and onto uncharted trails of natural beauty and cultural diversity. Chilton reveals his enthusiasm for travel – he’s visited some seventy-eight countries to date – and his love of food, beauty, flora, fauna and, above all, the people he meets along the way. Witty, articulate and with sharp observations, his engaging and often humorous snapshots are illustrated throughout with evocative pen and ink sketches.
Whistle – this might seem slightly surprising but it’s a jolly useful companion when travelling in more exotic locations and is small enough to fit in your pocket, backpack or bum bag if you feel that was inclined. It needs to be light, plastic and most importantly loud. It comes in handy for a number of reasons: to frighten possible assailants (if you’re on your own and it’s getting dark or you get lost and find yourself in a more questionable neighbourhood – it also might work in hailing a text or tuck tuck!) it will also attract attention for departing long boats if you find yourself haring along the decking to get your connection or a day trip! And of course joining in celebrations here I’m thinking Rio de Janeiro or a Thailand Full Moon Party -something that I am a little old for now.
Dr Beckmann’s Travel Wash -if you’re not staying in hotels and you’re travelling or as it used to be called backpacking for many weeks or dare I say months this is a life saver. It’s meant for clothes and can be used in both fresh and sea water so you can do some laundry al fresco but I’ve also found it works fine for body and hair -although I would probably check first in case you have sensitive skin….
Tenacious Tape by Gear Aid – mends anything and I mean anything and again it’s compact and isn’t a liquid over 100ml (!) so you can take it with you anywhere.
Sarong/longyi – preferably silk for sleeping in, modesty when changing clothes, as a curtain, as a sun shade, for wrapping things up if you’ve bought something fragile. It’s generally an all purpose piece of material and I have a fine collection. If David Beckham can rock a sarong with panache then any man can.
Six phrases in the language you need – written as you yourself understand the pronunciation and covered both sides in sellotape, to keep it waterproof and kept somewhere easy to access my preference is a shirt pocket or shorts back pocket. Also write it as you would say it not in the infinitive as conjugation of foreign language verbs is not that easy on demand or under pressure.
Also of course a writing pad to make notes, write a diary or in my case to be able to sit somewhere and sketch in pen and ink.
The Last Blue Mountain is available to purchase from Amazon.