Wrapping up Indonesia
So as I’m sitting here trying to come up with the words to express how disappointing the last trip to
While I was in Indonesia, I started a list of “things that went wrong” and started to get depressed, but I’m glad I did, because now I can type it out and laugh at everything because I had absolutely no control over all of these things and it’s only something that could have happened in a movie.
After booking the original trip of trekking to Base Camp (BC), it was cancelled because the villages we were going to trek through wanted more money and wouldn’t let anyone through. A week later, I was told we couldn’t trek in and had to go via helicopter, requiring more money (fuel for those things isn’t cheap), and a change in flights from
So when I arrived in
It’s expensive in
So I took off from Bali to Makassar, but in Makassar, I was told that all flights were booked to
So after the fuel was “found” and after we could use the Kamov, they decide that the Kamov needed some sort of “anti-freezing” instrument placed on the blades because of the altitude. Great. Another part. Well that part was ordered, got there quickly (quick enough) but they didn’t have the tools to put it on either. Wonderful.
So back to the Kamov… fuel is there, crew is ready, we’re ready, part is finally on… we still can’t take the other heli, so we head up in the Kamov. After about an hour of flying up to base camp, we see it, but can’t land because the clouds are too thick and it’s too dangerous to land. We discussed us jumping out and the crew tossing us our climbing gear, but they weren’t too keen on that idea. So it’s back to Nabire.
Weather the next day wasn’t great, so we didn’t go anywhere and enjoyed the 103 temps with 100% humidity. I think one of my ears is a little lower because it melted a little and slid down my head.
The next day we attempted the base camp again. No dice. Back to Nabire again. We figured we’d try again tomorrow, but guess what… no fuel. We’re out. By this time the “inspector” for the smaller heli showed up and looked at the “part” they put on only to say, “great. Looks wonderful. Now take it off and put it back on in front of me so I know you did it right.” Sigh. Another 2 days of playing around in the jungle heat waiting on something that might not happen. In the mean time, we wanted to meet with the pilot because we heard he was going to be back on the island. We were told he was, we went to meet with him (but he was actually the co-pilot – pilot was in
The next day I took off from Biak back to Jakarta, changed my flight out of Jakarta to a few days later (when I thought I’d actually get back to Jakarta), and spent nearly 10 hours in the airport trying to fly standby to get to Seoul to Chicago. Midnight comes rolling around, I sleep in the airport for a while, finally find a hotel, take a taxi there, check in, sleep for an hour or so, and get ready to head back to the airport again and fly home. That worked, and 2 days later I landed in
Looking back at it, it’s one frustrating trip to say the least and I didn’t even cover everything that went wrong because this novella has gone on long enough. I did, however, get the opportunity to meet some incredible people and they have become some good friends...
Friday, December 12, 2008
SEAN ON HIS WAY TO NYC
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So I'm hanging out in the Denver Airport walking around trying to find that proverbial needle in a haystack.... an outlet for my laptop! Of course the ones I found were being used by one person charging up all his 18 different devices, so I kept going until I found one under the pay phones!
Went to the NBC Studio in Denver early this morning to do a pre-interview for tomorrow's Today Show. It went well and everything hopefully looks good when they air it around noon our time. My flight leaves at noon thirty and I get into NY around 6:30. On my drive from NBC to the airport the folks at the Today Show called to ask a few questions that I'm guessing are going to be asked again tomorrow. One of them was asking me about training and the similarities between Everest and the Ford Ironman World Championship. Well I can tell you that the training was rough and long... longest day was about 6.5 hours of biking with a 2 hour run followed immediately after. Ouch.
Comparing the two is difficult because they're so different, but there's one thing that's the exact same - mental toughness and prowess. Both of them are very difficult and you need some strong gray matter between your ears to get you through 17 hours of racing. The cut off of the 2.5 mile swim, 112 bike, and 26.2 run is 17 hours!! Luckily I finished over 5 hours before that time, but I was still out there busting my butt for a little over 11.5 hours. Ouch again. haha.
So remember how I said I was sitting at the airport? Well I'm on the floor and a lady walked by pulling her carry-on luggage. She turned into an aisle and said, "excuse me" to a guy so she could get through and sit in the middle where some open seats were. The guy sitting on the end looked at her and had the nerve to say, "So you want me to get up so you can get your stuff through??" .... WHAT?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? People, people.... what happened to chivalry? What happened to just being nice?? Wow. I don't know how some people go through life sometimes so angry and bitter. We should all be lucky to be alive and breathing!
.... ok, off my soap box.... sorry.
I'm pretty excited about getting to the Big Apple and talking about CancerClimber and the race. It's going to be a great time. I'm also really excited about the airing of the race itself and I'm interested in seeing how they portray everyone. Should be great!!!
Make sure you tune in... NBC, 2:30 EST for the race. I'm going on the Today Show at 8:30 EST. .... sorry you have to get up early. Just record it.
Check out these links!
NBC Denver Online Article
Well more later... we're boarding!!!! Here we go!