I’ve always found the early winter period to be a good time to get away for a while. Business is generally a little quieter before our busy winter season starts in January and the U.K. weather is still deciding whether it is late autumn or whether it really should kick winter into gear just yet.
For this year my travels have led me to Peru, a country I have visited before and a place I have really grown to love. This year I have trekked in the stunning beauty of the Andes and enjoyed the warmth of some of the most welcoming people I’ve ever known. Peru, like many countries, has its share of economic problems, but the people are fun loving and enthusiastic about the countries future.
Last time I visited I was working as a consultant training local mountain guides for an expedition company and it was great to work with some of the same guides again this time. They are highly professional and extremely competent operators and work extremely hard for their clients. They also, it is clear, have a deep and burning love for their precious wilderness.
I write this, however, as my journey comes to an end. I am back in the leafy Mirraflores suburb in Lima sipping a latte in a street side cafe and tomorrow I take the big metal bird back to the waiting arms of my family and friends. I will be home for Christmas. There are bauble and tinsel dangled trees around this part of the city and yet I’ve largely missed a lot of the build up that will inevitably have been happening back home.
It is so nice to soak up some Christmas spirit while I’m away and I chose this cafe with purpose. As a wandered along the street I heard music drifting from its open doors. Music but, more specifically, Christmas music. The track that seems to be playing most often is that age old classic ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ by Chris Rea. I have a love/hate relationship with the song and yet today it really seems to fit the mood of Mirraflores, my own feelings and the circumstances I find myself in.
Over Christmas I have family and friends to enjoy the festive period with and I am looking forward to sharing some love, enjoying fine food and sharing gifts. It is a privileged position to be in and I don’t underestimate how lucky I am. I know that many will be heading home like me and yet I also know there will be many around the world who don’t have the option to be with the loved ones they would give anything to join.
Similarly, there will be many who may be with family and yet aren’t able to enjoy a Christmas of overindulgence and leisure. Some people around this sphere we share would be happy just to have a roof over their heads or to be protected from falling bombs or the people intent on doing them harm. There isn’t much I can do for those people except wish them well and hope they can find some pleasure in whatever circumstances they find themselves in. Like so many I wish we could have a world free of these kinds of strife and yet I fear we are heading to even rockier waters.
Peak Mountaineering was born out of a love of sharing the natural environment and experiences with people and enriching their lives and I am proud that we are a business built out of joy and life enhancing adventure. My mind drifts to remember many of those we have had the chance to work with this year and it brings me great pleasure to know that, like my Peruvian guide friends, we have been able to empower many people to enjoy their own time in the wilderness. It isn’t going to solve the big problems in the world but we are sharing joy and that’s a powerful thing.
So Chris Rea suits the moment and my mood. It suits my hopes that people can find some peace in this tumultuous world and it is a song of hope for many coming together over the Christmas period. It also makes me excited for the many adventures I will soon be having with clients old and new. Peak Mountaineering is a positive and forward thinking company and I am proud to be at its helm. I am also proud of the fact the business is born from a family foundation. We are a family business now and will remain so as the years unfold.
I truly hope that you have a joyful and fun filled Christmas and all at Peak Mountaineering wish you every happiness. If you are joining us for some adventure at any point in the future then we can’t wait to catch up with you. If you have your own independent adventures plans we are just as delighted. For us it is all about enjoying the positive energy of the mountains and whether you do that alongside us or you are that person we greet on the path, our very best wishes go out to you all.
Tomorrow morning I will be sat on a plane back to my family and my Christmas is sure to be a happy one. I hope yours is too. From all at Peak Mountaineering please accept our heart felt best wishes for your festive celebrations and future.
Posted by Paul