Back A Dream in Honour of International Women’s Day
On March 8, millions of people worldwide will celebrate the 104th International Women’s Day. While many gains have been made, the dream of women’s equality is still far from reality. The truth. In the year 2015 inequality is still all around us. Opportunity is not equal. Education is not equal. Wealth is not equal.
In honour of International Women’s Day - and the days that follow - Kiva has launched Kiva.org/Dreams to spotlight the power of women to create sustainable change when everyday people lend their support.
By visiting Kiva.org/Dreams you can back a dream by choosing a woman that Kiva should lend $25 to. There is no cost to you. By choosing her, you help her to follow her dream of starting or growing her business, sending her children to school, and gaining financial independence.
Without access to resources to attend school or grow a business, their dreams are far too often out of reach. This affects us all. Women’s empowerment means economic growth for their families, communities and the world. A case in point: if women farmers had equal access to farming assets and finance, they could increase their crop yields up to 30% and 150 million people who go hungry every day would be able to eat.
Kiva.org is the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Since 2005, more than 1.6 million people turned their dreams into reality because 1.3 million people backed their dream on Kiva. Together, more than $675 million in loans have been crowdfunded, with a 98% repayment rate.
By contributing to the success of an entrepreneurial woman who has overcome obstacles most of us cannot even truly imagine, we discover so much more about our own resiliency, possibility, and potential. Each of us has a part to play and together we can make dreams a reality for thousands of women around the world.
So, in honour of International Women’s Day and the power of women to create lasting change, back a dream at Kiva.org/Dreams.
As that trip came to a close there were discussions on what to do next. Having covered all the South Island, and Northland we are starting to run out of New Zealand. Perhaps inspired by a fine meal, and accompanying wine, the Hawkes Bay and a vineyard cycle tour was a real possibility.
Thus, I wasn’t really surprised to get a call from Bas mid 2013 wanting to talk cycling but was totally unprepared for the next bit…
What, from where to where?
Bas has talked me (and other returning clients) into a rather epic ride but I have until Sept 2014 to prepare. Just as well as it is going to be rather challenging and way outside my usual comfort zone. It is still guided/supported (led by Bas) but rather more basic than those I’ve done before, even some camping!
Overnight Everest Base Camp!?
The route from Lhasa (Tibet) to Kathmandu (Nepal) will probably have hills even Bas can’t get away with describing as ‘undulations’!
At a glance;
Day 1 ~ Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2 ~ Sightseeing Tour. Rest of day at leisure.
Day 3 ~ Fly Kathmandu To Lhasa Days 4-6 In Lhasa
Days 7-10 ~ From Lhasa To Gyantse (250 Km, up to 4900m)
Day 11 ~ From Gyantse To Shigatse (90 Km, flat) Yeah Right! - RC
Day 12 ~ In Shigatse
Days 13-15 ~ From Shigatse To Shegar (250 Km, 4500m up to 5200m)
Days 16-18 ~ From Shegar To Everest Base Camp (110 Km, ~5200m)
Days 19-21 ~ From Tingri To Zhangmu (200 Km, Note: From the summit of the Lalung La (5050m) to the Friendship bridge at 1500m involves a descent of 3500m - one of the steepest descents in the world. Gloves are a must!) I’d have thought brakes were even more of a must! - RC
Days 22-23 ~ Cross Border Into Nepal And Cycle To Kathmandu (115 Km, 1400m)
Day 24 ~ Contingency Day
Day 25 ~ Trip Concludes In Kathmandu
A tick off the bucket list?
I was a bit hesitant at first but decided it was a can’t miss opportunity. To be honest a bike ride across the Tibetan Plateau wasn’t on any list of mine but I’m really looking forward to it. Now I just have to get a lot fitter!
UPDATE 12/24/2013: I added some elevation info, and one funny comment from the trip notes, and found this blog post with some great photos of the route:
I took Alf on a bit of a walk down my memory lane this weekend. I grew up in Massey and back then the suburb which is now West Harbour was just paddocks! There have been more than a few changes and although I am familiar with the area by car & bike decided to explore it on foot. The red line below is about 10km, quite a hike for a little dog!
The starting point was a new pedestrian/cycle bridge which crosses the motorway (hwy16) from near the Wesgate shopping centre. I watched it being built (on my commute home from work) and was curious to see it completed.
The bridge itself is quite impressive but I found the serpentine approach ramp added a real sculptural aspect. I wonder about the colour, is there something significant about yellow?
From there a series of paths and bush tracks form the Manutewhau Walk Reserve. There is some concrete path but mostly it is pretty good gravel, not too muddy, track following the stream towards Moire Road & park.
When you get to Moire Park the track widens, more like a two track gravel road, passing through bush along the stream. It’s not fantastic untouched bush but still a pleasant walk. There is a great PDF Guide for the park, which is huge at about 70 hectares, and walks in the immediate area.
You emerge at Allington Rd, down the bottom end of Royal Rd, where a 600 metre long pedestrian bridge spans the Estuary crossing to West Harbour. Alfie was strange as his occasional fear of heights only emerged about 500 metres across the bridge. He’d been perfectly happy, looking over the side, dashing back and forth then suddenly went all quiet and skulked across the last bit hugging the ground.
The tide was out so the views back up the creek and across to Te Atatu weren’t as good as full tide would bring. It was a nice day though!
From there we climbed the steps to West Harbour Drive and followed the road and coastal footpath around to Luckens Reserve. There are some great views down the harbour towards Auckland City.
As a kid I used to bike from Massey to “Luckens Beach”. Back then “West Harbour” was farm paddocks at the end of a gravel road. Luckens Reserve is now very civilised with a park, playground, toilets and drinking tap (great for the dog after a 5km walk) and formed paths. The beach, on Waipareira Bay, isn’t fantastic especially when the tide is out!
I used to sail out in the bay, before the marina arrived and remember several, often unplanned, stops here when the weather was too rough or calm to venture further out in the bay! I seem to remember more sand than is there today but memory can’t be trusted!
I was going to continue around the coast to the West Harbour Marina, maybe a coffee, but having already walked 5km decided to turn back. We basically retraced the same path home meaning I walked about 10km, Alfie with his constant zigzag pattern even more, by the time we got back to the car.
It’s a nice walk, quite a variety of scenery and a few hills to get the pulse rate up a bit.
A while ago I decided it was time for a blog redesign. After considering lots of options, including radical change based on entirely new templates and a fun diversion, I have settled on some simple tweaks:
Simplified Font: “Lucida Grande” Verdana replaces Arial — and no italics except for quoted text (from linked content).
Simplified Sidebar: A lighter background, border and header font colours and some content revision to reduce clutter.
Simplified Banner: Squared up logo and banner image panels with no more gradient transitions on the image(s).
Back to the future?
This squaring up may be slightly influenced by the Windows 8 look Microsoft no longer call Metro as I have been quite taken with that after playing with the preview. However it has some history as relates to my first image based banner from way back in 2004.
No code was hurt in the making of this blog
Although TypePad design templates (right) make this sort of change painless, no coding required, you can still spend quite a lot of time playing around.
Who sees it anyway?
Then I wonder, when so many read blogs via reader sites and applications which just consume the RSS Feed content does anybody actually still see or care about the site design?
Oh well, for my own records and amusement if nothing else:
The Road to Muckle Flugga is collection of articles about “Great drives on Five Continents” by the late Phil Llewellin. He was a wonderful writer, who happened to write about motoring, for CAR Magazine (U.K.) among others.
I referred to an article I still have:
I think the finest piece is, the appropriately named, “Their Finest Hour”. I clipped this out of CAR when first published in 1990 as I loved it then.
To mark the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain Phil went on a personal pilgrimage to major landmarks connected with “The greatest aerial campaign in history”. He drove a Red Bentley Mulsanne Turbo which is reviewed along with the history of the places he visits, the events, people and machines. This is far from a dry historical tale as he recounts the experiences of the air-crew, families and children involved.
It’s a pity is only some of the photos from the article, which featured both modern & historical photo’s and lovely watercolour illustrations, made it to the book. That aside it’s a must read in a book of great reads.
If anything the book format is the only weakness. It’s a pity this wasn’t a magazine format book reproducing the articles, with the photos and layout, as first published.
As part of their 50th anniversary Car have published the article on-line, along with images of the original magazine layout and artwork. I totally recommend you read it and be sure to look at the artwork: