Walking the Great Himalaya Trail was a wonderful adventure and a great personal challenge. Many times I doubted I would make it to the end; I never wanted to quit, but, looking at the scale of it, I occasionnally wondered if the undertaking wasn't just too big for me.
I pushed and expanded the limits of my "four pillars of strength": mental, physical, spiritual and emotional.
But, as much as it was an inner journey, I could never have found the power to push on without the support from many people around me. In all kinds of ways, these people gave me the strength I need to replenish my inner fire and pursue my dream.
If you find your name in the list below, I owe you an immense Thank You. Hopefully I haven't forgetten anyone. This list doesn't follow any kind of hierarchy, whether it was material or financial support, a meal and a place to sleep or just a simple smile along the way, everything mattered just as much.
My partners AARN Design Ltd from New Zealand, Montbell from Japan and Devold from Norway.
My parents, brother and sister, of course!!
Frederick and Sarah Van Kleef and the Patisserie Royale team in Motueka (New Zealand), who supported me during the numerous months of preparation, as well as all my friends in New Zealand (Nicole, Tere and Pato, Daisy and many more!).
Robin Boustead, who created the Great HImalaya Trail (see this post to read more about him).
Jamie MacGuinness, who, amongst other things, lent us a satellite phone so we could have weather reports in the West.
Stuart Bilby and Lisa Lee-Johnson for their numerous and invaluable advice!
Deepak Raman Dhakal from Adventure Mountain Club Treks.
Udaya Lamichhane from Osho Vision Treks & Expedition P. Ltd
Narayan Poudel from Mactrek & Expedition (P) Ltd.
Bijaya Lamichhane, our guide for the Manaslu Circuit.
Yadab Itani, for his great friendship!
Aash Man Gomja from Sertung.
Deebee from Pelma.
Ganesh from Thallu.
Singh and his wife from Thallu.
Norbu Lama and his family from Jumla.
The people by the Humla Karnali river who offered us food.
Ongjuk Bhote and his family (Kichung, Nima, Lawang, Gyago and Sonam) from the Milke Danda for their invaluable help!
The super nice lady from Langmale who opened the way for us in the snow on the way to Makalu Base Camp.
The Sherpa family running the Yak Hotel at Makalu Base Camp.
Pemba and Mingma our guides over the high passes.
Thierry, the doctor from Holland who examined Eef in Khare (Mera).
Sonderz, Eef's porter on the Everest loop.
Ivan from Russia
Toby from Germany
the Canadian guy at Thengbo (before Tashi Labsta)
Tashi Lama who got P-J and I into the Na Gompa, and the two Lama there
Dimitri from Cornwall
Dakipa Sherpa, Nurbu Lama, Kami Sherpa
Max and Jane from the USA and their guide Terence
Agaman from Nepal, Ian from Australia and Alfred from Sweden
Bijaya Tamang in Namrung
Thomas from France
Owen from the UK
Sam from Egypt
Tom fom Australia
Lena from the UK
Marty from Canada
Abby and Luke from Australia
Blaise from Switzerland
Tony from Holland
Lucky from Scotland
Patrick, Alex and Fred for their weather reports.
All the teahouse owners along the way who fed us great food and warm cups of tea!
all the people who read and commented on my blog (Stuart O'Connor, Pascale Lerousseau and many more!)
I would like to add a very special thanks to Fred who has been a truly priceless support for me. Even though we were over 7000Km apart, your were with me every single day.
My hiking companions, best friends, brothers and sisters, Eef and P-J and Marie-Caroline. You guys are the best. I don't think I would have had the mental strength to carry on without you.
And of course, the biggest Thank You goes to the Himalayan Mountains...