Walking across the Alps on the GR5

Finished editing the video of me and my brother walking across the Alps from Lake Geneva to Nice along the GR5. If you haven’t got half an hour to spare, here’s the 2.5 min highlights version.

At the time we booked our plane tickets we didn’t realise that the Alps had received it’s biggest snowfall in the past 50 years over winter… So even though it was early summer (June), it felt more like spring! Progress was slow through the deep snow on the passes and we had to make a few detours for safety. In the end we didn’t make it all the way to Nice before our 20 days ran out, we stopped a few days short at Saint-Étienne-de-Tinée. But we had a great time, the scenery was fantastic and we pretty much had the whole Alps to ourselves, which is a rare treat these days.

You can see the photo set of the trip here »

New Zealand Highlights

Last week was the opening ceremony of the trail me and Nicky walked in New Zealand – Te Araroa. To mark the occasion I thought I’d share some of the progress I’ve made on all the photos and video we brought back.

I edited the photos first, there was about 25,000 to go through so I’ve only just finished! I got them down to reasonably easy to flick through 200 photo set of the highlights. And then a slightly longer 1000 odd photo set that covers the trail in a bit more depth.

We even got a few photos published in Geoff Chapple’s official trail guide, got our copy through the post the other day :)

If you followed our progress on Nicky&Cookie.com, you’ve probably seen most of these before, but you might be interested in checking out this short highlights video I’ve just finished putting together. It’s roughly in chronological order from the Top of the North Island to the bottom of the south, unfortunately I don’t have any footage of us getting to the end due to a memory card malfunction… Hopefully I might be able to recover some of it though. The rest of the video should be finished in the New Year.

Across New Zealand in 3 and a half minutes:

International Kings of Sport

International Kings of Sport

Well I’ve been meaning to post some pics and video of my brother stag do for a while and never got round to it.. Well better late than never!

Deciding what to do ‘as the main event’ for Giles’ stag do was a pretty simple decision as it was a continuation of a theme that’s been ongoing for the past 16 years. Me and Giles had a tradition of trying to drink our age in pints on each others birthdays. To prove that we had done it and quite frankly to help ourselves keep count, we would take a notebook to keep a tally of drinks. Usually it was only me and Giles that believed in the purity of starting at 11am when pubs open. So after we’d exhausted topics of conversation, we’d start filling up the notebook with not only the pints we’d drunk but also the scores of all random games we’d be playing from pub to pub. Influenced by a television programme of the same name, these bi-annual competitions of drinking stamina and pub game prowess become known as International Kings of Sport.

I’d always wanted to do something more like the original TV show, which itself was based on a surrealist concept from the 1960’s called the Flux-Olympiad, it followed the same format as the normal Olympics, with one small difference – the events were just plain stupid. Well no point explaining any further because I can just show you, first up is the..

Long Jump (head first)

International Superman Dive

Rules are pretty much the same as the normal long jump, but instead of measuring from your back foot, you measure from your furthest outstretched hand.. you know the superman dive! Shanks topped the charts on this one with an almighty jump of 5 metres 75 cms, although there was some controversy involving a double movement, but we let him off.

Photo by John, check out his photography portfolio – Cloverleaf Images »

Here’s the video:

100m Sprint (around a 10m circular track..)

100m Sprint (around a 10m circular track..)

In retrospect I’m not sure this was the best choice of event, running round and round in circles with a belly full of beer isn’t that good for your guts.. and the contents of my guts were all over the beach soon afterwards..

Here’s the video:

Photo Finish (the 3 metre sprint)

Photo Finish (the 3 metre sprint)

I actually think this should be an Olympic event, it’s really exciting because it’s always so close you can only tell who’s won by examining the photo finish afterwards. No video for this one I’m afriad the 5D was taking the bursts of photos.

Tennis Whack (with a cricket bat)

Tennis Whack (with a cricket bat)

Simple rules, who can whack a tennis ball up in the air for the longest. We also played who can chuck a tennis ball the furthest, but to be honest the footage wasn’t that thrilling. The two greenies dominated this event, with big greeny just pipping his brother by 4 hundredths of a second.

Here’s the video:

Who was the King?

Who was the King? Hedgy!

Hedgy! – long live the king of sports! I’d like to point out that I came a very respectable joint second with Greeny :)

Well I could go on but I think this post is already quite long enough. If you we’re wondering where you have to go to find such fantastic weather, beautiful (and empty) beaches, the answer is North Wales! Harlech to be precise.

Our new little friend

Standard Foam Hat

1. Standard Foam Hat (Love that it looks like a Bearskin, this is what comes with the H4n)

Me & Nicky have fallen in love with our new H4n Handy Recorder, not only is he rather useful at adding good quality audio to the Canon 5D, but he’s sooo cute with his little hats on! So funny in fact, that we’ve already decided to make a little story about him walking across New Zealand in the same vain as this wonderful little film about a Wall-E toy:

I’m half tempted to take all the hats with us for costume changes, but we should probably pick just one, but which?

Afro hair

2. Afro hair (I pulled this one off my old Sony mic)

Genetically modified monster

3. Genetically modified monster! (This is the official optional wind breaker for this mic so might actually work best, but it’s a bit of a monster..)

Now all we need to do is hack into his LCD screen so we can display some facial expressions on there, anybody know how to do this without totally busting it..?