When most people think of Holland, the first things that com to mind are tulips , windmills and cheese - not massive mountains like this one!
Imagine then, when we came upon the sight you see above (all photos taken by our legendary cameraman Mr Bernard "I'm horny, horny, horny, horny" Lyons). I nearly pooed myself when i saw the bear, Kieran tried to cuddle it and Brian just made some weird noises like he was trying to talk to it. And this is just on the outskirts of Amsterdam, City of peace and love (or something like that).
The first mountain we had planned to climb was cerro torre but we soon realised that it was in south america so that wasn't going to happen on this trip. We then saw another big bear so decided to call it a day cos we don't really like climbing anyway, we only do these trips so you lot can read about our exploits (donations for future trips always welcome - send care of mahers staff social fund).
So Amsterdam and it's mighty peaks conquered we set off for south america on the ferry from belgium. it's quite a long time on the ferry (about 2 days) and while we were in the small cinema watching Bring It On 2 (All or Nothing) on donny's recommendation, we met some old friends from our last trip to denali, Flava Flav, MC Hammer and Milli Vanilli.
Our mates (from left to right) Milli Vanilli, the Hammer and Flava Flav.
After all thoroughly enjoying the film, we retired to the bar for an evening of karaoke and cocktails with the ships captain. Highlight of the night was Flav and The Hammer teaming up with Kieran for a fantastic rendition of the Bee Gees "you should be dancing".
At some point during the night, for reasons we are not allowed to discuss, Milli Vanilli became just Vanilli.
We arrived in Rio de Janiero bright and early and went straight to the beach for a spot of the Hammer's favourite game, beach volleyball. As it turned out, Brian and the Hammer made a fine defensive pairing and with Bernard "Horny horny, horny" and Kieran up front proving a formidable partnership (despite Bernard being clinically diagnosed as an overweight midget), it wasn't long before the big league came calling and our team was entered into the national championships which just happened to be on later that day.
Paul "Donny" Gallagher in action . (Giving it socks as they say)
Needless to say we progressed quickly to the final where we met and destroyed the Home favourites, The Popes very own vatican team, made up of Cardinals, Bishops and Swiss Guards.. Our victory was dedicated to Milli.
So, with the Brazilian national volleyball title in the bag we obviously got an invite to the world championships and the olympics - And with amsterdams mighty peaks conquered we decided to call it a day and head home for whisky and lemon cake with our old mate Dr. Chris Bonington - he makes mr kipling look like a fool when it comes to baking.
Catch our next issue of the blog for an adventure unlike anything we have undertaken before in the 7000 metre peaks of the mighty Nagles - If we make it back there will be one hell of a tale to tell.