Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Dispatches tagged as:
camping (36)

I'm sitting in the shade of a bungalow just above the banks of the Orange River, in Namibia. I've just survived being swept down a fair portion of said river, in the process of which misadventure I nearly lost both a fiberglass canoe, and a very nice German gal named Astrid. ...   (read more)

Well, I've really gotten completely over this Cool Guy Hat Flaps Up pretension, let me tell you. The African sun - as advertised - is a brutal, insidious, and insistent beast....   (read more)

"But mad dogs and Englishmen / Go out in the noonday sun." - Noel Coward ... Astute readers will recall that the above quote has been previously used on Dispatch from the Razor's Edge. However, it turns out that it really, really bears repeating - the moment one sets foot in the Namib Desert....   (read more)

When we did roll on into the camp site - nestled between two tremendous, towering piles of rocks (with others nearby) - jaws were on the ground; and there seemed to be a general consensus that this was the best setting for a camp site anyone's ever seen....   (read more)

We arrived in Etosha Park earlier than expected on Tuesday afternoon, allowing us the opportunity of a 70km game drive straight off, basically just to get to our camp site. Etosha is widely regarded as one of the world's greatest wildlife-viewing parks...   (read more)

Our last night in the world, Paul sat us down before dinner, and gave us the scoop about the Delta: how to avoid becoming meat for any of the local Delta denizens....   (read more)

Betwixt the Delta and Chobe, we paused for a brief respite at something called Planet Baobob - a camp site situated amidst 3,500-year old baobob trees....   (read more)

We moved to a rougher camp site (a bit too rough, in my view), on the banks of the Zambezi River. Mark: I just saw a mamba. Me: Is it dangerous? Mark: Heh heh, ha ha. I wouldn't say it's dangerous. I mean, if it bites you, you're dead. But it's a pretty happy, peaceful snake . . . Though, again, if it bites you, you're dead....   (read more)

Lake Malawi is the 3rd largest in Africa (behind Tanganyika (Burton's discovery) and Victoria), and the 9th largest in the world. It is 580km long, and believed to be 750m at its deepest point. Moreover, due to it's waves, winds, tides, and unpredictable weather, it is officially classified as "the sea."...   (read more)

Right, then - so one more beach camp site on the shores of Lake Malawi. And although this one would be indistinguishable from Kande Beach to, say, Martians, it sure was a whole new kettle of worms for us....   (read more)

So I actually spent a lot of time worrying about, and trying to figure out how to avoid, dying in that Land Cruiser we took to Serengeti....   (read more)

Mark, Would you care to walk across England with me in the last two weeks of March?...   (read more)

well. presuming that mark also assents, and presuming that the two of you are not afraid for your virtue, traveling with a Member Of The Opposite Sex - i'm in. d...   (read more)

So, our acute food problem so far had largely consisted of three parts: 1) breaking camp and leaving town before anything opened; 2) getting into the next town after everything had closed; and 3) not packing nearly enough trail food to get us from one to the other....   (read more)

As well, we couldn't afford to get lost up here. Miles from any town, isolated up in the peaks, hemmed in by weather . . . we could end up doing circles, or heading off in some wrong direction, until we succumbed to the weather and exhaustion....   (read more)

"Those who struggled to complete the previous stage will be less than delighted to hear that today's hike is, at 21 miles, even longer. Indeed, for many it will be the longest day on the entire route."...   (read more)

It appears that on this walk if it's not one goddamned thing, it's another: if you manage to avoid getting blown off the cliff-edge of a fell, you've only survived to later get swallowed whole by a bog. Well, never a dull moment....   (read more)

Darby: Screw you guys - I'm goin' to the B&B. Us: But- Darby: Eh! Screw you guys - B&B....   (read more)

Morning finds Applegarth Camping Barn - and our heroes snug in bed: Mark: I can't tell if that's wind or rain. Me: It's not rain. Go back to sleep. Mark: That's definitely rain. Me: No, you're dreaming . . . I had the most awful vivid dream last night. Mark: Were you trapped three quarters of the way across England with two freaks? Me: That's no dream, that's your reality....   (read more)

Mark: Wow, that's the first time the sun has driven us from our tent . . . It was true, we emerged to a gloriously sunny day in the back yard of the White Swan. This called for shorts....   (read more)

And so morning arrived at the gloriously well-appointed camp site that was somehow wildly inferior to all the pub back yards we'd camped in. Note to self, I thought: Four pints is one pint too many....   (read more)

Early morning in the Schesse-frei pub backyard. The very first light of day glances off of the still and quiet (and glisteningly wet) tents. Mark: I suppose there's nothing for it but to get moving. Me: But we don't have to do it now. Mark: I wonder if we could for once manage not to be excruciatingly early or absurdly late for breakfast . . . Darby Danger, we're up!...   (read more)

So, previously on our show, we cut the day's dispatch short, leaving our heroes palsiedly perambulating into the port town of Mawgan Porth - one hobbling and whimpering, and the other cackling and rubbing his hands together: "Yessss... yesss... we will walk futher, we will walk more... we will walk up, and down... there will never be an end to the walking... Mua-HaHaHaHaHa!!!"...   (read more)

And so C&M met us in the morning back at the pub, after Tim and I had broken camp. Here they are looking all cutesy-skippy- happy, and all bad, respectively. I think I can explain the skippy-happiness....   (read more)

Well, you guessed it - it was another totally glorious morning on the hill overlooking the bay, and we were up at half-7. I showered while Tim packed up (sniff); and we both headed down the hill for a farewell breakfast at the cafe....   (read more)

Awoke at, yes, you guessed it, same time as always, 7:30. But alone this time? you ask? Au contraire, mein freund. For, with Tim's departure, the critters have come out in their legions to cheer my morning....   (read more)

Awoke at, yes, half-seven again - what is it with this St. Ives campsite reveille? - to, yes, another glorious morning. I packed up much of my stuff, tried to shake some of the overnight dew off the tent (in anticipation of packing and carrying it later)...   (read more)

Yes, of course, I know, it's always the Michael Show here. However, it is about to become All Michael, All the Time / Too Much Michael Is Never Enough / I Want My M(ichael)TV Channel. Walking alone, the dispatches inevitably become more or less the Story of Me....   (read more)

I was up early again (camping!), right on time for a truly fab cooked breakfast - and cooked by a really lovely old whiskered gentleman. I felt like calling him "Cookie" and asking if I could carry the tin mugs over from the wagon for him...   (read more)

Awoke rather dreamy and refreshed - especially after an extra, post-rollover hour of sleep. The new sun and fresh breeze were both blasting in the window - ah, another glorious day, imagine that. Perhaps I am God. How would you know for sure, really?...   (read more)

Upon checkout, the nice innkeeper man, Terry (*) , gave me a replacement pen, gratis. Hard to argue with that. The least I can offer in return is some free, and much-deserved, publicity: http://porthcurnohotel.co.uk/....   (read more)

So - Ali was right. The bus driver really doesn't have anything better to do than tell you where to get off the damned bus....   (read more)

It had stormed overnight. I got up, crawled out of the tent, and moved the now-even-more-soaked travel towel from the fence (where it had been "drying") to an actual clothes dryer in the main building. I then broke camp, stowed my pack, and hoofed it into town...   (read more)

In nomadic camp life, you really do just get into the rhythm of waking at dawn. Badger! badger! badger! What I took to be a badger ran by, along the opposite edge of the field, with a crust of something in her jaws....   (read more)

Morning now, and I am standing on the stairs to the slide of the camp site playground, soaking up the first sunlight. I am not sitting here, nor anywhere, due to the dew, which is just a monster. The surface of the world couldn't be any more drenched if a thunderstorm had stopped five seconds ago....   (read more)

Lying in my tent in the Lizard, near to the pigs, I dreamt long, vivid, grand, yet frustrating dreams. Really long and involved. I wonder how time compression works in dreams. Are we like Data, reviewing video at impossible speeds?...   (read more)

about
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (2014); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of spec-ops zombie apocalypse dark action thrillers. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
DON'T SHOOT ME IN THE ASS, AND OTHER STORIES by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
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