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Beating arachnophoboa

By ActionGeek. Posted in Crazy/Weird, The List | No Comments »

Time to cross another item off my list, but this is a strange one… and while I’ve crossed it off, it’s technically still a work in progress and I suspect it will be for some time – beating my fear of spiders!

It’s something which has bugged me (pun intended) for a very long time. I’m not really afraid of anything else (nothing irrational anyway) and I know they are “just little spiders” and that (in general) they can’t hurt me – but I’be always had a profound and deep fear of them. The weird thing is, I’m still not 100% sure what it is about them that has always bothered me. They have lots of legs, but so do crabs and lobsters and I’m fine with them… they are small and fast, but so are crickets and I’m fine with them… they have big teeth, but do does my boa constrictor and my rottweiler!

Anyway, long story short I’ve been wanting to face and beat this fear for a long time, and last year I decided to make it happen – and bought a tarantula after lots of pleading from my wife (her argument was that if I was allowed snakes, she should be allowed a tarantula and I couldn’t really argue with that!)

Over time I became more and more desensitised, and more and more interested in tarantulas and spiders in general. I started reading books, and researching online, and soon one tarantula became two, and then three, and then four…

In fact I’ve become really fascinated by them. I still have that niggling arachnophobia in the back of my mind, but it’s getting less and less every day and now firmly under control. I’ve actually written an article about how I beat arachnophobia over at tarantula-care.com so anyone interested in the subject can head over there to ready the whole story. For now though, that’s one more item ticked on the list ;)


What do you get if you mix an extreme 50km foot race and the biggest annual experiment in community, self expression and self reliance?  The new Burning Man Ultramarathon of course!

Going to Burning Man has been on my list for many years now, and I’ve always wanted to run an ultramarathon too so could this be a match made in heaven?  Well you decide – it’s a 50km race which looks set to be one of the toughest and most unique ultramarathons (comparable to the Badwater).  It’s probably the only ultramarathon in the world where there’s a high liklihood of several runners attempting the event naked – though I think some parts are likely to chaff over such a distance!!!

The official FAQ states that each competitor must bring at least 1 gallon of water, sunglasses, a dust mask, goggles and a headlamp!

Their suggestions is to “run slow, eat potato chips, and have  blast!”

It looks like 12 people have signed up to the event so far.  Unfortunately there’s no way I can get to Nevada this yea, but if this becomes a regular event I think I’ll have to add it to my must do list!

Here’s a link to the official Burning Man Ultramarathon web site.

Image courtesy of Aleksander Soender





Yungas Road (Death Road) in Bolivia

By ActionGeek. Posted in Action, The List | No Comments »

Death Road - Bolivia

I read an article on BBC news today about “The Worlds Most Dangerous Road” in Bolivia, and instantly had to add mountain biking it to my list!

The Yungas Road (known as Death Road, Grove’s Road, or Camino de las Yungas) is a stretch of road in Bolivia which is known as the worlds most dangerous road. It was built in the 1930s by Paraguayan prisinors during the Chaco war. The road is a dirt track in the mountains, a huge portion of which is downhill, and had vertical cliffs and severe drops along both sides in many places. Combine that with hairpin bends, and breathtaking scenery and it’s easy to see why it has become a mecca for mountain bikers.

The main downhill section drops 11,800 feet over 40 miles making for what looks like a truly awesome days mountain biking. Wikipedia reports that at least 18 cyclists have died on the road in recent years, but before the La Paz-Coroico highroad, when the Yungas road was the only route, there were reportedly 200 – 300 deaths on the road annually.

The picture above is taken from Wikipedia and shows an example of the vertical cliffs and no crash barriers, but a quick search on Google Images shows just how scary the road can be, and how awesome it would be to ride!