Meet the 2017 Hike Nepal Team: Barbara Gentilcore

Barbara’s interest in Nepal was ignited in 2015, the first time we planned a Nepal trek. Unfortunately, 10 days before we left the earthquake happened, and we had to rapidly change plans. She was very interested in the scenery, and it was a place that her husband was uninterested in, so she took the opportunity to come with us instead! Now, Barbara likes to be comfortable, she has a very specific idea of her perfect temperature, noise level, sleeping arrangement, and so on. So when she found herself in 40 degree Cambodia, in a tent, surrounded by roosters, one would expect her to have a tantrum! But that is not what happened! In her words: “even though i like being comfortable, if you can’t change something you just do the next best thing. In 2015, this meant camping in normally intolerable conditions, but i accepted it and saw some of the world’s greatest wonders that i wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise. I also learned the meaning of “shart” and “wet willy”!”

Babs did many new things for her 60th

Barbara was nicknamed Babs in Cambodia, a name that has stuck ever since! She has unfinished business in Nepal, and is really looking forward to seeing the country. She wants to see the people and the countryside, and visit seven women (the charity we support) .

From day 1 of this current training program, Babs has struggled. She has had bronchitis and several respiratory illnesses, but has shown up to every training hike and steadily improved over the past 8 weeks. With 4 weeks to go, her mantra is “left foot, right foot, breathe.

Babs being a good sport, lying down in front of the group for our photo!

She is perhaps uniquely placed, as the person who is always behind to offer support to the other participants on a bad day. She also likes it when people encourage her; “i liked it when Justine or Michele told me to “just keep swimming”, and when people encourage me along.” Bab’s greatest fear is being left behind, and if that happens in Nepal she will literally blow her whistle! But we know she won’t be because Binod from Hike Nepal always leads from the last person.

Bab’s greatest challenges include being fit enough, coping with the altitude, and coping with different circumstances to what she would normally live in. She has trained her ass off to get fit in time, and will be doing some altitude training from this week. Her favourite quote intended to “push the tush” is “I’m alive, I’m well, and I FEEL GREAT“!!

Barbara, literally working her ass off with 4kg weight loss to date. Maddy is happy!

She has no intentions of letting her hard-won fitness decline after Everest. She plans to keep doing walking adventures, but “something that doesn’t have minimalist camping.  i’d like to do day walks in a place like Cinque Terra and stay in hotels at night!”

The most important thing to Babs is getting to Nepal, it doesn’t matter what she does there. The fact that she is doing it with people that she knows, meeting new people, and that our team is supportive is a bonus for her. She says “i wont fail because i am prepared to get to where i can then explore wherever i get to. Achieving a certain level or bench mark is on my radar but not the end of the world if i have stop earlier. i will just find something else to do, or somewhere else to explore.

Well done Babs, on staying motivated despite being somewhat discouraged when the going was SO HARD from day one! Yours will be the story we tell next year!

Me “encouraging” Babs, and Babs showing her “appreciation”