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Annapurna Base Camp Diary

Jun 25, 2018 9:43:00 AM / by DBS Internet Marketing posted in charity, David Clarke, dbs, dbs internet marketing, nepal

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David Clarke, founder of DBS, recently went trekking to Annapurna Base Camp to raise £3500 for Cancer Research UK. It’s still not too late to donate via Just Giving:
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Annapurna-Base-CampWe hope you enjoy reading David’s journal…Friday May 18 May
I left home about 3pm to drive to Heathrow. Surprisingly for a Friday there was little traffic and I was at Heathrow by 6pm well in time for my 9:30pm Qatar Airways flight to Doha. I took very little luggage – just a holdall and a backpack. The backpack would carry what I needed during the day. The holdall had to be under 15kg as this would be carried every step of the trek by the porters – more later.I slept well during the flight which was probably directly attributable to the excellent Pomery Champagne. Saturday May 19Doha was crazy hot at 6am in the morning. I had a short layover and then a pleasant flight to Kathmandu.I remembered that two years ago Kathmandu was a shock to all senses but this time it felt strangely like home. Amongst the throngs outside the airport I picked out my driver who was bearing an “Ian Taylor Trekking” flag.After a short journey that seemed loosely based on a video game I arrived at the Yatri Hotel. In the foyer to greet me were Ian Taylor and his wife Laura.I knew three people from my Everest Base Camp trek: Jenny (a Kiwi) and husband Jason (Aussie) plus Shelley from Arizona. Kim and Fiona made up the rest of the small group of 6 trekkers. Kim lives above the Arctic Circle in the Northwest Territories of Canada while Fiona is a singing teacher who hails from Scotland.I also met Dawa Sherpa and his son Sonam. I remembered Dawa well from my previous trip.The group met for a briefing and then had dinner followed by an early night.Sunday May 20
After a short minibus ride we took an internal 25 minute flight to Pokhara which is a much slower paced city than Kathmandu. We strolled down to the lake and boated to a small island before continuing on for lunch at the far side of the lake.clip_image002The White Pearl Hotel was luxurious and I made the most of it as I knew that the standard of accommodation would drop the further along the trek we progressed.Monday May 21
After an early breakfast a minibus picked us up to take us to the start of the trail. Roadworks and traffic really hampered us. The start of the trail dropped very quickly and was followed by a 2 hour stepped ascent of a valley side. I realised that temperature and humidity were going to play a big factor.clip_image004The accommodation in Urelli (1960m/6430ft) had a very basic ensuite basin, shower and a western toilet that flushed (more later).We ate well and watched the movie “Sherpa”.Tuesday May 22
It’s worth pointing out here that we were now on a trail that had no vehicular access. From this point we wouldn’t see any vehicles for 9 days. Every single item of food, every bottle of water and all building material is carried in by porters. These small framed guys (some barely over 5 feet tall) carry enormous loads using a headstrap and usually wearing nothing more on their feet than flip flops. Legends…clip_image006We ascended steadily from Ulleri (1960m/6430ft) through forests of oak and rhododendron to Ghorepani 2,840m/9,317ft.I was literally soaked in sweat on arrival and was grateful that the woodstove had been lit in the tea house we stopped in as it gave me a chance to string up my damp clothes in an effort to dry them out. We played cards in the evening and had a really early night at around 8pm. Ensuite toilet, basin and shower!Wednesday May 23
4:30am came very quickly as we awoke and began the one hour ascent of Poon Hill (3,210m/10,531ft) which offers one of the best viewpoints of the surrounding mountain peaks. Unfortunately this wasn’t our day. It was very misty and cloudy.The four Sherpas that accompanied us held an impromptu celebration at exactly 6:02am which was 10 years to the day that Ian Taylor (our glorious leader) had summitted Everest. Ian was very modest about his incredible achievement.clip_image007View from Poon Hill (when it’s not cloudy)We descended Poon Hill and sat down to breakfast. A steep flight of steps rose up Poon Hill directly across from the tea house with a gap of about four feet on the left between them and a stone building. A load bearing pony lost its footing descending the damp stone and fell into the gap between the steps and the building. It was well and truly wedged and obviously very distressed. Sherpa Power to the rescue! The Sherpas and porters quickly lent a hand and somehow managed to get the poor creature back on its feet while its teenage owner wept openly.After breakfast we climbed through ridges of pine and rhododendron to stay at Tadapani (2,610m/7,020ft). No ensuite but a communal western toilet that had to be flushed by pouring water into it from a plastic jug that floated in a large barrel of water.It was too hot to use my three season sleeping bag so I tucked myself in between the duvet and top sheet provided which were incredibly damp with moisture from the atmosphere. I fell to sleep very quickly but woke during the night with the strange sensation of feeling like an integral part of a sponge cake.Something made me check the clothes that I had left dry outside. The humidity was really high and my sodden clothes were not drying by hanging outside. I only had a few changes of clothes so I slept for the remainder of the night with a damp sock on each hand, my trousers spread over my upper body and my underpants on my head. Needs must and all that.Thursday May 24
The day started with a with a steep descent through rhododendron. One of the Sherpas was excited to see a tiger footprint in a pile of poo although I personally did not share his enthusiasm.clip_image009When in Nepal a steep descent means only one thing – a steep ascent. So we made our way up to Chomrung (2,140m/7,020ft) whilst watching Langur monkeys swing through the trees. Their party piece is to urinate on passers by. I was anxious not to join the party. Leeches were prevalent on this part of the trail so we constantly checked boots, ankles and legs.clip_image011Fri May 25
Still spending most of the time in tropical forest we dropped down, climbed up and dropped down to the village of Bamboo (2,145m/7,037ft). No en suite but a flushing loo that backed on to a river. clip_image013Saturday May 26
Trekked from Bamboo to Deurali, which sits at 3,230m/10,597 ft. Now we began to get a real sense of the mountainous terrain as we left tropical forest behind us.clip_image015No en suite. Toilet was a hole in the ground. Deep breath, hold breath and think of Ski Sunday.Sunday May 27
After six days of solid trekking we began the ascent to Annapurna Base Camp which involved traversing precarious bamboo ladders over rushing mountain streams. The elevation at base camp was 4,131m/13,553ft. The atmosphere at this elevation contains only 14% oxygen compared with 21% at sea level. clip_image016Monday May 28
We awoke to a covering of snow. Alarms had been set early to watch the sunrise. Annapurna Base Camp sits in a natural basin surrounded by 8,000m plus peaks so it is absolutely spectacular. Annapurna 1 looks very accessible from base camp but, chillingly, 30% of attempts to climb it result in death. clip_image018This day was a long day retracing our steps all the way past Bamboo to Sinawa. A dog we had fed accompanied us all day down the trail. This wasn’t uncommon and we always seemed to be surrounded by dogs.clip_image020Ski Sunday before you ask.Tuesday May 29
We got the sense that we nearing the end of our trek. The Sherpa’s meditation music gave way to local music and then dance music as an impromptu disco broke out at 7am before we headed out. We clapped our four porters out of Sinawa as a thank you for their sterling efforts for carrying up to 30kg of our gear each.We had a memorable coffee stop back in Chomrung with more Sherpa and disco dancing plus the perfect cappuccino - believe it or not.clip_image022I remembered I had brought crayons and sweets for the local kids and handed them out.clip_image023A steep descent to Jhinu Danda saw us check into a really nice hotel with full all-singing-all dancing ensuite. A hot shower felt like heaven. We had a great meal with ice cold beers followed by more Sherpa dancing and an early night at 8pm.Wednesday May 30
After a 2.5 hour trek we noticed the trail begin to widen slightly. We turned a corner and spotted the two 4WD vehicles that would take us back to Pokhara.clip_image025Outside a wooden shack a kettle had been placed over an open wood fire and we enjoyed one final cup of mint tea together as the 9 day trek ended.clip_image027It was a bumpy and nerve wracking 2 hour drive looking over sheer drops before we hit a metalled road. From then on it was just over an hour before we were back in the comforts of the White Pearl in Pokhara.Thursday May 31
Several of us went paragliding in the morning from a huge hill overlooking Lake Pokhara. It was spectacular despite not being able to see the mountains due to cloud. Rest of the day was R&R before meeting as a group for a meal.clip_image028Friday June 1
Pokhara Airport was shrouded in mist as we took the short flight back to Kathmandu.I spent some time in the local market in Kathmandu. The only westerner. Completely safe.clip_image029We had yet another celebratory meal in the evening with lots of laughter but knowing that the next day we would all be going our separate ways to attempt to slot back into normality To sum up…Nepal has something about it that I find hard to put into words. It’s a world away from the UK yet I feel at home there. Nepal makes me question the way we live our lives here in the West. Nepal is the fourth poorest country on the planet yet everyone seems so happy and super content with just what they have - which ain’t much most of the time.Two major religions co-exist side by side with no apparent tensions. It’s safe to walk the streets. People are kind.It’s well worth a visit.My journal may make parts of trekking in Nepal seem like torture but it’s a small price to pay for the rewards of spending time in breath taking scenery with genuinely beautiful people.

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Julie passes with flying colours

May 17, 2018 1:00:00 AM / by James Hopkins posted in charity, CSR, dbs, dbs internet marketing, julie, just giving

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1DBS director Julie Priestley celebrated her birthday this weekend with an action-packed charity race at the Lincolnshire Showground. Julie took part in the Inflatable Colour Dash – a five-kilometre race where participants climb, clamber and crawl their way through a course of inflatable obstacles while being blasted with a variety of brightly coloured paints along the way. The event raises much needed funds for St. Barnabas Hospice, a leading Lincolnshire charity which provides palliative and end-of life care to adults living with life-limiting or terminal illnesses. “I took part in the race with my friends Trish and Di and we chose the team name Charlie’s Angels. We had a really fun time raising money for a wonderful cause and would like to thank everyone who has sponsored us. We have raised £143 offline and £40 online so far” explained Julie. Donations are still open and can be made through Julie’s JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lincolncolourdash2018.

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DBS donate website to East Midlands charity

Mar 6, 2018 10:33:00 AM / by Matthew Rayner posted in web design, charity, dbs, dbs internet marketing, the star trust

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150513_wwwstar-trustorguk_12_960As part of its ongoing corporate social responsibility efforts, DBS has developed a brand new website free of charge for local charity The Star Trust .The charity is the creation of East Midlands entrepreneurs and business owners and raises funds through unique “must-attend” events.The £484,000 raised to date has made a real difference to 40 charities across 5 East Midlands counties.Star Trust does not take any form of expense or remuneration, meaning that every penny raised goes directly to charity.

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Julie getting “Pretty Muddy” to raise money for charity

Sep 23, 2016 12:43:00 PM / by James Hopkins posted in charity, cancer research uk, dbs, dbs internet marketing, Julie Priestley

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Julie DBS new squareEarly next month DBS General Manager Julie Priestley will be taking part in Pretty Muddy, a 5K obstacle course run. The event will take place on Saturday 1st October at the Lincolnshire Showground. Julie is taking part to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, the world’s leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research. Entirely funded by the public, they are fighting cancer on all fronts, finding new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat it to save more lives. It is currently estimated that 1 in 3 people in the UK will be develop cancer at some point in their lifetime. Commenting on the run Julie said: “I decided to take part in this event just after my uncle was diagnosed with cancer at Christmas. He is now in the latter stages of cancer and we don't expect him to be with us much longer. Please help me raise money to put an end to cancer, any donation is much appreciated.” Julie is aiming to raise £1,000 to help beat cancer sooner. Donating is easy and can be done online via Julie’s JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Pretty-Muddy-Julie muddy

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Great Wall of China Trek

Jan 29, 2016 3:13:00 PM / by DBS Internet Marketing posted in charity, Client, fundraising, news

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DBS has some amazing clients who manage to find time outside of their work life for fantastic achievements. Hayley Kenward, owner of Time For You Worthing & Sussex Domestic Cleaning has put a group of 5 people together to do the Great Wall of China walk at the end of this April 2016 for charity. clip_image002 Hayley's chosen charity is Target Ovarian Cancer and she will actually finish the walk on 8th May 2016 which is World Ovarian Cancer day. DBs are very proud to support Hayley. If you would like to donate here is a link to her just giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/TeamCrockersGreatWallTrek clip_image002[6]

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Great North Run for DBS Client

Sep 7, 2015 12:08:00 PM / by DBS Internet Marketing posted in Teenage Cancer Trust, charity, fundraising, Obam Stairlifts

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Teenage cancer trustMark Buckley, Sales Manager of Obam Stairlifts, is taking part in this year's Great North Run on 13 September. Mark's chosen charity is the Teenage Cancer Trust. There is still time to donate to this very worthwhile cause: https://www.justgiving.com/markbuckleyGNR2015/ "We wish Mark all the best on the Great North Run and are very happy as a team to support his charity" said David Clarke, director of DBS "I'm sure Mark will give Mo a run for his money!"

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Send Christmas Cards to Your Customers By Email

Sep 30, 2013 12:30:00 PM / by DBS Internet Marketing posted in charity, christmas, christmas card, email

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xmas-card-2013 Believe it or not, it is less than 3 months until Christmas! But don’t panic! DBS can help companies with one of the big Christmas tasks – sending out the Christmas cards! DBS Internet Marketing can design and send Christmas Cards via email to your customers, clients, suppliers, staff, colleagues, friends, and anyone else who you would like us to help spread some Christmas cheer to! The card above is an example, and will be sent in your company's name, displaying your logo and your choice of message. Prices to send Christmas cards via email with DBS start at just £95+VAT. There is a one-off transmission charge of £5 per run, and a charge of 1p per recipient. So, if you send out 500 cards via email, it will cost £105+VAT - or to put it another way, 21p per recipient. This is a lot cheaper than buying and posting cards, so you can save quite a bit of money by doing this. As it is the seasons of good will, why not donate the difference to your charity of choice – as you can see, our choice is the NSPCC! If you would like to know more, please contact David Clarke on 01522 811688 for more details.

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DBS proud to support skydive for local riding for the disabled charity

Jun 26, 2013 8:01:00 AM / by James Hopkins posted in charity

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DBS Internet Marketing is delighted to be sponsoring a skydive to support a well deserving local charity.  Sarah Harris, a group instructor for Kesteven Rideability (RDA) is taking part in a skydive from 13,000ft on 30th June at Chatteris Airfield in Cambridgeshire, to raise vital funds for the  charity. Kesteven RDA is a local riding for the disabled charity based at The Paddocks Riding Centre, Hough on the Hill, Grantham. Founded in 1988, Kesteven RDA offers subsidised horse riding to adults and children with a physical and/or learning disability. This year the charity is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and in the last 25 years has helped many riders to achieve their personal goals, ranging from grass roots riding each week through to regional and national competitions. The charity relies on fundraising and donations from members of the public and businesses. To mark this milestone anniversary, Sarah and a few others have accepted the challenge to take part in the sky dive, despite having a fear of heights, to continue to raise essential funds for the charity so that it can continue its important work. Speaking about the charity, Sarah said “Horses play an amazing role in supporting both adults and children with disabilities. They allow individuals to have autonomy and independence; to make decisions and build confidence regardless of their disability. It offers a place for friendship, fun and opportunities to learn new skills and to compete in a sport for those individuals who wish to. Watching our riders grow in confidence and ability is so rewarding and the main reason I think why many of our volunteers and instructors love coming each week”. If you would like to sponsor Sarah and Kesteven Rideability, please visit http://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/sarahskydive to make a donation. 

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Men of DBS grow moustaches for Movember

Nov 24, 2011 2:10:00 PM / by DBS Internet Marketing posted in charity, cancer, dbs, donate, fundraising, men, Movember, moustache

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Four male team members at DBS have been growing moustaches since 1st November in order to raise money and awareness of prostate and testicular cancer. These are the two largest male specific cancers in the UK.Movember is an annual event, the name being a combination of the word “mo” which is short for moustache, and November.The aim of Movember is that men start on the 1st November with a clean shaven face and then grow a moustache throughout the month.Movember aims to change long established attitudes that men have about their health as well as educate them about the risks they face in order to increase their chances of early detection and diagnosis, thus giving them a greater chance of effective treatment and survival.The four men taking part at DBS are David, Matthew, Allan and James.David said: “We are delighted to be playing a small part in helping to raise awareness of men’s cancers. Many men aren’t really aware of the symptoms, and often prostate, testicular and other forms of men’s cancers go undetected until it is too late. This is a fantastic cause which just keeps on growing, and we really hope it is successful in its goal to ‘change the face of men’s health’. We have been growing moustaches for just over three weeks now, and they are starting to just about look acceptable!”To contribute to DBS’s fundraising efforts please make an online donation here

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