The Great Big Beard Vote - Yes, The Beard deserves its own entry. Even before we'd decided to definitely do our Great Escape, "Chance to grow the biggest beard of my life" was already jotted on the 'Pro Travelling' list for James. By the time our offices gave us the green light to dig out the money belts and re-Deet the mossie nets, the razor had been stored in the loft and The Beard had its Visa and had booked its one-way ticket to Bali.
And, other than a brief fall-out in Week Five in Singapore, when James agreed with Mrs Conron to exchange the facial hair for a week of free red wine and steak, The Beard has been a constant companion.
The third person in our relationship.
A constant reminder of our freedom.
A great source of chat with new people: "That is a serious Beard; how long have you been lost on Everest?" or "Ah, from Your Beard, I sense you must have been travelling for 53 days, right ?".
An incredible insight into the world of male grooming: "Actually no, just 40 days but rubbing coconut milk on your face makes all the difference".
A useful thing to stroke to make Nicola believe you're thinking really hard about what she's saying.
A handy place to store spare bits of biscuit on overnight train journeys.
An additional source of warmth in the Himalayas.
A source of delight for the local boys who - when accompanied with the growing mane - shout 'Wolverine! Wolverine!" across the street (one group actually asked 'Hugh Jackman' for his autograph).
A point of amazement and paparazzi-esque behaviour for the Chinese who grow fewer whiskers than a siamese cat.
A regular point of discussion for those quieter moments on a five hour bus trip: "What do you really think of The Beard? Should I shave under my chin?"
A frequent concern: "Is it still growing? Are there any exotic insects trapped in there? When I shave it off, will I have a white bottom half of my face?"
A source of amusement for you as you decide who a Bearded James looks like: a Big Issue seller (Dave Smith), Brian Blessed's love child (Toby Idle), Wolverine (Stu Crawford), Che Guevara (Mike Clark), the Yeti (Ems Chiverton and Gilby).
It's now a point of debate for you, our readers. As you are well aware, we will be running in the Great Kathmandu Marathon this Saturday 24th September (www.justgiving.com/james-and-nicola) and, after the recent strong growth on our Everest trek, James needs your opinion on how the chin fluff should look for our charity run. The options are:
a) Do nothing. We want to see it in its full glory on the finish line, it'll interfere with your aero-dynamics and you'll be very sweaty.
b) Just a trim. Even Hugh Jackman had a barber trim his Wolverine spread every now and then. Stay hairy but smart.
c) Just a goatee. We haven't seen a good goatee since Bepe left EastEnders.
d) It's all about the Massive Lamb Chops. Leave behind nothing but the huge side-burns.
e) 'Tache it up. Preferably with some sort of moustache decoration, design or twist.
f) It's time to give it up. Be bold & bald. You've made your point that you are a man and can grow facial hair. Now, be a gent, smarten up and shave the lot off.
The Great Big Beard Vote begins. Leave a comment below to register your vote....