The last two, possibly three weeks have been a blur. Our time in Nepal wrapped up fast, and for the last week I spent it seeing the ‘real’ Nepal – the countryside – or should I say mountainside? We took off on the 8th for a week long trek to the Annapurna Base Camp, which is a ‘moderate’ trek according to Nepali standards, extremely adventurous and dangerous by my own experience.
I really don’t know where to begin with this post, it’s really hard to put into words what the trek was like. Pictures definitely will not do it justice (… annnnnd I’m having difficulties loading them here in India). It pushed me to my limits – physically, mentally and emotionally. You get to hike through rice patties carved out of the side of mountains, small three-hut villages, and a local may even chop you a bamboo walking stick to help you on your way! I highly recommend doing a trek in the Himalayas at some point in your life – just not during monsoon season (unless you are properly prepared for it… which we were not). Since I knew that it would rain, I bought raingear in Pokhara. Mistake number 1 – rain gear in Nepal does not mean monsoon gear – everything, including my nice new camera, was dripping wet through my rainproof backpack and the supposed waterproof bag cover. Luckily, it’s a tough camera. Since it was around 98 degrees and 100% humidity when we started, I opted for sandals instead of shoes (just more weight to carry). Mistake number 2 – the busted foot – on the beginning of day 2 I leapt onto a rock funny, slipped and pulled/tore a ligament in my foot.
A million things crossed my mind as I struggled to put one busted foot in front of the other for 56 miles. By the end of day 3 I couldn’t hack it anymore and gave up on making it to Base Camp, so I stayed behind on day 4 at Deurali, or what I like to call ‘the Annapurna Base Camp’s Base Camp’ (to make me feel like I made it somewhere, even though I know the journey is more important than the destination). As the rest of the group climbed the last 2 miles up to the top, I really enjoyed my time alone to reflect on everything that crossed my mind as I climbed – it was really refreshing, rewarding and peaceful. I missed out on some incredible pictures up there (at actual Base Camp), but I have a feeling I’ll be back someday…with proper climbing shoes and rain-gear =).
We headed back to Kathmandu, tired and exhausted, for one final hoorah in the city. I ate my last ‘good morning pancake’ from OR2K (our favorite local hole-in-the-wall vegetarian restaurant) and spent the last two nights glued to my computer, finishing up the grant writing and reciept recording.
Before we knew it, we were touring around the country that has everything, India.