Towards the end of the trek someone had asked me, ‘Do you think you’d do it again?’ Can I be honest? I probably said something along the lines of, ‘Ask me when I don’t feel so dead’. I guess I knew that although I was somewhat flagging in enthusiasm and energy, there was a part of me that knew in 6 months time (maybe even less), if you’d asked me whether I’d come again I’d be the first to say ‘yes’. But, I’d DEFINITELY train more!
One of the guys in the group had done the Annapurna circuit and said that it was a really beautiful trek. His pictures, and tales from other work colleagues had already confirmed it to me. But besides these big MASSIVE treks, there are lots of little baby treks also. Not to mention rafting and mountain biking. Why am I always so boring? Why can’t I just have the guts to go do all these crazy things? I had an epiphany this morning-The only thing stopping you is yourself.
So let me rewind right the way back to the beginning and with the help of my pictures try and paint you a picture before I set off again and before life moves on and it becomes just a bunch of broken memories.
ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU
I’ll not recap on the whole snow palaver, or how petrified I was before I went, but I will recap on my first impressions-‘How on earth am I supposed to carry this massive bag?’
It practically dwarfed me, and I had to keep taking it on and off for the bazillion security check points. Anyway, $40 later I had a Nepalese visa in hand and I was making my way to the exit, ready to be hit by heat, smells, sights, sounds and hopefully somewhere amongst all that a sign that said, ‘Himalayan Encounters’.
It was all rather calm actually. And I found the group without much problem at all. A few tentative hello’s, a final head count and we were on our way to the Hotel Tibet in Lazimpat. We met our group leader, Chitra and were briefed on what to expect from the trek. As I said before, I love our group! That’s the feeling I had from the beginning, and thankfully is the feeling I had until the bitter end. We had 14 people in total, ranging from 21 to 60, with singles, couples, mums and daughters and random hobo travelers, not to mention our token Aussie who had just completed the Annapurna circuit and joined us for more. So with the introductions under way, a medical student turning up late as usual (but covered in dye due to Holi festivities) and a final briefing (‘I have some first aid training’) we all had dinner and hit the sack early. Our first of many early nights.