where i've been...

My travel map

Friday, May 8, 2009

A little more of an explanation

Well, now that I have had a decent night's sleep to recover and a good day out of the Phewa Lake learning (or attempting to learn) how to river kayak, I have a few minutes to explain my last adventure before heading off tomorrow morning at 6:30am to start the next one. This is definitely a great spot to come and play...as if I hadn't mentioned that before!

So we started our six day trek in the Annapurna mountains with the intentions of doing a circuit (loop). Not too strenuous, but a good 5 hours of hiking a day through foresty-jungle and up and down mountainsides. Well...the locals won't actually call them mountains unless they are over 5,000 meters, so I should really say "hills".

We did a semi-leisurely hike the first day and got to a little tea house just before the rains came in and thunder and lightning and heavy rain on little tin roofs pounded at us all night long. That is where I met a few British trekkers who were coming down from a different route, the one that goes up to Annapurna Base Camp, or ABC. Usually it takes much more than six days, mostly because people are not insane, take their time, and stop more often. They do this to a)enjoy the scenery and the great little towns and b)acclimatize because base camp is so high up and c)they are not overly-ambitious Annette.

So while Rahima was sleeping, I got some altitude drugs from one of the girls (who obviously didn't need it anymore) and planned our new route: to do in 5 days what most do in 8-10. Rahima, being the amazing friend that she is, knew how much the idea of "getting to the top" really inspired me, so despite her concerns that we had NOT prepared for this as far as gear and clothing were concerned (we're talking 90+ degrees at the bottom of this trek, and literally freezing at the top), she let me run with it.

It was hard. Hard. Rahima is like the mountain goat/pack mule of hiking. She sees uphill and puts on the turbo-boosters. I have hiked with her enough to know this. But somehow it never ceases to amaze me. She is just the little engine that could, and the only living thing that actually GAINS speed while going uphill. I, on the other hand, make it. I'm not saying it's pretty...but I get there.

Most of the time we had beautiful views, blue skies and cooler weather as we got higher up (yeah for me, bad for Rahima). We did get rained and subsequently hailed on as well at times. Not as fun. And who knew that ladybugs, yes ladybugs, live by the billions all the way up to 4100meters?!?! They were absolutely everywhere.

So going up was great...but coming down (end of day 4) either something I ate or drank caught up with me a bit and let's just say thank goodness for Immodium, and we'll leave it at that. :)

Met some really cool people along the way, and saw porters (both local and for tourists) carrying the most amazing loads and running both up and down the hills I was struggling with. And even more amazing than that...they oftentimes are doing it in rubber sandals and flip-flops!

I have so much more to say, but my time is up and I am starving...so I'm gonna run for now, but I'll be back in three days with some (hopefully) good white water kayaking stories.


No comments: