Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What a difference a day makes

Alternate title: one step at a time.  

There were times yesterday morning, the first day, that I thought I wouldn't make it. I couldn't imagine how my exhausted legs would carry me any further let alone up thousands of feet which are mostly steps. But after lunch it got progressively easier and today was great!

The walking view for the day
Firstly,  we could see the Himalayan peaks for nearly the entire six hours of walking, which is so inspiring.  Langtang is gorgeous!! Secondly,  I finally got to a place where I felt like even though I was climbing at a turtle's pace, I didn't need to stop and I could go on at that pace indefinitely. Instead of seeing the next steep uphill that seemingly goes on forever and praying there wouldn't be another immediately following, it's just one step at a time and before you know it, you're up! Also, we saw a one day old yak. I did subsequently see a goat being birthed on the last day, but that's not such a photogenic occurrence.

Baby Yak!
You may notice my grammar getting a little less precise and my sentences shorter.  Maybe even lacking prepositions? The more I get immersed in trying to communicate with someone who has limited English skills, the worse my own language gets. 13 days from now? I may have only a five word vocabulary. Slowly, slowly (note: combined those are one word), up, up (also one word),  down, maybe and 10 minutes. Because as it happens, somehow, everything seems to be quoted at 10 minutes. I finally had to tell my guide that he had to be honest with me about the timing. He said, "but for some people..." - I said yes, but for this person you know now how slowly I walk, so tell me based on ME. And he agreed, and for the most part he complied. Except for the last long day. He was afraid I would be unhappy with the washed out, run-out slot canyon we had to climb so he didn't tell me about it. I was *pissed*. After 6 hours of hard climbing and descent already? You need to know about a slot canyon that's 80+ degrees and dead still. Breezes don't descend down in the walls. Only garbage. The mountain people apparently don't like that they are meant to take care of their own trash (this according to my guide), so they throw it wherever, which tends to be on or near the trails. At that point of the trek I had been walking in a general grouping with 5 other guys for about four days and they all agreed it was the worst once I reconnected with them at the "hotel" for the night. A swiss guy Alan and a San Francisco guy (the only I met from the US actually and ironically the one whose name I couldn't remember), a french guy Max, a french guy Vincent and a guy from Mauritius, James. 

A word on the accommodations: rustic.  That probably makes them sound more glamorous than they actually are. The word tea house evokes some sort of far east romance and mystery... for me at least.  Not one communal squat toilet outside in a separate shack with rooms that don't even have full walls or windows. Or electricity.  Did I mention it gets cold at night here and is super windy? They are all named Lovely Teahouse or Peaceful Teahouse. Or some combination of Lovely, Peaceful, Namaste and Moon.  So tonight's accommodation has the communal squat toilet inside! I feel like I am living in the lap of luxury here.  Seriously.  And the electricity turns on at 5! No outlets but for a very expensive fee they will charge one device for you. The nook? Not sure it was the best idea. It only lasted one night. Game of thrones reading  withdrawal commencing...

1 comment:

asundman said...

So the take-aways...American guys are so dull you don't remember their name (happily...I am a Dutch guy), squat toilet in teahouse is bad, the guides are pathological liars, mountain views are sublime. Have I got the Cliff Notes version down?