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The little adventures of Jo! Travel with me on my overdue gap year around the world :)

Lamjura La

NEPAL | Friday, 4 October 2013 | Views [2501]

Altitude: 3530m.

We are currently at "altitude" in a small Sherpa settlement called Lamjura La or Lamjura pass, just before our first mountain pass on the trek. It's meant to be a place of spectacular views 360 degrees (despite not having any views of snow-capped mountains), but because of the misty clouds that enclose us, we're blind and can't see them. We weren't supposed to stop here, but we are and will be here until tomorrow morning. That makes our stay here a long two night stop instead of just the usual quick lunch stop.

The reason for this unexpected stop was the day I had yesterday. I hadn't realised how intense the trek would be until we go to our starting point, Jiri. We had bought a book from the bellmen at our hotel in Kathmandu about trekking the Everest and Khumbu region, which I only started to read at breakfast on day 1 of our trek. The first line about trekking from Jiri reads:

"The Jiri- Lukla walk-in is for the diehard trekker who shuns the Lukla flight, preferring to reach Khumbu the hard way."

I was perturbed. I completely do not identify myself with that statement. To be specific:
1. I am not a diehard trekker or wish to be one
2. I did not shun the Lukla flight.
3. I don't like doing things the hard way if there's an easier way.
While I tried to be lighthearted about it, humour did not help me much.

I completely had not expected the walk-in to be so physically challenging. People I had spoken to about the more popular Lukla-Everest Base Camp trek, had usually done little or no training before starting it and still made it, or had said it was an easy donkey trail. With that in mind, I assumed the Jiri walk-in would be just an extension of that. It is far from it. Each day you walk at least ten kilometres (we walked 17km on our first day), marred with steep ascents and descents.

What I also hadn't expected were the very basic living conditions out here. While I'm normally fairly easy-going, this is pushing my mental threshold. I don't think I would've minded so much going without daily warm showers, having limited meal choices, sleeping on basic beds and working with little electrical power, IF I wasn't so exhausted and feral from trekking eight to nine hours in a day, up and down hills (or what other countries would consider mountains), and coming across my number one most hated creature, leeches. I find it absolutely absurd that I come from a tropical climate, walked through the jungle enough times to get bitten by them, but have only attained my first bite here in Nepal!

Needless to say, getting here yesterday from Sete (altitude 2575m) was a major struggle for me. I woke up with a sore right knee, a terrible "can't do" attitude and to pouring rain outside. Just what I needed on day 3 of our trek. I begrudgingly got out of bed. The weather cleared up just before I finished my breakfast, and we set off. But I was seriously tested.

Despite my best efforts to shift my attitude and motivate myself (I deemed my knee problem unfixable!), I reached my limit and had a tantrum on our ascent here. My knee was beginning to hurt more, the rain started again and I just wanted to be home so much - in the clean lazy comfort of my very self-sufficient home with my parents and with awesome Malaysian food and clean water at my convenience. But there I was on a hill somewhere in the middle of Nepal, on a path only accessible by foot or animal. And I had 20 or so more days of this to deal with. I'd never felt more stuck.

I'm feeling a little better today after cutting our day short yesterday and resting. The knee is better but the body is still sore. I'm still being challenged mentally but I guess there's nothing I can do about where I am. If I need to get out, the only way is to walk.

Tags: nepal, outdoors, trekking

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