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The Fear of Losing "It"

NEPAL | Thursday, 23 December 2010 | Views [535] | Comments [3]

As we arrived in Nepal last night, I had great fears that I had lost “it”. Coming off the back of an amazing adventure in Thailand, and ample explorations through bits of the Middle East, I thought it would be a smooth and easy transition. I thought that lively adventurer’s courage, that intrepid attitude, that “it”, would just instantly revive itself and I would feel right back at home in the dusty, cluttered and noisy streets of Asia. Alas, I was not, and I felt all those old twinges of new travel nervousness and anxiety all over again.

Morning arrived and my potential great planning, or possibly terrible lack of attention to detail, showed in our need to meet for our first trip at 8.30am. On direction from the owner of our cosy guesthouse, we wandered between junctions, through back streets, and past taxi drivers in continuous loops, eventually finding that we had been within metres of our destination each time we decided to turn back. We were about to embark on our first intense adventure of the trip and my bones were filled with trepidation. What was I going to feel? How far would this push me? What could I expect from a land where the street sellers didn’t sell ping pong shows and ladyboys, but tiger balm, taxis and hash?

We met at the Kathmandu Guesthouse to join up with our local guide. A quick catch up and the flick of a map left us ready to hunt down some breakfast in a nearby café before jumping in a van to tackle the local traffic towards Shivapuri National Parl. With a hefty 250 nepali rupee entry fee for foreigners (and 10 rupees for locals), we knew we were in for a high cost trip compared to the everyday city outskirts. All the same, we were more than happy to support the local communities, the villages and the population in general, and eager to tuck into some local fare!

It took us an hour to get through the fumes to that national park entry gate, in traffic more akin to bumper cars than roadways. The start point of our trek was a set of stairs. Just on set. Rather tall, but that single set of stairs nearly took Andrew out of the race before it had even begun. We loaded up on bottled water, smashed and squashed our jackets into our packs along with our thermals, and prepared ourselves for the 1100m ascent to Dilari peak crossing, before starting towards our goal point at Chisapani. A total distance of 22km hiking, supposedly possible in just under four hours. We weren’t hoping for anything even close to that; we just wanted to get there.

I was constantly enamoured by the real nature springing up around us. This time, it’s not artificially planted and manicured gardens kept alive by tons of desalinated water. It was just plants; lots and lots of plants. Dirt, rocks, mud, trees, flowers – it was fantastic and we hadn’t even hit the villages. We wandered past chickens, cows and goats resting lazily by their homes. We watched as toddlers without pants and young children without shoes adeptly climbed the stairs, rocks and hills around and ahead of us. Women washed clothes in buckets on the rocks, while others sorted millet using the wind as a separator. And yet, the best was still to come.

Now, in terms of trekking in Nepal, climbing to 2700m is baby stuff. We didn’t even touch the snowy regions, just rejoiced in walking through frost and telling ourselves it was snow. We were passed by groups of men carting kilos of cotton up the same climb. Woman came back down the slope, heavily loaded with firewood, protected only by the cushioning of leaves behind their backs. While we pressed on with our North Face hiking boots, thermals and all kinds of mall-based necessities, the Nepali people scooted past in open sandals, t-shirts and hand-woven skirts. Quickly put to shame for our difficulty in completing the hike, we pressed on to Chisapani, our resting place for the night. Out-trekked and out of energy, we relished in sweet Nepali tea and a pile of blankets, hoping for the cold to stop trickling into our bones.

Tags: nepal, trekking

 

Comments

1

hi! just wanted to ask who your guide was for the Nepal Trip. My friends and I are planning to go to Nepal this November. Hope you can recommend a good, reliable, and fun guide. Thanks! :)

  ayec20 Apr 27, 2011 10:21 PM

2

Hi! We went with a guide named Hem and his number is 984 901 8412 (not sure about the international code beforehand)...or you may be able to contact him on hemraj_D2006@yahoo.com ... We found him through "Himalayan Encounters" at the Kathmandu Guesthouse (www.himalayanencounters.com) and the whole company was great. Well organised and very helpful. Cheers, Kristy.

  princess2802 Apr 28, 2011 1:05 AM

3

thanks so much for this! :)

- Angelica

  ayec20 Apr 28, 2011 5:14 PM

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