Today we hiked downhill with a group of Americans we met earlier in the trip. It was refreshing to hike with them because I realized I wasn’t the only clumsy American…and we got to go slower than our regular “Italian pace”. We swapped jokes and stories that kept us laughing until we split off. Today was their last day and we bid each other a safe journey as our group ventured uphill and theirs ventured back “home”. From there, our group walked uphill for nearly 3 hours until we reached the village where we got to spend the night. One of my Italian friends, Alessandro, aided me in popping the giant blister on my foot, while another one, Nando, gave me some cream that is supposed to help my bruised and swollen ankles. Despite trying to constantly keep up with these guys, I’m very thankful for them : )
I think my body is finally starting to understand that we are going to continue doing this whole trekking-8-hours-a-day thing. Like normal, the first hour our walking was incredibly painful on my feet and trekking uphill from the beginning brought heavy breathing and sweat…like normal. But after I was covered in sweat, & my feet became numb so they no longer hurt, & my body realized we were doing the whole trekking thing again…then slowly it became easier. As a reward for 2 hours uphill, we had a quaint lunch that took a while to make due to the fact that the cooks literally went out to their garden to get fresh veggies. What a treat! But after lunch was HARD. Our guide had warned us that today would be difficult…he wasn’t joking! We walked uphill all day. And it was STEEP! Apparently we took a shortcut that only the locals normally take. By “shortcut” I think our guide meant “the most miserable way possible”. At one point I was so exhausted that I felt my throat getting smaller, much like the feeling people with asthma probably get. Though I’m not asthmatic, I remember girls in cheerleading who were and the coaches always told them to calm down and take deep slow breaths…so as we continued trekking uphill (because I was too stubborn to tell anybody I was struggling) I practiced these breathing techniques. Thank goodness they worked, because we had another 3 hours of uphill trekking left! After feeling so young, accomplished, and independent these last 2 months…this trekking experience is humbling to say the least!
And tonight, I’m looking out a window from the hotel we finally arrived at…we seem to be sleeping above the clouds and many mountain tops surrounding us. All of us Trekkers (from Germany, Austria, Israel…) are surrounding the small fire in the middle of the room, sharing our awe of the most incredible sunset we’ve ever seen!
Thank you Lord for teaching me perseverance and for reminding me that You are God and I am simply your creation…along with the incredible mountains & sunsets/sunrises I get to see everywhere I look.
“He lets me lay down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters” -Psalms 23:2
Yesterday was painfully hard, but today was fairly refreshing. For the first time this trip, my ankles felt slightly normal (thank you mom and dad for praying)! The morning hike uphill was only 2 hours and we got to walk through some snow which was fun. After 2 hours we reached beautiful lakes where we split off to enjoy life in our own ways. For Nando and Dante that meant jumping in the freezing cold lake in their underwear (!!!), for Alessandro that meant exploring, and for me that meant sitting in a quiet spot and enjoying the view and my book about alternative medicine (nerdy I know).
Afterwards, we all joined together for a cup of tea & ventured back down the mountain, of which the snow had turned to slippery/mushy ice. I’m slowly learning how to go down a slippery mountainside without constantly falling on my butt: Today I tried the ice skating approach. Rather than taking small steps and wiping out completely, I began sliding on the ice. This approach was much faster, less painful, and nearly became a game to me. Our guide seemed to get a kick out of it too…and I’m sure he appreciated the fact that he didn’t have to try and catch me every 5 seconds 🙂 the rest of the day was spent walking down the mountain, as tomorrow is our last day trekking. As difficult as this experience has been, it’s a little sad to think that my newfound Italian friends, Nepali friends, and I will be parting ways soon. You sure get to know people well when trekking for hours with them.
And now, I get to fall asleep while looking at the clear star-filled sky (and my socks drying on a clothes line) from my window. Goodnight 🙂
Today was the last day of trekking for Langtang! As usual we sped downhill…passing other trekkers and seemingly running down the rocky paths. When we reached the hotel I was so excited to enjoy the HOT shower our guide told us about. It’s been nearly two months since I have genuinely been able to enjoy a HOT SHOWER. I have had my fill of bucket showers, cold showers, and wet wipe showers during this trip so I was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately my “hot” shower was rather lukewarm and left me shivering.
Nonetheless, it’s so nice to feel clean and actually be able to run my fingers through my hair (without feeling salt leftover from my trekking sweat). Tomorrow we go to Kathmandu where I’ll clean my clothes and get last minute preparations for Mount Everest Base Camp! My guide said that I will be able to make it through Mount Everest since I made it through Langtang (a much less tourist-filled mountain). Then again, he also said I’d have a HOT shower…yet another adventure awaits I’m sure 🙂