Monday, December 27, 2010
Over the last few days we have been meeting with people and they are all very interested in out Himalayan trek.
these are the 7 most frequently asked questions -
1. Was it hard?
It was probably the hardest thing I have ever done. I walk a lot and have done multi-day walks, but this was something else!
It was high - between 3000 and 4000 metres most of the time. We crossed many deep river valleys, which meant descanding 300 + metres and then climbing up the other side.
I couldnt sleep very well and I lost my appetite, which made the walking even more challenging.
2. Was it cold?
The nights were generally very cold - minus 5 to minus 15 degrees celsius.
The mornings were frosty and clear and then the weather closed in during the afternoons and could be foggy.
One day it snowed and we camped in the snow, but this was slightly warmer due to the insulating effect of snow.
We were equiped with good quality trekking gear - but....................
it was still cold!
3. Did you have to carry all your gear?
We went on an organised trek with High Places, who organised all the tents, food, guides, porters and pack animals - dzos (cross between a yak and a cow) and ponies.
So we only had to carry a day pack with water, warm clothes, camera, things we neede during the day - and most days I didnt even carry that, because I was so slow someone else often carried it for me - it wasnt heavy.
4. What were the other people like?
Because we are not used to going on organised tours this was a very different experience for us. Having everything done and being with a group of people every day.
I think we all got on really well considering our different backgrounds and that sometimes the conditions were challenging and pushed our limits sometimes.
We managed to have lots of laughs shared many funny stories and had no fights!
5. What did you eat?
The food on the trek was all vegetarian, which suits me just fine! And was indian, tibetan, nepalese.
We had a local cook who produced the most amazing meals in the most remote places.
Breakfast - porridge, muesli, eggs, toast or chappatis.
Lunch - 2 or 3 vegetable dishes with chappatis
Arrive at camp - tea and biscuits or popcorn
Dinner - soup and poppadums, 2 or 3 vegetable dishes - curries or stir fry, rice, dahl, roti. Fruit for desert.
....and lots of chai!
6. How did you shower?
for 13 days we didnt!
Every morning the staff brought us a bowl of warm water and we could have had one in the afternoon too when we got to camp.
that was it!
When we finally got back to civilisation and had our first shower in 13 days it was the most blissful thing!
7. Would you go again?
Yes - and no!
At first I thought I would never be able to do anything like that again. It really took a lot out of me and I lost several kilos (not a bad thing!)
But I can't get the whole thing out of my head - I love the mountians and the local people and I just want to see more. I want to go to Nepal, and Tibet and the place we were supposed to go to this year - Ladakh in northern India, but maybe I couldnt do another long trek, unless I was really, really fit.
But I have wanted to go to the Himalayas for nearly 30 years and although it was hard, I made it and I saw things I never thought I would see, like 3 of the 5 highest peaks in the world! and I should be satisfied with that, but now I just want more!
But not next year - but maybe the year after? Who knows?
What are your travel/vacation plans?