11/07/09: Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Trekking is a lot harder than I originally imagined it would be. We wake up everyday before 7am, eat breakfast, trek for four hours, eat lunch, then trek for as many more hours as necessary before sitting in our beds to regroup, then eating dinner and sleeping. The hardest part though has been the constant up and down – I honestly don’t remember the last time we were on flat ground. If the map says that on this day you’ll be ascending 400 meters, I would venture a guess that we climb about twice that much and make up for the difference by walking downhill. So what keeps us going through all of this?
The views. It’s amazing how much variety there is in the beautiful scenery here. It’s one thing to look at picturesque snow-capped mountains all the time, but we’re also following a gorgeous blue/green river, walking through beautiful yellow rice paddies, trekking amongst magnificent cliffs and pretty much experiencing nature in a way that would be impossible in America.
The Nepalese guys who carry three or four (or more) times as much as we do. I know a lot of these guys do this for a living, but how in the world are we constantly passed by little guys in sandals carrying the equivalent of a Smartcar on their backs/heads.
Knowing our dear friend Matt would kill to be doing this right now. I think if the timing would have worked out a little better and he would have started grad school a semester later, he might be here right now. But he’s just one of the many who would love to do a trek such as this one, but just can’t escape from actual life commitments.
Knowing that I will be stuck behind a desk this time next year (fingers crossed). Trekking anywhere beats working on a computer. Unless you’re using Excel. Or updating your fantasy football roster. Ok, just kidding – this even beats both of those activities.
Knowing that in a couple of years, this trek will no longer be the same. We mentioned this yesterday, but it’s kind of cool knowing that we will be part of one of the last seasons of ACT trekkers to complete the smog-free circuit.
Trying to get away from the stench of mule poop. The further we walk, the better the odds are that a mule hasn’t pooped in our vicinity. But then we see more mules. Those guys sure are tough though, I guess they have earned the right to poop wherever they please.
Representing America. So far we’ve met the Asian girls, the Asian guys, the Canadians, the older Canadians, the pregnant Canadian, the German, the Germans and the Israelis. Notice the nationality absent from this list? American. That’s right, we’re doing this trek to represent our country since it seems like no one else wants to.
Our own egos. Let’s face it. Zhou and I are too strong-willed (notice I didn’t use the word “stubborn”) to not finish something we’ve started. We will weather the poop, the uphill climbing, the cold, the long days, the muddy paths, the iodized water, the altitude sickness – whatever it takes to finish this trek, we will do.
Puzzles for Postcards
Rhyme Time! Solve three out of four of these things that you may see in Nepal.
Water spouting from Everest
Someone who monitors the tourists in Annapurna
An amiable worker in the rice patties
What some mountain animals use to swallow
Picture of the Day: Is it just me or do the showers not look all that inviting?