Trekking in the Himalayas!
I expected this one to be tough….but it was tougher than I expected. So. Much. Tougher. As in the hardest physically challenging thing I’ve ever done. It was also mentally tough looking up at the mountains surrounding you, and knowing you have to climb them (for 5 days….all while you don’t feel well). It was an amazing and humbling experience. The views of the mountains are just stunning. The steps are massive and there is no flat (“Nepali flat” as our guides call it). Much respect to all the hardcore mountain climbers out there that make this trek look like a stroll in the park!
I looked and felt like death most of the time. Most of our group was physically ill for the first part of the trek. A note about the local whiskey: sometimes a great idea, sometimes a horrible idea. Not so great in this case. So about half of us were ill from that. And if you can’t go on, your options are to either hire a donkey and guide to carry you, or helicopter out….so you kind of have to continue on. Our group consisted of two smaller groups of about 9. I booked this through Earthbound Expeditions – I would highly recommend them (plus they are a Nepalese company that supports the local economy and people).
One of my favorite things about Nepal (and India) is the common greeting of “Namaste.” In yoga class, we say that a lot (mostly to close practice), but I just love it as a greeting. As you meet people going up and down the trail, you hear it all the time. Just makes me smile!
Prayer flags are everywhere in Nepal. Loved seeing these colorful reminders as a way to promote peace, strength, compassion, and wisdom. Each color represents an element to bring harmony and balance. The wind carries these positive messages and prayers to open spaces and people where flags are hung.
First day…still feeling good!
Amazing porters! It was humbling being passed up by these guys, as they rush by you barely breaking a sweat, and carrying multiple people’s bags. I was stubborn though and didn’t give up my bag.
We crossed so many bridges like these below. Good thing I’m not afraid of heights! We crossed some amazing rivers along the way too.
Coming down! So many donkeys on the trek. That and good old fashioned man power (porters) are how goods get transported here. No cars! You need to make room for donkeys as they pass you, because they will bump right into you. Also….must watch where you step.
Fake smile below. The first part of this day was really tough. That juice in my hand gave me the much needed energy to continue, when I had zero appetite and the smell of food made me feel sick.
Below is a real smile, the “hallelujah I actually made it” smile – can you tell the difference?? This is after finishing the longest day of the trek, in the village of Ghorepani. I think we did about 16 kilometers (1o miles) straight uphill.
“Nepali flat” (as in no flat whatsoever). So steep! And it goes on and on and on….
This is what villages look like in Nepal:
We saw some beautiful butterflies and flowers, too!
Just taking in the amazing views! This is one of our guides (Hari).
This sign made me laugh. As in it felt like the trek went on for millennium!
Below are a few friendly reminders and inspiration 🙂 There are so many positive paintings, alters, artwork, and decoration all around Nepal. Love that.
Below is what we hiked all this way to see! The view is from Poonhill, looking out over the Annapurna mountain range. We were at 3,210 meters/10,530 feet (which is not even that high compared to other treks in Nepal). Everest is 8,848 meters/29,029 feet! The sunrise was absolutely breathtaking. This was the coldest morning by far.
One of my favorite parts of the trek?? Finishing it! And getting to soak in these natural hot springs at the end of the day! Ahhhhmazing!
Below are our fabulous guides, Hari and Namaraj. This was after we finished and were back in Pokhara. Many thanks to them for keeping us safe and fully medicated 🙂 I think we were a bit of a needy group, haha. If anyone needs a guide in Nepal, I would absolutely recommend them.