Treks in Nepal

Friday, 16 December 2016

So today's post is about the three most physically (and also quite mentally) challenging days of my life so far. I decided to go on a trek, a trek in the mountains in Nepal. Yes I was crazy, very crazy.
I always thought I'd like trekking, I like walking a lot, I go for 5 mile round trip walks to go take photos quite often but walking through towns and along beaches for an hour or two to take a couple of photos is not at all the same as trekking in mountains, in Nepal.
I also thought because of all the walking I do and because I live in a fairly hilly area I'd be ok. Again I was very wrong and my guide agreed with me. 
Also I said three days, I'll let you into a secret, I only managed two days of my three day trek. Oh dear.
Ok so the start of this post wasn't a very positive one and I promise the whole post is not gong to be like that. Despite the fact that a lot of the time I spent walking was slightly torturous and I spent a lot of time wondering why the hell I'd done this to myself I'm very glad I did. 
I've proven to myself that I can put myself though a little bit of hell and come out the other side and it was definitely an experience. Plus the mountains of Nepal are freaking beautiful and I stayed in two very unique places that I would never have stayed in otherwise.
 So started off day 1 bright and early and drove 45 minutes to our starting point. Our being just me and my guide's as I was the only one on this trek. We then met up with a french couple and their guide so I wasn't just walking alone. Though for most of the time through my trek the guides were talking to each other in Nepali and the other trekkers were talking to each other in french so I got a lot of time to just think to myself and suffer in silence.
 So we set off and things were going well, there were lots of stairs which was fine... until there were more and mroe and more and more. I really think I should've counted how many steps I climbed that first day because it was honestly thousands and I don't think my knees have ever been through quite as much before or after.
But we met a few dogs, saw the very dirty reservoir that Kathmandu's water comes from and saw kids running up and down the steps to school (they made me feel very weak and unfit). Accompanied by beautiful views the only horrible thing was all the steps.
We made a pit stop for lunch and I had an amazing Dahl Baht, though to be fair I've never had a bad one and wish there was somewhere near me that did some good Nepalese food because honestly Dahl Baht and momos make me very happy.
 Yes that is the plant you think it is. They grow marajuana everywhere in the mountains of Nepal apparently? Most of the plants I saw were taller than me and though that's not too difficult, cause I'm quite short, It's still pretty impressive. None of the plants were in season though.
 One of the things that kept me going and kept me happy on the 5 and a half  hours of walking we did the first day was the number of goats everywhere. I have a huge love of goats and not only were they everywhere there were baby goats everywhere! Sometimes - like in the picture above -  I'd look up and there would just be this little goat standing on the roof next to me, amazing.
 It rained, then the sun came out, we reached the highest point of the mountain we were on and then we walked down lots of steps, and almost fell over multiple times.
Then we finally made it to my home for the night, a small village called Chisopani which I will have a blog post on next week. It was so beautiful but had been devastated by the 2015 earthquake and hadn't recovered, only 2 or 3 of the buildings were standing and in use and there seemed to be no one in the village.
I had a beautiful view from which I could see across other mountain ranges, unfortunately the clouds hide Mt Everest but my guide assured me it was behind them somewhere. And one one side of the mountains I was looking at there was china and a bit further along from that was Tibet, amazing.  
 The next day was another early one and the cloud had cleared just enough to see the peaks of some of the Ganesh mountain range, which are amongst some of the highest mountains in the world.
It was a foggy day and my guide told me there weren't many steps ad that today would be quite a flat day of walking. He was right about the steps but I don't really think flat exists in Nepal. It was definitely not flat at all.
 We met a friendly dog leaving out accommodation that morning and she followed us for the whole day, yep for a full 7 hours of walking this dog followed us. We had to protect her from other dogs when we went to new villages but she was so so sweet. When the couple I was trekking with went back to Kathmandu they took her with them to find a home because she seemed to love being around people and they didn't just want to leave her up in the mountains.
And you did read that correctly, the second day was a full seven hours of walking. A lot of it was very down hill and then the end was fourty five minutes of pretty much vertical paths. My legs hated me, I hated me, I was sun burnt and friction burnt and sweaty. Finally got to the cutest hotel, a little Japanese hotel in Nepal, very random. They had bookshelves of Japanese books which I tried -and failed -  to read, the view was just breathtaking and the food was amazing. Could it be better? Yep it was, I made friends with a kitten. She was scared of everyone else but came up to me and just went to sleep in my lap, just what you need after a long hard day.
The next day I decided i couldn't walk because I couldn't even put my bag on due to a mixture of friction burn and sunburn so we took a "short walk" to get a bus back to Kathmandu. I thought the bus would be round the corner but I had to torture my legs for another half an hour before I could sit on a bus.
It was an interesting experience, especially the first bus. It was run by about 3 quite young guys, one of who was driving, one of whom was in charge of the music and had a questionable taste and the other who shouted out the window and banged on the side of the bus as a way of letting people on and off the bus.
Then I had another two bus rides until I could collapse into my bed in Kathmandu, a very taxing three days to say the least but one I'm very happy I did. 
I don't think I'll be going on another big trek any time soon though.
There are a few things that I didn't take pictures of but are in my videos (like the second hotel and dogs and the kitten) so check that out if you want to see more. 
Thanks for reading!

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