“Forget all the reasons why it won’t work and believe the one reason why it will.”
We started out on our trek completely unsure of what we would encounter. Though I had tried to do some research online, the only information out there is from expensive tour companies who want to provide you with porters, cooks, and guides while charging thousands (for a trek we will do for less than a hundred). We had heard that the first few days passed through small villages, Sherpa villages, where we could occasionally buy food, but that for most of the trek, we were passing through high altitude uninhabited ground. There was suppose to be a small tea house every six or seven hours walking where we could get a meal we were pretty sure that the last few days had absolutely nothing. Plus, food up there was bound to be outrageously expensive as it had to be carried in. To prepare for this we packed a fair amount of food, enough to last us for lunch everyday and at least five breakfasts and dinners (as well as twenty packets of biscuits and a few other snacks). Our packs ended up being stuffed to the brim, and unfortunately, very heavy.
We began hiking up the road, an almost completely unused road (no buses or cars, only the occasional jeep) which we would hike on for two days before arriving to the real “end of the road.” Along the way were a few farming houses, and even an unused lodge or two, but mostly it was an isolated trudge up the road. By the afternoon of our first day we realized we were walking into a storm, and sure enough, it began to pour for a short time which successfully soaked us and our bags. Kevin and I were happy with the rain though, it felt like home.
The first day was tough. Though the path was easy to find, it was a physically hard day as we were carrying such heavy packs and neither of our bodies were prepared for it. Kevin’s pack didn’t have a frame, and mine was a one pound lightweight REI pack designed for a few days of summer camping, not an expedition into the Himalayas. Worst of all though were my boots. Within the first few hours I realized that they were too small and were therefore creating blisters, sores, and a whole lot of pain. By the time we finished walking for the day I curled up in the tent exhausted and sore but happy to be trekking in a place I had always dreamed about.
I woke up in the morning to an amazing sight, the chain of Himalayas stretching out in front and around us, glowing in the morning light. It was a stunning view, and I decided to cook breakfast perched on the side overlooking the mountains.
Unfortunately the glee of seeing the mountains only lasted for so long before the pain from the blisters on my feet overtook my thoughts once again. It was a miserable day, made worst by the fact that we kept missing the little local shortcuts and ended up all day zigzagging down the never ending road. By the time we got to the town and the end of the road, I didn’t want to walk another step. Luckily I was able to find a small shop which sold shoes, and bought the only pair that fit me – fuzzy plastic slippers (you know, the kind that people wear as their “inside only” shoes). So that’s how I began the rest of my trek in my slightly ridiculously but awfully comfortable slippers.