Well everyone. I am back safe and sound. I didnt run into any Moaist...but I have to admit I was looking forward to a little action..oh well. So the trek; phew, where do I begin. The trek was a ten day "hike" up up up up up the Himalayan Mountains to the basecamp in the Annapurna Mountain range. I have never ever seen as many stairs has I have on this hike....i mean, things really got out of control. And it messes with you a little. For example. Sometimes, at home, during normal life, if you have to go up or down a flight of stairs, and are running a little late...or just want to get them over with you can hustle. you know, maybe skip a step each time or double time down the stairs....this is completely normal and something that the average person never thinks about. So here I am in the himalayan mountains faces with 1000's of stairs, and my natural reaction is to hustle up (or down) them....i figured...mine as well get it over with. The problem is that no matter how long you hustle for...there are more and more stairs.
And when you get to the top...well you go back down. And actually going down steps is harder on the body then going up them. I wish I would have taken pictures of the stairs that I had to face each and every day....
So we basically did the same thing everyday, and it breaks down to something like this: wake up at either 4:15 (if we wanted to see the sunrise) or 5:30. Eat breakfast (which for me was always noodle soup). Drink Tea, and then start treking around 6:30 or 7:00. We would hike up up up maybe down for a little while...then up some more. The ineviditably it would rain around 11:30. So we'd get lunch. Now lunch, well actually meal time, is a little different in the hills that it is at home. If you want food, someone has to make a fire, boil water (over the fire) pick vegatiables from the garden..and basically make erry thing from scratch, so a 2 hour lunch is pretty normal. Also, let me take a few minutes to discribe the food that they serve at the tea houses (basically little guest houses). It is kind of like the
dentist...you know that stuff they claim tastes like "bubble gum" or "grape" or "cotton candy" or any other number of favores but it all really is the same shit....well that is how the food in the hills is. these are ALL the ingredents that they have. Rice, Spagetti, Spinach, and Yak Cheese (which gives you the worst gas imaginable). And with that you can order fried noodles or spagetti (which are the exact same thing) fried rice with vegitables (spinach) or dalbat (spelled completely different) which is what all the locals eat...2 or 3 times a day...everyday....for their entire life...no kidding. Dalbat was actually pretty good (the first 5 times I had it) then it got old real fast. It is basically curried veg (spinach) rice, and something similar to lental soup. But...basically it is just mostly rice. So maybe you didnt notices...but now where in that description did I mention meat. So I have been a vegan for the past 2 weeks, a fet that has never been attempted by a schwalm before....so guess what I had as soon as i got back into civilization...=)
ok so enough about the food. oh wait one more thing. while hiking
Porter with a heavy load
you (for some reason) drink tons and tons of tea. i mean tons like 10 cups a day...i'm not sure if it was just my guide or if it is always like that (well this may sound normal for the english..but not for me). ok so back to the trek.
So after a 2 or 3 hour lunch we'd hike for another hour or so and then end up at some tea house (guest house). So we'd get there around 3 and I'd have the rest of the day to myself. Thank god I brought a book (actually a few books). since it is low season there are not that many other hikers around so most nights it was just Jaya (my guide) and I. Needless to say, I did a lot of reading, and a lot of card playing (i taught him rummy and he loves it..also the locals play some version of spades that was good at keeping me busy for a few hours.) So you'd order dinner 2 hours (at least) ahead of time, then they would turn on the propain heater (or put hot coals under the table) it got pretty cold at night and
The food that the locals eat 2 or 3 times a day everyday F O R E V E R
most places didnt have electricity, so you'd eat/read by candle or lantern light, and keep you feed warm by sticking them as close to the fire as possible.
ok enough for now....the next addition will have more information, you can look forward to nepalies traditional dances (that I learned), squat toilets, cold showers, dirty nepal guys, and reverse hooker girls....buckle your seat belts =)
(ok I am splitting this up into to blogs since I have so many pics...)
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