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Published: September 23rd 2009
Learning from the experiences of my esteemed fellow travelers, I have decided to sign up early to the TravelBlog site and get a feel for it from the comfort of my couch, before I am forced to stare at some medieval monitor in the sticks and type on a crunchy/sticky keyboard in a dimly lit cyber café 😊
There are many interesting features in this site for which there will be no time to learn them on the road, so here I go, begin my travels a whole 10 days ahead of schedule.
I also look at it that I extend my vacation by the same ten days. Though not sure how it works, because my whole life seems to be a one long vacation. If one thinks of work as means to live, and I subscribe to this, then work is the necessary evil one must endure but each day after it, comes VACATION!
Jokes aside! I have most of my gear purchased. Having been told that everything is much cheaper in Katmandu, I ignored the costs, could not wait, and went shopping for everything here in Luxembourg. Or more accurately, in Trier, Germany, where the selection and prices, and the friendly, English-speaking, often cute-female, helpful staff, make all the difference (gals - don’t despair, there are even more helpful male staff in Kleine Fluchten and Jack Wolfskin!).
Have you noticed, that I take the blogging to heart and since it is free place to spill your mind, I do exactly that, whatever is crossing my mind appears under my fingers. The resulting chaotic arrangement of thoughts must be typical of blogs sites everywhere, so I presume you are used to reading them, and if not, then where have you been the last five years?!
My trek shoes, bough a whole 5 weeks ahead, have endured constant three weeks of wear and tear and have proven superb. My coworkers hardly noticed I was one inch taller wearing them. I decided not to carry the 70 liter backpack to work, it would look too unprofessional and appearances is all I’ve got in this cut-throat financial business 😊
Water bottles, compass, head-flashlight, whistle, insect repellant, all the necessary clothes, small backpack, duffel bag, sunglasses, and dozens of other small bur often crucial items are loitering the floor of my spare bedroom waiting to be scooped into the duffel bag. Yves, a coworker who has trekked Nepal several times before, has been kind to lend me a down-fill sleeping bag. It should keep me warm even if the temps cascade down to -30*C when I sleep at Gorak Sheep or other high point out there. Thanks Yves!
Tonight I plan to pack the backpack with 20 kg of crap and take it for a test walk on the flats along the Moselle river and if that proves easy I will head up the roads amongst the vineyards that line the hills on the Luxembourgish side of the river. It sounds easy, but try this for twelve hours a day and for twelve days, going steep uphill or worse, downhill, and what was easy becomes no longer has the same meaning.
Speaking of readiness, mental and otherwise. I believe to be more than ready in either. Physically, I have never been more fit and stronger in my life. Five years of strenuous daily exercise in different sports and activities has produced results. Mentally, I have never before been in greater need of such a experience, then I am now. This trip is the medicine that I was looking for over the last few years. In terms of having the will and determination to follow an aggressive trek course (Lukla to Everest base camp, Gorak Sheep, and via Chol La pass to Gokyo lakes and summit, all in twelve days), I have prepared and consulted with experienced Nepal trekkers, adjusted the plan many times, allowed for rest, prepared to endure harsh weather conditions, even harsher hotels and exhausting, long daily distances. Have I forgotten something - probably! Have I prepared to deal with it - yes. I will improvise!
If you have tired reading this, just imagine what I will go through soon. Reading is easy! But now I have time, soon, the notes will be short and sweet, far in between and belated, so come back and read them.
Hasta luego amigos!
Lawrence von Luxembourg
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