Opposite of Early Bird

[From my hiking journal]

March 12, 2009

From Ghorepani to Tatopani

Old Kamala Guest House, Room 503

Day 11 of Hiking

Last night I had awful dreams about being burned by fire because I saw the fire burning in a long line down the mountain before we went to sleep. I dreamed I lost my cat and my baby in the fire. Today as we made our way from Ghorepani to here, we saw several burning, the smoke rising from all the different fires making one huge cloud above us.

I could still see the lengthening line of fire as we started up Poon Hill at 5:30 this morning. It was not as cold going up as I thought it would be, but at the top the wind was serious. I tried to think happy thoughts on the hike to the top, but I just got so angry because every time I thought I was at the top of the mountain, there was a turn and 100 more stairs to climb. It was 3,000+ meters high. It probably took me close to an hour to reach the top. There was a lookout tower, but I assumed the wind was even worse up there and let Kenny and CB check it out on their own. Needless to say, I was not a happy hiker. When the sun rose, it was pretty and the mountains were bigger than life, but it was still hazy and I was cold. I did manage a smile for one or two pictures, but I was not awed by the mountains.

Perhaps that is one of my defects. We come out here and I'm confronted by the Himalayas themselves, and yet, I remain nonplussed. I would have rather hiked up later, not in the dark, missed the haze, and seen the mountains at a decent time of day. Or just skipped it altogether. Even at Annapurna Base Camp, I wasn't blown away. I guess mountains just aren't my thing. Oh well, no one can say I didn't try. 

After hiking back down, we had a beautiful breakfast including delicious hashbrowns and headed down toward Tatopani. Tato being hot in Nepali and pani being water. And by down, I mean down. It was downhill all the way. If you ask, my knees will tell you all about it. I listened to the Funeral album by Arcade Fire and ended with In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel, both fitting perfectly and suprisingly motivational on hikes! [Thank you, Rob, so much!]

We didn't get to Tatopani until 4:00 pm so it had been a slow day. We headed straight for the hot springs. I was unimpressed. The water wasn't anywhere near hot-tub hot and due to all the fires, the pool was filled with ash. I didn't last long, being the only woman in the pool anyway. It was weird. The fires had come all the way down to the tree line, where the people who lived there had started fires of their own to make sure it didn't pass down into the town. 

Tonight we met a British man who talked to us during dinner. He says the roads they're constructing will kill the tourist trade. Why hike somewhere if you can just take a taxi instead? After dinner we played Go Stop with CB again. I'm giving him my trekking shoes and izen because the shoes fit him perfectly. Our feet our the same size. Exactly. We were so lucky to have him as our guide.

I got blisters today- on our last day of real hiking!


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