hiking, travel

Adventures in Closing

September 24

Well, the hiking adventure is basically over at this point. Still in Lukla, waiting for the weather to clear to the plane can come from Kathmandu. Been up since 5am and it’s now nearly 7am, but it’s nice. Maybe I’ll get an extra day here, spend some time exploring around Lukla, that’d be sweet.

Sometimes the being alone is the hardest part, sometimes it’s the best part.

Last night was the loneliest I’ve felt the whole trip. No one to celebrate with, no one to really talk to, just me and my overthinking, over-worrying mind. Wish I had someone to go on trips like this with, wish I had someone to do anything with.

I think if I’ve learned anything, it’s that I’m a terrible traveler by myself. When one other person is there, it’s great. With one other person I can be braver. When I’m by myself I’m too insecure, scared, self conscious to go out and do anything. I need to find a travel partner or get some help so I can figure out how to get past this being scared thing. It’s annoying, like being scared to take falls rock climbing. Being scared is stopping me from doing so many things and it absolutely sucks.

Woke up yesterday to the last day out in the mountains, kind of sad. I want to go back, don’t really feel like I fit in with “normal” society. But I’m probably doing that to myself.

Had a pancake for breakfast, then we said goodbye to the Swiss group. They had so much stuff, so much better prepared than I was, maybe a touch over prepared. But that’s probably a good thing. The day started off with an uphill climb for an hour or so, then a nice down hill for the rest of the day.

Headed out and up from the last tea house stay.

Took some pretty cool photos from one of the ridges where hundreds of strings of prayer flags had been secured. Some truly amazing views from there, the way the clouds were coming over the mountains was incredible. The slowly climbed up one side and fell down the next. I tried to get a video of it, but I don’t think it really captured the true feel.

Absoutely stunning views from the top.

I think for sure, I feel way happier outside when I suffer a little bit. Where the work is hard and at the end of the day you’re sweaty and cold and tired. Where it doesn’t matter if you haven’t showered in weeks or brushed your hair. Society just feels too defined by rules, there’s too many bits and pieces you have to follow to fit in and be accepted. And if you steer a bit away from the norm, you aren’t accepted. You aren’t popular. You can’t thrive in an environment so many conform to.

Why it’s so hard for some people, why it’s so hard for me, I don’t know. I wish it was easier for me to talk to people, to ask them questions and make easy conversation like my dad does. I wish I had the ability to talk to anyone and make anyone and everyone feel good. But I can’t. I’m too scared or too awkward.

More prayer flags, mixed in like they are part of the environment.

We had lunch at the first tea house we stayed at on our journey out. More fried potatoes with cheese. Delicious, but I was hoping for some chili sauce. After that point it was literally all down hill to Lukla. It felt weird coming in, the whole town was very quiet, almost ghost town like. Perks or negatives of it being the low season. Next time I come, and there will be a next time, I want to make sure I’m here closer to the high season. I think it would give me more of a chance to meet people and stretch my social limits.

Arrived at Paradise Lodge and Restaurant. Had some tea, got a room, had a shower for the first time in forever and it was magical. Still might need a few more to feel really clean, but got step one out of the way.

Wall of dishes and cups at the dinner place.

Astani took me to one of the more locals only part of Lukla for a soup. It seemed to be a yak momo soup, but it was really delicious. Saw a bit of the town and wanted another day to look around. I might get my wish though if the weather stays bad.

Saying good bye to magical places is always hard.
Beautiful sunny day leaving Lukla.

Had a salad back at the Lodge, it was great, finally a plate of veggies! Talked to a few guys from Argentina who were trekking to base camp. I want friends to trek with. They’re headed off this morning.

Where all great adventures come and go.

There’s a good sized crew of us waiting for the plane to arrive, just a waiting game at this point.

September 25

So I did a thing and signed up for a guided tour around Kathmandu. First time I’ve ever done something like that, so hopefully it’ll be pretty cool. Figure this is like my first vacation in a while, so I might as well make the most of it and do some thing I wouldn’t normally do. I also did notice that there is a spa across from where my hotel is, so I might have to head over and try that out.

A few photos from my tour around Kathmandu
An amazingly detailed fountain.

I did make it from Lukla to Kathmandu yesterday. Left Lukla about 9:30, said bye to Astani and gave him a tip. I hope it was enough, but I have no idea. He gave me a scarf, a farewell gift sort of time. Really nice of him and I still have it hanging in my bedroom!

Nothing like a hot cup of coffee to make you feel civilized again.

Made it back to the hotel and then spent the day chilling in my room on social media. Salman (the tour company head) met me later to take me to dinner at Bhojan Bhumi, which was a delicious restaurant. A local dining place with cultural dancing and some really, really good food. I had some of the local wine, which was really just rice wine, but tasted a bit crisper than the stuff I had in Vietnam.

Fried soybeans and a few fried potatoes.
Chicken dumplings, so good!

I also had some soybeans, fried I believe, which were really nice. Then a kind of pancake thing with a delicious sauce and then some chicken dumplings with another amazing sauce. Then the main course arrived, rice with fried spinach and veggies and pork and chicken and dal and I had a hard cider. It was all so delicious, I couldn’t get enough.

I spent the day wandering around today, I have the big tour tomorrow, so that should be pretty cool. At the Garden of Dreams at the moment, a little oasis of space from the busy city. It’s really quite beautiful, so I might spent a few hours here even though I’m currently baking in the sun.

Hanging out at the Garden of Dreams.

Later I stopped by a bookstore and bought a book I can’t wait to read by Hariuki Murakami called 1Q84. I loved all is other books, so I’m really looking forward to this one. I also bought a map of Mera Peak and a backpack and a lot of other little souvenir things. Spending all that money.

A few touristy purchases.

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And that’s the last I wrote about my Mera Peak adventure. A lot of other things happened in the other 2 days I spent in Kathmandu. A lot of feelings traveling on the way back to Vietnam. Maybe some time I’ll get around to writing about those, maybe sometime I’ll figure out a way to properly explain that feeling when you’ve done something amazing and have changed and then you come back and everyone and everything is still the same.

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