12 October 2017.
Arrived safely in Dhulikhel.
Dhulikhel is the administrative city for the area. University, hospital, government, etc. Obvious Much more opulence. Also touristy with lots of choices of resorts to pick from.
Given the nature of my trip, I feel kind of out of place.
When I arrived at the Dhulikhel Resort and enquired about laundry services, you should have seen the receptionist face. Ha! She was probably thinking “we have showers too”.
I retained the services of Kumar again For the trek from Nagarkot to Dhulikhel. When I asked him if he would carry my full backpack which weighed 40 lbs, he said no problem.
Kumar being just as smart as I am, he turned around and retained the services of a sturdy teenager to carry the load.
When I met him, he looked around and saw by daypack. He smiled. As I noticed he was forming false expectations, I showed him my full back pack. I never saw a smile from him again. The poor lad!
The hike from Nagarkot took about 5 hours and was much more strenuous than I had anticipated.
You see, most people who do that trek follow mostly the dirt roads which are graded accordingly i.e. the roads take longer up or down the hills so that they are not too steep.
As it was a hot sunny day and the dirt roads are in the open, we took what common sense people (the locals) normally take.
This allowed us to be shielded from the sun more often….a relief…. unlike on the picture ( sorry no smily pictures) below where we were on top of a hill.
The price to pay for being shielded from the sun….The alternative route involved much steeper ascents and descents through the hills on rock steps… these descents being a challenge for bigger guys with knee problems like me.
The trek was less cultural and more “let’s get it done”.
However, I found fascinating how people can look very different within very short distances and from villages to villages.
Kumar reminded me of how ancient a civization this is, compared to what I am used to in North America.
Squeezed between the modern day giants of India and China, Nepal has attracted…and absorbed….mountain traders, pilgrims and travellers.
Nepal is a melting pot of so many ethnic groups. The Bahur, Newar, Tharu., etc. ….A population of about 26 million with over 40 different ethnic groups… and I don’t mean the Torontonians vs the GTA suburbans, I mean real ethnic and cultural differences.
The locals were lovely to us as we passed through…only with a small incident when we took the wrong route and ended up right into a family’s terrace farm,,,walking dangerously close to their means of subsistence (potatoes, pumpkins, etc.).
I heard a commotion. We turned back. As I could not remember how to say I’m sorry, i simply looked at the mother with a smile and said Namaste with my hands together. That did the trick. She smiled back and said Namaste.
Kumar was not so lucky. He had an earful. Bad Kumar!
A few benefits from yesterday’s trek:
It will serve me as a very serious reminder on Everest that I need to stay hydrated. On Everest, i should drink at least 5 to 6 litres of water a day while trekking. I realized at the end of the trek I had only used 1.25 litres…. a definite no no on Everest.
I am also pleased to announce that I consider my legs fully ready for what’s to come. Although common wisdom dictates a week of rest before such an undertaking, I am of the view that I needed to give my legs a taste of what’s to come. You see, I think my legs have a mind of their own….
Before I sign off…..
First, the answer to my question on my previous blog. The name of the other peak East of Annapurna is …. roll of the drums please…. Langtang-Lirung….the highest peak of the Langtang Himal, which is a subrange of the Nepalese Himalayas.
Here’s another picture of it taken on the trek today
Now…off to the Fuji hotel in Kathmandu where I will soon meet with my fellow trekkers and get reorganized for Everest…