[This is a chapter from my travel book. There are lots more chapters posted on the blog, but if you’d prefer to read them all at once, sign up for my e-mail newsletter and I’ll be sure to let you know when they’re available in a condensed form!]
We woke up the next morning to blue skies and crisp morning air — by now an expectation, not a surprise.
I brushed my teeth in the brisk dawn, standing outside and taking in the vista while doing so. The mountains in front of us, here, were wonderfully staggered, creating an illusion of movement. Probably the movement of the glacier caused that, I though, before realizing that I really had no idea how glaciers worked. The shape of the mountains could have been the result of anything.
It was true, I didn’t really know much.
We struck out fairly early. It was a sunny morning, which I was beginning to understand was typical Himalayan weather. The days here started sunny and clear, slowly accumulated moisture and storm clouds throughout the day, which usually dropped rain or snow in the afternoon, before clearing up in the evening for a cool, crisp night.
We pushed through to the village of Upper Sinuwa, where we spent a cold and rainy night. I wrote a few questions to prepare for the interview I had scheduled when the trek ended, but mostly found myself in conversation. I exchanged stories with an older Canadian couple, the German mother and daughter, and a group of Koreans, who were trekking independently and looking for advice from our guides.
Koreans have a reputation as total outdoors nuts—huge hikers. I was interested in the group, since I had yet to meet any Koreans on my travels, but ultimately, I was a little too tired to get into it with them — especially as their English skills weren’t the best. I ate my dinner, had a pot of tea, and excused myself early.
I was probably in bed by 8 o’clock.
I awoke late. My restless night hadn’t afforded me much chance for good sleep, so when I’d finally drifted off to sleep, mortified, I hadn’t wanted to wake up.
A perfect sunbeam from the bedside window hit me square in the face, and my memory of last night came rushing back to me. It was far too vivid to have been a dream. I opened my eyes and glanced out the window.
It was an amazing bluebird morning, only small wisps of clouds to be seen. The sky was an almost ethereal blue color: so perfect it almost didn’t seem real. Behind the nearby mountains, a huge snow-capped peak showed its face. I sat up and stared in wonder. Although only a tiny portion was visible, the mountain looked like nothing I’d ever seen before.
That’s what I came here for, I thought.
[this is a serial travel memoir about my experience traveling in Nepal. It’s best read from the beginning. Click for Chapter 1]
I walked out of Eastern Light Trekking feeling confused.
For the first time since I arrived in Nepal, I had a plan. An actual, concrete plan. With dates and destinations and everything. It felt odd. Didn’t feel right.
After the messy struggle that brought me here, had I finally sorted it all out?