We stumbled into Chhomrong exhausted, with our thighs burning.
We had just descended what felt like a thousand steep steps. My knees were creaking; Saffron was leaning on my trekking poles while gasping; Anker was sweaty but whistling cheerily. “We stop here,” he said, as we walked into Chhomrong.
Chhomrong was the biggest village we’d encountered since we left Ghorepani. You could probably even go so far as to call Chhomrong a town—at least by mountain standards.
The conversation between Sol and I drifted off as a hailstorm rolled into town. Watching from our table by the window, we saw hail start to fall. A few excitable young kids ran outside, screaming “snow!”
[ed. note: I’m going to experiment by posting Nepal entries on Tuesday and Thursday instead of MWF. This is a way to let the weekend content breathe a little more, and for me to see if switching up the posting schedule affects traffic in a meaningful way. Thanks for your understanding!]
It was even colder in the teahouse when I woke up from my nap. I would have stayed in my sleeping bag, except I needed to use the bathroom. This lodge, luckily, had western-style toilets. I could not have been more happy to see them after my debacle with the squat toilets the night before.
In my trekking journal, I write: “It is a cold dormitory, plywood thin and relatively unfriendly. But it has a Western toilet, which may as well be the Four Seasons up here.”
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.
After being wracked with a sudden onset of anxiety on the streets of Pokhara, Nepal, I’d finally managed to drag myself into one of the city’s many trekking agencies.
This agency, it turned out, was Eastern Light Trekking.