We are truly on the home stretch when wake up is 7.30, and we don’t need to leave till 10…so, some random thoughts/insights on our fellow trek warriors.
1. They come in all ages, male & female equally, and in varying states of preparation & condition.
2. Dinner conversation in luxury apartment (anywhere in China)… “What do we want to do for our next holiday? How about a nice stroll in Nepal?” Next week!! “Better prepare by getting the best gear, must be organised”.
3. Re point 2, a lot of mainly Chinese, but not exclusively, seem very ill prepared physically. The pain on some faces at the start of a climb, and the agonising, crawling pace makes you wonder if they will ever complete any days trek, let alone the whole thing!
4. Lots of chirpy banter on day one, less so day two, almost none by day five!
5. We saw some spectacular outfits, from the stunning crocheted poncho, ultra wide brimmed hatted, monster sunglasses ensemble; thru to the parasol shaded gent staggering to base camp, then on to the orange & black pant combo favoured by many a German preambulator. Goretex, goretex and more goretex, sometimes worn as a fourth layer from sun up to sun down, rain, hail or shine!
6. Indians by the gross! Heaps of them, which seems to make sense, they are just down the hill a bit! They do like to hog the scene though, just try moving them on from the best vantage point at base camp, not a chance. Too many photo opportunities which take forever to achieve. Include Kala Pattar to that!!
7. Germans, Italians, Swiss, Pom, Dutch, Lebanese, Chines, Indian, Aussie, Kiwi, Yank, Canadian, etc, etc….a varitable United Nations all clambering towards a common goal. If only it were that easy!!!
8. We met plenty on the track, most more than once. Adolf (I mean, Otto) the Swedish maestro, leading his group with an iron fist; the Belgium boys passing, being passed, then passing again, day after day. The lovely American couple, smiling and chatting, walking fast and having fun. The Brit couple, Harrison & Kate, on a nine month adventure, which will include Australia from Boxing Day. Four lads from Kathmandu joined us loosely for a few days, joining us on the dreaded Chola Pass day, then swapping positions with us for days after. Nice guys who were seeing their own backyard before exploring the rest of the world. We chatted, swapped horror stories and good, laughed, shared meals…did everything except have a beer!
9. Overall though, a friendly, cooperative bunch all looking to achieve their own personal goals in a pristine, spectacular setting.
Walking seems to be becoming almost secondary now, we have already done this stretch the other way, but it still had its challenges, took almost 6 hours, and we were glad to be at our lodge in Phakding again….this time for a BEER!!!
“Beer, glorious beer…”