Trekking to the Top of the World – Pre-trip Preparations Kathmandu

 

I have no idea what possessed me to embark on a walk in some of the harshest terrain in the world, enduring some of the worst temperatures I have had to survive for years, living without common niceties like showers, plumbing, infact there would not even be heat in the places  I would sleep. Ok, this may sound a little nuts for someone who spends majority of her time and energy avoiding the cold like the plague. So why am I doing this? I guess  part of me wanted to challenge the laziness and apathy I have been experiencing over the past few months. And what a better cure of my recent curse of severe clumsiness? All this falling down stairs and walking into walls just has to stop.  Trekking among the highest mountains in the world oughtta do it, right? Climbing almost 100 km through the Himalaya wilderness to the highest altitude I have ever experienced is just what the doctor ordered. Or so I thought.

I spent a couple days wandering in and out of the glut of trekking stores in tourist laden Thamel. I had a few administrative errands to run including getting my TIMS permit ($20 USD) which would register me with the Nepal Tourism Board and the Sagarmatha Park pass which cost a thousand rupees ($12 USD). Luckily I got both of these within minutes at the same place. Then I made the short jaunt over to the Immigration office where I would extend my visa for another two weeks for thirty dollars.

While I was waiting for them to process my extention, I met a Danish lass called Marianne. She just so happened to be going on the same hike on the same day so we decided to keep each other company. I was intending to do this trip solo but I reasoned it wouldn’t hurt to make a few friends along the way. She said she had met another Canadian the day before, Mark from Calgary, who would make our little team three. I knew this would quell my mom’s nerves as she expressed some deep concern about me wandering around the remote parts of Nepal alone. At least now if I fell off a cliff, there would be someone there to witness it and report back. There would be no tales of Yetis kidnapping , this young lady, no siree. I met up with my two trekking buddies the next day and we booked our flight to Lukla. It was only 35 mins but it was a serious flight into the most dangerous airport in the world. The night before, I reconsidered my gear and at the last minute rented a puffy yellow down jacket for 35 rupees a day. That’s less than 6 dollars for two weeks to ensure a happy warm Carmella. Money well spent, I reckon.

Since I would be taking time away from the kids at the school I have been volunteering at, I decided to dedicate my trek to them. I set up a quick and dirty Facebook event for Klimb for Kids. I didn’t know if anyone would participate but it was worth a try. And perhaps it could make a difference for a child. At least this effort wouldn’t be in vain.

I packed my new 5 dollar 35 liter backpack with my “real fake” designer hiking gear. I glanced nervously at my new ten dollar unbroken in hiking shoes. Needless to say, I was a little worried but something inside propelled me forward. I didn’t sleep that night. I am not sure it was from excitement, fear, or anxiety. Probably a little bit of all. I was about to embark on something I had never dreamt of. Could I do it? Honestly, the thought of not finishing didn’t even cross my mind. I would do this if I had to crawl there on my hands and knees.

Grateful for spontaneity.

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