Our first view of Mount Everest was like a special gift from our guide Lakpa to us. At a hairpin bend, less than half way up Namche hill, he directed us off the trail onto a narrow footpath. About 10 meters along, he pointed north and said Everest. Everest, indeed, sparkling in the distance, showing off an immense snow plume blowing east from its summit like a bride’s veil caught in a gust of wind. We simply stood and looked, speechless, nearly forgetting to take pictures.
Trekking on mountainous trails has a rhythm that evokes a strange reaction in me. How do I define this rhythm? It comes from the tension that arises between hating the effort that’s required to climb the difficult hills or descend the tricky trails and, at the same time, loving that effort. It culminates in the thrill of succeeding at a straightforward task: reaching the day’s destination. The thrill is amplified by the difficulty encountered to achieve the goal.
I don’t understand why I waver between love and hate when it comes to trekking. When I’m not trekking, I want to be. I keep coming back for more in the hope that one day I’ll understand its hold on me. Deep down, I suspect that day will never come.
That explains, in part, why I’m back trekking in Nepal. After my previous visit, I remember thinking that it had been a great adventure but that I’d surely never repeat it. Then I forgot the hard bits and longed to experience it again. The other part was Ken’s enthusiasm with the idea of going to Nepal, a first visit for him.
After landing in Lukla, we walked about three hours to Phakding the first day. It’s a bit lower than Lukla in altitude, but the trail has many ups and downs along the way. Everything was a new discovery for Ken and it was exciting for me to watch him.
The second day we traveled for nearly six hours and tackled the daunting Namche hill, two hours steeply up at the end of our trekking day.
Both days, the weather was perfect. Despite the unbelievably dusty trails, the sky was clear, the mountains spectacular and the views breathtaking.