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Trekking – final installment

Way back when (before we were tired and hungry for sure) we decided to fly to Lukla and then walk to Shivalaya on the way out (and then take a bus back to Kathmandu).  Most people fly both ways.  Some people choose to walk in via Shivalaya – as a good way to get in shape and acclimate themselves.  Very few people choose to walk out via Shivalaya.  In fact, we saw no one else going our way….

The trek itself doesn’t go through valleys, it goes over them. Pretty much every day, you go up and down at least once, if not twice.  There are several (4 or so) high passes — high for the middle hills – one is around 3500m.  It is not an easy trek.  It is definitely a good trek to get prepared for the Everest region.  Maybe not so good when you are finishing….

In all seriousness, it was beautiful — lush green river valleys, high passes, villages, stupas, chortens — all the ingredients of life out in that region of Nepal.  We were seeing it all.  Unlike the Everest region, people live and work and farm and scratch out their lives in this area.  (well, people work in the Everest region – but most of the guesthouses exist because of the trekkers – not because people actually live there!)

As I mentioned, this time of year is Dasain – so we passed a lot of people headed home to be with their families.  One of the important parts of Dasain is the sacrifice.  Just so happened that we were trekking on sacrifice day.  At one point, Katherine turns to me:  ‘oh, god. They are going to sacrifice something.’  we stopped some ways away from the crowd of people, but could hear the swift chop.  As we walked up, we could see them bleeding out the goat and washing off the goat head.

At another house we passed, a kid excitedly ran out to greet us with a freshly skinned goat head in hand, moving the mouth for us.

oh, sacrifice day.

The trek is suppose to end in Shivalaya were you can catch a bus to Kathmandu — takes about 10-12 hours, sometimes more depending on the roads.  We really wanted to catch a bus there.  we were tired (did i mention that already?).  we were hungry (did i mention that either?).  wanted to stop walking.  But we kept hearing word that buses were not going to Shivalaya – instead we would have to walk another half day to Jiri to catch the bus.  Yet, every now and then, someone would raise our hopes and tell us — no, no — you can catch a bus in Shivalaya.

So – long story short – we had people making calls and connections for us every which way (the brother of our guesthouse owner in Kinja owned a guesthouse in Shivalaya and he would look into it for us – but we could have lunch at his sister’s guesthouse in Duerali – and if the bus didn’t work out – we could go to Jiri because here was another connection…..)

No buses in Shivalaya.  Not because of the road.  Nope.  The bus was there.  The driver w as there.  But it was the festival.  So – onto Jiri we went.  6 days after we left Namche we were in Jiri, done walking with a backpack – ready to eat up some miles on a bus.

Though I was ready for it to be done while I was doing it, it was pretty amazing to catch a glimpse of rural life in the Nepal countryside.  To see how people really live out there.  And the green countryside was amazing  – especially after being up in the mountains for so long.  The other really cool thing about the trek is that this is the way the first Everest (and other Himalayan explorers) expeditions went – before you could fly into Lukla – you had to walk in this way.  So, it was pretty cool to get that piece of history as well.

I will post pictures when I get them — though we did not take a whole lot on our way out…  both our batteries were dead and we were just about ready to be done.

But there you have it — there is the story of our 22 days trekking!  whew….  that took awhile!

take care — lots of other fun stories coming your way soon!

love – AK

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