I threw a lot of words at everyone in my recent write up of the trek to Everest base camp. That may please some of my readers, but I know others among you prefer a more visual approach. To that end I’m going to be putting up some individual photos that haven’t made it into my posts and there are plenty to choose from. For example, I was in Nepal for almost three months and my Everest trek made up a scant two weeks leaving me with countless photos from both my time in the larger cities and from the equally spectacular Annapurna Circuit, one of the world’s greatest treks. I’ll still include a few words on each photo, but hopefully the images will also be good enough to stand on their own.
I actually finished two major treks during my time in Nepal. The trek to Everest basecamp and, the even longer trek: the famed Annapurna circuit. A trek often cited as the greatest trek in the world. The trek culminates in passing through the Thorung La pass which tops out at a dizzying 5,400 meters. Given the weight of our bags, the snow, and the sickness within the group it was, and hopefully will remain, one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. This photo shows one of my travel companions who, crushed beneath the weight of a 20kg (45 lbs) pack, is in the process of making a Herculean effort to climb the pass.
Day 10 – A Walk in the Clouds
Trekking to Everest’s base camp isn’t exactly a common activity, but even so on any given day during the trekking season you’re going to come across more than your fair share of tourists doing exactly the same thing as you are. While that’s not necessarily a bad sign – people are drawn to interesting things – sometimes I need to take the road less traveled, or better yet, not traveled at all.
Not a tree or plant in sight…
It was an acclimatization day and the group decided to go for a modest hike to Continue reading
Day 8 – There and Back Again
I woke up the next morning feeling quite well, although not perfectly rested. One might guess this was because my room was well below freezing, but actually it was due to the altitude. High altitude, it turns out, has an extremely complex set of effects on the human body, two of which often include extremely vivid dreams (or nightmares) and insomnia. Shortness of breath and light headaches are very common as well, although the altitude at which these symptoms start vary for everyone. Those are the little problems; go a little too high too fast and the risks increase. I had been extremely fortunate, only some crazy Technicolor dreams and a little insomnia were bothering me.
Impressive…. (Photo by fellow trekker Otto Lutz)
At this moment I must confess a slight degree of writers block. I suppose the problem is that, in essence, trekking is Continue reading
Day 6 – Recovery
It’s easy to make life sound like a non-stop thrill ride when you’re a travel writer. After all making things sound exciting is part of the job, and with only a post or two a week I think I could make the inside of a cubicle sound exciting (maybe). Of course the reality is that even in the Himalayas there are times that are less than riveting and for me day six was one of those days. The town of Periche is really just a small collection of primitive stone building and their cold architectural simplicity is in perfect harmony with the drab, barren, rocky plain that makes up the local landscape. I spent most of my time there in the generously named “sun room” playing cards in a semi-haze, as antibiotics went on slaughtering tens of thousands of small life forms inside my body.
Taking photos of the Himalayas is even easier than writing about them.
My only break from the general ennui was a visit to the Emergency Rescue Center – you know it’s a dark day Continue reading
No I didn’t fall off a mountain, get buried by a landslide or die in a plane crash. Actually the most commonly guessed explanation for my absence was that I was arrested and locked up in a Nepalese prison, alas even that didn’t happen. Instead I was suffering from the rather mundane problem of a malfunctioning computer combined with a relatively high level of isolation as I returned to the Himalayas for another dose of intense trekking.
Isolation isn’t always a bad thing.
That’s all in the past now and you can expect Continue reading