Friday, November 11, 2011

1,700 Meters: Pohkra Day 2

With my backpack loaded onto my back, I made my way through the dark light streets of Thamel, Kathmandu at 5:30 am. Shop owners were starting up their breakfast fires, a smell I’m really going to miss and crave back in the states. At the Trek Nepal Office, I met our group. There were four of us: Rosalyn, a 33 year old scientist from Ireland, Robyn, a 24 year old traveler from South Africa and Paul, a 52 year old economist from Belgium. We also met our guide, Brahmo, and our porters. Porters are staff hired to help carry your bags up the mountains. Don’t get me started on the guilt on my back felt from the load on their back. But they were definitely needed.

Today there would be no trekking. We got into a bus and made our way to Pohkra, a city nestled between mountains. The bus ride was 8 hours. We stopped for lunch at a small restaurant and I ordered the traditional Nepalsese meal: Dhal Bhat which is almost identical to the meals I have grown to love in Bangladesh. I started to eat the meal with my hands as I am accustomed and realized all the tourists were looking at me. Keep in mind I had on a full Salwar Kamise from Bangladesh scarf and all. I felt like a total I’m-a-local-see-look-I’m-eating-with-my-hands and soon stopped.

In Pohkra we unloaded into this quaint and dirty little hotel right off the main strip. Rosalind and Robyn and I bonded as quickly and tightly as anyone about to embark on days of extreme physical intensity. We took this as our “last night” and walked down little shops for our last minute necessities. The girls thought I was crazy for going on a 5 day intense hike with just sneakers. They made me buy hiking shoes. THANK GOD.

It was pouring rain outside and we popped into a cozy restaurant lit with circle fires. Corey (the Canadian) had to leave for Madagascar that day but the South African, Denmarkian, and Norweigian joined us in Pohkra for dinner. We drank hot totties until we were hot and tottered back to our hotel in the rain. Tomorrow we would wake for our trek at 5am.



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