I am in Kathmandu, Nepal. Turns out the thing to do here is trek and there are many tour agencies and knock-off North Face shops to support this. Iíve never done a trek before as an adult. People here must think I accidentally got off at the wrong bus stop! Everyone in town has read Three Cups of Tea, where as I put it down half way because there were way too many climbing references.
I am preparing to go on an eight-day trip hiking in Langtang National Park and there is so much to learn! Iíve never even heard of trekking trousers (special pants worn to hike as jeans get heavy when wet and take a long time to dry), but now I am shopping around for my own pair! There are water considerations to avoid getting sick, iodine drops work but make the water taste bad, and something called Micropure is a more expensive but better-tasting option. I need to hire a guide to take me (approximately $15/day including his food, housing and insurance) and I could have a porter to carry my pack if I want. I am opting to carry my own so that I can feel a sense of accomplishment having done it! I can rent a sleeping bag and down coat in case itís cold, a new one of each costs $1/day per item.
There is no need to carry food or a tent, which is a huge relief, weight-wise. Here there are many villages that are only accessible by foot. So there is a set plan for each day, hike 3 hours, stay in a village tea house Ö hike 6 hours the next day and stay in a different village tea house. Most places let you stay for free granted that you guy food from them. This is where they make their money.
I put an ad up in a local bakery looking for another gal to trek with. Hope I get a response, but even if I donít it will be fine having it be just the guide and me. I am told there are many people on the trail so if I want to talk to someone I can. Also, Iíve discovered that after traveling on my own for almost 4 months, hanging out with someone and talking to them all day makes me tired and my throat sore. A far cry from my sales job where I had to talk all day and managed with ease!
Caption: Tibetan prayer flags in Kathmandu, Nepal.