I am now in Lukla able to post this summary written yesterday. I hope to get some of the detailed daily posts up once we take 24hrs in Namche tomorrow.
Sunrise as we hike out one morning.
As hoped, Buck-30 and I finally hit our stride on the low route this week! After 19 days out here, we finally got our trail legs, and our mileage has picked up to average 14mi/day this week hiking from about 6am to 4:30pm most days with various breaks throughout the day. Given the elevation gain/loss each day (stats below), we are pretty excited about that. We’ve become increasingly optimistic about what lies ahead, and are in a much better place, both physically and mentally, than the first two weeks.
This past week on the cultural route was definitely a surreal and unique experience. Walking through tiny villages, seeing the true culture of the more remote parts of Nepal, and really becoming immersed in the day to day lives of the Nepali people. The paths we walk on are the daily commute for locals on a regular basis for hundreds of years. Seeing all this connect together, and how communal the villages are is really cool. There are so many moving parts, and everyone from young children to eldest members seem to do their job with such commitment and work ethic. Each day has felt more immersed and more natural in a very simple and organic way.
As a side note, as expected, our planned strategy of balancing our own resupply from home, with what’s available at the tiny shops in villages has been interesting. Our daily mission has become the scavenger hunt for any kind of chip that isn’t a plain cracker, Snickers, or the very rare to find fried dough. Buck-30 seemed to portion things out much better than I did. In the last four days, likely 50% of my calories have come from cold soaking Ramen multiple times a day.
Striking gold with the Cheese Balls!
My diet this week. Veggie fried rice, chips, sandwich cookies, and cold soaked Ramen.
We will go through Lukla tomorrow and then be in Namche to meet Griggs the following day. From there, things shift as we head back into the higher elevations and into the famed Everest region. Just tonight, we heard from Griggs. It seems he has a horrible case of giardia. WTF?! Poor Griggs can’t catch a break! This may even have been what he had originally and it’s finally flaring up. He has antibiotics for it thankfully, and the hope is that he will rebound quick. I swear, if anyone is looking for a diet to lose weight quick, come out to hike the GHT!
And now some fun stats from Buck-30!
Buck-30s The Numbers Say……
- Number of days without a shower: 21 (Erin had a lame warm sink hose shower on day 4 so 17 for her)
- Number of feet continuously climbed at one time in a day: 8,500′
- Number of feet of elevation gained this week: About 37,000′ (about 6,000′ per day or 800′ per uphill mile which is a pretty steep average)
- Number of hours a leech spent attached to my ankle: 2
- Number of hours said ankle bled after leech was detached: 2
- Number of days it has rained this trip: 21 out of 21 (generally we start early to avoid the daily late day rains and overall it actually hasn’t been too bad but WTF, every single day!!)
- Number of little children that run after us with their hands together yelling Namaste: Several each day (this is seriously adorable)
- Number of baby goats, pigs, chickens, dogs, yaks seen: Countless (we love the baby farm animals!)
- Number of monkeys seen one day on trail: Several dozen
- Number of 200′ long swing bridges Erin slipped and almost fell to her death on: 1 (seriously this was crazy as I watched her fall in front of me and almost drop a couple hundred feet to the river)
- Number of minutes my shirt hasn’t been soaked in sweat in the last week: 0 (it’s literally never dried)