Special Trip Highlights and Some Thoughts

Some things I may have forgotten to mention along the trail

 

  • At 15,000 feet even the Sherpas put on their sunglasses.

  • At 16,000 feet and higher, all become equals. Men and women, young and old, Nepali and foreigners, all slow down when climbing toward higher altitudes.

  • Nepal lays claim to the following:

– The tallest mountain in the world: Everest

– The highest lake in the world: Tilicho Tal

– The deepest gorge in the world: Kali Gandaki

  • Nepal is extremely HOT during May. 

  • Words we will never forget:

– Paani = water

– Tato Paani = hot water

– Puri Pani = drinking water

– Namaste = used as a hello. Actually means “I salute the God within you”.

– Dahl Bhaat = rice and lentils

– Daugnygaad = thank you

– Tea Time = “Get your lazy American ass out of that tent and come have tea and biscuits. It’s 4 PM don’t you know that’s what the rest of the civilized world is doing now?!”  (loosely translated, of course)

  • Roosters crow just because they can. Sunrise is a coincidence.

  • It’s cold at 18,000 feet, even in summer.

  • Toilet paper is a luxury, not a necessity.

  • Even the poorest children in Nepal wear uniforms to school. Always clean and pressed.

  • Don’t make eye contact with the water buffalo…trust me !!!!

  • Mules are stupid even in Nepal.

  • All men have a “thing” for sports. It’s the universal language.

  • If you don’t regularly wear thong flip flops, don’t try walking down a Nepali trail wearing them. It can prove to be very embarrassing.

  • If the Lama in the Buddhist monastery offers you tea, don’t refuse.

  • Stay away from yak milk. You don’t know where those utters have been.

  • The Germans are everywhere!

  • Everybody dislikes the French!

 

The Most Incredible Thing I Saw:

Without a doubt, was watching 5’6 inch Nepali men hauling 500 pound electricity poles on their backs–uphill and wearing sandals. An ambitious project to bring electricity to the Muktinath Valley.

pole1     pole2

pole4

pole6

 

Most depressing things I saw

 

  • Women cleaning their dishes on the ground, in runoff water with mule dung not 25 ft. away.
  • A local mountain elementary school about the size of a standard American 2 car garage. It had a big sign outside asking trekkers for donations to help pay the meager salary of the school teacher. Some children were selling Coke and Mars bars to help pay for the textbooks they couldn’t afford.
  • The Tibetan Refugee camps

 

 

Tibetan Refugee woman

Tibetan Refugee woman

 

Tibetan Refugee woman

Tibetan Refugee woman

In this factory the Tibetan refugees hand weave some of the most beautiful rugs that I’ve ever seen. I spoke with the lady in the photo above on the far right.

She told me that they smile for the tourists, but they don’t feel happy.

She told me that “America is a good country” and that I was very lucky.

She told me that they are extremely concerned about the Maoist insurgents. They fear that Communism may come to Nepal and they will once again be oppressed by China.

She asked me to tell others…..

Free Tibet!

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