Isn’t life about reality versus expectations? Contradictions and tension? Well, in this context we are blessed with daily distances that surpass our expectations. With a group of 14 trekking tourists it is more than likely that some show up with modern GPS world- and fitness-measurement equipment and it caused a bit of a riot when we learned that the ASI Tour Schedule is barely reliable.
From a fitness perspective it is hard to believe that not all of us have been amused when it turned out that there is no easy warm up with daily 500-700 altitude meters (up, what else), but rather around 1.000. Some might have chosen another tour or would have exercised harder, especially when the gap between facts and (scheduled) figures will escalate in the next days. So what, here we are and this is only the first day, so let’s start fresh.
The path starts easy enough in tropical surrounding and not before long we reach the first of uncounted rope bridges. At first, I like them because of their image: Prayer flags, temples and rope bridges are the typical pictures presented on the first pages of every Nepal travel book. As soon as I take my first step on the flexible bridge, I have a wide grin on my face. It is like dancing and best you can do is sway your hips and balance light-footed towards the other side.
The river will remain our companion, springing blithely below the bridge in shades of grey and green. We constantly walk up through fields and rice terraces, passing by small villages that only consist of three tiny houses or huts.
The first larger village is good for a tea stop under a tree with more prayer flags than branches. Even with a misty sky the air is warm and the socks are steamy.
Later during the day, the way gets a bit chewy, but still full of detections: Monkeys playing in a cotton tree. A three-step-waterfall in the distance. A flock of donkeys that passes us by and stoically walks on the rope bridge. And finally we reach our destination Jagat.
With eight firm porters, our luggage is there long before our arrival – luxury that we worship every day. No matter how more or less inviting the room for the night might be during the trip, as soon as I lay down Fred on my bed, I feel at home. For the Jagat night coming along with colourful dreams in pink and blue…