As we ascended today from the valley into the town of Dhunche, it marked the end of the past 8 days of trekking through the Himalayas, reaching heights I’ve never before reached on foot. It was a moment of achievement and immense pride.
Yet today was anticlimactic. After approximately 30 mins, it became clear that today would be heavily padded out with frequent breaks and an early lunch, with us sitting down for our second meal of the day at 10:30 in the morning. Whilst we didn’t eat until an hour later, it dampened the mood for what was meant to be a celebratory day. The constant descent towards the valleys also provided pain in the knee joints for those of a more senior year, further dampening spirits. Plus, today’s conditions were sunny and humid, with far less forested protection to our still preciously sunburnt skin. Today, the zinc cream was brought out to act as an extra layer. Fortunately, I avoided it’s bright white colour and irritable consequences.
So, when we arrived in town for our hotel tonight, there was genuine interest from us. Partially because the presence of civilisation broke the tedium of the day’s exploits, and partially because of the civilisation itself. After arriving and settling in our hotel, which is bizarrely only partially built and very strange, we went for a wander around the high street. Around town, people on the street stopped to look at us and it felt like a genuinely isolating experience. Not in any way unwelcoming as every child and adult we interacted with appeared friendly and happy, but intimidating in that we were outsiders from a far more prosperous background who have stepped into their lives and made sweeping assumptions based on this simple microcosm. I think our experience can be best summed up by the following transcript between myself and Tom L who used blunt language to aptly reflect our feelings on our surroundings.
CD: Everything just seems so surreal to see how these people actually live and where they sleep.
TL: Yeah we’re just f****** lucky aren’t we?
Moving on, once in our hotel, I was informed that later in the evening WiFi would be available to me. Now, this would be much good, for I would finally be able to upload these damn blog articles to the interweb. But alas, the quality was underwhelming and whilst my Facebook, Instagram and inboxes were able to swiftly bombard me with news and irrelevances relating to my life, the blog could not and I therefore hope that tomorrow will finally allow me to publish my words to the world.
I’m undecided as to whether I should write an article for tomorrow. A long coach journey into Kathmandu is unlikely to excite nor captivating so watch this space. Being without the outside world for a week has taught me that whilst ignorance is bliss, it is also stressful and worrying. Put it this way, I don’t need pictures or Facebook friendiverssary reminders but to be aware of the wider world around you is a gift to cherish.
Anyhow, it’s late at night, I’m going off topic and want to sleep. Henceforth