After 10 days of decreasing temperatures and increasing wind my body is rebelling. My lips have become as dry as the Gobi Desert , my nasal passages feel like hard booger craters have invaded it, and my hands are so dry they look like they belong to a 60 yr. old; the elements most definitely do have an effect on your body.
We hiked slowly from Gunsang to Ledar today. We saw ice for the first time on the trail. We saw no trees. We breathed harder than we had the day before. Now we are holed up in the 1 of 3 guest houses in the encampment of Ledar waiting; waiting for our body to acclimate a little more.
During one of our trekking breaks today our guide, Bishnu, said “Ohhhhh, I’m smelling like a donkey! I can’t wait for a shower.” Not only did the donkey reference make me laugh, but it also made me realize that I’ve now been wearing the same pants for 10 days, the same shirt for 9 days, the same jog bra for 9 days, the same socks for 4 days; this is beyond donkey filth! On top of the filth, everything smells like Tiger Balm! However, it’s a part of trekking for 21 days. I do wonder at times if these clothes will ever be clean again, or should I burn them for warmth at high camp? I guess the good news is that everyone smells equally badly; like a pack of donkeys.
Even more troubling that my physical rebellion or my odor, is my mental rebellion. After 10 days I’m annoyed. The sunroom in our guesthouse is buzzing with various conversations I find hard to ignore. I don’t understand why trekkers only like to share bad stories about trekking; trekkers who have disappeared, ones who were robbed, ones who die from AMS. This is seriously annoying conversation. Why isn’t anyone telling any good heartwarming stories – the ones about people making it? Or is it that people don’t ever make it…no…that’s just my mind playing stupid tricks on me – right?
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