Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Decompressing in Kathmandu

Wow - what a difference two warm showers make!  Two weeks of trail grime are down the drain, one good night of sleep without rocks under the mattress, and I feel like a different person.
We have a mirror in the bathroom that gave me a shock when I stripped down to shower.  I think I may have lost a bit of weight and gained a lot of muscle in my legs.  No surprise, I suppose.  I have no idea how many actual miles we hiked, but walking for 6 - 8 hours a day, with the elevational changes we've expericence, for almost two weeks has to have a positive effect on one's physical conditioning.
My cough is slowly getting better as my body rids itself of the Khumbu crud.  It probably helps to be breathing more humid air, although the quality of it here in KTM isn't all that great.  My feet are another matter altogether.  I think I busted a toe on the hill down from Namche Bazar.  It's so swollen that I can't really feel what's going on, but that's probably a good thing right now.  I'm definitely not putting boots or trekking shoes on again for the rest of this trip.  I'm wearing Tevas until I get home.
Last night we gathered for dinner at the New Orleans Cafe in Thamel.  It has WiFi and everyone was on their iPhones or iPods, checking email or catching up on Twitter.  It's going to be hard to say goodbye to everyone tomorrow.  I've already cried a river on this trip from the emotional ups and downs - inevitable from the physical challenges we've all faced - and I don't really want to turn the faucet on again, but I don't see how I will avoid it.
It's strange how I've put my "real world" behind me during this trip.  This morning I woke up thinking about the deadlines that await my return.  I wanted to run away to Gorak Shep and forget about them all over again.  It's been so refreshing to have to think only about the next step, where to place my foot on a rock, what view is around the next bend,  and where all this would lead me on the journey.  No stressors other than the physical challenges of high elevation  and walking from one village to another - what a vacation!


deb pfeiffer said...

- for summitting Kala Patthar
- for completing the trek
- for all your personal accomplishments

Hey Andi,
There must be someone who can look at your toe; perhaps a nurse ..Steven! Or doctor ..Jeff!


Tom Arbour said...

Hi Andi- I follow Chris's podcasts, happened to see your blog on the netvibes site, I'm a fellow Columbusite and botanist, I work with ODNR-Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, can't wait to see images from Nepal, have a safe trip home.