originally part of training/fundraising for the Hepatitis C Trust's Nepal trek. Now, sporadic musings...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

sleeping (or not) and waking in the mountains...

Late on Tuesday, I wrote in my notebook:
a night of cicadas and stars...
So many stars that I can't begin to find even the few constellations I know...

Supper is tomato soup with ginger and garlic - and prawn crackers! - rice, dhaal, spicy fried potatoes, fresh tomato and cucumber slices followed by oranges and great mugs of hot chocolate (! now that was an unexpected luxury!). Although I eat heartily, I sleep fitfully. An unfamiliar environment always takes me a few nights to settle into, and sharing space with another person exacerbates that. Our metal water bottle and water bag double as hot water bottles (plus I brought a hottie just in case...) but in the night, the four season sleeping bag is more than warm enough - even dispensing with the fleece liner, I have to shed most of my clothes (the bulk of which have to go back on to go outside again...) As I manage to fall off the rice terrace at dusk when I go for a pee before the loo tent is erected, thereafter I decide to stick to the official loo, although it's a singularly unpleasant experience... I bloody hate pit latrines.

I wake around 4am lathered with sweat - much as I do at home, but there I go back to sleep once I've been to the loo. Here, as I begin my reiki, the roar of the kerosene burner and the clanking of the porters' preparation for our day mean I decide to poke my head outside the tent.
Sunrise over the Himalayas.


I take a few pics, and write in my notebook:
Being here is like being a child again. Everything is new and strange, we have a father figure in Jeff and subsiduary 'carers' catering for our basic needs (the porters, Sherpas and Sirdar). The mountains are so BIG they shrink us down below our accustomed size in the world. So little is under our control, it adds to the sense of infantilization.
But this lack of autonomy is what I have chosen, in order to make this trip, giving over all decision-making to others. It involves an enormous amount of trust - and is, in many ways, rather restful. Yesterday I tapped into youthful excitement, wonder and energy - although I was careful to take things slowly. My body has actually been surprisingly accommodating of the effort involved.

My muscles are certainly not as stiff as I expect them to be - but that might be because I haven't had a full night's sleep.

Getting ready after my first quick scribble is a bloody nightmare. It starts well, Petra is awake too, so we pootle about (well, I do, Petra gets organised), and then our cup of tea comes, swiftly followed by a bowl of hot water for washing. I wash and rinse my knickers and yesterday's top, but then I'm well behind with packing all my stuff as the team try to take down the tents around us.
This is the bit I don't like. I take so long to get going in the morning - it's hard to slot in your own routines around others. Let's face it, I can't manage that successfully with Atholl in a two-bedroomed flat!
I'm not last at the breakfast table, but nearly. Porridge with muesli or granola stuff - wheat flakes? and nuts - beautiful. Omlette and unleavened bread, no time for 'toast', but I blag a milky coffee (they heat milk for us!) and have a quick fag.
And then we're off!

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About Me

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I began blogging during training for a trek in the Himalayas... several lifetimes ago. Currently working on my novel - in the tiny spaces left by a 50 hour plus working week...