Preparing for Trekking
Day 2: Monday January 2nd 2006
Birding in Kathmandu
We returned to the Shangri La Hotel for lunch. The three of us, including Kath, the trekker from Melbourne, had lunch in the beautiful hotel garden. During the lunch we enjoyed the sunshine while we waited and while we ate. It was about 18 degrees C and very pleasant. I was delighted to observe several Rose Ringed Parakeets flying overhead. I have also seen House Crows and Common Ravens around the streets of Kathmandu. I havenâ€™t seen many birds on this trip so far. I hope this is about to change.
Dodgy power supplies
After lunch I went to the hotel Business Centre to send several emails home. The power went off briefly for a few seconds while I was there but I didnâ€™t lose any of my email message. I guess the power here can be a little dodgy at times. Meanwhile Rose went to the street nearby to do some shopping.
Trekking group meeting
At 3pm we had a meeting with our guide Ananta and all of the other trekkers. The other six trekkers had recently arrived from Pokhara. They had all been on a six day trek of the Annapurna region near Pokhara. Only one other trekker is about my age; all the others are in their twenties or early thirties. My immediate impression is that they are all very pleasant.
Preparing for trekking
We received our duffle bags, a very warm parka and a sleeping bag, all on loan from Peregrine Travel, our travel agent. I realised immediately that I would have to trim down what I took on the trek to the barest minimum. I will have to balance this with making sure I have enough warm clothing with me. Before writing this I did a pre-trek pack and it is not as bad as I thought at first. I will be able to fit in everything I need without leaving behind any essentials. Being able to do some washing along the way will be handy. What we didnâ€™t need for the trek we were able to leave locked away in our suitcases in a secure area in the hotel. I also left some items like cash, travellerâ€™s cheques and passport in the hotel safe.
At the meeting I did have a few moments of â€œwhat am I about to do?â€ Will I cope with the walking, the climbing and the altitude? It is reassuring to have Rose here with me. It is also very good to have the entire organisation done for us, things like transport, fees, accommodation and food. Still, it will be a huge physical and mental challenge. It will be a genuine test of all that I have and all that I am. The dream of visiting this area, a dream of more than 25 years, is about to become reality.