Travels in Nepal #6 Hitting the wall

Phakding on the trek towards Everest

Phakding on the trek towards Everest

On the morning of the first day of our trek in the Himalayas we went from Lukla to the village of Phakding. Much of this three and a half hour trek goes gradually downhill. I was very aware, however, how careful one has to be. I wanted so much to be watching the constantly changing scenery. After all, that was a major reason for coming here. The track was sometimes flat and smooth but more often it was rocky and uneven. Twisted ankles or bad falls are a very real possibility every step of the way.

Just before arriving at Phakding the track dips down to a river crossing and then sharply rises to the village. Up to that point I had been progressing quite well. The steep climb up to the village was my next great challenge. I felt I had “hit the wall” as athletes often describe. I was able to persevere and push through both the physical and mental barrier of this challenge. In reality, I did quite well, arriving about twenty minutes after the rest of the trekking group, most of whom were over twenty years younger than me. Lunch and plenty to drink at the lodge was most welcome.

In retrospect, I had the added discomfort brought on by the onset of diabetes. I am writing this some eight months later and have just been diagnosed in the last few weeks. How I managed the trek without any kind of help or medication now astounds me. It just makes the achievement even more pleasing.

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2 Responses to “Travels in Nepal #6 Hitting the wall”

  1. Sam Lackey says:

    Dear Trevor,
    I’m about to do your trek from 29/11/06. I’m in KTM now working with SMEC. I’m an aussie from Rose Bay and born 25/9/47.
    Read your blog. Thanks.
    Can I ask you if I need a sleeping bag or can I get sheets and blankets at each lodge?
    Also do I need to carry toilet paper?

  2. Trevor says:

    Hi there Sam.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I wish I was heading off on another trek in Nepal. I envy you. I know you will enjoy the trek. Wonderful scenery, wonderful people. Most definitely carry a roll of toilet paper. You can buy it in some of the lodges but it is better to have some in your rucksack just in case.

    As for the other questions, we were supplied with a sleeping bag in Kathmandu. This was provided by the Australian trekking company, Peregrine Adventures (they have a branch office in Kathmandu). Everything was booked through them. I don’t know if the lodges supply any bedding at all and the question didn’t arise as we had our own. The lodge rooms are very sparse – a thin mattress and a thin pillow. The food was generally very good.

    May I suggest you contact the trekking group you are with and ask more about what is supplied. If however, you are going under your own arrangements it would be best to buy a sleeping bag to take with. They are not all that expensive in Kathmandu. You may even be able to hire one. There are many trekking supply shops in Thamel. Do not rely on blankets and sheets being available – they would not be adequate in the higher, colder conditions anyway. Kathmandu is very mild compared with Namche Bazar and higher.

    If you are trekking independently it may be worth considering hiring a porter – or at least a guide. They are generally very good value and make life much easier. This also has the benefit of helping the local economy. I’d ask around for advice locally if this is the way you are going – some guides and porters can be dodgy.

    Have a great time.

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