The world-traveling trio from the Midwest is back with another inspiring trip update. The Sweitzer’s, who hail from Missouri, have been traveling all over the planet with the help of Garmin, recently taking in all of the sights the Himalaya’s have to offer. Below, Steve has updated us on their most recent adventure in the mountains.
“Nepal could possibly be the global epicenter of kindness. We were made to feel welcome at every turn. We spent a couple of days in Kathmandu, (cue the Bob Seger tune), then flew to Pokhara to meet our guide, Ishwar. After he filled us in on the details, we found an Italian restaurant to, “carb up”. If that is still a, thing? Having slept deeply with a belly full of pasta, we gathered our supplies and drove our 4×4 up into the mountains to the trailhead. We broke down on the rough mountain road, which actually felt like a riverbed. It was okay, because it gave us a chance to meet a few of the mountain people who lived there. Again, we were greeted with big smiles and friendly conversation.
After a quick fix of the truck, we checked our GPS coordinates on my epix watch and found our way to the drop-off point. The trek started with a steep rocky path which quickly became an even steeper climb up and up. Straight up, in fact. One portion of the trek is known as the, “4000 steps”. They are steps built by the Nepalis decades and decades ago from stones excavated from the mountain and they are still built and maintain by them. But it wasn’t all gung ho climbing. Our guide, Ishwar, kept reminding us, “bistari, bistari”, which means, “slowly, slowly”, in Nepalese. We ate lunches at small tea houses along the route to keep us going.
It took us 4 days to reach the summit, we stayed in guest houses each night. The cost with dinner and breakfast was about $10 each, incredible. When you trek to Poon Hill, you spend the night before the summit in the village of Ghorepani. The final ascent takes about an hour so, you need to leave at 4 AM to catch the sunrise. We were very fortunate to have a clear day and the sunrise was incredible. From Poon Hill you can see many of the famous Himalayan peaks including Annapurna, Annapurna South, and Dhaulagiri, the 7th highest peak in the world at 26,795 ft. After the frenetic picture-taking, we enjoyed hot tea in a metal camp mugs with 50 of our new best friends.
What I learned during this week was that there is a connection between ourselves and the earth that ancient cultures have never abandoned. It was palpable there.”
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