…. Or is it just me? Because two days into this long hard march in to the vast Nepalese wilderness I said sod this, I’ve had enough and turned round.
I don’t know if it has anything to do with being sat on a bike for four months and having a bulging muscle in my throttle wrist and nowhere else, but I just couldn’t hack it. My back was throbbing, my head felt woozy and my Converse were starting to fall apart at the seems.
The three other guys I was walking with were loving it. Skipping over boulders and bounding past donkeys while I sprottled and stumbled about at the back. Eleven days of this; you must be kidding.
So at the lunch stop on day two I said sorry I’m off, the other way, back to my bike who’d I’d abandoned randomly at some Mongolian Guesthouse the day we’d set off. Ten minutes later, them going one way me the other, I changed my mind. Surrender, in the company of the French; that’s not very British. So I turned around and caught up. Fight on I thought.
But the next morning no. I felt like poo. There was no way I wanted to get stuck any further up this mountain trail. So I left them a note and slipped away before breakfast. The coward’s way out, I know, but it’s easy to let people talk you into things you don’t want to do.
I walked nine hours that day back to Dot. It was great to see her again. It made me realise that her and me, to England, that was our challenge, not some torturous walk around a mountain that I thought was Everest but was actually something different. Annapurna Circuit; the clue’s in the name.
Anyway, my plan that night was to stay at the Mongolian Guesthouse and ride out of there in the morning. Except the staff there were incredibly creepy, as though the hotel was a front for some Himalayan ho-house.
It meant that at 6pm we set off for Pokhra, Nepal’s second city some 3 hours away. Half way there it got dark, we hit pot-holes, many of them. We also nearly skittled the lines of people who’d walk oblivious in the road. They were harder to see than the cattle. Then it started raining, as it always does. Finally, at 10pm, we dripped into town, found a hotel and vowed never ever to walk again.
Only the next day I got invited on a ‘short’ walk up to the Pagoda. It took six hours and was vertically steep. When i got back my little head was pulsing and body was full of fever brought on by exercise. I slept all the day and all the night, didn’t eat, barely drank and am now in a cafe with wifi making up for that with a plate of chips and some cream of tomatoe soup. Delicious.
The plan from here is to have a few more days catching my breath in Pokhra then I think I’m going to start plotting my path south into India. I know this might sound wasteful but I really just want to get cracking, sort out this Iranian visa and hit the road running.
I’m ready to go home.