When I embarked on my first hiking trip in 1995, I felt the word wasn’t even properly pronounced yet.
People were not at all familiar with the sport and to tell you the truth, I too had very little notion of what I was getting myself into.
We left São Paulo and headed for India and Kathmandu (a great place to buy trekking gear and accessories as I found they have both quality and very competitive prices) in a group of twelve. Once in Kathmandu, we flew to a town called Pokhara and then headed to Annapurna where our hike began.
During three-days we climbed upwards with the objective of sighting “Fishtail” – an iconic peak, which aligns with other important mountains.
As I didn’t know much about trekking, I followed my instincts and went up really slowly. I found out then and there that that was the secret to trekking: respect your body and go at your own rhythm. We encountered snow before it was expected, which made the 8-hour daily hike even harder. The lodges were we stayed overnight were simple and lacked great comforts – actually they there as bare as they come! There were no showers in the bedrooms and bathing involved a pail with lukewarm water. I decided to forfeit the experience and opted for using wipes.
It was one the toughest experiences in my life but seeing the beauty of the Himalaya up close made it all worthwhile. From that moment, I feel in love with the sightings of mountaintops, an adoration I maintain to this day!
It took us another 3-days of steep descends until we reached Pokhara again. After six days without communication, my first desire was to speak to my son Pedro, still a toddler at the time. Once in my room, I yearned for a hot shower. Sweet deception! The hot water had finished and the glorious shower I so coveted ended being cold.
This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)