We’ve signed up for a personal challenge in May of this year that might be one, or more, steps too far…a two week Himalayan trek to Everest Base Camp
Whilst we’re not as ‘old as the hills’ (especially Mount Everest) nor are we in the first flush of youth – so a trek that will tax every single part of our minds and bodies can only be put down to the effect of anticipating the light-headedness of altitude.
We’ve got a couple of months to hone our bodies from match fit (cycling, tennis and golf) to mountain fit, which is probably going to take a bit more than ascending the hills that we find around Dorset in the UK.
We’re informed that, having hiked up the Himalayas in Nepal, the anticipated height of our trek tops out at well over 5,000 mtrs (16,500 ft) – so considerably more than even our most adventurous skiing holidays that have rarely exceeded 3000 mtrs.
To say that we’ve set ourselves a task is an understatement and we’re still wondering why we’ve agreed to do it.
We did read somewhere that ‘You don’t stop doing things because you get old – but you get old because you stop doing things,’ which seemed to strike a chord with us.
We’ve always been fit and healthy and currently have all our marbles (supposedly), so if we don’t do this now we never might. So, Everest it is!
In addition to the numerous ambitious climbers who flock here to face the challenge of climbing this majestic peak, Nepal attracts the likes of us – eco-tourists eager to experience this intriguing country’s virtually untouched natural wonders including lush subtropical forests that play host to a range of exotic wildlife.
With its spectrum of distinct ethnic groups, Nepal’s cultural landscape is just as diverse as its natural one.
Our trek kicks off with us arriving in Kathmandu and taking a connecting flight to Lukla – before taking our first hike to Bom Danda – a mere 3000 mtrs high as an ‘acclimatisation walk’.
Our luggage is strictly limited to 15kgs per person (including camera equipment and carry-on bags), not only as a limitation for the light aircraft and helicopter flights we’ll take to reach remote areas but also, presumably, because our sherpas draw the line somewhere! My camera kit weighs more than 15kg, so clothing will be in short supply!
We both have concerns about our ability to acclimatise over this height, either from an altitude sickness perspective or more simply one of stamina. Apparently there’s no rhyme nor reason to who gets altitude sickness as it relates to neither age nor fitness – so we won’t know how it affects us until, or if, it does.
Anyway, having adjusted admirably – thinking positively – we’ll now head off for Monjo on the banks of the fierce Dudh Koshi River.
From here on we’re in the Everest National Park, on a trekking roller coaster that will take us up and down steep inclines, experiencing dramatic landscapes of moraine and ice fields, glaciers, snow falls and sore feet no doubt!
We’ll be staying in traditional ‘Tea Houses’ and lodges en route, where we’d imagine we’ll spend most of our time resting, rather than exploring the local area – but the opportunities for photography as we pass peaks and mountaintop Buddhist shrines – and keeping you up to date en route will no doubt be tremendous.
We’re assured that the pain will be worth it and that both the journey and the destination – arriving at Everest Base Camp – is a thrill and experience we’ll never forget – for all the right reasons.
We’ll end our trip in Pokhara, no doubt to soak our feet in Phewa lake.
If we’ve got the energy we’ll also visit Chitwan National Park, where the Rhino and Tiger population amidst its grassland Terai is our more familiar environment.
So, that’s our plan. For the moment we’re immersed in arranging emergency evacuation insurance, honing our bodies to new heights and arranging sponsorship with companies who wish us to use, endorse and promote their equipment and products.
The opportunities for product placement have to be exceptional on a trip such as this as it will be seen in some of the most extreme locations the planet has to offer.
Watch this space
You might not be seeking extreme adventure but why not let us plan your own adventurous journey through Nepal, India or Sri Lanka
Why not download the TLC World guide brochure or give us a call today on 01202 030443, or simply click ‘enquire’ to submit your own personal itinerary request