Three months of planning and dreaming, and six iterations of packing a rucksack are behind me. I will be in Kathmandu in a few hours, and starting the Annapurna trek tomorrow. I've been reading so much about the trek that I'm quoting lines without remembering where I read them...
"Leave the village with the Maryasandi river to your right....ten minutes later, you will come across a stream with a wooden bridge across it....." Yes I will! The trek itinerary that Sekhar and I have created so diligently looks like a consulting assignment output. I'm filled with anticipation at the world I'm going to be seeing over the next two weeks, and the people I'm going to meet. In about 5 hours from now, I will meet four people at the airport that I've never met before, and at the end of two weeks I will either loathe them like I've never loathed anyone, or they will become my friends for life...but I will know them really well.
We will climb for as much as 10 hours on some days, we'll eat exotic things, we'll sleep in bags, we'll rent and ride cycles, and we'll meet lots of crazy people. Not the least of which is the guide Santaman who sent us a kilometer long email in reply to the one liner we sent him. It was a lovely mail, describing the beauties of Nepal, in the most lyrical prose, and it ended with:
You are welcome to spread over your footprint in our holy Himalayan Region.