Trekking, breathing and yogaing our way around Nepal
Tenzing, our guide whose uncle is the grandson of the same Tenzing who took Sir Edmund Hillary up Mt Everest, gently smiles at us as we prod him with questions about his studies, his family, life in Nepal and a myriad of other topics. As we push ourselves up these mountains Tenzing enlightens us with new information and ways of thinking that broadens the scope of our previous thought patterns. At the same time we are literally discovering our bodies’ capabilities and sometimes limitations, trying to achieve greater altitudes while asking our body machines to do so ever more efficiently, with less oxygen fuel being pumped into them. Of course, Tenzing, being one of the locals (the name of the ethnic group in this region in Sherpa), bounds up the mountain with only a day pack for a 25 day hike and sometimes no need for water and certainly no need for rest stops. Indeed the Sherpa people are so accustomed to the lack of oxygen and mountainous terrain that when they accompany an Everest Summit expedition they do not need any extra supply of oxygen for themselves. The record for a local to get from Everest base camp to the Summit (climbing approx. 2000m at an altitude of 6000m and up) is only 7 hours. Take that Olympic medalists. To put it in perspective we climbed 800m altitude in 6 hours yesterday and that was not easy.
As Tenzing tells us amazing facts such as this he also tells of his year and a half in a Buddhist monastery as a teenager (which is common practice) and takes us to visit the local Monastery. There the Monk takes our offering (which includes a small toy koala which he looks at like he is not quite sure what to do with) and blesses us that we may have a safe trip. Afterwards we are asking him about the statutes, decorations and instruments he adorns his shrine with but our conversation is interrupted by his mobile phone. He has to take it, important business is calling.
Mobiles have only been available in the region for the last year or two. In that time almost everyone has gotten one, and Tenzing says it is almost impossible to conduct business without one. Over lunch we ask him what movies he likes, and its turns out he is currently downloading Blue Ray versions of Star Trek, The Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, The Matrix, to name a few (he is a Sci Fi fan). So perhaps our similarities are just as great as our differences eh?
More soon, for now, I must rest and get ready for the next mountain.
Namaste 🙂 xo