I am back from my trek in the Himalayas. It was a long 12 days, from Naya Pul up to Muktinath, which went up between the Annapurna and Dauligiri mountain ranges (I think this is an accurate statement). You could try to GoogleMap it, but I think that these places are pretty much off the grid. I took a bus two hours west from Pokhara (mappable) and started walking north on Jan 27th, I think. Each day was pretty much the same: wake up, go to the bathroom, pack a little, eat breakfast, finish packing, walk walk walk, find guesthouse and lay down/read/suduko, eat dinner, sleep; repeat. I averaged about 6 hours of walking per day, I think, mostly following alongside the Kali Gandaki River with the Annapruna Range to the East and the Dhauligiri Range to the West. During the night it was always quite cold, no matter what the elevation, and during the day generally warm while walking in the sun.

How do you describe 12 days of walking? With blistered feet and a 30 pound pack I walked through 1000m- 3800m elevations of [sub] tropical, deciduous, alpine, and arid desert biomes. I sweated up 3300 stone steps on day two and sweated on a 31km (20mile) walk on day nine. I saw cascading waterfalls falling into frigid, glacier fed, blue pools surrounded by million year old rock. I trekked alongside hundreds of load bearing horses and walked over all of their poop for 12 days. I hopped on rocks along sides of cliffs and walked over pebbles in a mile wide flood plain. I encountered clouds and sun, rain and snow, and lots of wind. I was chilled by 30 mph gusts of wind and burned by high altitude sun rays. I got a unexpected leg and foot massage one day and soaked in hot springs twice. I ate my frist mexican bean burrito with yak cheese. I met my second American in nearly 7 weeks of travel, made new Nepali friends, and met a very unique Ukrainian. Oh yeah, and I saw a few mountains too.

Since I began traveling and caught glimpses of the Himalayas back in India a month ago, I realized that my dream of visiting Tibet was actually kind of a three or four part dream - I really wanted to visit the Himalaya Region which includes Northern India, Nepal, and Tibet. Throughout the trek, which was quite hard at times, I saw many many high, snowy peaks. They were huge, magnificent, massive, wonderful. I was really just blown away by how great they are. On my second to last day I got up before sun rise and walked up to Poon Hill, where the Dauligiri Range and Annapurna Range are visible. I saw the first sun shining on mountains 6000-8000m high. Putting it into words is really hard, because they just doesn't do the whole scene justice. It was just one of those times when you have to be there to really get it. In short, I achieved another part of my Himalayan dream. Reflecting on it yesterday, I experienced a wave of emotion

There is so much more I could write, with all the details of the whole trek, but that would be exhaustive for everyone. I tried to downplay this part of my trip from the very start, but it was incredibly challenging at times and became a physical and mental test. I am extremely pleased with how it all turned out despite the blisters along the way, the silt in my eyes, and my very smelly shoes. From here I head to Kathmandu where I plan on making a trip up to Tibet for a week.

New pics are up too.