As an American in Nepal, I think everything is a mountain. However, it’s a running theme, and half joke, that a mountain is not a mountain unless it has snow on top. Today is day five of volunteering and we have a hike at 6 am. Our guide is one of the volunteer’s at Maya universe named Subash. He is a quiet type wearing a t shirt- jeans, and sneakers. While the rest of us are adorned with bug spray and hiking boots.
It’s a hiker’s hike for sure. The way is dangerous and difficult. There is an art to hiking and it doesn’t include just footwork. Its very important to pace yourself and place your feet lightly, or else you’ll slip on unsuspecting moss or clay… so I’ve been told… not that I’ve ever slipped on these things at all!
The way is paved with a technique utilizing rocks placed in the earth as stone steps. Just when you think the steps are going to end, they continue. You have no choice but to keep going, legs burning, sweat pouring, occasionally slipping, and watching as others pass you along. We stop at a few places along the way to rest and wait for the others to catch up.
We come to a big open area and Subash tells us there’s a cave ahead. I ask if the way is faster or easier, he says faster but probably not easier. Some of us opt to go into the cave and it’s a pretty crazy experience! We all help each other through the cave and its so beautiful on the other side! We missed the sunrise, but the morning glow is just as good.
Along the path we come to a teahouse “typical Nepali tea house” is what we are told. We order tea and snacks and rest a bit.
I am so amazed and humbled by the hospitality of the family that runs this store because we don’t have any money. They tell us it’s fine and the next school bus that comes up will pay them for us. Imagine giving an IOU to a café feeding about 20 individuals. Not going to happen!
While half of the group continues to peak the “hill” the rest of us wait for their return. It’s amazing the amount of fog, one second you can see clear to the other side of the valley, and the other you can’t see where you came from. I observe trash on the side of the dirt road, natural weed plants growing in the brush, and natural bee hives hanging from houses.
The walk back is way easier than the hike up, if you are careful not to slip of course! Our hike lasted six hours… SIX hours!! It was riddled wit beautiful views, difficult climbs, and team bonding.
Wouldn’t trade it for the world.
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