Once upon a time, these two little human beings arrived in Pokhara to sit down, take a breath, relax and rest for a while. Seeing the magnificent mountains a restlessness awakened and the future took a totally different turn. Every moment of the day the mountains seemed to be calling, asking for a visit, but when asking around people said all hikes were closed due to snow and cold. When hardly any time was left, they suddenly heard a different story. The way to Annapurna Base Camp was open! Temperatures going way below freezing point, but an accessible path leading the way, all the way to a height of 4130meters. No doubts left, the next day the essentials were bought, the backpacks were made and late at night heads were laid to rest with a great adventure ahead. The next morning they took a ride to Kande and left there with only a crappy map, the urge to discover the unknown and the snowy mountains ahead to guide the way. As so often, the beginning was the hardest part, endless stairs leading the way upwards till the top of the first mountain was reached. Or looking back at it, the top of a hill at 2200meters. Up and down it went. From the top of the mountain down to the river flowing way below in the valley and back up again to the top of another mountain. More stairs than you can imagine. A walk challenging you mentally when making your way up, hiding more stairs around every corner. Just when you think no more stairs exist in the whole wide world they pop up in front of you. When you think you have nearly reached the height you need to be that day, you go all the way back down to where you come from to subsequently climb back up to an even higher point. Slowly slowly, shanti shanti, one breath a time and one foot before the other the two little human beings reached a higher point every day. Every day they got a little more scared, would they have trouble with the height? Would acute mountain sickness hold them back? They had heard the most terrible stories going from constant headaches, dizziness and sleepless nights to people who couldn’t get out of bed and had to be taken to lower heights by helicopter. Luckily, it all remained faraway stories. Combatting a daily height difference of at least 2000meters they reached Annapurna Base Camp after three and a half days of walking. Slowly feeling the lack of oxygen breathing became more tiring and climbing more challenging as they were confronted with their own physical boundaries. This was fully compensated and quickly forgotten by the unbelievable sceneries. A different world hidden between the highest mountain peaks of the world. Heaven and earth coming together. Glaciers and frozen waterfalls. Sharp landscapes and falling stones. Natures terrain. Nature being in control instead of people trying to bend the land to their own will. Powerless little human beings against the power of the earth, but there is a crack in nature and the earth carries many scars. One day it were glaciers, now it are merely enormous cracks filled with sand and dust. A view that nearly brings you to tears. The scar will disappear over time and the glacier will remain a simple memory fading away, but never shall it return in all its glory. Even so close to heaven people have left there mark, but still so many among us refuse to believe in rising temperatures. If you have your doubts about how we human beings are slowly destroying our own world, fight your way up to these mountain peaks, dive into our oceans and take a deep breath amidst of our endless traffic. Slowly you may start to see the scars, the plastic islands, the disappearing forests and the pain it inflicts on so many who directly depend on nature for life.
After many emotions and thoughts awakened by such scenery the way back down began. Back to the world we live in, back to daily life, back to reality. Two days of endless stairs, up and down, leaving the snowy mountain peaks behind and taking a well deserved break at the hot springs in Jhinu. Early in the morning, mist hanging above and cold all around. The only sounds being the ice cold river flowing by and birds eagerly awaiting the first rays of sunlight. A last stop in nature before entering city life. Leaving the hot springs behind, entering civilised world couldn’t have been more hard. After a walk of a few more hours, the bus was reached to bring the two little humans back to Pokhara. A hell of a bus ride! Off-roading on a motorbike may be hard, but off-roading on a bus gives a totally different dimension to life. Never could they have imagined that sitting on a bus could feel so similar to crashing. Bruises, plausible brain damage and smiles out of misery were a fact. Making its way through sand, rivers and mud the bus took at least an hour to reach something that could be called a road according to Western standards, although even this may be open for debate. A total of three hours bus ride, two kilometers of city walk and two kilometers of taxi ride the hotel in Pokhara was reached. Life could slowly go back to what once was called normal with yet another cherished memory to carry along and a silent promise to the mountains to return.