I hopped out of the icebox called a bedroom that I shared with a Thai and Taiwanese girl, and caught the sunrise over basecamp to say goodbye to the glorious view of Annapurna.
I sat silently looking at the view that I had pushed so hard to reach, and started reflecting on my own life and personal goals.
What do you do when you had set a goal and you pushed yourself as hard as you possible could to reach that goal- and you reached it. What happens next?
It’s like climbing a mountain. What happens when you get to the top? (Other than the obvious going back down- don’t be a smartass reading this.)
I realized that I had come all this way and still had no idea how to answer my own question- but it was time to head down.
After two coffees, and navigating the difficulty that is peeing in a hole when the floor of the toilet is all iced over- I looked at Gambu, smirked and said, “let’s rock and roll,” and we started off into a trot downhill.
While passing all the trekkers who were just now heading to ABC, I felt like a marathoner crossing the finish line, giving away high fives left and right, accepting congratulations in the form of Namastes all the way down. I’ve never ran a marathon, so I really have no idea what that finish line is like, but I’m sure it’s just as glorious.
I was greeted with comments of, “wow- you’re quick,” and smiles from trekkers and porters alike. I realized that people recognized me since there weren’t many other solo, small blondes, carrying their own pack and a bamboo stick, ripping through the trail.
Along the way I passed my frenchies, who softly kissed my cheeks (ooh la la) and bid me, “bon voyage.”
Next, I passed my roommate from Deurali, Dr. Nick, who gave me a firm handshake and wished me a safe journey home.
Then, I passed Harjit- who was a theme throughout my journey. Harjit, his wife, and in laws sat behind me on my flight from Abu Dhabu to Kathmandu. I ran into him sightseeing in Kathmandu, and proceeded to run into him at least every other day on the trek- always enthusiastically greeting one another, and after the third or fourth run in saying, “see you later!”
Harjit boomed a “well done” and firmly kissed my cheeks, with the pride of a man who has known me all my life. Our run ins had come full circle, but I joked that I’ll probably see him soon anyways!
Gambu and I continued on our merry way downhill for the next five hours- dropping over 6,000 feet by the end of our day.
Needless to say, my knees are creaking louder than the floorboards of an attic, and I’m running low on Advil (but no worries, I still have rum.)
I ended the evening still buzzed from excitement of being at ABC that morning, and looking forward to soaking in some hot springs the next day.
Although I peaked, my trek isn’t over yet- miles and miles to go baby!