Well it looks like I need to make one more post before heading into the mountains. Yes, as per the previous ‘plan’ I should have arrived at my first tea house for the night about in hour ago, nestled about a day’s worth of trekking into the Himalayas. But you see, my wonderful mother, who I love to death, decided to give me this very special bracelet last year, much like a charm bracelet only more special (as our traditional charm bracelet has been filled to the max over the years). As I’ve grown over the years and started to figure myself out a bit, the new bracelet seems to have a bit of a deeper meaning. My first visit home from California, my mom gave me the bracelet and the first bead which is a Buddha. Since then, I feel that the spiritual side of my life has been set in fast forward. Then I acquired a Zen bead; which followed in my learning and experiencing that both my yoga teacher in Bali and the woman whos’ meditation center I completed the Medicine Buddha attunement at are both deeply rooted Zen practitioners. The third and most recent bead given to me (by my mother) right before the commencement of this trip was a bead that represents a road, but not just any road. The road on the bead is full of many twists and turns and most importantly – BUMPS… Her wisdom to follow was that on this trip, and through life, no matter what path you are on, there will be many bumps and roadblocks along the way. Yet you must not get discouraged. The Universe is an interesting place and sometimes not immediately revealing place. Trust. Listen. Follow your intuition and keep on trekking. More or less “don’t let those damn bumps in the road get you down or prevent you from pursuing your dreams!”
Prior to Nepal there had already been a few bumps; some unforeseen confusion with acquiring the visa for India which led to a sporadic and early trip to NYC, buying the wrong plane ticket with a 10 hour layover in Doha, etc. All has worked out. Then comes yesterday – my first test in Nepal. We had a list of things to get done and check off before our planned departure which was supposed to take place this morning. By 9 pm last night, all was complete minus putting our final things in our packs. After trying my pack on,which was filled with about 40 days worth of stuff for the mountains condensed down to about 20 lbs, I realized that something just felt a little off. Bryan can be quite meticulous when it comes to packing, which is why I trust him..USUALLY. He decides to mess with my pack. Ten minutes later…SNAP! The spine of my pack, which is usually metal and pliable (what he was trying to fix/bend) had snapped in half. Apparently it’s plastic to reduce weight in my pack. I heard it break. My heart stopped for a minute, I panicked for another minute and before I knew it we were out the door on the streets of Pokhara looking for a new pack at 930 at night.
Needless to say, once we realized how much we were rushing we decided to call it quits and look for a pack in the morning. We would delay the trek one day. Now, when you walk down the main street in Pokhara, you would think finding a pack would be a cake walk. Every other shop, by first glance, has every piece of trekking gear you could imagine. Look a little closer and the majority (99%) of it is dusty knock offs with brand names sewn on. Kinda cool if you want to buy a shirt. Not ideal if you need a sturdy pack to use for the next few months which include a vast amount of trekking through winter mountains. To make a long story shorter, we ended up finding the ONLY real women’s pack in all of Pokhara. (Literally, we went into every SINGLE shop). However, once we brought it back to the hotel and packed it, there were problems. Various parts of it did not fit. I tried my old pack back on, despite that it was broken and just wished that it would work. No dice. We took the whole new pack apart, bars and all. Rebent the rods, CUT the straps off of the pack to change the pulley system, remolded the plastic, pulled and tweaked every strap and hours later…viola! I THINK we have a pack that might work. It better. We ARE leaving tomorrow morning this time.
All in all, money is money. Meant to be spent right? Please say yes. I am thinking that there was some reason we were not supposed to leave this morning. I will never know, but that’s how it goes… Road block recovered, one day and a bit of money shorter, the trip goes on and tomorrow we will begin our trek deep into the Himalayan mountains. The return is expected 35-40 days from now as we’ve added the Annapurna Sanctuary into the route.
In other news, my view of Nepal has relaxed a bit, although I believe that it’s partly because Pokhara is rather sheltered by tourists from the rest of the country. There are more jobs for the Nepalese people here and it’s more catered to tourists, therefor includes western toilets sometimes, less garbage and a little bit less poverty. I’ve been enchanted my the music however. The other night after having dinner, I watched a Nepalese man play one of his 12 wooden flutes with more soul than I’ve ever seen a human play music with. The flute became a part of him and off he went, into the sound. He was extremely talented and it was beautiful. On the flip side, the rock band talent here is also something to note! After watching 3 Nepalese teenagers and a western hippy with head full of dreads jam for an hour I was truly impressed. They played a few Nepalese songs, but mostly 70’s rock covers to draw in a small crowd of tourists. The singer and guitar player were most impressive as they rocked out to everything from Led Zepplin, Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers to Eric Clapton, Creedance and Ozzie. Very, very talented to say the least.
All in all, the past 24 hours have been a whirlwind of stress and recovery that I probably honestly handled with about a B+ level of composure. Shit happens. Clean it up and keep moving! I need to work on my trust for the Universe a little bit while I’m actually IN the moment. It’s a lot easier to look back AFTER everything is all cleaned up and worked out, and say, ‘see that wasn’t so bad, no big deal. It was probably supposed to happen like that!’
Be in the moment. Trust the moment. And everything you do, do it with bliss and love (even if it seems impossible – find the beauty in it, it’s there). My mantra for the next 40 days…
Wishing you peace and love until I write again.