Thursday, September 25, 2014

Memories of Himalayas-End of Day and Quarters

We were slowly walking, puffing, huffing and panting looking down at the trail so there is no perspective on the distance still to be trekked.
Priceless.  Kuha ni Banny H.  Ako ba ang nakaupo?
All of a sudden when we looked up, there was a formidable illuminated structure that blocked our sight 
signalling "that's it for the day." Panning to our right, the range was framed with a live person validating to us that we 
too can make it. Suddenly, the fatigue and loss of breath were transformed to ecstasy and recharged energy.

Medyo relax pa
At the end of the day, a place to stay, eat, clean, sleep and rest awaits us. It's a simple concrete enclosure with a table, a window, a small dark box that serves as a rest room and a sleeping room walled by wood with an elevated platform to sleep on.

At the far end of the lodge is a corner that serves as a kitchen. Power supply is minimal generated by solar panel. While arrangements have been pre planned, arriving at the lodge is met with anxiety triggered by thoughts whether the body can live with the temperature, pessimism for unappetizing food and doubts of insufficient energy to chew and to clean the plates. 
Wala yatang heater dito

In the deep of the night when nature calls, will the flesh have the inertia to move and to be erected? But the more difficult dilemma to face comes on the morning after.  Upon waking up, this question is repeatedly asked to the self, "Should I stay or should I go?" We did go and proceeded.
Si Rizal, Mabini o Bonifacio ba ang nasa isip ko?

The base camp is a tent camp. No more lodges, no more inns.  Shelter is contained within the fabrics of the structure framed by poles. Temperature is managed by the technical properties of the fabric and the sleeping bag. Between your back and the floor are thin layers of sheets that absorb the low temperature. What added warmth was the company and camaraderie.

Kampo kasama sina Rico, Cesar, Banny
Life at the base camp is living exposed to the elements.

Way back was a breeze. From Lukla airport to base camp took us 9 days. Going back was in 6 days. Less anxiety and with more confidence.
Ang ganda ewan ko kung sino ang may kuha

Stay at the lodges was more relaxed. No more concerns on the unpredictability of Acute Mountain Sickness. Destination was known, pacing can now be predicted.  

Somewhat the lodges were more homey. Windows with a view can be better appreciated.
Mga tambay sa labas

But has the relationship among us deepened? Not yet as the feat we have succeeded to accomplish has to still sink in.

Months and years later, what have I realized? Borrowing from Edwin Berbaum, writer of "Sacred Mountains of the World", "At Everest, we feel ourselves at the center of the world, not just Asia, not just the Philippines but the WORLD."

-Memories of a journey May 2007 recalled Sept 2014.

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