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Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 11 April 2018
Return to ABC Trek Nepal, November 2017
In Pokhara the tour agents advertise the ABC Annapurna Sanctuary trek Nepal round trip from Pokhara for from 7 days (even 6). Unfortunately many visitors do the ABC Annapurna Sanctuary trek in a week. It is much too short and if they’ve come from overseas the trek may be dangerous because of altitude. This is the same almost everywhere in Nepal for those coming with only two weeks or less for their vacation.
We planned to take 12 days for the trek. Although, I make the disclaimer — we couldn’t have done it in 7 days. We are too old and too unfit.
This article is the follow-up to our first trek to ABC in 2004 and a companion to it.
My fitness problem this time was that I developed an inflamed meniscus in my knee eight weeks before we left. Hence I spent my time visiting physiotherapists and doing knee exercises, rather than training for the walk. My knee was still sore in Nepal but my knee muscles had been well-strengthened and it wasn’t a problem.
The psychology of trekking
Our companion was much fitter than we were. She had walked in suburban Melbourne 1.5 to 2 hours every morning with her sister, seven days a week. However, she wasn’t a bushwalker and the challenge was much worse for her, because though she was fit, she didn’t know that she could do it. She had broken her ankle some years before. It made her uncertain in uneven terrain, but it was an excuse rather than the cause, which was psychological. She’d faced much worse terrain conditions in Kathmandu with equanimity.
A friend once said to me about bushwalking or trekking that because we have done it previously, we know we can do it, no matter what. What she meant was that even when you are exhausted, your feet hurt, its raining or cold and miserable and you are crying or upset, you’ve done it before and you know that with frequent rests, you’ll actually get there in the end.
Culture shock may have had something to do with the mix, as well. Denise and I always forget how third worldy Nepal is and seems, every time one goes.
Hence we admired our friend immensely because the challenge was extreme and she was stoic and uncomplaining. I suspect many trekkers in Nepal have to breach a psychological barrier to enjoy trekking.
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