Bit from the letters ~
“Flamingo legs are an asset, right?”
“Good quote- “Get on your knees and thank God you are still on your feet.” I hope you are still on your feet.”
“Be you. Be safe. Be nothing else.”
The last two days was going down to 11,000 feet and then up over a difficult pass that exceeded 15,000 feet and finally down to 9800 feet into Lukla, where we had begun the trek.
I have learned that the ascents take physical strength, which is harder on me, but they make you pay attention. It makes it less likely you will fall on the inclines.
Descents are different. The descents are mental. You must keep your mind focused on the steps you are taking because you find your mind wandering much more easily on the declines, which makes you more vulnerable to slipping or tripping. For someone who is prone to daydreaming, this can be tough for me, but I will take the mental over the physical any day.
However, the real challenge for someone as clumsy as I am, it turns out, is when you get to the bottom and you stop paying attention altogether.
I made it through the trek without slipping and falling, without injury, and without getting sick, neither traveler’s sickness nor altitude. (Luke was kind enough to do all of those well enough for the both of us.) That alone was cause for celebration, and we did just that. The staff and the trekkers sat down to a celebratory dinner, followed by some impromptu dancing.
Being in Lukla again meant a return to internet access, as well, which let me call people to let them know I was not dead, (a bigger worry for some people than one might have guessed.).
I finished these calls in the pitch black of night (for the almost 13 hour time difference). With little to no electricity, pitch black has a different meaning. Your eyes do not adjust and all you can see is what is lit by the pinhole of light from your headlamp in front of your feet.
After taking this pinhole of light to the outhouse, I made my way back to my room by way of a narrow flight of uneven, and sometimes loose, stone stairs. In my attempt to not stumble on them, I did not notice that the left side of the stairs was lined with twirling barbed wire. (For what purpose, I still do not know.)
Forward and downward motion does not combine well with catching your left leg in barbed wire in the dark. As the rest of me went forward, my left leg pulled up behind me, which effectively hung me upside-down by my left ankle. As I did not know yet that it was barbed wire, my first coherent thought was something roughly akin to, “Did I seriously just get caught in a rabbit trap?!” I started laughing because, well, what else can one do when one is hung upside-down in the middle of the night.
Being rather lanky, it makes my ankle a long ways away, as I tried to do upside down sit-ups in an attempt to free myself from whatever briar patch in which I had found myself. Every time I tried to reach for it, it pulled tighter around my ankle.
Realizing I would not be getting myself out of this, I attempted yelling for help, to no avail. As I sat staring at the sky, hanging off the side of a stone wall, dangling above a flight of stone stairs, I realized that I was stuck here until the sun would come up in a few hours and people would start waking.
I did the only thing that seemed logical. I went to sleep.
I cannot decide if it is fortunate or unfortunate that there is no photographic evidence of this. It is likely much more hilarious in my mind, as I picture the first people who came around the corner that morning and came upon a girl, bundled in a black parka, hanging upside-down, sleeping like a bat.
I hope my rescuers found it as funny as I do, before they woke me up to help me down.
As a friend lovingly said before I left, “I can see why they want you to come on this trip. You are absurd.”
Thank God for getting that tetanus shot before I left.
Bits from the letters ~
“…what might you need, right now, at some unknown yet moment…perhaps 2am Himalayan time, under a starry and frozen sky…”
“Love was real.
‘Love is bigger than whatever you have experienced, so far’
Someone told me that once.
So, you go and look at the sky…”
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