04-Jul-2007

HKD 4 - Pre trip jitters

Things that can go wrong before a trip

1. Knees go kaput. After enduring 2 – 3 days of pain, I mustered the courage to go to the doc. He ordered X-Rays and blood tests and with a pessimism completely unbecoming, suggested that I spend the rest of my life avoiding treks, stairs, heavy weights, running, aerobics and if possible, walking. I was stunned. Instead of the past flashing before my eyes, my future flashed by instead. I would be this fat and overworked mother huffing behind a pair of brats with snotty noses. However before I could wallow in unnecessarily dramatic self-pity (if you don’t count the numerous calls to friends and irrational fantasizing), the test results came back. Nothing serious and knees were pronounced fit and healthy.

2. Catch a cold, and then feel dizzy because of the sun. All this leading to a complete break in fitness programmes. At this point, I decided to take AW’s advice on feeling fit, not being fit.

3. Be hounded by well wishing but ignorant friends and acquaintances who are convinced that I would fall down the mountainside in a Hollywood ‘Cliffhanger’ style. At the end of it, I was also worried. Then mom pointed out that I would be trekking and not mountaineering and would clearly not face situations of rappelling or rock climbing.

4. Discover only the two of you women will be alone in the wilderness with a bunch of North Indian male guides since no one else has signed up for the trek. We could not figure out whether going alone would mean being brave or foolhardy. Finally we figured out we knew enough about the trek organizers to take a chance. Worst case, if things did not feel right in the first few days, we could march right back to civilization and call the whole thing off. As it turned out, Uttarkhand people were nice, polite and tuned into tourism hospitality. The guides themselves were locals and turned out to be quite conscientious and protective.

In the midst of standing under the shower with my rain jacket on to check if it worked, I decided that no trip can be free of stress points and the thing to do is to get going. Then I switched on the ac and wore my polyfill jacket to figure out if it held out in 10 degrees.

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