Vaughan's new boots…or not!
Them boots were made for walking ......44,824, 44,825 ..... Definitely beginning to feel the benefit of the training now. I am able to do more than 2,500 steps in a single session and still feel relatively fresh at the end. In fact I feel stronger then than I do at the beginning which mirrors how I go on the hills - don't expect me to be leading the peloton after breakfast! (sorry, couldn't resist another Olympic reference). Stamina is more important than speed on trek and just going at your own pace is the most important thing.Big decision taken this week. To get a new pair of boots or not. My current pair of Zamberlans (Trek Lites) have been trusty companions for over 4 years now and have never let me down, not even a single blister. After much deliberation I've decided they can come with me again but I think this may be their last trek before sending them to Boot Hill! Footwear is really important on any trek. You need boots that are well worn in and comfortable on your feet. It’s a process that can take several months as the boots take time to shape themselves to your feet. As your feet can expand a bit during the day it’s a good idea to buy new ones in the afternoon!It’s over 20 years since I was last in Nepal. I recently dug out some old slides from that trip. Was I really that thin? did I really have that much hair? It’s an amazing country and my most abiding memories are of the wonderfully friendly people that we met. Our team of porters, cooks and guide were fantastic and we had some great times on trek with songs and laughter filling the days. Even now I can still hum one of the porters favourites "Pan Ko Pat" - the words escape me though! The porters, cooks and guides are the unsung heroes of a supported trek and it’s good to know that on Mountain Kingdoms Tea House treks they are provided with insurance, wind/waterproof clothing and shoes. They work so hard and make your life just about as easy as it can be. By our standards they earn very little and it’s usually one of the highlights of a trek when you can present them with a little bonus at the end.
Vaughan (2nd from left) on the way to Annapurna Sanctuary 1990. Photo courtesy of V Sydenham
I'm really looking forward to spending some time in Kathmandu at the beginning and end of the trek. Its such a vibrant city and there is so much to see - a real experience. If there is time I'd like to go and visit the Cottage Aurora lodging house that we stayed at for many weeks off and on during our 3 months in Nepal. I remember there were two lovely ladies who performed absolute miracles on our laundry each time we returned from being on trek.
The 'miracle workers' at Cottage Aurora. Photo courtesy of V Sydenham
I'm sure I'll be bringing back more great memories from this trek.