I inhale deeply and gently blow out the fresh air. White tops with sharp edges and silky snow follow every step I take. My journey starts. A goat looks at me questioningly and I hear Nepali mumble. Strong women with tough skin hobble along with baskets full of foil on their backs. In the middle of nowhere a dilapidated wooden house appears. A gorgeous girl is just standing there with a perfect ice cream, watching us. Quietly I wonder how she got that ice cream. Between the rice terraces, cattle and stoffe sandy paths I walk along. Bright red rhododendrons appear as a gift after every heavy climb.
The last climb for today. My eyes pointed to the ground I gasp for air and step by step I reach our ending point for today. Australian Camp. I stumble and I just let myself fall on the ground. When I open my eyes again I hold my breath. This is the most beautiful place on Earth. I am completly surrounded by the Himalayas. I reach my hand towards the sun and snowy peaks appear only a few steps away. They look down on me in all their force. They embrace me and I feel happiness in all my bones.
Robert suffers from the height and crawls in bed, I find myself talking to the guides, eating traditional Dhal Bat like they do. A cat jumps on my lap. HA. Even here, they know where to find me. I’m sleeping like a baby and get up when it’s still dark. I barely see the jagged peaks in this pitch black night. With a piece of Tibetan bread I climb to the highest point that I can find. Suddenly there is a ray of sunshine. And another one. They frolic with each other, fighting for who should warm my face first. They dance and grow and the sun seems to explode. Heat touches my face and yellow spots play in the snow, snow that lights up pink. Whimsical edges change to gold and all that I can do is stare. Magnificent.
A bit sad that I have to leave this place I pack my bag and start walking again. We walk for nine hours a day and words fail. How should I describe the beauty that I see in front of me? How the infinite peaks appear around every corner and how everytime it feels like I see them for the first time? How the smile of a running child touches me? How I follow the clouds? How pure it is to see people work on their land? How amazingly sweet the people are? How great it is to hug a goat on the way or look straight into the eyes of a young water buffalo? How beautiful planet Earth is? I can’t.
Along colorful villages and unending rice fields we descend towards Sarangkot. Jagged peaks continue to follow me. Sarangkot is in sight. On the roof terrace of our guesthouse I enjoy a well-deserved Nepali beer. The sun drops and we look down on Pokhara with the Himalayan peaks in our back. Right in front of us the sun breaks into a thousand pieces.
I fall asleep.
The next morning we climb to the top of Sarangkot. A spectacular sunrise welcomes us again, although it’s nothing near the one in Australian Camp. When we get back in Pokhara I feel euphoric. This is one of the most beautiful hikes I made in one of the most beautiful countries I’ve seen. I feel human, nature, one with this earth.
“You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.”
Max Ehrmann – Desiderata
Tip: we booked this three-day trekking with Happy Treks Nepal. Mr. Happy, his real name is Udaya Subedi, lives up to its name. A smile from ear to ear welcomes us. Mr. Happy runs the company independently and in addition, he helps schools and communities in the area. A large part of his income goes to charity. Amazing cause. He can arrange everything for you, from a day trip to a multi-day trekking, activities to home stays and volunteering work to yoga trekkings. We decide to go trekking with a guide, since getting lost is my best quality is and as well, we like to learn from locals. We combine the Dhampus-Sarangkot trekking with the Australian Camp trekking and I can only say that this is an amazing trekking. We walked and climbed about nine hours a day. Our guide Saroj was a sweet boy with an enormous ambition and he leads us through the Himalayas perfectly. Highly recommended!