A trek is a highly recommended workout in which you will come face-to-face with the exotic realities of a Turd world country.
The word ‘trek’ is derived from an Afrikaan word which means: “Carry your body weight and a backpack weighing a ton up and down vertical mountainsides for 10 days, share sleeping quarters with yaks, while attending to calls of nature in the company of friendly local people.”
Why we had to import a South African word for the completely indigenous activity of walking from one Nepali village to the next, I have never quite figured out. But I guess the whole philosophy of trekking is to get unsuspecting visitors to pay $140 a day for the masochistic pleasure of inflicting extreme hardship on themselves so that when they return home to their mundane, soulless materialistic existence, it will seem like paradise.
Here are some useful tips on the joys of hiking in Nepal and how to make it fulfilling for mind, body and sole:
Am I fit?
The main pre-requisite to trekking is that you should train yourself in the art of walking straight up and straight down like a gecko. Practice on a wall at home. One month before trek, stop using the lift. Climb 36 floors to your office every day, and use the stairs down. Now multiply this by 10.
What should I eat?
Muesli. This is what they give mules to eat for breakfast on the Mustang trail so their after-burners can kick in during the steepest inclines, adding critical thrust to propel them over Chuksang Pass in time for lunch. Just ask your mule to share his muesli.
Dal-bhat. Tea-shops along the trail have a wide variety of dal-bhat so you never get tired of Nepal’s national dish: dal-bhat with alu, dal-bhat with moolah, dal-bhat with banda, dal-bhat with bodi, dal-bhat with sag, or even dal-bhat with dal-bhat.
To level out a steep uphill there is nothing to beat the locally-brewed high-octane apple brandy. Pour a little of this into your and watch yourself fly like the wind, leaving gasping fellow-trekkers in the valley below. (Statutory Govt Health Warning: Hangovers are a pain in the ass.)
Is it safe to drink the water?
The first rule of thumb is not to drink anything that doesn’t have the mandatory hologram Seal of Approval of the Nepal Bureau of Standards ISO 90002. Adhering to this rule will mean that you will die of thirst on the first day of your trek, therefore exceptions are allowed in emergencies.