I did it. We did it: trekked the Annapurna Circuit. Endured cold and fatigue and fought through illness to fill the horizon daily with the vision of some of the world’s loftiest peaks. Crossed over the Thorong La Pass – one of the highest in the world. Hiked through tropical forest and alpine meadow, edged along narrow precipices and mounted ancient stairways, wound through remote villages, strolled alongside rushing mountain torrents and thundering cascades. Reflected on the complex beauty of Buddhist monasteries and the colourful chaos of Hindu practice. Were witnesses to the incredible resilience of the Nepali people and bathed in the warmth of their generous hospitality…and now I’m home.
Home – where the shower is hot, the house is heated, the switch produces light when flipped and the toilet flushes. For the first in many, many days I have not walked…anywhere. I’ve been here more than a whole day already, conscious for less than half that and still have not completely adjusted to the wonder and comfort that is simply my normal life. While I am grateful to be reacquainting myself with these small luxuries, the returns for living without them for a short time were beyond imagining: new friends, new tastes, new truths, astonishing vistas, moments of agonizing doubt and exhausting physical challenge and moments of purest bliss. In spite of having had more than two complete days to reflect on these past weeks, a clear vision of how to describe all that’s happened remains elusive.
I have a month’s notes and journal entries, well over a thousand photographs and a colossal mountain range worth of impressions and memories. It’s going to take some time to process it all. I initially imagined that I would just transfer my journal day by day to this medium – but that is going to be completely inadequate. So here’s the plan: I promise to post at least twice a week until I exhaust my material and in between I’ll add the photos as I edit and organize them.
So, while I manage unpacking and laundry and settling back into my home, I’ll leave you with a few images. I’ll be back soon as I begin to sort through all that this amazing month has brought me.