Today we officially began our adventure! We had our last showers, packed into a van, and began our long journey out of Kathmandu toward Jiri. We were told ahead of time that this about 8 hour drive would be quite the experience and not so nice on the stomach. It turned out to not be as bad as I expected, and no one got sick so I think we can call it a success. It was a crazy drive though. We drove for 8 hours on a road that was only wide enough for one car, was super windy, and scaled the edge of the mountains. This made it super interesting when cars came from the other direction. There were definitely a few close calls. I was honestly very impressed by our drivers amazing ability to navigate these roads. The drive, while at times a little scary, was BEAUTIFUL. The views were breathtaking, seriously. We traveled up and down mountains lined with houses, corn fields, and rice patties. We passed all kinds of roaming animals including cows, chickens, dogs, and goats. We drove through small villages and saw the most adorable children walking in their school uniforms. There was this layer of fog that covered the area that added a magical aspect to the whole area. It was surreal. The drive was super long, and a few of us tried to sleep but were frequently awoken by a sudden jerk of the van resulting in head bangs against the window so I don’t think any of us were super successful in this attempt, but at least the scenery was worth it.
After about 8 hours we finally reached our resting point for the night in a village called Jiri. It’s basically the village at the end of the paved road, and the farthest we can drive. The weather improved and some sun peaked through the clouds. We were taken to our campsite, put our stuff in our tents and met for tea in the “dining tent” which was a nice big blue tent with tables and chairs for us to gather and eat in. We then headed to the main street area of the village where a few of us bought some rain boots to take with us. The village is so beautiful, sitting in the middle of the Himalayas, surrounded by amazingly green mountains. Grace and I(Audrey) went off and explored a bit and got to meet some of the adorable children. They were obsessed with having their pictures taken, and kept asking for more. It was the cutest thing. Two of the little boys then took us to see this hanging bridge above a river and to the local Temple that was surrounded by hanging prayer flags. We then returned to our campsite for dinner where we were treated like royalty. It was delicious to say the least. These cooks are traveling with us for the entire time, so I don’t think we will have to worry about going hungry any time soon. In fact they feed us WAY too much, but it’s hard to turn down because its so good. We met all of our guides and sherpas that will be with us and taking care of us throughout the trip after dinner, and are now headed off to bed. We have an early rise, I think about 6 am, and begin our first day of trekking! I’m super exciting, and hope the rain isn’t too intense tomorrow.
Shout out to the fam (dad, mom, Jens, etc.), love you guys! Can’t wait to tell you about everything and show you all my pictures!