Before I ever dreamed of living in France, I had this wild idea about visiting Nepal and Kathmandu. Now, it seems even my craziest thoughts are coming to life.
Well, almost …
Let’s just say I had put this trip planned in 2011 on the back burner. Then, I learned I would lose the deposit if I postponed it again. So I decided it’s now or never. Nepal, here I come!
- 5 locations in 15 days
- Multiple early departures
- It was briskly paced, with no more than 2 nights in most locations, with 2 days rafting and 3 days hiking.
- You must be able to walk 5 miles unassisted and participate in 2.5-3 hour treks.
- Elevations up to 5,000 feet
- Travel by 18-passenger minibus, canoe, river raft, and elephant back
What was I thinking?!
Now that the trip is almost a reality — November 25 — I must get in shape.
My friend from the States who visited in September loves to hike. We walked down to the Vallee de l’Eure, where I discovered the “SWING BRIDGE” and the “STEPS.”
“If you cross this bridge and climb these steps every day before your trip,” said my friend Pat, “you’ll be ready for Nepal.”
“Yeah, right,” said I. ” I’m going to do just that.”
Then there were my new friends who were visiting Uzes from California. Paula and Rich love the outdoors.
“Come along with us,” they said. “We climb to the top of this hill that overlooks the Vallee de l’Eure and Uzes almost daily.”
“Sure,” I said confidently. Then I followed them up the steep incline… 20 feet behind.
“Here,” said Paula as we reached the rockiest part of the uphill path. “This might help you keep your balance,” she teased as she threw a stick at me the size of a large tree limb.
“You’re a pal,” I gasped, trying to breathe and walk at the same time.
I made it up the hill and vowed I might do it again.
The Big Test
The training turned serious when my son visited a few weeks ago. He brought me a retractable trekking stick in his travel bags from the States. He was intent on making me get as much exercise as possible. Little did he know that I could show him a thing or two … like the STEPS and the hill at Vallee de l’Eure.
Up again … this time with a proper walking stick, which made a huge difference on the rugged path.
The biggest test was the trek up the hill at Pont du Gard.
It’s not the hill you climb to see the Pont du Gard from up high.
It’s beyond there. It’s the one that makes the Pont du Gard look like an anthill! Yep, I walked that far!
Up we went …
Through the hidden wall…
… up the long path
… to an opening beyond the trees
… to discover a long-lost treasure
And there were some amazing plants I’d never seen.
Along a treacherous and steep path …
Up higher and higher …
And then … we turned around and went back. This was not the trail to another view of Pont du Gard. We were on our way back to Uzes. No thanks. I’ll drive!
Since the hiking expeditions, I’ve been on the move, but probably not enough. Time will tell. Nevertheless, the experience has helped me realize an important fact again. Whether you want to climb a mountain or move to another continent:
Everything new in life starts out just the same. Take one step at a time.