Why, Oh, Why Do We Trek?

By Mridula Dwivedi June 24, 2013 56 Comments , , , ,

I am back from my attempt to trek through the Annapurna Circuit Trek. Attempt because I had to give up the trek at Ledar (4200 meters). I was perfectly fine and looking to move to the high camp at 4800 but the weather was not. Anyway it is a long story and will be told day by day. I am back now. This time also I trekked with Above the Himalayas. But I wonder why do we trek?

A Rainbow at a Waterfall, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Nepal

A Rainbow at a Waterfall near Chamche, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Nepal

Why do I lament so? Here are some of the reasons!

  • Two of toenails are trying to come out right now. Last year when I trekked through the Everest Base Camp in Nepal two of my toe nails actually came out. This time they are only trying to come out.
  • There are deep gashes above my ankles from my new shoes. No, I tried to break them before I went, only by walking on a straight road. I have no access to the mountain tracks before the trek.
  • There were days (more than one) when we started trekking in rain and it was still raining till we reached the next stop. Which would mean at least 6 hours of rain for me.
  • Last year I trekked in May and I was so besotted by Nepal that I had to trek again this year. Only I had no leaves in May. In June it rains. I who come from a family that treks and countless friends who trek too, it occurred to no one (particularly me) that it is the monsoon when I am trying to trek!
  • At Ledar (where we gave up and turned back) when I woke up the next day (the day when we should have gone to the high camp) it was raining hard. It soon turned to snow. When I went for breakfast it was snowing. I was thrilled. After all how many times do I get to see snow? When I went for lunch, it was snowing, hard. When I went for evening tea it was still snowing. When I had dinner you guessed it right, it was snowing, still. And when I went to bed, well what else, it was still snowing. I was sick of it by now. The next day we turned back and walked all the day in snow and rain.
  • There is a road (if you like to call it so) for part of the way on this trek (jeeps up to Chame and motorcycles up to Manang). And a lot has been written about it. When we started there were regular jeeps till Chame that would honk us out of the way. When we gave up the trek due to rain and snow there was no road left at Chame. There were only waterfalls and landslides on the road.
  • No one knew for sure if there was a jeep at all from anywhere to anywhere anymore!
  • We walked for three days, 9 hours, 12 hours and 8.5 hours before we found the jeep and eventually that rainbow at Chamche (and not Chame where the jeeps originally were to be found).

Mridula Dwivedi

All Smiles after Finding the Elusive Jeep, With my Guide Hari from Above the Himalayas at Chamche

  • My knees hurt like mad while climbing down.
  • And I pay good money to do all this to myself!
  • I could have lived with all of it but for the views. Hardly any high peaks for me this time and that is what I miss most. This time it was more of a character building exercise than an actual trek.
  • Will I trek again? You bet, but not in June and if it is June then not in Nepal.

Why do we do this to self? My guide in Uttarakhand (and yes he is safe) Sohan Singh Bisht has a theory. He says some of us trekkers drop a nut from our brains somewhere on our very first treks. And we just keep going back in the hope of finding it somewhere again. Nothing else can explain it!

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56 thoughts on “Why, Oh, Why Do We Trek?”

  1. u look tired dear friend and yet so optimistic .. a die-hard try equals a goal itself ..
    I dont know much about trekking but what I read here makes me aware .. it aint a layman or laywoman’s job!
    Kudos to you lady !!
    And I am sorry but I’ll repeat I envy you 🙂 for I am still collecting money for life on hills 🙂

    1. Thank you My Say for your wonderful comment. Trekking is not that difficult but yes maybe it requires getting used to it a bit 😀

  2. A very good question put forth, Mridula – Why do we trek?

    More often than not, trekking is not a cakewalk and not a bed of roses. It is strenuous and back breaking. It involves pulling ourselves up precarious mountain slopes with a heavy backpack. Yet we find ourselves going back to it over and over again. Why?

    At the risk of sounding too philosophical, I’d say that It is perhaps due to the quest for self discovery and the quest for finding our limits of endurance. Nothing else could explain why, despite the strenuous climbs, bruises, falls, aches and the (sometimes adverse) elements, we find ourselves going back.

    When I started trekking a few years ago, someone said and I remember it till today: “On a trek, till you burn yourself out and are ready to drop, you won’t remember the trek nor will you call it a trek after you are back from it! ”

    Additionally, as you rightly said, the “views” (especially during the golden hours) matter too!

    Cheers!

  3. Why, Oh, Why Do We Trek?
    The question is not about why do we trek, the question is about I want to visit a particular tourist place I read somewhere or heard somewhere and I liked and to answer self yes, I visited, I travel no matter it is via trek or bike or whatever mode of travel. In short it is all about about curiosity to visit a particular place after reading about the same somewhere or hearing about the same somewhere.

  4. Welcome back ;). C’mon how many of u shv an adventure of walking n walking before spotting a elusive jeep rt 😀 … I know, I know its jus not funny!

  5. Yes we are a crazy bunch of people who are deep into adventure and want more of it each time. Yes we love risks and the pain that we feel after treks. Yes we have steel nerves, and nothing can stop us from attempting at insanity….Your post injected excitement in me again, leaving me ask for more….Brilliant post Mridula

  6. Looks like losing two toe nails has become a habit for us. 🙂 Remember I also lost two nails while trekking last year? And one more from the other foot this year. 🙁
    I also fell from a Segway in Spain and still have deep pain in my leg bone.
    In my opinion, these injuries give us memories to cherish.

    Anyway, glad to see you safe & sound, Mridula. I am sure you’d be able to do it next year. All the best.

    Why do we trek?
    Think of it as you being blessed with a passion which not everybody can afford to have, not their cup of tea.

    And Sohan ji’s theory makes so much sense.

  7. I feel proud to comment on the post of a person who loves to explore the beauty of nature and is ready to go to any length for that. Our love and best wishes are always with you. The picture in the post is excellent.

  8. बेहतरीन लेख..मजा आया पढ़ कर । सोहनसिंह की कही आख़िरी पंक्तियाँ ने तो ये गूढ़ रहस्य चुटकियों में समझा दिया 🙂

  9. Hi Mam,

    Glad to see you’re back, and the hills took care of you, as you’re back in one piece. Trekking in rains is no joke, in due course of time the body becomes soft as butter.

    Good luck for future expeditions……

    Regards,
    Vikram

  10. I thought I was the only creature to loose atoe nail after every trek.glad to know there is someone else also.

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I am Mridula Dwivedi, I love to travel! I started my travel blog in 2005. I have been going places since! For more details do check out my media kit! In another life I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur. I was a professor when I quit my job in 2015.

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