— Wow, that’s pretty crazy that you had a face to face encounter with a Maoist on your trek.
— Well, it really wasn’t very scary. Actually the ones I met, they were pretty friendly. But, I don’t know, maybe they were on their best behavior.
— Yeah, maybe. I mean we didn’t see ’em at all on our trek. In fact, the only trace of the Maoists that I remember seeing was being on a bus going over to a national park and looking out the window and seeing this old, abandoned, burned out bus on the side of the road. And apparently, we were told later, that the Maoists had stopped the bus and gotten everyone off and then burned it.
— …at least they got everyone off.
— Yeah. Yeah, but I, I think it was, it wasn’t even until after we left Nepal and got back to America that I started reading that all hell broke loose with the Maoists.
— Yeah, that was actually just after I left.
— Oh, okay, well that makes sense then, why there was more of a presence there.
— When you were there, I should say. But, y’know, our trek sounds pretty different. How many days was your trek again?
— Uh, it was 13 days total.
— Okay. Mine was 12, so just one day shy of yours. Yeah, it’s, it started off on the wrong foot for me.
— What happened?
— Well, apparently I ate something that didn’t agree with me and made me sick as hell to my stomach.
— When you were trekking, or…
— No, no, no, the night before.
— [laugh] Oh, no.
— Yeah. So, that’s how it started off…and we were, the next morning we were supposed to leave at 7 a.m. on the dot. But, of course that got pushed back because I was so sick. I was sick as a dog.
— Oh, man. Did you consider not goin’?
— Oh yeah…but Tim talked me into it.
— [laugh] Well, that’s good because, you know what? You, you were probably thankful in the end because you had such a good time, I’m sure.
— I did…I mean, it, y’know, it was tough though. It, first of all, I started out, I was sick, um…. I just was not physically prepared for it. I think it was like the second night there was this windstorm that really freaked me out…
— [laugh] — …yeah, it was pretty frightening.
— How high up were you at that time?
— We weren’t very high. It was just still the second night…I…to be honest, I don’t remember but, yeah…. We weren’t that high up.
— Yeah. Well how high did you go, uh, total?
— Total…uh, we reached 12,000 feet.
— Yeah, okay.
— Yeah, and that was, actually that was great being that high up. I mean we got such a great bird’s eye view of the valley.
— Oh, yeah. Yeah, that was, that’s what I noticed also when, uh, when we got up to our highest point which was a little over 14,000 feet. I was just, I mean I was, like, in heaven. I mean it was…
— [laugh] Yeah.
— …I was like sitting on top of the world.
— [laugh] Yeah.
— Y’know, uh…. And also at that point after we got up to the top I was no longer worried about, uh, altitude sickness. I don’t know if anybody had problems with it, uh, y’know, with, in the group that you were traveling with.
— No, no we didn’t. But, y’know of course we were warned about it. And one of the things we were warned about was to be careful of the alcohol intake. So Tim and I, being the beer drinkers that we are, didn’t take heed to that warning. So it’s a good thing we didn’t get altitude sickness.
— Yeah, they pretty much told us the same thing. They said, y’know, you probably shouldn’t be smoking cigarettes which, you know, I don’t smoke cigarettes so that was fine. They said don’t drink too much, and y’know, I, I didn’t really drink too much so that was good. But, uh, y’know, the other thing they said is, y’know, don’t go up the mountain too fast. Make sure you spend a night before you get up to the peak, uh, y’know at a lower altitude but one that’s pretty high up still and then…
— Oh, right.
— …so you can get acclimated. So we did that, but, uh, I’ll tell ya, when we got up to the peak, there were people who were getting sick. And, uh, there were a couple of people who had to be carried down, like…
— Oh, jeez.
— Yeah, and one of the guys who was carried down, I had met him on the way up. And, uh, I saw him on the way down. And, uh, I asked him, y’know, how he was feeling. And he said he was feeling better at that point. But he said the night before he thought his head was going to explode, so…
— Oh my god!
— Yeah, very serious headache.
— Yeah, so…
— Yeah, I mean we didn’t, none of, y’know…. There was just me and Tim and then, a-uh, another woman from, uh…. Where was she from, Belgium and a guy from Luxembourg. So we all fared pretty well except, then towards the end, the guy from Luxembourg ended up catching a cold. And then to top it off, I caught it from him…
— …so that’s how I ended the trek.
— Yeah, it was very physically draining for me.
— Yeah. How much did it cost for you guys to do your trek?
— Um…to be honest, I really don’t remember. But, y’know, it, it wasn’t anything astronomical.
— Yeah, yeah, I can’t remember either how much we paid. But it, it was dirt cheap.
— Yeah, I’ll tell you what, without a doubt, I wanna make sure I go back to Nepal and, uh, go trekking. I wanna go trekking again.
— Well, I wanna go back to Nepal. I don’t know that I wanna go trekking.