Dragging ourselves out of bed at 5am is never easy. But when it involves voluntarily waking up our two sleeping children and walking up an incredibly steep hill, I think you can safely say we’d rather eat our own eyeballs. However, when the Himalayas come calling, you get out of bed.
The walk from Lwang Village is short yet sharp. A half hour trek up uneven stone steps through the village, up into the jungle and out the other side into a tea plantation and the view to end all views. Our plan was never to trek from the homestay. We were there to experience rural life, get some fresh air, meet some new people, learn some new tricks. But when Lori requested a sunrise over the mountains and Tirtha agreed to accompany us, we took the chance.
Yes, we made the rookie mistake of wearing trainer socks, and peeled our bloodied trousers off later to find our legs attacked by leeches. Yes, Lori had to carry Olivia at least half way up. And yes, we arrived at the top sweating profusely and with me trying not to be sick. But we’re embarrassingly unfit, so don’t let that put you off.
And hell, it was worth it when we got there. When it was Olivia picking tea flowers and gobbling oushali, a kind of wild raspberry or ‘jungle berries’ as she called them. When it was just us. When we were confronted with the startling, humbling view of the Machapuchare and the Annapurna range. So now, we’ll just shut up, and let the pictures do the talking.