Manaslu 2002 Expedition
11: First full day of trekking
The word for the day is incredible. After
reading so much about this experience, it seems
surreal to actually be experiencing it. I
donít think that what I saw today is much different
than what went through the eyes of Hornbein, Unsoeld
and company back in í63. I
woke up at around 5:00 AM and went out shooting photos
along the river, and when I returned to our camp on
the sandbar I noticed a train of local people running
down the trail. The porters, of which weíll
need approximately one hundred, wanted to get to our
camp and get their name on the list. It is a bit
strange to watch a one hundred pound woman humping
seventy pounds of my gear using nothing more than a
wicker basket and a tump line rigged across her
cameras were overheating as Tom, Brian, Dan and I
rushed around trying to capture the scene of our
Sirdar, Nawang, negotiating porters and porter loads.
Several guys carried double loads Ė thatís one
hundred and forty pounds. The women here are
beautiful and I burned two rolls just shooting
portraits. Iíll have hell to catch when I come
home with two hundred and twenty eight shots of women
and six shots of guys. The beauty here has
nothing to do with the extraverted Western concept,
itís more of a look of serenity and strength
combined with striking looks. We
are all adjusting to the pace of Nepal and must
remember that though the ox is slow, the Earth is
patient. We are waited on hand and foot; I
better not get used to it.
during the first full day of our trek we have been
exposed to the real Nepal. Villages, farms
scraped out of steep hillsides, a school, lush green
rice fields and a very special word . . . namaste.
With hands in prayer like fashion touching their chin
. . . namaste. Namaste . . . A simple word
but in Nepali, it translates so much about a person as
it is spoken on the trail. Namaste. Hello!
Greetings! Hello and I wish you all the best all
in the same word.
children, mothers with babies, hunched-back weathered
and wrinkled-faced old ladies all say it. And
they really mean it. You can tell because they
look you right in the eyes as a smile erupts on their
face. It is a smile with such warmth behind it
that it drives all the stress right out of you.
Everybody should have to say it once a day. If
they did, the world would be a much more kind and
along a flat ridge as we headed down to the Ghali
Gondaki River we saw Manaslu for the first time.
It is many namasteís away but we are solidly on our
I'd add (to the above) is that the people are truly
incredible, friendly, strong people, and we are
thoroughly enjoying every opportunity we have to
interact with them (which is frequent). Seven
more days trek to base camp. Another dispatch in
a couple days.