Stanford Nepal Medical Project 2018 Pikey Peak Camping Trek
25 June 2018 Trek From Jiri To Shivalaya
I write this blog post post-dinner, on the other end of our first day of trekking! Most of the Stanford medical team is settling down for the night, while the sherpa are cozying around a TV to watch Uruguay v Russia in the 2018 World Cup. We’re camping in the backyard of a home in a town that’s probably spelled Shivayalaya, but I’d need to check one of the many signs around us for reference
We began our day in the Jiri schoolyard. At 6am wakeup our Sherpa provided us with tea. 6:15 hot washing water was brought to our tents. Breakfast at 6:30, break camp at 7, head out soon after. Or something like that, the Sherpa had the schedule under control. Breakfast was multi-course as usual, hot porridge with condiments leading to a French toast omelet combo. Dr. Kelly thinks the sherpa feed us too much and while I’m inclined to agree I’m definitely not one to complain.
The trek itself was, in my opinion, the best taste of rural Nepal we’ve had so far. Flanked by two sherpa guide, Jackie, Blanca, Jess, Maddy, Natalie, Jorge, Daniel, Dr. Kelly, and myself began our plunge into steep trails and farmland, picking our way through slippery slopes, free roaming chickens, partially watched over dogs, and of course the villagers. Occasionally we stepped to the side to allow our porters to press ahead, their goal to begin setting up the next camp before we arrive.
Blanca found the first leech. It was only about 15 minutes into the hike, crawling slowly but menacingly up her trekking pole. We would see many more throughout the day but no casualties so far save one.
During a break the group stopped to appreciate just how cute the latest dog was. It had it all, fluffy fur, a calm demeanor, a wide snout. That is until it sneezed and projected an engorged leech right from the very snout we admired. We all checked ourselves twice after that incident, I think.
Our Nepal trip has been good so far but there’s still much to be done before we reach our final destination. Today we finally had an opportunity to go over our first day of the classes we intend to give in Khamding, and to dive deeper into the logistics of the three day instructional clinic we intend to run. Tonight we sleep in a little town by a river, with wire bridges and the best scenery we’ve seen yet. Looking forward to tomorrow.