Couple of things come to my mind when I think about the trek and am sure my fellow trekkers will get it more than anyone else.
Oximeters and Eco Bags!
Both necessary and one of them sometimes a pain in the ass and you guys know which one 🙂
Indiahikes had a wonderful initiative of picking up trash as we trekked along.
Yup human pollution has wandered off so much that even the remotest places on earth have not been spared…
So every day, when we would gear up, Eco bags would also be a part of our gear, tied around our waist and keep picking it up if we noticed trash.
Of course this was not really mandatory, but if one felt like putting in their contribution even a little bit, it would make a whole lot of difference, doesn’t it?
You might think what difference does it make? People keep on trashing even if you pick it up, right?
No my friends, there is always a balance in this world I believe. For every Trasher, there is a picker.. Always 🙂
Oximeter was one of the most important things during the trek especially at High Altitude. Anything above 8,000 feet is considered High Altitude and the trek leaders diligently and I mean diligently checked our oxygen levels twice every day.
Your oxygen levels are low as it is in high altitude mountains, staying hydrated, listening to instructions, checking pulse, checking oxygen levels and for some older people, even Blood Pressure check was very important.
Now imagine doing this and checking each and every person and noting it every single time. I appreciate this so much now.
Because right after I came back, I was researching on what’s the big deal about this thingy on treks type. And what I read shocked me. The real incidents that happened during treks.
And let me bust some myths here. No matter how fit one is or experienced, it just might happen. What you take for granted might cost you big.
And the trek leaders did their job fantastically. The moment we would hear Devang and Venkat or even Bhupinder shout Oximeter reading, we would grumble, mumble take out our medical cards and get checked.
Now I can imagine what a big responsibility they all shared. They had 27 lives they were responsible for including their team.
Each one of us came with our own characteristics, our own temperament, our own egos, stubbornness, our weaknesses and it’s quite easy to criticize sitting on this pedestal but so bloody difficult to shoulder on a responsibility like that..
I also realized that this was not just a job for them, nope.
They wanted to do it, it was like a part of their DNA. Hard core nature lovers, mountaineers, off the path travelers who came together for a purpose.
Always thinking about the TEAM FIRST. It taught me a lot and I mean a lot…
Let me give you an instance, a small one. The food was completely cooked on site. The kitchen team would make Fresh Food every day. So initially we would take a little more food than we can and if we couldn’t eat, it would just be thrown in the garbage bin.
27 of us would eat first,then the trek leaders along with their team.
One day, when I walked in to fill up water, I saw Devang and Venkat sharing 1 chapati and some dal. I enquired and came to know food got over, but no complaints, just eating what’s there and outside I saw a garbage bin filled with food, curries, half eaten chapatis..
It was a big slap to me, seriously.. And am sure quite a number of people noticed it too.. You think of EVERYONE. No one is lesser or more.
Am sure most of us after that day ate what was possible and licked our plates clean.
It sounds like nothing much, but it meant a lot to me. The value of food, the value of people, the value of sharing, everything..
We take so many things for granted in our daily lives and right here in the mountains, I was learning lessons..
I remember people who carried their own snacks started sharing slowly..
Like some would team up to get chocolates or any snacks for the next day and ask us all if we wanted anything. Dry fruits would be passed around, some biscuits from somewhere would pop up as we would rest at a stopover.
Smaller groups would be formed during rest time. As one looked at the mountains, another would join in and look at it with them, in silence and in admiration.
Some would listen to music and connect like that and we knew something’s changed, here were these people who were like us, a solid bond was forming.
One cannot ever explain what one felt, it was just there.
Energies were joined, the vibes matched and you would be surprised because you never expected this person to be like this..
One cracked a joke and somewhere some of us laughed out loud, a comment here and there and we all smiled. Sometimes, there would just be smiling exchanges and glances when one was preaching on and on about something 🙂
Honestly when I look back at it, I only see acceptance. Acceptance of all that is in us is what we were accepting in other people.
Yup during that time, we would judge, criticize, be harsh too sometimes but in the end we accepted each other.
It only tells me that one needs to be stripped of these tags that we have been creating since birth and just look at ourselves raw and naked inside, then life truly happens..
Now can you imagine how interesting would the 14 km trek be?
To be Continued… 🙂