While Lakila was taking her gentle stride in the midst of Chitwan National Park, my son and I, along with my sister and an elderly frail American tourist (by the way, after Nepal he is heading to Bhutan. We’re so jealous!), were sitting in each corner of the wooden square frame which was securely fastened at the back of Lakila, the 40 year old elephant.
Behind us was another elephant, who was big as Lakila and who seemed to be hungry. Along the way, the elephant would stop and gently pull leaves from the trees then put it in her mouth through her trunk.
While we were observing closely this rare moment, my son, out of nowhere, uttered something.
‘Mommy, you should be an elephant if you turn into an animal’.
A bit insulted, I was not sure what he meant exactly. He might be referring about my weight or something else. Why elephant of all animals, right? Why this gigantic creature?
‘Hmm… why did you say that?’, I asked.
‘Because you will be happy.’ He answered smiling. ‘You can eat as many plants as you wish because elephants are vegan.’
And oh, mommy’s heart melted right away! Though weird, I found it very thoughtful coming from a six year old child. It also gives me a tinge of confirmation that the idea of veganism already sank in in his young mind.
Food was great in Nepal. Well, at least for the places we visited like Chitwan, Kathmandu and Phokara. Vegan option is no trouble at all.
However, the best take away (aside from the tomato-peanut sauce, a condiment served with plain paratha, recipe that I tried to steal from this one restaurant in Kathmandu) from my trip to Nepal is to kindle my interest in trekking. The aha moment was unveiled in the form of short video that was shown in the International Mountain Museum in Phokara. One part of video was about the effect of global warming in the Himalayas region especially the famous peak, Mount Everest.
Nah, I was not inspired to reach the peak of Mount Everest. That will be like death sentence to me. I will be happy and fine drinking Everest beer instead. Lol!
The inspiration, which is stirred in me, is the aspiration to trek – to trek the Annapurna Base Camp – and to see the great Himalayas range. And of course, there’s this desire too to get an ‘instagrammable’ photo with the backdrop of snowy-white mantled Himalayas range and the cotton-candy-like glaciers.
Oh, I can’t wait for this moment to come. I’m so excited!
But of course, I have to touch base with reality and here’s the fact. I am not one of those hardcore physically fit peeps! I just started my physical fitness journey, by this I mean walking in the treadmill for 30 minutes, mid last year.
And here I am, announcing my ambitious desire to conquer Annapurna Base Camp (ABC).
From where I am now, in terms of physical fitness, to where my goal is, trekking the ABC, it means that I must be silly to dream this big. Damn, I don’t have even stamina to jog for three minutes in the treadmill.
But I want to trek ABC. I really do. This implies walking continuously for nine to ten days. That requires a lot of physical preparation from my side. I mean, tons of preparation to be physically ready for that trek.
Nepal, thank you for the fitspiration! For sure it will require hard work and discipline but I am ready to take the challenge. I may or may not make it but I don’t want to give up without trying!
For sure, I will see you, Annapurna Base Camp! And I promised you, it will be in this lifetime!