Abanti Zakaria

Abanti Zakaria

Hello, and welcome to my GVN journal! Here, I hope to share periodic updates on our adventures during our trek to Base Camp Everest. I'm not yet sure how often I will be able to post here, but I hope you'll join me on my journey through the words and pictures I aim to share :) Thanks for visiting my journal! :)

Update from Kathmandu :)

 Posted by Abanti Zakaria at 3:51 am  Nepal  Comments Off on Update from Kathmandu :)
Sep 182014

Hello everyone and greetings from Nepal!

Maja and I have been exploring the city for the past couple of days now, and I think it’s been a good mix of vacation (aka forced sleep/rest due to jetlag) and being productive :)

Everyone else from our climbing group is slowly starting to arrive into Kathmandu, and tomorrow it begins. Our team is being debriefed in the morning, then spending the rest of the day packing our duffle bags and backpacks to get ready for the mountain. So, with this being our last free day I thought I’d write a quick update :)

Our first day we stayed close to the hotel and just explored the  neighborhood. I earmarked a few souvenir shops that I want to go back to and bought a few earrings from a store that was a little too far away. The most productive thing we did was exchanging our dollars to nepalese rupees- the exchange rate definitely makes you feel like you have way more than you do though haha. We’ve now learned from experience how quickly it really goes 😛

The next day was ridiculous- we slept until 5pm! Who does that?! When we finally pulled ourselves out of bed, we decided to salvage the day by visiting a grocery store nearby to buy all our trekking snacks. This was definitely an adventure as it turned out to be way farther than we initially thought, and lugging back our hauls wasn’t entirely fun. Who knew granola bars could get so heavy? But at least we definitely got in our workout for the day :)

Today we visited our first real tourist attraction- the monkey temple! Seeing my first monkey caught me off guard- before we even got to the temple high above the city, all of a sudden I just saw one tightrope walking across telephone wires over people’s shops. It was just such an awesomely bizarre scene, and the rest of the trip to the temple brought hordes of monkey families just running down the street. I was basically squealing with excitement the entire time.

The temple itself was beautiful, lots of gold and white with prayer flags hanging everywhere- which apparently doubled as hanging toys for the monkeys. The babies are adorable but the adults are scary. Some dimwit threw a bunch of bananas into the middle of the grounds and all of a sudden, SWARMS of monkeys were running at us from every direction! Maja must left nail imprints in my arm from jumping behind me and clutching so hard lol. All in all a very cool experience and glad it’s the attraction we chose to see :)

In the afternoon we strolled around back to the earmarked souvenir stores and bought the bulk of stuff we wanted to before heading back to our room.

Tomorrow is our trekking debrief. We get to meet our groupmates and learn a little of what to expect in the coming two weeks. I’m a mix of anxious and excited, so I’m looking forward to seeing how everything turns out :) Starting Saturday we’ll be on Everest! I hope to find a few wifi spots along the way to post a few short updates, even if they’re not as in depth as this one :)

Stay tuned for more from our adventures in Nepal! :)

We’re off!

 Posted by Abanti Zakaria at 9:40 am  Everest  Comments Off on We’re off!
Sep 132014

This day has been a long time coming. We learned about the Everest program back in 2012, but at a time when it was too late to organize to go that year. Ever since, we’ve been counting down to 2014, when we knew the next trek was going to happen. Essentially, we rang in the new year, and then got to it! Beginning in January, we started our fundraising portion of our journey, which many, MANY of you have been kind enough to be a part of. With your help, we have reached this point- the trekking portion of our adventure :)  The day is finally here, and bright and early tomorrow morning, we are off! Well, we leave at 4am so it will actually be super dark haha…I’m sure there will be lots of caffeine involved, especially on Maja’s part, who may just be the biggest coffee addict I know 😛

Over the next few weeks, I will do my best to post little updates of our time in Nepal. I hear we won’t run into wi-fi spots or internet cafes all too often on our trekking route, but even if it’s just a couple of sentences, I’ll make sure to write something when we do :) I’m excited to share my journey with you, and I hope you’ll check in to join me!

Wish us luck!

Talk to you soon,

Team Mushkin! :)

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