When it comes to trekking, the up is a down and the down is an up but sometimes an up is an up and a down is a down.
Walking uphill, particularly at altitude, is hard work.
And we weren’t even at very high altitude (under 3000m). But uphill is uphill.
So you would think downhill would be preferable, right? Wrong.
While walking uphill hurts the thighs and the lungs, walking downhill kills the knees. Going downhill can be just as bad as going uphill, particularly if the track is narrow, or rocky, or muddy.
So you would think a nice flat, wide road would be a trekkers dream, right? Wrong.
The flat, wide roads may be easier but even they have their downside. Boredom.
But as much as you might grumble, you always keep in mind that things could be worse.
You could be a porter.
They’ll overtake you, you know. And fast enough to have camp set up for you by the time you get there.
Ah, camp. Both an up and a down.
Who wouldn’t want to spend a night here?
You would. But bear in mind you’ll also be sleeping on the ground (or on a thin mat or, if you’re smart – unlike me – on your own thicker thermarest), washing yourself, your clothes and your hair in one tiny bowl of water and the ‘facilities’ will be a hole in the ground in a small tent.
And if you are camping at higher altitudes, there’s always the chill factor. Even at less than 3000m. Let’s sing: “Early one morning…..”
Of course, trekking comes with other bonuses.
Interaction with the locals:
A fully cooked picnic lunch beside a river:
My favourite part of trekking? The mountains. Whether climbing them or just admiring them in the dawn light, coming from a country whose highest mountain is only 2228m high, I will never get over the majesty of a mighty mountain range.
In the end, even the downs are enough of an up to make the whole experience worthwhile.