Trekking the Himalayas has always been a dream for international adventurer, Silvia Rosas. She achieved that dream and a year on, she still can’t stop thinking about it.
We speak with Silvia about trekking the Himalayas in Nepal, something she describes as an experience that changed her and one that she will never forget for the rest of her life.
Not Just for Lean, Mean, Fitness Machines
“I always wanted to see the Himalayas,” Silvia says.
“Since I was a kid I was wondering how big they were. I lived most of my life in Mexico City, so the Himalayas was more like a dream. But once I moved to Australia the dream became more tangible.”
Unlike the popular conception, she didn’t find she needed to be in peak physical condition to cope with the physically rigorous trip. Though she did keep a little active by regularly danced flamenco several times a week, Silvia really was an office worker. Sure, she was in good health but it wasn’t like she was in marathon-ready condition.“Socks are very important. Also, a good winter jacket”
That’s not to say that she didn’t prepare. “I just did small circuits a few weeks before I left. I read and researched about trekking activity, what I needed, what the possible dangers were, and I bought special clothes and boots.”
But you don’t need to hunt down specialty stores and weigh down your backpack before even boarding the plane. “I only bought thermal clothes and trekking boots [before leaving Australia], but once I was there [in Kathmandu] I bought trekking poles and more socks. Socks are very important. Also, a good winter jacket.”
Adventure of a Lifetime
Silvia: When you think about the Himalayas, you think about their magnificence, their people, all the risks, their landscapes and that sort of thing, but you never think that it’s a way to meet your inner person.
When you think about the Himalayas…you never think that it’s a way to meet your inner person.
In November 2013 I went to the Himalayas and I didn’t plan my trip at all. I took my backpack, a jacket, my mountain boots, and that’s it, I was on my way to a big adventure. I arrived at Kathmandu and two days later I went to Pokhara.
In that little town I started to wonder which travel agency I should hire to do trekking on the Annapurna Circuit. I checked a few small agencies in the town but I wasn’t really convinced to hire them.
One afternoon I was walking in the town and I met a girl with a big smile. She was returning from her trek and told me wonderful stories about her trip.
She recommended Utmost Adventure Trekking-Day Tours straight away. They immediately replied to my email and in a few hours they had organised everything: they offered me different options and circuits, they organised a guide for me, and the next day I was on my way to the Annapurna Circuit.
My porter was so helpful. It was my first trek in my life but I always felt secure and protected thanks to him. These guys really know their job. The entire time I felt so confident and enjoyed every single part of my trip because I knew I was in good hands. My guide … taught me how to walk, how to breathe (in the thin air of high altitudes), how to listen, and how to respect the land I was entering. With every single step I took I learned a bit more about me and about the spirituality of the Nepali land.”
My guide didn’t just help me to walk through the mountains, but he also taught me how to walk, how to breathe [in the thin air of high altitudes], how to listen, and how to respect the land I was entering.
With every single step I took I learned a bit more about me and about the spirituality of the Nepali land.
I finished my trek in 12 days with no injuries or bad experiences at all.
Of course, I took pictures, I made new friends, and now I know a little bit more about the Himalayas. But the most important thing that I took from this experience was meeting people with such a deep spirit.
The trip, even with return flights, hiring a guide, porter and all of the equipment, only cost Silvia between SGD5500-6750. But Silvia reckons that one can’t put a price on the memories she made.
Image Credits: Getty Images, Corbis, Shutterstock