Thursday, August 21, 2008

Phokading to Lukala Day 35 21/08/08

Day 35 (slide show)
The group left early for a 6hr trek to Lukala. The trail is wider but there are several steep areas and this last section has a long uphill grade to get past before coming into the Lukala area. I pretty much walked with my friend Paul the whole day. We didn't talk much I think because we were so tired. That was fine because I have a hard time hearing when people are talking behind me. As far as that goes in front of me to, it's better when I'm face to face. When we did stop for a break we had some pretty good laughs. Turns out that Paul is an expert in Ti Kwon Do and has been into it for many years. It was hard trekking today. I just tried to find a zone and focus on where I was stepping. All I can think about now is the next stage of my adventure. I have five days in Kathmandu then on to Athens. I had a conversation with our guide today about some of the problems I have had on the trek but he didn't want to talk about it. I was hopeful that we might be able to talk about a few things but he just blew me off and made no effort to understand where I was coming from. As he walked away I reminded him that I paid for the trek like everyone else. Well its raining again. Paul and I went for a walk around the village. There was a lot of talking amongst the others in the group about the tip. Finally I was told that they had decided everyone was to give 3000 rupees to our guide and he would divide it up. I told them I would not tip that way and I would put in 1000 for the porter pool and tip the people I thought did a good job separately. That didn't go over very well. No one came over to ask why but I could feel it in the evil eyes I was getting. We stopped at the lodge that the Spanish group said they were staying. I didn't think we would see them but there they were, having a snack on some kind of pie and some wine. It was nice to sit and talk for a while. They were real nice folks who I kept running into throughout the trek. Paul left early but I stayed for a bit longer. It was raining so hard I wanted to see if it would let up a little. It didn't so when I proceeded to find our lodge it was quite hard. I had gotten a plastic garbage bag and was trying to see where to go. Idiot, I forgot my poncho. After walking around in the mud for a while I finally found our place with a little help from one of the assistant guides. He is the big guy that was pretty nice to me for the trek. I wish I could remember his name. Turns out he was out in the rain with some friends and saw me walk past the lodge. He lives in Lukala. I gave him a good tip as well as one of the other assistant's. I also gave a nice tip to the porter who carried my bag for most of the way. I did get his name, Dhan Kumar Dui. Real nice people and I wish all of them well. I leave for Kathmandu tomorrow.