MARDI HIMAL TREK
“An experience of a lifetime that I will never forget!”
Have you ever had a feeling that you were destined to be somewhere at a certain time and place, for those who have – that is exactly what I felt when I arrived at Nepal. There are certain trips that I make, and I have this feeling or a ‘knowing’ that I am supposed to be there – and this was it…NEPAL!
When I was planning my trip to India – I was being called to do a Himalayan Trek – I had a vision a couple of years ago that I wanted to see the majestic Himalayas in person and it was on top of my bucket list. Since India and Nepal border each other- I said to myself why not!?
Luckily, I knew a couple people who has been to Nepal before so I reached out to my friends to tell me the juicy details and one of my soul *seastar* friends has been to Nepal and did a trek called Mardi Himal – this trek particularly is one the newest trek that just opened in 2012. Mardi Himal Trek is a hidden gem and not much people go to compared to other treks in Nepal.
February is the last winter month in Nepal and March and the months afterwards is the best time to go to Nepal because flowers are blooming, and the weather is warmer. In the beginning I was a bit skeptical because of the weather – at night time it is -10C aka 12F – which is FREEZING! I decided to do it anyways because why not – I am already out there might as well – don’t let fear or doubt ruin the FUN. Once I got there the day time was perfect weather for trekking!
Pokhara is the main destination before you start trekking and I absolutely LOVE Pokhara, it is a ‘Hippie BOHO Chill Lake Vibes’ if you get what I mean? Super relaxed and a beautiful lake and nothing but organic vegetarian restaurants, Nepalese restaurants, hemp clothing store, organic clothing stores and hippie shopping – Pokhara is a bit more expensive to do shopping, I recommend doing all the shopping in Kathmandu – cheaper!
I traveled with two other people from my Yoga School – one girl named Rocio from Spain and a guy named Alejandro from Chile. It was nice to travel with them because we are all in the same wave length – which was awesome! Meditating and yoga every day since we left our yoga school.
DAY 1: 1,000m to 2,700m
We started from Pokhara to Phedi and finished at Duerali. Total time 7 hours of walking aka step master because from the beginning it was pure steps and I thought to myself “What did I get myself into? Thank goodness I do the stair machine at the gym because oh boy!” – at the gym I only do 20 minutes, but I did this for an hour until we reached a village. From there it was nothing but incline all the way UP! Half way point – stairs again and incline – repeat. My thoughts that day was not the best – I was grumpy because I just finished getting over a stomach flu so I was irritable – but I let that go since I need to be in the right mind set of “I CAN DO IT!”. Once we reached to Duerali- that was my first and last shower that I had for the next 5 days after that.
At the guesthouses – there was accommodation and food. We met some cool people around the fire that night and funny enough the synchronicity began – I met another girl from USA and she was from California, we asked each other about whereabouts and BOOM we were both from the East Bay Alamo and Concord – in my head I knew I was supposed to be here and I was aligned.
DAY 2: 2,700m to 3,100m
Duerali to Rest Camp = 5-6 hours. This was one of my highlights personally because I woke up that morning did my sunrise yoga, ate an amazing breakfast that I made and hit off trekking through the beautiful forest of mossy green trees, luscious rain forest – I felt like I was walking through a fairy wonderland forest. The incline wasn’t too bad either – it went up and down, nothing like the first day. I was in awe and joy that day – super content. We stopped to eat at Forest Camp (3,050m) since there is nothing in between from Duerali to Forest Camp (maybe one house that had snacks and water). Forest Camp to Rest Camp was half an hour distance and we made it to our destination for the day. It had a beautiful view of the famous peak Machupurre aka Fishtail and not to mention this cute puppy name Lucky who lived at this guesthouse.
DAY 3: 3,100m to 3,500m
Rest Camp to Middle Camp = 4 hours. This day was our shortest day of trekking compared to the other days. We decided to take it easy and enjoy our time up there. We could’ve easily walked up towards High Camp or one the guesthouses before High Camp but we decided to chill and relax. The trek was all incline and sunny. My friend Alejandro was starting to feel dizzy because of the altitude sickness, luckily my friend Rocio and I did not get any altitude sickness throughout this trek which I was surprised because I never dealt with altitude before like this, so I had no idea what to expect out of my body.
Our guesthouse had a beautiful view of Fishtail and all the other mountain ranges surrounding us, and you can see the other guesthouses up on the mountains of the trail. When the sun goes down – the cold air began. We rented a sleeping bag that was -20C because it was MANDATORY if you want to be warm.
DAY 4: 3,500-4,444m
Middle Camp to High Camp to Base Camp to High Camp. SAY WHAT!?
This day was the beautiful emotional journey roller coaster I ever had in my life!
High Camp (3,900m) is the last destination where you can sleep because Base Camp is a five-hour day trek and there are no guesthouses.
Day 4 we got up to watch the sunrise and started to trek immediately to Low Camp so we can eat breakfast which we arrived there around 8AM. From that morning the magic began because the two cute old men who owned the guest house were brothers and my friend Alejandro asked Rocio and I “Are your grandpa’s still alive?” We all said no – it made me reflect on my Grandpa Carlos who just recently passed away almost two years ago, and, in that moment, I felt his presence because I was surrounded by grandpa energy and I started to get emotional because I was thinking about him. When we started to walk from Low Camp to High Camp – I had an ‘AHA MOMENT’ I knew why I was feeling my grandpa’s energy because it was my dad’s birthday! Of course, the empath in me started to get super emotional and cried of happy tears. Along the trek to High Camp was INCREDIBLE – the views were unbelievable stunning. I couldn’t believe that I made it this far up! My mind set that morning was so motivating, grateful beyond words and I had this feeling in my heart that I was supposed to be here and thanking my body and the land that I was on because it was such a BLESSING to be where I was.
I had another ‘AHA MOMENT’ which was MIND OVER MATTER. What we want to achieve in life is POSSIBLE! All those illusions and stories that we tell ourselves because we are scared to go beyond the unknown or FEAR that brings us down is utterly BS. Let that go – thoughts create our reality. If we are in the mindset of negativity, it will lead to NEGATIVE actions but if we tell ourselves that WE CAN do anything what we want in life – we can achieve!
"Thoughts are energy and turn INTO emotion, but one must be careful of what thoughts are reacting to because emotion leads to action and sometimes not all thoughts should be taken seriously, and this is where MINDFULNESS comes to play because once we are mindful of what we are thinking about – we can then discern our thoughts and whether to pick an emotion out of it and lead to an action."
Are you getting me?
Back to the story….
Once we reached to High Camp which was 1030AM. Rocio and I were super motivated and READY to go to base camp that same day. Little that we knew – NO ONE told us that we should wait it out till tomorrow morning because the thing to do was; wake up during sunrise and start trekking to base camp (which was a 5 hour total trek) and the reason why was because the sky is clear and the weather is amazing aka picture quality.
Rocio and I (Alejandro stayed back because his altitude sickness) started our LONG EMOTIONAL JOURNEY to Mardi Himal Base Camp.
In the beginning it was great, we started to incline on the side of the mountain, we took a picture of a sign MARDI HIMAL with Fishtail Peak behind us and blue skies. Life was great, it was about two hours and we were so close to View Point (which was half way point- and takes two hours from High Camp) and right before the peak of View Point – I thought to myself “I AM CRAZYYYY FOR DOING THIS- WHAT AM I DOING ON SIDE OF THIS HUGE MOUNTAIN!?” and there was no way turning back now – this was just the beginning…
I snapped out of it and I sang a mantra that I learned from the yoga school “Lokah Samastha Suhkino Bhavantu” which means "May all the beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom of all.”
I automatically turned my mind set into a positive note and saying I GOT THIS! Let’s do this! Once I reached to View Point – I felt I accomplished and all of a sudden I see this beautiful bird flying/hovering and I thought to myself is that what I think it is!? A White Golden Hawk! The beautiful hawk started to get closer to me and it hovered right in front of me at my 12 o clock – I couldn’t believe it! I felt like it was a sign from the universe that I was not alone in the world and I had guardians watching over me – I cried in tears with joy, love and gratitude – it was a magical moment in my life. I knew I was suppose to be here for a reason and I knew why – I was shedding off layers of doubt and fear – letting go of all the B.S that I created in my head. From that moment I was in such power that my whole body was vibrating and tingling all over – my ears were ringing of high vibration frequency it was AWESOME! (I am pretty sure I was on top of a pyramid or something….)
Once Rocio got to View Point we started to walk towards the flags and I found a wooden stick aka Wizard Wand basically – and I was like wow of course I would find this here – if I wasn’t already feeling magical and all.
Side note; View Point had a little shack and people had told us that there was tea and a fire but when we got up there, we did not find anything of that sort, so we said to each other “uh? Are we the only ones up on this mountain right now? Great…”
We both decided to walk as much as we can because day time was cutting short and did not want to walk back at night. We started to walk thirty more minutes from View Point to Base Camp and unfortunately the weather dropped DRAMATICALLY! We were in clouds and my hands were FREEZING that it started to become numb. Rocio and I both decided that it was time to go back- so we took our pictures and headed straight back. Little that I knew Rocio was having a mental breakdown during this time because she was so cold – all she wanted was a fire to get herself warm again. I had to be the strong lead and empower us to keep moving.
When we started to head back to View Point I saw two shadow figures of people and I thought to myself THANK GOD! WE ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES HERE! Once we arrived at View Point again – there were a group people and a FIRE!! Rocio ran to the fire to get warm and she couldn’t speak or do anything for at least five minutes and I was feeding her banana and a protein bar. She finally got back to normal again and we started to head back down with everyone else because the weather was not the best condition to be in. It looked like Game of Thrones – WINTER IS HERE!!!
As we headed back down – I felt like I was skiing down this mountain with my trekking poles because I was so determined to head back to High Camp. I slowed down after ten minutes and waited for Rocio – we found our same sign that we took a picture from the beginning that said MARDI HIMAL, while we were taking our Before and After photo – all of a sudden a moment of glory appeared in the sky….a hole of blue sky just appeared with sun rays shining through and from that moment I laughed hysterically and cried at the same time – Rocio and I hugged each other and repeated laughed and cried – moment of relief of AWE – Like what did we just do?! The clouds started to thin away, we could see High Camp and we yelled out HOME!!! WE ARE SO CLOSE!! - best feeling ever and we gained our confidence and happiness as we trailed back home.
We arrived at High Camp at 330pm and our friend Alejandro said “Ladies! So glad you made it safe – you guys came back in time for my alarm clock went off before I had to tell someone to look for you!”
That night we were so exhausted emotionally and physically – that we ate, sat by the fire and played card games with couple of friends that we met along the way and I went outside to use the bathroom and I couldn’t believe THE STARS IN THE SKY!!! It was incredible and clear because right after we made it back to High Camp it started to SNOW! So I am ever so THANKFUL that we made it safely back home.
DAY 5: 3,900 to 1,111m
Woke up right before sunrise that morning to catch the EPIC Himalayas that I was surrounded by!
High Camp to Sidhing – I won’t go into too much detail, but it was all DOWN for 7 hours. The last hour my knees were in so much pain – that I wanted to cry but I had to be strong and able to make it to our destination for that day. Sidhing is a small village and a beautiful family let us stay in their home and made us food, we were able to finally take a shower (even though it was cold and from a bucket – I DIDN’T CARE!) The energy there was loving and kind because the family had three kids and the other village kids would come hang out and we were all playing with each other dancing, throwing balls, learning to speak Nepalese and just so much joy being with them. It was the Nepalese experience I wanted, and it was divine.
DAY 6: POKHARA
Early in the morning we heard police man coming into the village and an emergency had happen at Base Camp yesterday, that someone had slipped off the mountain and died. From the moment I heard that news I was ever so GRATEFUL that I came back ALIVE from this EPIC JOURNEY of a trek and able to speak and write about my story.
It was sad to leave Sidhing and the family that took care of us, but we decided it was time to go back to Pohkara and have a nice hot shower and RELAX! Not to mention it was Rocio’s birthday that day too!
Overall, Mardi Himal Trek aka Himalayas I will never forget you and the MAGIC & EPICNESS experience I witnessed and what I felt was LIFE CHANGING – so thank you for allowing me to step onto your majestic land Himalayas.
Maybe Patagonia next? Hehe.