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Wednesday
Nov122008

Land of Looking Up...

The very first thing you notice when you arrive in the Himalayas is the sheer enormity of the mountains.  "Scale" does little to describe how tall the surroundings are, particularly when you're from a country where the tallest mountain around is only 14,000 ft. (4,200M).  In the Himalayas you have to get over 20,000 ft. (6,000M) before things start to look big.

My first "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore" moment came on the first day's hike, where we reached the small village of Phakding (which, incidentally, is pronouned perilously close to a rather untoward english word when spoken casually).  Looking up the valley from the lodge, one sees a layered collage of ever-taller mountains.  The visual is so surreal that it appears to be CGI'd rather than actually there.

For the rest of the trek, I marvelled at how high one could look and still be staring a terra firma.

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