Friday, August 26, 2011

F*ck the Maldives

Originally we had intended to take an extravagant four or five night trip to the Maldives as a "reward" for completing this little adventure. I mean, what better way to end this ridiculous experiment than by lounging in some over-the-water hut, watching tropical fish swim beneath our feet, and sipping cocktails without a worry in the world. I'll tell you what better way; taking yet another trip where you (if you're lucky) shower every five days, struggle to breathe, and pack maybe two sets of clothes.

On the second day of our trek to Ladakh, on a day when we climbed our first high pass, we reached a short rest stop in the morning. I quickly scanned the horizon as I tried to gulp down as much oxygen as possible. Three hundred sixty degrees of jagged mountains. I turned to Lindsay and calmly said, "Fuck the Maldives. We're going to Bhutan."
Not the Maldives
In my oxygen-deprived, romantic head, her response would have sounded something like an affirmative response that included the use of an f-bomb. Instead, she muddled through something like, "I think you're right." I don't blame her. This was before she discovered the soothing effects of Diamox, and she happened to be struggling through her initial altitude-related issues at the time.

By the fourth of fifth day, when the drugs had taken full effect, our decision had been made. Rather than relaxing our final few vacation days at a pristine resort in the middle of the India Ocean in a country that may one day not exist, we would fit one final (short) trek to the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan into our schedule before. The reason? Apparently treks are as addictive as crack. That, and there are beaches everywhere in the world. Now I'm sure there are those that will say, "What's the big deal? There are mountains everywhere in the world." I like those people. Those are the people that crowd the beaches and leave the mountains for the people like me.

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