“The legendary Slovenian mountaineering expedition that climbed the eight-thousander Makalu 40 years ago has returned to the Himalayas. Under the leadership of Viki Grošelj, 15 Slovenes will commemorate the incredible achievement that made history in 1975. The expedition also has a charitable aspect, which is led by our reporter Anja Kovačič, a member of this year’s expedition. Until the end of November, they are raising money to build one of the schools that were destroyed in the devastating April earthquake” says the introduction in my first article from Nepal.

White mountaintops of six- and seven-thousanders, crystal clear emerald green rivers, blue skies and colorful Tibetan prayer flags, fluttering in the wind.  This is the idyll of the Himalayan landscape, through which our expedition of 15 had been trekking for the last 13 days. There are so many stories I wish to share with every one of you, but electricity and internet are in short supply in this beautiful land of smiling faces. 

More than a week had passed since we left Kathmandu on October 15 when I reported for the first time. It was in the village of Lower Pisang at 3200 meters above sea level. Fortunately, we spent the night in the only hotel with internet access, which cost me 300 rupees or about 3 euros. A lousy connection made me spend most of the day at a table in the dining room near the router. However, every electronic device needs juice and I had a problem when my tablet battery ran out. There was only one free socket left, which I had used for the other computer for uploading the videos. That meant I could only charge my tablet in the kitchen. For the two additional sockets there, I had to pay an additional 100 rupees (just shy of one euro). Nevertheless, the voltage was so low that everything was charging up so slowly that I could not use my tablet that day. I was not able to write an article or send a photo. 

I would leave the computer completely idle for uploading the videos. Although the owner was kind enough to lend me a UTP cable, the connection kept breaking down. Without exaggeration, up to ten times per minute. The upload speed ranged from 11 to 20 kbps. I started uploading a video in the afternoon and it took me until 11 pm. The second video took the whole night. 

Knowing that I like to burn the midnight oil,

the owner gave me the keys to the hotel.

It gets dark around six in the evening. We had dinner at seven and went to bed at eight. Knowing that I like to burn the midnight oil, the owner gave me the keys to the hotel and told me to shut the lights and lock the doors before going to bed. I gave him back the keys at half past five in the morning when we met in the dining room during breakfast. We were about to leave for the next village where there would be no internet connection. 

“The Professional Hobo”

“Never Ending Footsteps”

In Manang at 3540 meters above sea level, I tried my luck again. It was three in the afternoon. I spent four hours trying to upload everything I had prepared but I was not successful. Eight e-mails, the videos again from the beginning. I stopped the upload of my photos at 27 percent. There had been no progress in the past two hours. My battery was almost empty and there was no empty outlet. I sent what I sent. I paid 300 rupees. I will try my luck early in the morning when the demand is lower. 

Published on, November 2016

post a comment