It’s our last night in Pokhara. Tomorrow we trek. We met our porter, Bell, this evening and made sure the bag we’re giving him isn’t an unreasonable weight. It’s not. It’s well under the max weight we were told to pack but I somehow still feel a bit bad. I spent this afternoon picking up all the extra odds & ends we think we’ll need, like Snickers bars. Lots of Snickers bars. Now it’s dark and the bags are packed, the kids are in bed. We think we’re prepared…almost. We have no waterproofs. Actually, Alex and the kids have no waterproofs. I have a North Fake Gore-Tex jacket I picked up in Kathmandu. But the rest of them, they’re shit-out-of-luck if it rains while we’re walking.
I head out into the evening in search of an umbrella, or a Pac-A-Mac, anything really. I find a shop with some umbrellas but they’re heavy and a bit bulky. The one he demonstrates to me doesn’t actually stay open, and he tells me I don’t need one anyway. It isn’t the rainy season. Every other outdoor store I pop into has zero rainwear for children. I debate popping back for the umbrella, but decide that if a shop owner is trying to talk me out of buying something then I probably really don’t need it. I return home and relay the conversation to Alex. We think, “let’s check the weather forecast for rain just to be safe.”
We ask Google about the weather in Tatopani, in Ghorepani. It all looks ok. A bit cooler than Pokhara, but not by much and there’s no rain. We check out the forecast a little further up the trail, in Jomsom. Wait a minute….
Where did all those minuses come from?? We check out Muktinath, the highest elevation we plan on trekking to. It gets worse.
Seriously?? This is unexpected, to say the least. I swear I googled this shit when I was planning the trip and nowhere did it imply that daytime highs would be in the negative at this time of year. We have down jackets for the evenings but they aren’t ideal for actually trekking in. I look at my daytime trekking clothes. Two thin Icebreaker layers and a windproof jacket. Alex and the kids have a fleece layer to wear. I do not. I’m not feeling so smug about being the only one with a waterproof jacket now.
I’m back out on the streets. Again. Man, I have walked up and down the main drag in Lakeside a dozen times today, the locals must be sick of seeing me. I drop into the outdoor shop where I got Alex a fleece and where the owner hooked us up with a new Steripen when Chloe dropped ours a few days ago and broke it. BAM! $110 gone like that. Kids ain’t cheap. I pick out a fleece and even throw in some thermal gloves for good measure. Back home and Alex and I now have matching fleeces. Twinsies! I think I find it cuter than he does.
So tomorrow we leave Pokhara and return once more to Kande to trek to Australian Camp. This time though, we continue onwards into the Annapurnas for the next 24 days. I guess we’re as ready as we can be.