The last days of our trek down the mountain were a blur. Mostly a blur of aches and bruises and blisters and swollen knees. Or maybe that was just me. JL was fine; his back problems, which had plagued him for years, were gone. He was faster and stronger than the rest of us by the end.
We spent one morning soaking in hot springs, watching the river rush by. We spent a morning sweating through rice fields. And we spent an afternoon strolling on a gently sloping road. The days became easier. The hiking became routine. I noticed some new firmness in my stomach.
And then it was over. We spent our last night at Australian Base Camp, watching the light and clouds dance in the Pokhara valley and on the lake. We broke our no alcohol rule and shared a beer while we watched the sun set. We woke up before dawn one last time to watch the sun rise again over the mountains.
JL and I started talking about going home. Our flight was in just a few days. We spent our last hour hiking to the road arguing about how to go about having hypothetical children (surrogacy or adoption) assuming, of course, that we did a 180 and decided we wanted kids after all.
We were in our hotel before breakfast. Our nasty hiking clothes were dropped off at the laundry, and we each took long, hot showers with the most amazing water pressure I’d ever experienced. And then there was nothing left to do but wait to fly back to Kathmandu and then fly home.
We spent those days in Pokhara laying in bed watching terrible movies, eating anything that wasn’t dal bhat, and taking lots of showers.