11.25.2016

Himalayan Dreams... in the making (and my opinion about vaccinations)

My passport is on its way but I'm still deeply breathing, I'm supposed to leave on the 24th of December and my document is expected to be ready on the 7th. 
I've begun the iron treatment in order to bring my blood value up, but a bit of anxiety remains: not about my health, about my performance in a group I don't know
I've started buying what I need to integrate my equipment, and my first purchase has been a knee band. The cartilage in my left knee is too worn for my age because I have been walking all my life in a slightly wrong way. I had had no problem yet, but some years ago a long descent in the Alps left me in pain and I had to go for an X-ray. Since then - and never before! - I use some trekking poles and try not to overload my left knee. I also try to walk correctly, but that's quite hard.
The trek leader sent me a list with all the items we must bring. It includes: a lighter, towels, trek poles, thermal underwear, a water bottle, a bag to be left by the hotel in Kathmandutights, socks (long and short), trousers (long and short), a shirt, a cap, toilet paper, flip-flop for the shower, a swiss knife, waterproof over pants, a rope for the laundry, a bathing suit, a wool bonnet, a pair of gaiters, a Goretex windbreaker parka, a down jacket, gloves (woolen mitts are perfect), a kit for personal hygiene, a first aid kit, a headlamp with extra batteries, padlocks (to lock the bag and the doors of the lodges room), thermal long sleeve technical shirts, clothes pegs, sunglasses,a balaclava, a pile jacket (windstopper or very warmy), a sleeping bag (temperature: Comfort -5 ° C - Extrem -15 ° C), lots of plastic canvas to cover the bags, wet wipes, soap for washing clothes, sneakers, boots or hiking shoes, scarf or neck guard, a thermos, short / long sleeves cotton T-shirt , 35 / 40lt backpack  and its backpack cover. 
I don't have to buy everything of course! but I'll take the opportunity to renew my equipment a little after many years. 
This morning I paid a visit to my favourite shop: Obiettivo Montagna. In the Florence's outskirts there are many big stores selling almost everything about all kinds of sport at a lower price, but as far as I can I prefer to support the small shops still open in the city, where you can get suggestions by a committed owner, not by a random saleperson. Experience is important when you have to buy mountaineering gear, it can make the difference between life or death. 
Ok, I don't mean to sound ridicolous. I just need to buy a good parka - mine is good but 20 years old - and a new backpack - mine is good but too small and relatively too heavy. The rest is more or less in order, I'll probably add some extra trousers...
No vaccination is required for European travelers in Nepal but vaccination against typhoid is recommended in the Annapurna range and easy to take so  I just odered it. 
Risultati immagini per annapurnaIn general I think vaccinations are good - and necessary - where a dangerous illness is endemic and when there is an epidemic, but they shouldn't be mandatory where and when such illness is rare or almost disapeared. In my opinion pharmaceutical companies are successfully lobbying to keep or impose mandatory vaccinations. Also the way those vaccinations are given to babies and children should be matter of discussion: in my opinion and as far as I understand it, a single vaccination a time is better than polivalent vaccinations. I agree that citizens need the advice of experts but they can't be blind about the economic boundaries between experts and companies. The final decision must remain a political decision.
One month left! I'm getting excited! my room is progressively filling with trek gear piled on every available surface and my husband Tiziano gave his contribution to the travel lending me Chris Bonington's book about the Annapurna South Wall ascent. It's a lovely thought... but hey, my aim is the Annapurna base camp, at 4.130 m! And that's already a serious goal for me.
I'm determined but realistic. "Go! Ride the wave of passions..." a good friend told me "the positive ones' at least, like travels and mountaineering!!!" Ispiring words. He's a guide in the Alps and a serious mountaineer. Moreover... he's been my guide in a few excursions. He knows me, and I trust on him. Let's push that fucking limit a bit!

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