Rise & shine

Posted on January 3, 2012


I’ve written before about expecting the unexpected and here in Nepal, it seems these words ring true as the rule rather than the exception. I expect that it’s this that brings me back time and time again … life in Dubai is sometimes just too predictable, too easy.  I thrive on a little drama and find that regular challenges being thrown my way make me a better person. They teach me to quash my initial instincts to behave like a spoilt little diva and to just get on with it.

I flew in on the 30th December. My dear friend Roger organises the Annapurna 100 on the 1st of January and as the date drew closer, I found registering a temptation I couldn’t resist. Besides, post Racing the Planet last month, I had unfinished business … that is to say, I had left the mountains feeling sick as a dog and not in the regular state of euphoria that Nepal usually brings me.

I spent a night at The Summit … a lush hotel in a plush part of town, chilling, reading, watching movies and loving the hot water bottle found in my bed at night. I also enjoyed a fab morning run with Roger on trails I would never have found myself.

On the morning of the 31st, we piled into a van headed for Pokhara, the race start.  With little traffic, I was expecting to be there by lunchtime, relaxing at a lakeside café, soaking up the rays. I then hoped for a carbo-loaded dinner, a hot shower and an early night.

No such joy.


Two uninvited delays thanks to bandh’s. The word ‘bandh’, meaning ‘closed’, refers to common road blocks in the country as a form of protest against the ongoing political chaos and turmoil here. The first bandh, half way through our six-hour journey, resulted in just a half hour or so delay but the second saw us having to leave the van and start walking. Eventually we all piled onto a public ‘vehicle of death’ bus on the other side of the road block but not after having had to leave all our luggage behind.

The story ends with my not getting my suitcase until after 8pm, the night before a very early start and a very long run … and my not even finding a bed to sleep in until after that. Of course, being New Year and in the midst of the Pokhara Street Festival meant that I got about ten minutes sleep anyway.

I repeat; expect the unexpected!

The silver lining …? 

… because EVERY cloud has a silver lining …

I got to spend a good few hours in the company of my friend Richard.  An awesome guy with whom I could spend hours on end discussing the meaning of life, love and how to get the best of both.  We have a shared love for bottomless cups of strong coffee and are equally passionate about tucking into a giant plate of dhal bhaat when hunger strikes. Lush.

We do similar work and have outlooks on life that one minute can seem planets apart but the next sit like two peas in a pod. Richard has a tendency to be a pessimistic cynic.  I on the other hand, have a tendency to seek the positive too much.

Rich talked much about what he hopes for 2012.  His plans to shine.

I hope he does and between you and me, although he doesn’t realise it, he shines pretty brightly already.

I write this a matter of hours before it really will be time to rise.  Rise and shine … and run in the annual Annapurna 100!

Good luck to us. X

PS. Written on the eve of the race but posted a little late. Post re the race to come!

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