Worst-case scenarios

January 4, 2019 09:30 AM The Week Bureau


The thing about traveling is that it brings about new experiences. But new doesn’t always mean good. Sometimes new means bad and by bad we mean worse. Imagine getting a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, running out of petrol when you are still miles away from your destination or, the worst of the lot, losing your passport in a faraway country.

Yes, these are pretty bad. But, for the less prolific travelers, tragedies may befall too. And honestly, we understand, suffering is traveling and vice versa. You aren’t in the predicament you are in because you’re a novice traveler but you are here because they happen to everyone else. That is just how it is.

Here are some worst imaginable possibilities we know you go through and we sympathize because we have all been there.

Winding through roads on a full stomach

When you’re in Malekhu or even Burtibang reveling in the vista is secondary but getting your fill of fish curry is primary. So when you do get your hands on some fish you go all out because you don’t want to berate yourself six hours later for not having gobbled a lifetime worth of fish. So after you get through the eating part there’s the “after” part you have yet to consider. Roads in Nepal are hardly, if ever, straight. So when you get into your vehicle and resume the journey the turns are merciless on your full belly. 

What to do? 
You might think that suffering here, unfortunately, is your only option but taking slow lungful of breaths does help. Count to five as you inhale some air and exhale for five seconds. And no matter what don’t lean forward and rest your head on the headrest of the seat before you.

The descent doom

It is very rare for us to travel in Nepal and barely have to walk. There are many roads that have yet to accommodate the automobile boom. It would have been nice if we got to walk on plains but the geography of our country makes scant allowance for this. The ups and downs aren’t just tiring but deathly, especially for the physically inactive, which is most of us. Climbing up is a given hard work but never suppose that going down will be easier. As you descent further and further your knees begin to go numb and you don’t know if your feet are going to hold you up the next time you step down. You knees tremble and feel brittle. And to add insult to injury, you see little children run up and down the slope you took an hour to descent, like child’s play, which it probably is for them. 

What to do? 
At times like this, look for a piece of branch sturdy enough to substitute for a temporary walking stick and comfort yourself with the knowledge that this isn’t your daily routine. Trust us, that helps. Also, don’t feel rushed and try to quicken your pace. You will inevitably fall and injure yourself. Go at a pace you are comfortable with even when it seems like a tortoise could easily outrun you.

Sore muscles on the second day of the trip 

This is adding on the descent-ascent adventure. You’re through your walk of glory (or shame) but it’s the next day that you have to brave through. Yes, sore muscles. It’s fine if your muscles sore up on the last day of the trip because you will be resting anyway. But if they are sore when you have more days of travel, then it becomes a huge concern. How are you supposed to walk then? Limping? It’s especially your hamstring that kills you but very often it’s your thighs too. 

What to do?
An oil massage would be wonderful but that isn’t something you have the time or resources for during trips. Google some pressure points that you can press for some relief. They aren’t a long-term solution but may give you a few pain-free seconds. And to ensure you can enjoy the rest of the journey with a smile on your face when all you want to do is grimace out the pain, make sure you carry a tub of pain balm with you. You can also tie a towel or a scarf around the sore muscle for some temporary relief. 

Terrible smelling hotel rooms

You are on a days-long trip and staying the night at a hotel is unavoidable. Tidiness might be the last thing on your mind but once you process the idea of spending the night at a hotel suddenly that is the only thing on your mind. But hotels in Nepal are merciless to the just-emerged neat freak in you. Most often than not, you will be placed on a floor of one of the five rooms with fifty people and there will be just one bathroom. And here’s the thing: You are expected to share. 

What to do?
Speak to the hotel management or owner about it. Ask him if he can have it cleaned up as well as request everyone using it to be mindful about others and make sure they at least wipe the basin and the toilet bowl after using them. If that doesn’t help, see if there is some phenyl available and use it to disinfect the toilet and shower area before each use. And wash your hands rigorously after visiting the bathroom.
 



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