That morning, I woke up very early by a bunch of mice trying to steal my very last snacks.
I would like to thank them for this, because the view that mother treated me on was totally worth the lack of sleep.

Full motivation, I started walking and totally amazed by the stunning landscapes, I must have missed the trail. Ignoring the fact that I had no idea where I was going, I kept on descending the mountain.
Wiiiii!!!

Soon, a Nepali man tried to catch up with me and pointed uphill: "Bayeli", he said with a big smile.
I took out my map (yes, I can read maps now), sighed deeply and started climbing.
The man tried to throw some warnings to my backpack.
Something about bears and snow leopards?

My internal navigation system had let me down, and so, I lost the trail anew.
I was climbing the fucking mountain that I had just descended, so my frustration was great when four ladies stopped me and ordered me to go down again.
What's this? Tourist Ping-Pong??
The road was too hard and dangerous, and someone had died last year, so they had to close the trail. Blablabla.

I had been climbing up and down for about one hour now, and decided to take the safe road, convinced that the ladies were wise and caring.

Whilst being in the action of obeying local orders, my head could not cope with the fact that my marvellous plan was about to fail. I grumpily continued my steps... Until,
a split of paths,
and an arrow accompanied with partly peeled off letters 'Bayeli',
Ping.
The devil on my shoulder.
I could not resist the urge to go left instead of down.. Believe me, I tried, but before I knew it, the road ahead of me was promised to be dangerous and into the wild.

The path was stunning,
Nepali flat* all the way, and not a living soul.
The woods were magic and untouched.

Since this route is so unconventional, it was hard to see the path. I just kept on following something that looked like it and once in a while, I would look behind and a vague blue-and-white-indication would appear.
Still on the right track. Yay!

The feeling of just letting my feet bring me to wherever feels right, did me incredibly good. Although, I can not deny that the stories about snow leopards, bears and missing trekkers sometimes passed the ray of thoughts in my mind.
What would I do if I saw a leopard? What would he do if he saw me? Do I look like an animal that he could eat?
Stop thinking, enjoy the walk, Marie.
How about the missing guy? What happened to him? Could it happen to me as well?
Don't overthink! Enjoy the nature!

Against all local advises my will-full brain was where it wanted to be.

Convinced that this was peanuts compared to what I already had accomplished.

If I can do the biggest pass in the world - against everyone's recommendations - alone and in a snow storm, I sure as heaven can handle a magical forest in the sunshine.

Right on the moment that my everything was falling into place and some singing got involved, I heard a thunder in the distance.

Shit, it must be noon already.
I had lost a lot of time climbing down and up and down and up, so I was way far behind schedule. Around this time, I'm mostly already enjoying a hot ginger tea whilst listening to the rain on the tin roof.

The thunder did not sound like the birds, nor did it give me a peace of mind like staring at the water flowing down a mossy rock.
The thunder worried me, and I could soon identify the cloud that was about to get over my head.
Shit.

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I started walking,
faster,
even though I had no idea where I was heading to,
if this already was in the right direction and how far it would be.

The first raindrops were falling and in a ninja move I covered my backpack and put on my North Fake Jacket.

Next thing I know, the thunder and lightning was right above me and I fearfully walked as fast as possible through the not-so-magical-anymore - woods.

All of a sudden hailstones reinforced the dramatic weather conditions, leaving me cursing on the muddy trail.

So this is the kind of situation where people disappear?
My heart was running in my throat, the hail aggressively bumped into my body, hurting my bare legs and deafening my ears.

  • Being outside in a never ending wood in a heavy storm: Check.

It made me think of that scene in Snowhite when she was singing with the animals and all of a sudden the storm makes her panic: Drama queen, so I thought.

I was not crying, I was strong. Snowhite is a pussy.
Ok, maybe I was little bit afraid. But not like her.

I started running, looking out for shelter or indications of life.

The thunder gave me the jeebies. Like it was right next to my ear.

I saw some yaks, so that means there must be a shepherd somewhere,
an electricity cable holding on between some branches; there must be a house!
Nevertheless, no humans or shelter in sight.

Doom scenarios repeatedly fucked with my head.
My mind on zero, I kept on running, not thinking about the fact that I was exhausted and soaked.

To my great surprise, out of the nothing, a house appeared between the trees and I stormed in without thinking.

I stood like an alien in a living room and a man with a huge smile came from the other room that seemed to be the kitchen. He looked at me with loads of question marks in his eyes and lifted me out of my poncho.
Where am I? What is this place called?
“Bayeli”, repeated the man  friendly and he shove a huge cup of tea under my nose,
like he knew I was coming.
I could not believe that I had made it. Encredible!
How the hell did I navigate that??
Survival instinct.
I felt so excited, the feeling was soooo good.
You cannot imagine, I fokking made it.

The relief, the proud,
took over and I quietly continued my routine: order a hot bucket of water, wash away the day, change clothes, eat Dal Bhat and enjoy the view.

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*Nepali flat: A path that goes this much up and down that it averagely turns out be flat

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