Day 113: Giving up
Jety Oguz Travel Blog› entry 156 of 260 › view all entries
Thanks to the people I met here and/or travelled with: Tim & Wim (Belgium), Pjotr & Anja (Poland), Isaac (Spain)
The next morning I had made my decision, I would turn back. Tim tried to talk me out of it. He said that he could take my tent, which would make my backpack lighter. I wasn't too sure. Even without the tent it would still be too heavy. And it wasn't just the weight of the backpack, my pack simply isn't designed for trekking. A great backpack for travelling, no doubt about it, but for trekking you need something with better weight distribution and adjustable straps.
Yesterday I had nearly reached my physical limit and I had not liked the experience. I did not know where my limit lay, but I had absolutely no desire to find out on a steep mountain slope, 3800 metres up.
We divided the food and went our separate ways.
Walking downhill was a lot easier than uphill and soon I was enjoying myself again. The backpack was still heavy, but the burden was a lot easier to bear walking downhill than walking up.
I had planned to spend the night near where we had lunch yesterday, but when I arrived there it was only midday, so I just carried on walking. I figured I could have a look at the old Soviet sanatorium at Jeti-Öghüz, maybe have a nice hot therapeutic bath, or a massage. But when I arrived at the end of the trail, there was a shared taxi with one spare seat just about to leave, so I decided to jump in and head back to Karakol.
This morning I felt really bad for giving up. I'm not a quitter, I never give up. Or at least, not easily. But this felt like it was the best thing to do. And in the end I had walked over 45 kilometres in two days, half of which was uphill. Nothing to be ashamed about, really. I am not worried about my Himalayas trek, since I won't have to carry my backpack then and the distances are far less. (And apparently we have some pack horses with us as well, so I can always jump on one of those if I really can't walk anymore).
Back in Karakol I stayed at the Yak Tours Hostel, sleeping in the car. I ended up swapping stories and drinking vodka with a Polish couple and a Spanish guy. On the list of meeting interesting people on this trip, the Polish are definitely somewhere high up. Both are avid archers (medieval style), with Pjotr being several times Polish champion. They are travelling through Central Asia and China meeting local archers and conducting a study, fully condoned by both the Polish Ministry of Culture and the Head of the Polish Muslim Organisation. This is the first time I meet a backpacker travelling the world with a longbow in his backpack!