Should I or shouldn't I?
I have liked the sound of the kingdom of Bhutan ever since I'd heard about it on a TV programme about happiness a year or so ago. In Bhutan there are no plastic bags, no traffic lights and no soap operas on the TV. Happiness counts - and I would like to see what such a place is like.
However, I am apprehensive. Before when I've arranged my research trips to remote places I've gone alone. And although I have enjoyed it I have to admit that I have spent a lot of the time terrified.
What would happen if I lost my sense of direction, I'd think, as I took a little stroll along some marshy bit of tundra to see a calving iceberg. How long would it take people to realise I was missing if I twisted my ankle in this gully? And is this the right bus? Am I sure? Did that man understand my rubbishy Spanish and my little diagram? Now are we going north or south? To Bariloche or south to Chile?
So this time I am planning to join a Lonely Planet little number and everything is arranged - A night in Calcutta and then a Bhutanese plane to Chomolhari base camp and a trek in the Himalayas on the Bhutanese-Tibetan border national park... And the two-man tents; yaks to carry our gear; down jackets and insulated sleeping bags... It all sounds fine to me in the morning but in the middle of the night I wake and think about it and it sounds more like an ordeal. What if my tent companion snores? What if I do? And is too indelicate of me to ask about latrines?
Having decided to go I find myself resorting to finding reasons why I can't:
(i) It's too self-indulgent.
Well it's either that or the mental hospital, says HS (and yes, dear blog-reader, things have got almost that bad);
(ii) I am not fit enough.
Nope, there's still time - only 3-4 aerobic activities a week for 4 months and the trip's in October;
(iii) the medical insurance will be extortionate.
No, it's not. Trekking doesn't count as harzardous;
(iv) Right knee is a bit dodgy.
No, it'll be fine says my wonderful doctor (who is enthusiastic and seems to think this is just what I need) - if I do the exercises he is demonstrating I shall have no trouble at all;
(v) my slight asthma then...surely if the air is thin...?
No problem - just take your medication - and go to the asthma clinic - you're two years overdue.
(vi) Too late for injections?
Nope, plenty of time for those too;
(vii) HS and HM will miss me.
No we won't!
Well, you could object a bit...
If you don't take this chance now, maybe you never will.
So I shall..