Sophie House was one of the pioneers taking on an Impact Marathon for the first time. Flying out to Nepal to see if she could conquer, our 42km course, the Beast of Shivapuri as well as see, feel & understand the amazing work her chosen charity, Street Child, having been doing since the devastating earthquake that struck the country in 2015. This write up is serialised from Sophie's fantastic blog: Healing Happier
Our journey up into the clouds
Leaving the chaos of Kathmandu behind, our journey up into the mountains was unforgettable to say the least. Watching the city grow smaller and smaller beneath us, we made our way into the clouds on some of the most nail biting roads I’ve ever experienced. But I was far too distracted by the beauty of the city to worry. Far too immersed in the brightly coloured houses, the stunning views, and local villagers running up and down the hill sides.
"as the sun slowly began to fade casting hues of pink and orange across the tips of the mountains"
Whilst some passengers spent the entire journey panicking about their ‘imminent death’, my friend Tom and I remained surprisingly calm. I guess we just took comfort in knowing that the driver must make this journey a hell of a lot, and has been doing so for many years. I had faith and complete trust in his skilled hands. Besides the views were far too breath-taking to spend time worrying, as the sun slowly began to fade casting hues of pink and orange across the tips of the mountains.
Arrival in Kakani
When we thought we were nearly at our camp, the bus came to an abrupt halt.
Tribal drumming and singing flooded our tin can of a minibus and we all looked to each other with confusion and inquisition before leaping off the bus to greet our welcoming party.
A sea of smiles greeted us like long lost kings, placing bouquets of sacred flowers and silk scarves around our necks as a mark of respect and honour. The local men danced, twirling, marching, chanting, in an impressive display. The women and children greeted us in abundance, as Namaste rang out like the echo of an ancient song. Namaste, translates into ‘the light within me, acknowledges the light within you’ and the gesture is known to represent the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us, located in the heart chakra. It was incredibly humbling to be accepted by the local community in this way and words simply cannot do justice to this gesture.
The Athletes' Village
After being made to feel like royalty, we hopped back onto the bus to continue our journey up the mountain towards our new home for the week. And oh my goodness was it stunning!
A beacon in the night, our camp was a dream adorned with fairy lights; gold, and green, and red. I remember feeling so blown away by how lucky we are! How lucky we are that a team of people had created this home just for us. This was our Athletes' Village!
Dragging my suitcase down to the tent, in the pitch black was somewhat challenging, but let’s skim over that horrendous experience shall we?
After an entire day of warm welcomes, we received one final welcome from the man himself. Impact Marathon Series creator, Nick! We were treated to a delicious dinner of Daal and Pumkin Curry, before heading up the hill to Sunset Bar.
Sunset Bar, surrounded by fairy lights, was the soul of our village. A small bar with a campfire, nestled into the Himalayas, where we spent many a night chatting, dancing, laughing, crying, and becoming a family. And there I was with my new family.
I went to sleep that night feeling so very lucky, if a little (a lot) frozen.