ARTICLES

Along The Trail Of Brotherhood

Travelers' Tales: Best Travel Writing, March 2008

A gripping tale of survival from the Everest trail — the Adventure Travel Silver Certificate Winner in the second annual Solas Awards. (Travelers’ Tales’ Best Travel Writing, March 2008)

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ENTRIES FROM THE GLOBAL TRIP BLOG CHRONICLES

The Writer Card

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 14, 2004

DAY 357:  If you’ve followed The Blog for the past dozen or so entries, you know that it was up in the air as to whether or not I’d go to Nepal — I even put it in the readers’ hands with a vote.  With the Maoist rebels a bit more active these days trying to force Communism onto the Nepali people through acts of terrorism — Kathmandu was under siege about a month prior — there was debate over not just the safety of Nepal, but the ease of getting around with all the Maoist roadblocks.  On top of that, the Nepalese were angry with Americans because of the killing of Nepali hostages by terrorist groups in American-occupied Iraq.  And we mustn’t forget the regular threats in Nepal like avalanches and abominable snowmen.

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Americans in Kathmandu

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 14, 2004

DAY 358:  “You look Nepali,” said the hotel manager.  So did the waiter in the garden restaurant and another guy.  I think I was a novelty act for them:  a guy that looked like they did but spoke in am American accent.

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Special Report

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 20, 2004

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In The Footsteps of Tenzing Norgay

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 22, 2004

DAY 359:  Edmund Hillary, the New Zealander mountaineer became Sir Edmund Hillary when in 1953, he became the first man to climb to the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on the planet at 8848m ASL.  But he wasn’t alone.  It wasn’t until recent years that a lot of credit went to the Sherpa guide at his side, Tenzing Norgay.  Hillary might not have made it without Tenzing Norgay, as the conditions at the top of Mt. Everest are severe and life-threatening — in the Coen Brothers’ 2003 film Intolerable Cruelty, George Clooney’s character says something to the effect, “No man can make it without his Tenzing Norgay.”  (I saw the flick on a plane.)  Perhaps if the Sherpa people of the Himalayas got more press back in the day, Hillary might not have taken all the initial glory.  (To be fair, Hillary did fully respect the Sherpas and put a lot of money into their community when he got it; on the flipside, it’s not like Tenzing Norgay didn’t have the support of other Sherpas either.)

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A Call For Tourists

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 22, 2004

DAY 360:  “My friend tells me you are a journalist,” said a Nepali man at the table in the dining hall.  He was all excited to meet me.

“Well, freelance,” I told him.  “I’m not a staff reporter.  I still have to sell stories.”

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The Mysterious Yeti

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 22, 2004

DAY 361:  Bigfoot.  The Loch Ness Monster.  In the Himalayas, the legendary creature is the Abominable Snowman, known by many as the yeti.  You probably won’t believe this, but I swear I saw a yeti in Namche Bazar.

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Like Warm Apple Pie

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 22, 2004

DAY 362:  Like pole pole in Swahili and tranquilo in Spanish, the word for “relax” or “slow down” in Nepali is bistarai.

“Oh!  Bistarai!” I exclaimed.  “I recognize it from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark.”  I explained to Tilak the scene in Nepal where Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) is in a drinking contest and shouts “Bistarai!” to everyone when surrounding Nepali gamblers thought the other guy might be the winner.  Tilak had no idea what I was talking about.

“It’s an American movie from 1981.”

“Like American Pie?  I saw American Pie.”

I chuckled.  “Uh, no, it’s not American Pie.”

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Garlic Me

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 22, 2004

DAY 363:  Altitude sickness, or mountain sickness, occurs when you are at a high altitude where the oxygen in the air is thinner.  The human body can adjust to the change in oxygen percentage by creating more red blood vessels to bring oxygen to the brain — it simply takes time.  Most people who get altitude sickness get it when they ascend too fast.

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Sand Trap

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 23, 2004

DAY 364:  I woke up in Pheriche feeling good.  I suppose when you are awake walking around, it is better than actually sleeping alone in a cold, claustrophobic room.

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All For A Pun

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 23, 2004

DAY 365(!):  If you haven’t figured it out by now, the reason I was so eager to make it to Mount Everest on my thirtieth birthday was all for the sake of the right to truthfully say for the rest of my life, the following pun (or slight variations thereof):

“When I turned thirty, I was on Mount Everest… and it was all downhill from there.”

(Get it?)

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The Long Way Down

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 25, 2004

DAY 366:  (The following entry was written to the best of my memory since I didn’t have much time to take notes or photos in the delirium I was in that day.)

“Your guide is very sick,” Andres’ guide informed me as I woke up in the big bunk bed that morning.  Tilak’s cough had gotten the best of him during the cold Himalayan night and it incapacitated him from being my guide for arguably the better of the two endings of the Everest trail, the peak of Kalapatthar (5545m. ASL), with its view of Everest summit.

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Die Another Day

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 25, 2004

DAY 367:  “You seem really calm about all this,” Dr. Mike told me the morning after my near-fatal incident on the Everest trail.

“I’m pretty calm about a lot of things,” I said.  I was casually eating a bowl of rara noodle soup.

“You know you could have died yesterday from the pulmonary edema.”

Hmmm, there’s that “D” word again.  I guess when you’re dying slowly, the situation doesn’t seem so grim until someone puts it bluntly to you like that.

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What Exit?

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 26, 2004

DAY 368:  “Ohaiyo gozaimas!” greeted the Nepali hotel clerk in Japanese when I finally showed my face downstairs that morning.

“Uh, no, I’m not Japanese.”

I went out to a table in the backyard garden cafe.  The waiter gave me a note left by some Korean guy to pass on.  “This is from your Korean friend.”

“Uh, no, that’s not me.  I’m not Korean.”

What the hell?  Altitude sickness must have been my Kryptonite because in my weakened condition, I no longer had the super power of blending in as a Nepali.

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Slowly But Surely

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 26, 2004

DAY 369:  It was the second day of my recuperation since The Incident on The Everest Trail, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t get up and walk around.  Perhaps it was advantageous for me to be recuperating during the big Dashami festival (which took place mostly outside the city) because traffic was low in the usually lively Thamel district (picture below), and I didn’t have to keep dodging the busy traffic of bicycles, motorcycles and cars all competing for king of the road in the narrow bazaar streets.

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In A Dark Back Alley

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 26, 2004

DAY 370:  One of my worst fears in life is to be stranded at sea, the lone survivor of a boat sinking or something.  The fear isn’t the actual being alone or being miles away from being rescued or even the threat of sharks, it is the fact that at any given moment, a big giant whale’s tail could pop out like in those nature documentaries and slap me down silly.  Every time I see one of those whale documentaries on TV and see that happen, I cringe.

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Nepali Again

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 26, 2004

DAY 371:  I thought perhaps since Nepal wasn’t a Christian nation, a Sunday would be an ordinary day, with things open.  However, things in the Thamel district were even more dead than before.  When I finally lugged out my laundry to “the cheapest laundry service in town” (a whole big load for about three bucks, washed/dried/folded), I had to wait for it to be done the following day because the laundry guy had the day off.

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Reunions

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 26, 2004

DAY 372:  I was awake in my room that morning, ready for another boring day of recuperation — until there was a knock on the door.

“Yeah?” I said, the way Seinfeld speaks into the intercom when his apartment gets buzzed.

“It’s Tilak.”

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On The Way To Delhi

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted October 26, 2004

DAY 373:  All my bags were packed, I was ready to go…  ‘Cuz I was leaving on a jet plane, didn’t know when I’d be back in Kathmandu again…

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ABOUT ERIK R. TRINIDAD

When he’s not making a living as an interactive/motion designer or playing with fast food, Erik R. Trinidad is a travel writer, blogger, video host and producer focusing on adventure and culinary content. His work has been featured on National Geographic Intelligent Travel, Adventure.com, Discovery.com, Saveur, Condé Nast Traveler, and Hyenas Laughed at Me and Now I Know Why, which also includes the work of Tim Cahill, Doug Lansky, Jennifer Leo and Rolf Potts. He has also referenced his travel experiences in his solo book, Fancy Fast Food: Ironic Recipes with No Bun Intended.

For over ten years, Erik has traveled to the seven continents of the world — from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo — with a curiosity for exotic foods and a thirst for adventure (and writing material).  In his travels, he has been mugged at knifepoint in Cape Town, extorted by corrupt Russian police on the Trans-Siberian Railway, stranded in tornadic storms in the American midwest, and air-lifted off the Everest Trail by a helicopter that was thankfully paid for by his travel insurance.  But it hasn’t been all fun; he has also donned a tuxedo amidst the penguins of Antarctica, paraded with Carnival-winning samba school Beija Flor in Rio, run for his life at Pamplona’s “Running of the Bulls,” cage-dived with great white sharks, gotten shot point-blank in the stomach in Colombia (while wearing a bulletproof jacket), and above all, encountered many people around the world, including some Peruvian musicians in Cuzco who learned and played “Y.M.C.A.” at his request. He loves the irony that, after everywhere he’s been, he has never been to Mexico.

Erik writes stories and news articles when he’s at his base camp in New York City, and continues his blog when he is on the road — provided he’s not occupied tracking down lost luggage.

Additional news/article clippings at ErikTrinidad.com.



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Read about Erik in this feature article from Filipinas magazine by National Geographic Traveler Associate Editor Amy Alipio.



The views and opinions written on The Global Trip blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and opinions of the any affiliated publications.
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