88, 44, 11

I am fascinated by numbers. This hasn’t always been the case. Can’t say I ever really enjoyed math in school. Despite that, I chose to be an engineer. Perhaps I can explain that in a future post. I have actually met people who enjoy math, but I am not among them. I have grown very fond of numbers though, both individual numbers and sequences of numbers.

I was born on August 8th…8/8. My birth certificate indicates that I also happened to be born at 7:18pm (7+1, 8 so also 8:8, in my book) so I have an affinity for the number 8.

We now get to the other numbers in the title of this post, 44 and 11. These are the  numbers which represent the maximum weights of my suitcase and carry-on when I board a plane in Delhi headed for an 18 day hike through the country of Bhutan.

I’m heading on a 3 country trip (India, Bhutan and Nepal) as a post- retirement adventure. The trip planning has been a great help in the transition from work to retirement (it’s been a lot of work). This adventure will start in Mumbai, then head to a place called Ahmednagar where I will spend a week in an ashram for about $9/day including meals. Allow me to paint a mental picture for you, think indoor camping. While there, I will take the opportunity to see the ancient caves in Ellora, and Ajanta. From there, I head back to Mumbai for sightseeing including a trip by ferry to see Elephanta caves….apparently I have a thing for caves as well as numbers!

Ajanta Cave
Ajanta cave

Then, I will head north for the requisite “Golden Triangle” tour and see Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur.  When I return to Delhi, I’ll get on the aforementioned plane for the 18 day hiking adventure through Bhutan….just me and a guide. For those not familiar with the country, it is probably most known for its measure of national happiness akin to the way we measure Gross National Product in the U.S. Not sure how we would score on national happiness. Well, actually, I am pretty sure we would get some relatively low scores. Way too much focus on the negative here! The irony is that we make so much more money, have so many more conveniences and luxuries and have so many more opportunities and yet we struggle with peace and happiness. Just goes to show you…(fill in your favorite quote, aphorism, or pearl of wisdom here)

After “a good stretch of the legs” (to paraphrase John Wayne in the Quiet Man) , I will return to the northeast corner of India to a town called Guwahati. I won’t see much of it though as I will have a flight to Varanasi to catch. I am looking forward to experiencing Varanasi as a holy place, one of the many places on earth that seems to have some special energy associated with it (I suspect the cave locations were chosen for similar qualities). I hope to dip into the Ganges…with mouth closed.

From there, it is back to Delhi to catch a flight to Kathmandu, Nepal to see what that famous city has to offer.  I suspect I’ll find some residual heartache over the recent loss of 17 trekkers to a flash snow storm. May they rest in peace and may their loved ones find peace.

Then it’s back to Delhi for the flight home. I hope to provide posts during my trip. That will depend on many things including technological cooperation and my competency.

I know people have much bigger problems than this. Heck, I have bigger problems than this. But do you know how hard it is to pack for 6 weeks of travel in two different climates (one 90 degrees F the other 50 degrees F), to countries that use a different voltage than we do (thus the need for adaptors and converters and surge protectors) , and that has an earned reputation of having tough water for visitors (antibiotics, Imodium) and keeping it all under 55 pounds?

The estimated break down of the current contents is as follows:

clothes- 20 lb.

cameras, electronics and chargers- 20 lb.

Sleep, hygiene and medical – 15 lb.

journals and books- 5 lb.

As you can see, the math simply doesn’t work and the numbers just don’t add up! Things will need to be jettisoned.


4 thoughts on “88, 44, 11”

  1. 20lbs for electronics sound high. What kind of camera are you using? iphone and ipad are both pretty light. don’t tell me you are bringing laptop?

  2. With all the adventures you had At Con Ed you should have no problem facing this journey. Enjoy and thanks for taking us along.

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