It was weird though, making it to Ghorepani. It didn't feel right. I honestly didn't mind the people staring at me riding a pony, I would never see them again, and even if I did I could tell them about my foot. No, what was bothering me was something else. It was this: I hadn't earned it. That wonderful feeling I'd had in Nepal 5 years ago, trekking to Everest, was not just the stunning scenery and the spiritual surroundings. I realize now that it was also the endorphins from getting all that exercise, no booze or caffeine, eating fresh vegetarian food, and doing it every day for weeks. The whole process cleanses you through and through. On the way down, acclimatized, the energy soars in your body and you get the greatest feeling you've ever had.
But most of all, the trekking gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Getting to Everest Base Camp was tough. Yes, anyone who is reasonably fit can do it, but its very hard work. Especially base camp day, humping up and down Khumbu Glacier for 9 hours straight at 18,000'. When you get back to your Teahouse, you are a zombified corpse but there is a certain feeling of satisfaction. You know you did something on your own steam, something difficult and worthwhile, that most of your friends will never do. And riding Kalu, I was just a passenger. I definitely didn't feel like I was earning it. He was.