Dining on the Trails
Even though it would be a stretch to say that it's a rough schedule for trekker in the Himalayas it is a great relief to reach the end of the day's trail and to settle into the camp. If you have hired a group to manage the logistics of your camp they will have set up your tents by the time you get there, as well as a dining tent and an awkward little toilet tent just out of conspicuous sight. Of course you'll soon get a visit from one of the kitchen boys with a tray of metal cups and a large thermos full of tea or just hot water. By early evening, once the clouds have rolled in and the light has left the valley you'll be invited into the dining tent. More tea first.
The dining experience is relaxing and social since you sit together with the rest of your group on a slightly undersized table. To match the metal cups the kitchen staff will bring out metal plate and flatware, with a metal bowl front and center. They bring out a bot of soup, typically garlic soup to offer the nutritional assistance in acclimatizing. In plastic containers comparable to tortilla warmers they bring out the menu items and dish out a conservative initial portion. The cuisine begins to be somewhat predictable as a typical meal will be some spinach, some boiled or mashed potatoes, and special for the westerners some SPAM. There is a spicy red pepper sauce they have that goes really well with this, but we wary if they offer you the mild and creamy looking sauce with green bits in it. This "kersani" packs an overpowering punch.
Once you've cleared off some of your plate you'll be offered a huge second
portion, and they'll keep heaping if you don't violently object. Once you can
assert that "no" means "no" they clear the plates and soon
come back out with some dessert. It's a delicious treat of fruit, and interestingly
they will serve it to you warm in the metal bowls. They like to keep you toasty,
and you'll need it as the night gets colder. You also bring in your Nalgene
bottles so they can top them off with boiled water, which does wonders for
your toes in the sleeping bag at night.