We went to bed listening to thunder and the rain on the roof but woke to see it had snowed overnight down to where the old monk lady lives. I hope she had her winter nighty on.
After our breakfast of porridge and apple and a coffee we were ready to leave by 7.15. I managed to resist the pastries on shop next door to our hotel.
We walked slowly up hill and soon came across a site I don’t think I will ever see again. There was 2 very thick wire ropes snaking up the hill for about 300 metres. About every three metres there was a young man tying a piece of wood across the two wires and wrapping it in pieces of rag.
Basu asks the questions for us, and we find out that it is for a new swing bridge that will be constructed up by the Pass. They will carry it for 24km with an increase in altitude of about 1,000 metres.
I tried to pick up the thick wire rope and really struggled to do so. I really cannot fathom how they can coordinate 80 people to carry such a weight on a narrow track a steep hill at over 4, 000 metres above sea level. We are struggling to carry our jacket and water for the day!
The thought of what those poor young men will go through really upset me. It reminded me of the slave days or how people were treated on concentration camps. Basu assured me that they would be well paid for their work.
The Aussie family who were behind us took this photo of them on the move.
We had a lovely slow walk up 510 metres over 9 km, with a few flat and easy decents. At last, we had seen the end of the road, and the true Annapurna Trail emerged.
Some lads on horses played leap frog with us all day as they rested their loaded up horses regularly.
The sound of many bells alerted us to a huge herd of yaks that were coming down off the mountain and crossing the track. Kay and I waited until there was a decent gap before we sneaked through to catch up with Basu and Ram. The yaks were off the be milked for making the local delicacy of Yak Cheese. We haven’t tried any yet as Basu says the cheese is hard to digest if you are not used to it. We are best to wait until we get over the pass.
It was cold when we arrived with snow patches around our hotel. We were lucky to get a room with an inside bathroom, However it was a squat job that backed on to another squat toilet. This meant we could hear the person grunting and grading through the single plank wooden walls. It was the first smelly toilet we had encso couldn’t really complain. What do you expect for $12.
We had a lunch of noodle soup to warm up then climbed into our beds with all our warm dry clothes on. Read a bit, then both fell into very deep sleeps. Basu comes at 4.30pm with the menus so we can order dinner. We really do get waited on hand and foot by our boys. They can’t do enough for the 2 Madames.
We get up half an hour before dinner and prepare our gear for tomorrow as it will be dark and cold when we get back from dinner.
Dinner time is a social time with the other trekkers as we sit at tables around the big pot belly stove, which is fueled with Yak dung. This is collected through the summer and dried on the sides of the houses. It doesn’t smell
The Aussie family with 2 girls are friendly and tonight we talk with a woman from Jordan. She is a bit concerned because her guide is not giving her any advice or care like ours is.
Basu has been taking our oxygen levels 3 times a day since Manang. Kay and I are both sitting at about 85 which is good for this altitude. Neither of us have headaches, so far so good.
We both slept really well. I even had 4 dreams.