Greetings, no doubt you are reading this later than planned due to Himalayan remoteness but fear not for I have written up anyway for you to read at a later date. So hear goes.
Today was too long. By this I mean it started too early for comfort. Up at 5am for final baggage checks and pretending to shower before a 6am breakfast of slightly grilled bread, 3 finger burning boiled eggs and an under ripe banana. This may not sound so filling but this was not an issue as we knew the morning would be inactive due to a long coach journey out of Kathmandu and northward. What we didn’t know was what the journey quite had installed for us. This seemingly 4-5 hour journey took 6 hours due to appalling road quality, a Nepali wedding ceremony leaking into the street, and most interesting, the coach getting stuck in a puddle, floating above ground at a 45 degree leftward tilt. As someone on the right hand side this didn’t bother me directly but led to a 30 min delay before a local tractor towed us out. All whilst we slowly cooked in the ever heating up sweat box.
This event, whilst rather amusing and bringing much attention delayed our lunch and subsequent events. But at least it makes a very worthy anecdote to a diary blog. But I digress.
Upon arrival at a small guest house we were treated to a lunch of Tarka Dahl, rice, poppadoms and curried vegetables. Oh and spinach. More spinach. As much as I’m looking forward to tonight’s dinner, I’m praying that there’s no more spinach having had it with every lunch and supper so far. One can but hope.
I also am slightly excited to say that I used a squatting facility there and it was a unique experience to say the least.
After this pleasant lunch, we ventured up. And up, and up for some time until we reached the site of our stay for the next two nights, a quaint tea house with the Yangri peak towering over it. Whilst this morning brought sunshine and sun cream, this afternoon saw the introduction of rain coats and hoods, as the temperature steadily decreased and thunderstorms began to scatter themselves across the valleys. Valleys with great peaks surrounding them, maintained as rice fields and for growing other produce. Based on evidence today at least, it is clear how so much food can be locally produced. Long may it continue.
Walking in the rain can be arduous, not least if you think about it too much and therefore conversation topic this afternoon were diverse from favourite biscuits, the American electoral college, Pete Buttigieg, and Gallipoli, and the Hundred Years’ War.
Having made friends with a stray dog on the way – whose name changed from Millard to Mildred to Millicent along the way, our arrival at said tea house coincided with a pleasant sun set to signify the ending of a long day. All was well until Millicent began to be attacked by other strays. Acknowledging the power dynamic between us and the dogs, we walked away and let the dogs sort themselves out.
As for tomorrow, the aforementioned slightly aggressively named mountain will be ascended and descended by us tomorrow. Taking us to a height of around 3800m, it is the equivalent of climbing Ben Nevis up and down in 7 hours. After that, free time and then I might actually open up my economics textbook as having got up at 5 today, sleep once again trumped fiscal policy on the coach. Alas, the time will come.