Friday, 23 November 2012

On The Road Again...

Day 7
Manang to Letdar
10 km
7.30 am - 1 pm

Morning hike in the fresh snow
After a broken nights sleep we both enjoyed a delicious breakfast of buckwheat bread and honey which gave us loads of energy and in only 1.5 hours we reached Gunsang, but since we were feeling good we decided that it was too early for a morning coffee stop and the next town of Yak Kharka was meant to be only 1.5 hours further so we continued on.  However, the town was further along than we thought, even though we were keeping up a good pace, so it wasn't till around 11am that we finally came across another restaurant.  We really didn’t want to stop there as the two guys running it were high as kites but we both needed the toilet so we decided to brave a cup of coffee and luckily it wasn't too bad (although the constant staring of the two men was a little unnerving ).  

It turned out that the town was only 10 minutes further and we regretted having stopped where we did, but now it was still too early for a lunch stop and we'd already had our coffee so we just continued on through the small town.  Twenty minutes further up the trail we passed a home stead and we figured that since food took at least half an hour to arrive it we would make a lunch stop and anyway we liked the idea of supporting a family in a place where most hikers wouldn’t stop.  

How to boil water without a fire!
We soaked up the sun while our lunch cooked, watching the family go about their business of mending clothes, peeling piles of potatoes and garlic and preparing noodles.  We also discovered how they boil water at such high altitudes where fuel for the fire is a precious commodity – in a few places now we’d seen large semi-circular reflective disks and in the middle a large kettle is placed.  The disk can be rotated so that it always faces the sun and it is impressively fast way to get the water boiling!

Lunch was simple but tasty and we were happy to take our time eating as it was only another 30 minutes to Letdar where we were spending the night.  Once we arrived we toyed with the idea of continuing on further as we were both feeling good, but we decided that it was better not to risk ascending too fast and getting altitude sickness.  Instead we found a nice room at the Hotel Churi Letdar that actually had a double bed, but no showers so we decided to skip that part of our daily ritual as a cold bucket shower wasn't tempting at all.  

Yak walking
We actually took a nap in the afternoon since neither of us had been sleeping well thanks to the altitdue and then enjoyed mo mo’s for dinner in the warm common room.  We met a nice German couple, Andy and Miriam, who were also travelling the world for a year and we spent the evening chatting to them about plans and experiences.  Just as we were on the way to bed we heard Andy ask for a hot water bottle for Miriam for only 200 NPR and Sarah couldn’t resist getting one as the nights were really becoming quite cold and there was no insulation at all in the rooms.  It was the best idea as our room was freezing when we went to bed and we thought in hindsight we should’ve gotten two….  

We were woken up during the night by the sound of mice rustling in our bags and discovered that a few friendly field mice were enjoying what was left of our dried fruit.  We scared them a few times with the light but in the end gave up and decided the fruit was theirs and tried to ignore them and get some much needed sleep...

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