It would be remiss not to make amends for our lodge of the last two nights, as I may have been a little harsh earlier.
Sure, it is a building under construction, us being its first boarders as indicated by the lightbulbs being installed on our first night, and the entrance being about ten steps up with no balustrade, but aside from the fresh smell of paint and plaster the beds were comfy, and the doonas exempt of the ridiculous velvet covers, mainly because they didn’t have any covers!
The toilet may not yet flush, requiring manual application of water, but most lately have been this way….but a wash basin wouldn’t have gone astray.
The biggest plus was the dining rooms menu and meals, easily the best so far, probably because this is a commercial operation catering to a large and varied clientele, whereas most are smaller family run shows with more limited offerings.
Sleep in till 7 this morning, then a quiet breakfast, as everyone else was either struggling up Gokyo Ri, heading off over the Renjo La which is meant to be a tough day at the office, heading back down the valley, or joining us for the 3 hour “Nepalese flat” walk to Dragnag.
There are three types of description for the terrain here, as far as the guides go;
1. Aussie Flat…elevation of about 10 metres, basically flat (about 2%)
2. Nepalese Flat…solid hill climbs (20%)
3. Everything else…nasty, steep, exhausting (the rest!)
The walk entailed walking down into the glacier, crossing it, climbing up the glacier wall, and strolling “Aussie Flat” to our digs.
The glacier is nothing like we imagined, being a rocky surface topping over the ice flow. The path across changes year to year as the ice flow moves, melting and freezing from season to season. It really is the most remarkable sight, like a moon scape at 5000 metres.
Today is our only real rest day as we don’t need to acclimatise, so after getting to our lodge at 11.30 we had free time.
Time to wash clothes in the stream behind us, and wash our hair in said, freezing water.
Invigorating would be one word to describe it, Rachael might have mentioned another!
The rest of the day was spent reading, and in Rachaels case buying a data sim to relive all things Tigers.
Tomorrow promises to be the toughest as we cross the Cho La pass.