Archive for the Manang Category

Noya bashogho shubo kamona!! (AC Day 6)

Posted in Annapurna Circuit, Chongkor View Point, Gangapurna Lake, Into Thin Air, Manang, Nepali New Year, through the lens on June 4, 2014 by twotwoeight

That means Happy New Year in Nepali!! We practised saying it so many times but at the end of the day, we still couldn’t remember the whole phrase without getting some bits wrong!

Day 6 — Manang acclimatization day

Today marks the day of the Nepali New Year, although traces of festivities were not obvious in the mountains, Mr.Limbu’s phone was ringing constantly with greetings and warm wishes from his friends and family.

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Did not manage to get a good night’s sleep again…the nagging headache wouldn’t go away and after layering up before going to bed, it got a little too warm in the middle of the night so had to throw off some of the layers.  However, the gorgeous views upon waking up more than made up for the lack of sleep and the joy of not having to pack up our backpacks early in the morning was a great relief!

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We went over to Tilicho Hotel and Bakery for breakfast — got lured by the Lavazza coffee sign and the sight of beautiful golden pastries! Sipping hot cafe latte and munching on a hot cinnamon roll in the cold was just too heavenly.  We initially thought the girl who ran the bakery was Korean as she did not look local and we were even more convinced when we heard her speak what we thought was Korean on the phone.  We were so excited we were planning to tell Korean Guy (the solo trekker we had met earlier) about her as he had mentioned that he was feeling a little lonely trekking alone.  To our amusement, we found out later that she was in fact a local Manang girl who had gone overseas to further her studies and had returned home. ;P

After breakfast, we headed out to meet Mr.Limbu for our acclimatization walk.  Dev had gone for a trek to Ice Lake which was meant to be a 4 hour walk there and back…luckily we didn’t go with him, we’d probably make it a 6 hour walk there and who knows how many hours back!!

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We decided to go to the Chongkor View Point, which was described as a ‘nice walk’ after Mr.Limbu laughed at our initial decision to go to Gangapurna Lake (he must be wondering what acclimatization we were planning to do with a 15 minutes walk to the lake!!).

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So this ‘nice walk’ turned out to be a trek up a hill, from the side of the lake, along the narrow ridge to the tree-lined hill top you see in the picture above.  After the walk, PW and I decided to call it a mountain…not a hill!

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We made a stop at the Gangapurna Lake before starting our trek up to Chongkor View Point.  The water of the lake which comes from the melting glacier appeared grayish-green at the water surface level but as we gradually climbed higher, the splendid hue of turqoise shone through.

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The point where the melting glacier meets the lake water is like a work of art — continuously changing as the glacier succumbs to climate change. 😦

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After about 30 minutes, we made our way up the ‘mountain’ to start our leisurely walk.  Indeed, it was a walk in the park for Mr. Limbu but PW and I were panting after awhile! There were some pretty steep climbs and some parts of the path was muddy and slippery due to the earlier rain, but the gorgeous views at the top of the ‘mountain’ was worth every step of the way!

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Mr.Limbu offered to take some photos for us (with a 360 degrees background change!) — one of the few photos of us together!  We hung around for a bit and came down for lunch at about 1pm.

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We had lunch back at our guesthouse and decided to skip dahl baht for the day as there was no more trekking for the later part of the day.  We had spaghetti mushroom tomato sauce and fried chicken…and also tried the seabuck thorn juice — which was described by Mr.Limbu as a cross between orange and mango juice.  While we were having lunch, Dev returned from his trek to the Ice Lake and showed us beautiful photos of the lake. Can’t believe it took the same amount of time for us to get to the view point and for him to return from the Ice Lake!!

After lunch, we went up to do laundry and to take a much needed shower.  The water was lukewarm but the cold wind seeping in from the window gaps nearly froze us! Bbrrrr!!!

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We went for the AMS (acute mountain sickness) talk by a local NGO (Himalayan Rescue Association) at 3pm and I got the opportunity to ask the doctor about the persistent headaches that I’d been having and his opinion on Diamox (Acetazolamide).  I had brought tons of Diamox but had yet to take any.  After the talk, there was a donation drive whereby you pay 100Rs to get your oxygen saturation checked and they had a chart of daily winners and their nationality! Mine was about 93% only…no surprises, Malaysia wasn’t on the chart considering how low our country is.

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After the talk, we strolled around Manang town which was bustling with activities of the locals and foreigners alike.  Manang was by far the biggest and busiest town along the Annapurna Circuit.

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It had started snowing in the evening and after awhile, we were shivering in our jackets and needed some respite from the cold.  We got Dev and Mr.Limbu to watch a movie with us in one of the local “movie theatres” which was a very interesting experience indeed!Image

For 1000Rs, you get a private room with long benches and an overhead projector.  They also served us hot tea and popcorn, but the most important part is, there is a fireplace in the room!! We watched Into Thin Air — which was described in many blogs as THE movie to watch in the mountains.  It was a very old movie about one of man’s earlier attempts at summiting Mount Everest, or Chomolungma as she was first known.  Rather grim, as 5 people had died in that expedition.  It was only later that we learnt of the tragedy that had struck on Everest, where more than 13 lives were lost. 😦 Deepest condolences to their families.

Went back to our guesthouse for dinner after that — we had mushroom pizza and vegetable briyani and went to bed at 9pm.  Took half a Diamox as recommended by the doctor at HRA.  As a result, had to wake up in the middle of the night to pee, but slept better than most of the nights before even though there was a crazy dog barking most of the night.  Tomorrow, we head for Yak Kharka!!! 🙂

 

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