Archive for the Thorong Pedi Category

Bistare, bistare, jham jham! (AC Day 8)

Posted in Annapurna Circuit, professional tourist in the making, random bits, Thorong Pedi, Yak Kharka on June 15, 2014 by twotwoeight

Slowly, slowly, go, go!

Day 8 — Destination : Thorong Pedi, 4450m

Woke up at slightly past 2am because of the barking dog and subsequently had difficulty sleeping again.  It was freezing cold…luckily the Korean heat packs were actually pretty good and kept our toes nice and warm while we were snuggled inside our sleeping bags.  Climbing out of the warm cocoon each morning was a pain, and a battle against the body’s natural instinct of seeking comfort!  We were actually debating whether or not to brush our teeth that morning!! We did, finally, at an outdoor tap and by the time we were done, our fingers were blue and numb!!! After a breakfast of toast with omelette and vege noodle soup, we set off at 7.50am.

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Whilst leaving Yak Kharka, yaks were still roaming the land.  The giant dog which kept us up all night started walking with us as we left Yak Kharka despite many efforts to send him home…and to our amazement, he walked all the way to Thorong Pedi! We learned later that the guesthouse in Thorong Pedi and the guesthouse we stayed in in Yak Kharka were owned by the same family and this family pet actually travels regularly between these two places! Salute!!!

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Today’s climb was incredibly strenous. Even though the distance covered was less than the previous days, trekking at a higher altitude definitely alters the body’s physiology and each step forward needed effort.  Even breathing, which normally goes unnoticed, requires effort.  I could literally hear my alveoli screaming! 😉

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Nevertheless, with the mantra of just-put-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, and humming random songs from Rasa Sayang to Pink, we finally reached Thorong Pedi at about noon. Got our room and proceeded to have lunch at the dining hall.  Dev said that after lunch, we would go for a short acclimatization walk — only short walk, about 30-40 minutes, he said.  Korean guy was also at the same guesthouse and we chatted while waiting for lunch.  He planned to go up to High Camp after lunch and to sleep there for the night.  Dev suggested for us to stay at Thorong Pedi for the night as we had been having headaches and he wanted us to sleep better at a slightly lower altitude.

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The guesthouse we stayed in was surprisingly modern, for such an isolated place.  The decoration in the dining hall exuded a very zen feel….with paper lanterns and jazz music playing in the background.  There were even pastries and we had the most awesome hot chocolate roll when we arrived.

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After lunch, while we were waiting for Dev and Mr. Limbu, PW and I noticed that many of the trekkers were going up in the direction towards High Camp…which looked like an incredibly steep climb.

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Initially we were glad we were done for the day but to our horror, Dev said we were going up the same way for our ‘short walk’!  We thought, maybe we were just going up a short distance and not go all the way up since this was just a ‘short walk’.

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Hah…we ended going all the way to High Camp and the round trip took us 3 hours!!!   Not to mention some parts of the climb was incredibly rocky and difficult!!

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However, the views up there were gorgeous…everything was snowy white!  We saw the trail that we would be taking the next morning and we were swept by a mixture of anticipation and nervousness.

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PW and I were ridiculously slow as we were dragging our assess up reluctantly knowing that we would have to do the same trek all over again tomorrow, in the dark…and poor Dev had to keep motivating us with promises of beer and KFC when we reached our destination! 🙂 On our way down, we saw a trekker who didn’t look too well waiting for helicopter evacuation and we reminded ourselves how important acclimatization was.  Had a cinnamon roll and lemon tea after coming back and met Korean guy again.  He had turned back after trying to go up to High Camp as he was feeling unwell and had a throbbing headache, hence he decided to stay in Pedi for the night.

We chilled out in the dining hall as it was too cold in the room and sipped hot tea while reading.  Dinner was vegetable curry rice and vegetable noodle soup — our staple diet.  We were fascinated when Korean guy brought out a pack of instant bibimbap as he was not accustomed to the food on the trek.  He was still feeling ill, and Dev gave him some advice on what were his best options — of which not one of them will allow him to be in Muktinath with us the following evening.  We could see that he was devastated, and felt sorry for him that his plans were disrupted…and we were reminded that when in the mountains, every person is at her mercy.  Dev gave us a pep talk for The Climb the next morning, and shortly after that, we went to bed at 9pm after setting the alarm clock for 3am! Gulp!!!

 

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