Day 3: POOn Hill

04:30 = Poon Hill O’clock…time to get on your walking boots, all your warmest clothes and head lamp.

Tonnes of people were walking in single file on really hard slippery ground, all to make it up to the top of Poon Hill for sunrise where we had been promised we would see the ultimate sunrise.

You needed to really watch your feet, use your walking poles and push through the pain to sweat your way up all the steps. It took about an hour to get to the top. I lost Lynda on the way (which is quite surprising considering how brightly we are all dressed)

At the top there was a viewing tower (more stairs right?!), so me and Sierra walked up to the top for the ultimate view. We saw Lynda make it to the top of the hill and we met a funny man from New York who works in a circus in Kathmandu training Nepalese children to do different acts. This guy was on his way down after completing ABC and he informed us the trek only gets harder.….but then the sun came up and distracted us from this terrible news.

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It was as beautiful as they said it would be.

We tried to take lots of snaps, but this was definitely a challenge because of gloves and painfully cold hands. We saw a little coffee shop and got a hot drink whilst taking in the view. (We also discussed how the people working in this little shop have the WORST JOB EVER, having to climb those icy steps for an hour every morning).

Lynda started her way down Poon Hill a bit before us as she wanted to take it steady on the ice. Unfortunately it didn’t work out how she had planned :-/  We found poor Lynda on our way down having her second fall of the morning (get this poor lady a lifeline!).

Luckily for Lynda, Madan and the other porters were right there to help her up, they were super nice!…..less luckily for Lynda I gently patted her on the head to try and cheer her up, because I didn’t know what else to do. I think she appreciated it.

Breakfast time, and then a bloody long walk to Tadapani 2950m. Todays walk mainly involved going uphill through a wooded area, with lots of snow and ice, which Lou was not too impressed with after this mornings earlier events. I was out of breath a lot today, and walked through the snow in a T-shirt because I was so hot! When we made it out of the woods the sun was beating down on us, so I slapped on the factor 50+ and my baseball cap 😉

Then we started a wintery descent, I was walking in front of Barje and Lou, who had become an ice combatting duo, and I mostly walked behind the rest of the group, enjoying my own company humming christmas songs. This walk took a lot of thinking, you have to place your feet very carefully going downhill on ice, occasionally you would hear a little scuffle as one of the group would style-slide there way out of a tricky situation 🙂

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At Tadapani we dumped our bags and ran for the bathrooms thinking this might be the last chance for vaguely warm water we washed our hair…which was fine, but our hands felt on fire because they had been so cold all day. OUCH.

The toilets were pretty weird here, there was a western style one but it benefitted from a hole in the wall (window?) which faced directly onto the approaching path to the lodge. The sink to use to brush your teeth was right near these toilets…..I have never gagged so much in my life….We are certainly experiencing life to it’s fullest here.

We all huddled in the main room for the evening, some people played cards. We showed one of the porters Ishwor (you sir/Joshua) some photos off of Sierras Go Pro, it was so funny chatting with him!

 

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Artwork courtesy of Lynda Loo Rolls and Sierra Goat Woman

 

Night time means getting into my sleeping bag, probably in my blue smurf thermals, and because it is so freakin’ hot in mine I gradually strip off through the night…..so  so grateful for my super warm bag.

Trekking is Trecherous! 🙂

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Day 2: Give that dog a 7 out of 10

More Himal ….

We awoke to sunshine and cockerels…those things follow us everywhere. I had porridge and apple for breakfast…feeling strong!!! A Tibetan lady approached us at breakfast and encouraged us to come and buy some of her jewellery. I browsed the items laid out on the blanket and picked a pendant with a buddhist chant inscribed on it. The lady tells me this means ‘Good Luck’…..I will need buckets of that to get me through the walk, so I buy it and stick it in my bag! Off to trek again….but only a gentle 4 hours today.

We walked through…a jungle? Well it seemed very jungle-like to me. There were massive trees and big rivers, and it was cool and fresh which was nice to walk in.

Along the walk we bumped into some cute baby goats! (Which Sierra, queen of the goats particularly enjoyed). There were also some ponies and a  huge herd of sheep, so an excellent animal appreciation day. We see dogs here all the time, we discussed how we think the quality of the dogs reflects on the village we find them in. Sometimes the dogs look a bit ruff *ahem*  😉 around the edges to say the least. But sometimes they are beautiful and I want to cuddle them (and sometimes I do) even though they might have rabies and fleas. We’ve started rating them out of 10, we consider how cute they are, the lack/presence of unusual growths, glossiness of their coat. We saw some7/10 dogs today, a good dog day for sure!

We have also started gambling our luxury snacks. Porters randomly strap together and carry our main bags each morning. The person whose bag gets put down first by the porter at the end of a walk wins….so far I think we are drawing. Although it is hard to always be sure as we usually arrive much later than the porters….we may need to adjust the rules of the game.

After todays trek we have arrived at Gorhe Pani, 2700m. We are staying in ‘Nice View Lodge’ and to be fair, that is a sound name. There is an awesome view of the mountains outside. We’ve been into the little village nearby to explore…we heard something about a German Bakery…..which I believe is the only reason any of us walked further than necessary haha! But our dreams came crashing down when we discovered it was closed as it is out of season, we managed to find a shop that sold chocolate that was in date, so we restocked.

We are spending the evening hanging out in the living area of the lodge, there is a nice fire in the middle for us to dry our things on and warm up next to. We are chatting to the porters a bit more and preparing for a super early rise in the morning to walk up Poon Hill to watch the sunrise.

There are also showers here which we are all making the most of.

Trekking is EPIC

One year ago….Day one trekking

As it is the one year anniversary of my trek it seemed like a good idea to type up all of my journal entries…….ENJOY!

Day one of the trek.

We bid farewell to all of our suitcases containing many outfits, and loaded our rucksacks, which had barely anything in them to keep us going for the long trek ahead, onto the bus. This is where we met our porters, soon to be friends 🙂

When we got off the bus there was a little window to get some snacks from, and out of fear of starvation we all caved in and squeezed some additional snacks into our bags. Then the walking commenced!……and within the first 20 minutes I consumed the snacks I had just purchased.

I was immediately glad I had bought the walking poles, we were already using them, the first days walking consisted mainly of a wide dirt track and then millions and millions of steps      MILLIONS.

Whilst awaiting my well deserved hearty lunch of noodles (delicious and trustworthy food), “Muffin” was born.

Barje created little Muffin using just a scarf, his arm and a very sinister voice….this may have been delirium setting in, due to extreme stress on our bodies and minds. OR maybe I was just about to trek with some very interesting folk 😉

 

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Muffin spilled drinks and used bad words and most importantly kept morales high.

The trek continued, sometimes uphill…..sometimes downhill

Downhill was considered a treat. We passed the day, and distracted ourselves from our aching legs, by developing ideas to advertise Mountain Men Bars. These are some excellent fruit and nut energy bars that you can crack your teeth on. Me and Sierra would star….Mountain Man Bar in one hand…..curling a baby mountain goat with the other, demonstrating our mountain man strength.

Then it ALL KICKED OFF…One of the group (I will call him Rick….because that was his name;-)) needed to talk to Barje, and he chose to do so in a pretty rude manner. He and his wife were at the back of the group trekking, and felt like we should go slower, even though we kept waiting for them and it really wasn’t an issue. He might have just been super tired, it was a really hard day, but he didn’t deal with it in a very cool way.

As a group we all decided to push on to cover as much ground as possible and make the second day a bit easier, as it is known to be a bit of a killer otherwise. So we trudged on, and made it to  “Nice View Guest House” by dark. Here we put on all of the clothes we could possibly wear at once, because it was unbelievably cold….and the owners like to keep the doors open???!

I was thrilled I had bought my own sleeping bag because it was roasting inside. Some people had rented theirs and they looked a little bit on the thin side to say the least. WINNING

Day one over:  legs aching, Muffin created, drama occurred…alarm set for 06:30 to go at it all over again.

Trekking is great!