Saturday, October 10th
This morning none of us were bounding out of bed to look at the view. I think that we almost all slept until Bed Tea time at 6:00.
…if it had sported a little Picante sauce it would have been PERFECT!!!
I loved the shape of it and even more, the goodies that came out of it….from boiled water and tea to hot juices. It was always in use!!!
This morning I timed Sabine and Monise to see how long it took them to take down and pack up one of our tents. They did it in 2 minutes and 45 seconds….utterly amazing!!! We laughed and said that it took us that long just to get the tent stakes out of the ground!!
We started the morning with several long ascents……
….they seem to be a bit easier this morning.
Once again, I can sense that Sera is always at my left shoulder when things start to get rough, but he never actually helps unless I need it.
….but no one seems to care anymore!!!
As I walked I started thinking about how the small things make all of the difference, like the fact that I have clean socks on this morning!
Since we were climbing again, we took rest stops every 15 minutes. We also went a bit slower since one of our team was fairly sick. I felt bad for him but I greatly appreciated the slower pace. Badri stuck close by him and even carried his pack for a lot of the day.
We passed one local resident coming up the trail with basket full of the morning’s shopping including a box of tea, washing powder, bag of rice, etc. It is humbling to realize how far they have to walk to get to one of the small stores….
We took a long break at 9:20. Sabine pointed across the valley and said that we could see the evening camp site and that further up was tomorrow’s camp. It was fun to be able to see them, but was both encouraging AND discouraging as it meant that we have to go WAY down and then WAY back up again.
As we returned to the trail it seemed like a highway as so many trekkers moved up and down the trail. There was lots of stopping and waiting for others to pass. I took a page out of the encouragement book and tried to let those who looked downtrodden know that it was all worth it!!! I know that a few words of encouragement can really help!!!
….and this Tree Tomato plant….
As we walked, Michael and Badri talked about the trip and Badri quietly told us that he was very proud of our group!!
….that marked the bottom of the valley and the start of our 2,800 steps up to Chomrong!!
I was standing by Badri and could hear him quietly and repeatedly intoning…..”Oh Sir….be careful”. When the little one started shaking his head, Badri loudly says that it is probably enough for now!!
It had been a fairly short day of walking, but we had descended 2,130 feet and had climbed 1,485 feet in the process.
It was good to see our “home away from home”!!
One of the effects of Altitude Sickness is that people often lose their appetite and I had found this was the case for me during the last three days. We had been told that “food was fuel” so I knew that I needed to keep eating, but nothing tasted all that great and I would have been perfectly happy with eating nothing.
But today, things were starting to taste good again and I had seconds of the stir fry, surprising everyone as I had consistently said no to seconds for the last few days.
The second order of the afternoon was to have a SHOWER. When we last showered (5 days ago), Badri had said that we shouldn’t plan to shower while we were up in the higher elevations because it was too hard to get warm afterwards. So, this shower was much anticipated!!! The Tea House Proprietor showed us another bathroom upstairs and we got to enjoy a wonderful, warm shower. I had saved clean clothes for today and realized that this was the first time that all of my clothes had been clean since day 1!!!
We hadn’t realized that there were tea plants just outside of the building….
I gobbled half of it down but saved the rest to have with afternoon tea….yum!
We had laid a bunch of REALLY dirty clothes out on the tent to dry, but it started to rain and I went hurrying to the tent to move them. I got there to find that Monise and Sabine had already pulled them in for us. I gave them a hard time about touching our yucky clothes!!!
Since I had extra time to relax, I decided to wander over to the kitchen and watch some of the dinner preparation.
I was immediately invited to come in and repeatedly urged to pull up a chair and sit but I finally convinced them that I could see better if I was standing!!!
There were three kerosene stoves lined up along one wall and, once fired up, they were all constantly in use.
As soon as one pot of food came off, the big tea kettle went on in its place so that there was always hot water brewing. As soon as it was well boiled (and thus safe), it was poured up into Thermos jugs to make tea or water for coffee…..
When this was filled up, the kettle was refilled and put back on the stove.
I was interested to see that they poured the water thru a double strainer before it is ever heated. They are extremely vigilant about our health!!
I happily watched as Sera went to work prepping the food for our upcoming meal. He mostly worked sitting down with the other Cook Boys handing him what he needed and cleaning up after he finishes with a task……
When I had first come in Sera had been chopping chicken, making it almost look like it had been ground.
Now, I noticed a pot of other chicken bits……
One of the boys started chopping these bits up to be used in the Dal Bhat for the crew this evening…..
There was never any recipe and as he kneaded, Sera would come over and stick a finger in it and then tell him to knead it some more!!!
When I saw this pot…..
Sabine had been holding the steamer pan and all of a sudden Sera said something to him and he moved to another spot. I looked at him and he said that the wind from the door was drying out the Momos so he was now blocking the wind off of them.
All of a sudden, there was a lot of yelling outside and Sera told me that they had found a snake. I ran over to try to see it, but it had already slithered off. I asked about it and Sabine told me that it was originally over by our tent but not to worry because it hadn’t gone in!!
It had been getting cloudier as the afternoon went on and it finally started to rain hard. Immediately the guides were all outside at the tents making sure that everything was dry and secure.
Then about 15 minutes later, Badri decided that we would move out of the tents and into a room at the Tea House for the night. We all offered to pay for the room ($16), but were told that it was included in the trip cost.
Badri also told us that if it is raining here, then it is probably snowing higher up. It once again reminds me how wonderful our weather has been!!
So, we moved out of our little tent and into this spacious (7 ft by 7 ft) accommodation….
Interestingly, we enjoyed this as much as any 5-star hotel that we have ever stayed in!!!
Afterward we returned to our room, spent an hour or so reading (WITHOUT a headlamp) and then fell asleep in our dry beds!!!