It was Tibetan New Year, which means we were woken early to blasting Om Mani Padme chants on the hotel sound system. We found we’d been kind of gouged on the rooms and food–300 rupes for the rooms and 350 for the dahl baat, which would be the most expensive we paid for a week. But at the same time, it wasn’t too much and we hadn’t had much choice.
While the others ate breakfast, I explored the small town. Even here, there were shops with trekking equipment for sale, hanging in the windows. The sun was up and the blue sky was filled with Simpsons clouds. A great day for trekking!
Once we left, we found that there were a lot of donkeys. And a lot of donkey shit. We walked through an unholy combination of mud and donkey shit for hours. One of us, I won’t say who, slipped at one point and got a pretty crappy hand.
Lunch in Ringmo took some time–an hour and a half for our food to come out. It was sunny but chilly and we played Zombie Dice while we waited. None of us were impressed with our food when it did arrive, and after it was a steep climb to the highest pass until Namche Bazaar. I listened to some Narnia on audiobook for a bit and passed some great ruins.
We started to see mountains today–it felt like day 3 or 4 of the Annapurna Circuit. The views were unexpected and already so nice. On the other hand, the people in general were less nice. Fewer smiles, more glares, even a handful of people who didn’t respond to our “namastes.” Weird. We did meet a cool Nepali guy whose sister just moved to New York. He showed us of the american clothes she had shipped back to him for his baby, and I shared my orange with a slightly other child while he talked.
All told, we climbed 600 meters (crossing our first pass or “la”) and descended 800 meters. So all that climbing and yet ended up in a town (Nunthala) with a lower elevation than Salleri the previous night! It was a tough and long before the end of the day I got the jelliest of jelly legs.
Nunthala is a nice town, and we got rooms for 50 rupees each. Some wild mushroom fried rice for dinner hit the spot. Afterwards, I broke out Cards Against Humanity and we all had a hilarious time. Ash and Jamie shared a Tongba–Tibetan millet beer–but I was firmly on the water. Crashed before 9 and slept all the way until 7:30 the next morning.
From / To: Salleri to Nunthala
Elevation: 2330 meters
Lodge: Himalayan Trekker Inn
Budget: 525 rupees