It rained hard most of the night. I slept well, and warm, from 8 until 6 am. Feel better today but whole body is sore. Pity that I’m out of tiger balm. Today shouldn’t be too bad–about another 1.5 hours up the hill and the mostly down the rest of the day.
Well, it took me over 3 hours to get to the top of the pass. The ground was still super muddy and covered with donkeys and their poo. At the top of the pass, the rain from last night had turned to snow and it was quite pretty.
Despite the snow and the cold, I was sweating so much that I had to strip down to shorts and tshirt. At one point, resting on a rock next to a porter coming down, he turned to me and asked “Player?” I wasn’t sure what this meant, but he seemed to interested in my Cthulhu tattoo, so I showed it to him more closely. He nodded, suspicions confirmed. “Ah yes, wrestler,” he said and then walked off.
From the top of the pass, it was only 45 minutes down to Ringmo, where the trail split off to Salleri. Stopped for peanut butter and coconut cookies and then onwards! … no rest for the wicked.
It took me almost exactly 7 hours to Salleri, but I made it. Phew. After Ringmo the rail was up and down. Too much up, in truth, but quite mild by yesterday’s standards. Still lots of donkeys, but the trail grew more solid–fewer rocks, less mud, not even nearly as much poo. The only annoying thing were these bugs that filled the air like spring blossoms. Don’t think they actually bite, but I had to flick them off every couple seconds for about an hour.
For some reason, on this part of the trail kids go crazy when the see me. They always run over, shouting Namaste! Not quite used to trekkers I guess. A few asked me for pens or chocolates but most were just smiling and excited.
My toes were painful on downhills yesterday, but I forgot about it by the time I stopped last night. It happened again today, and I remembered the “trim your nails” advice. Yikes! I hadn’t looked at them in, what, over a month. Stopped on a rock and cut off those bad boys with a little knife my mom had given me. Luckily I was alone, as I imagine this would have attracted the attention of lots of Nepalis.
Saw a UN jeep just after that. The airport at Phaplu is under major construction. Someone thinks this will become a major entry point into the Khumbu region.
I’m back at Laxmi where this all began. Feels weird to be here on my own. The room is the most expensive of the whole trek–200 rupees! But the food is cheap again AND there’s a charging point in my room. It started raining within two minutes of me getting here. I threw my shoes away too–jandals will get me back to Kathmandu.
I met two tibetans while eating some afternoon momos who escaped and now travel around Nepali monasteries telling their story. The young guy is super smiley and tells great stories–a very nice way to spend a rainy afternoon.
I’m getting up at 4 am tomorrow and taking the jeep back. It’s 5 dollars less this way, but will it be anything close to the 12 hours they promise?
From/To: Nunthala to Salleri
Elevation: 2330 meters
Lodge: Laxmi Lodge
Budget: 730 rupees