Chamrong to Dovan
Today we woke up to astonishing views and blue skies, which lasted precisely 10 minutes before fog crept over the mountains. We left an hour earlier than usual, in an attempt to avoid the storms that inundated us the day before.
We started with over an hour of down stairs, where we were passed by trains of donkeys and buffalo. We crossed a suspension bridge, bigger than any that we have crossed previously. We then climbed for over 2 hours until we came to a little village for morning tea.
During the climb we had to pick our way through a herd of resting goats and sheep. Mags, Dave, and Kass were lucky enough to see some big monkeys with black faces and white fur.
When we stopped for tea, Jodi bought all the guides and porters chocolate, which was hard earned and gratefully received. One of our assistant guides, Vikas, picked her a Rhodendron flower to say thanks. The porters were pretty chuffed that someone thought of them.
The next leg of the trail took us through a Rhodendron forest, Nepal’s national flower. It was undulating track which made it much easier for Mags to keep up. During this section it began to sprinkle and our progress was slowed as we stopped to put our rain gear on, then take it off again when we got hot.
It was fully raining by the time we took a late lunch in a village called Bamboo. Mags was both exhausted and elated and had a little tear when she realized she was at her destination.
Our final destination was a short, undulating trail through rainforest and waterfalls, to the tune of thunder, crackling plastic ponchos, and rain. We looked like little elves in our colorful ponchos, waddling along moss-lined trails.
One of our guides, Vikas, has taught me “dondebah” thank you, “ramro kam” good job, “ramro mani” good man, and “taparlay gustota” how are you. I am quite proud of myself.
Today was supposed to be the hardest day, but it was also the most scenic so far. The landscape was step, lush, and often breathtaking. Everyone is tired but handling it well. Mags and Jen fell asleep as soon as they got their rooms, and Mary has paid $1.50 for a hot shower.
Only one more sleep until we are at Base Camp (Annapurna, or Everest)
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