Saturday, 23 February 2013

Trek Day 13: Over Nagthali 3150m to Tatopani 2607m

Another 800m push up and over the Tamang Trail's viewpoint, Nagthali, supported with a pony in case Rosie found the going too strenuous with asthma. In the end, she was just fine, and Tom had more time on top because he loved the excitement of riding a pony that leapt up stairs and kicked when you tried to get on. And sometimes off.

This was one of the most glorious day of walking. Not just the viewpoint, but the ascent was richly forested, with cool fresh air and enough snow to make it fun (40cm in places) - and sometimes very tiring.

The view back over Lantang II (the obvious peak at over 7000m) and Tibet.

Up top, the guest houses were closed (as expected for low season) so it was gloriously silent.

We sucked in the views of the Ganesh Himal...

...and Tibet, Langtang and the Gosainkund ridge ...

...before stringing up our prayer flags to flutter their prayers on the wind.

We are never more in awe of the earth than when we are in the Himalaya. It has lost none of its magic for us.
Leaving the summit Helen was pulled from quiet reflection and sensory immersion as Rosie started to suffer some minor asthma. We weren't concerned as we knew a rapid descent to Brimdang would reduce her symtoms quickly. We took black tea at the collection of 3 or 4 homes and steered clear of a grumpy grey yak. And received the driest lhosar bread of the trip!

The gentler descent to Tatopani was quite warm and unpleasant. We were all tired and couldn't wait to get there. Turned out the village was deserted as everyone had gone down the mountain to a new home party, leaving only the socially undesirable behind to take in trekkers. Only two lodges out of perhaps 12 were open, we took the best of the bad options at Pilgrims. Some dirty snotty kid nicked our playing cards when our backs were turned. We knew who it was but the Little Shit wouldn't admit it. Credit where it's due, the host was determined her honour wouldn't be compromised and had the cards returned.

At the hot springs (red due to high iron levels, not mud) another Little Shit jumped in to have a feel of Tom's pearly white skin; understandable, but when he climbed on Rosie's back we gave him clear orders to go away.

We really didn't like this place. Interestingly it was the only place on the trail entirely built around tourists (Nepali tourists have been coming here to the hot springs for eons), and not around true community. The difference was marked.
We met two nutters on the trail: a Nepali mountain biker carrying his bike ON HIS HELMET with nothing but Lycra and bike shoes, thinking he was going to make it to Briddhm (oversnow) within two hours. Seriously, he had a lot of snow and steps and mud ahead of him - this is so NOT cycling territory. Sandesh just raised his eyebrows and intimated that stupid rich Nepalis such as this dude were often caught out in the mountains..

The other nutter was an old dude high up in a tree, unsecured, lopping branches, and yelling "woo hoo!"

Shane, Helen, Rosie and Tom

Location:Boudhanath, Nepal

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