Today I got up at half five as it was the time that I needed to go to the toilet and there was no point in lying in after this and I went to the restaurant where I was the only person up, it gave me a chance to charge my PowerGorilla up though.

At about 06:20 the porters started to awake and gather around the restaurant area. The perks of getting up early are that you get a cup of tea early! It was interesting watching it get light and everyone hoping that the weather would clear so that there were some views for the day. I had met a couple in a shop in Pokhara who had told me that the weather had not been great when they did the ABC trek for which they had just got back from and therefore they didn’t get the chance to see half the views that they wanted to see and as we started the previous day the weather was very much overcast and a big cloud of fog so it would take something to change the outlook and Bimal, our guide and my friend reckons that rain would lift the fog and we hoped that a little rain the night before would be enough to get some clear views.

Morning fog.

We had arranged breakfast for 07:00 so when some plates started to come out and the food wasn’t mine I started to get a little hungry… eventually my plate came out and it looked quite good and substantial. I had bread with fried eggs and a mix of potato, onion and tomato on the side. May I add that the bread in Nepal is nothing like Western bread and is kind of like a pitta bread but a lot more delicious. What more could a man want in the morning?  The other two had porridge which looked quite small and I was very happy to be eating my large plate.

After finishing breakfast I put my remaining items into my rucksack before loading up and hitting the road, I think the agenda for the way was pretty much ascending the 1300 metres so when we crossed a few bridges and started to climb it came as no real surprise. The path was mainly with steps and wasn’t difficult it was just laborious and long. The way I thought of it was a never ending escalator on the underground. Yes I am one of them annoying people who always seem like they are in a rush in London and walk up the escalators as they go so slow I would rather do it than wait about for it to reach the top.

A caravan of mules went past us and then we went past them. Its staggering the amount of weight the mules are carrying and finding it easy to carry. They are dressed quite fanciful like everything seems to be in Nepal and were quite a distraction from the walking as the noise made when close to them is quite tremendous due to the amount of items dangling from them. It is quite annoying when you are stuck behind mules because you cannot walk at your own pace which is important. We carried on upwards and the path levelled out at points to deceive you before it carried on upwards some more. We eventually arrived at the point for lunch which was at 2468 metres where I had chicken noodles which were pretty good and the sun made an appearance behind the wall of fog for about ten minutes which was warming.

With all the upwards walking I remember some funny conversations we had during lunch. The lunch conversation went a little bit about us wanting to climb Everest for the sole reason of not being able to take an upward step in any direction on the whole planet. Although a tremendous feeling this would be I sadly don’t think I have the capital or the time to do such a project in the near future. After lunch we were told that we had about an hour and a half to climb and I knew that we were going to 2800 metres so we still had a 200 metre ascent to go but it seemed to be okay and despite being stuck behind mules again for some of the journey it was very easy going and we managed it in under an hour, progress was definitely quick with this group.

Crappy fog stopping nice views!

Upon arrival at Gorepani it was clear to see that it was a much bigger settlement than the previous ones we had stayed at as it had a couple of book shops and a place with internet. The lodge we were staying at was quite nice and had a restaurant with a fire which was nice to sit around and keep warm. I liked the position I had on the trekking, I was not a customer to Bimal and was seen as a friend and therefore I was treated differently and he was happy for me to sit in on conversations with his friends and some of the lodge owners. I liked this a lot and liked the fact that he didn’t treat me as if I was a tourist who wouldn’t be able to get up in the morning so didn’t pressure me to go to bed early and would let me stay up and drink with him and the other porters at the lodges who seem to have a great time.

We arrived at Gorepani by 2 so had time to go around the place and try and search out the cheapest rum in town. You will find on the trekking that the price for these sorts of products varies greatly and is generally 250 rs plus, if you can get a bottle for 250 rs snap it up because that is good going. In the village I was staying I could get the same stuff for 90 rs and a bottle of coke for 110 rs thus making a perfect combination of 180ml of rum and coke for 200 rs or about £1.80.

I think on this occasion I paid 280 rs which wasn’t a bad deal so I was happy. I also had a little check on the internet, obviously being away for three months I was going to take the opportunity when it arose and it didn’t too often so I was happy to get online and get my fix when I could. I would of done all the normal stuff like facebook, email etc but I had heard stories about student fees and the like being raised in England so thought that it would be more interesting to see this and low and behold after going on the BBC News website I saw the whole story and thought it was quite different and thought the whole country had gone mad since I had been away.

Upon arriving back at the lodge I thought I would do some washing as I had adopted the local way of washing clothes and a tap was presenting itself perfectly for the opportunity I took full advantage. I stripped off totally and got into some clean clothes and took my dirty stuff over to the tap where a master class in clothes washing took place to anyone from the West who has never seen the art of washing clothes over a rock with a bar of soap. I think some of the locals were quite impressed with my washing and I was happy with my effort retiring back into the kitchen afterwards with my wet garments to hang by the fire so they would be dry by the end of the night.

Buddhist prayer flags in the fog..

Finally settling down, I was told that we would have to be up by 5 the next morning if the weather was clear as Gorepani sits just below Poon Hill which is a lovely place but that’s for tomorrow’s story. For dinner I ate tomato, cheese and onion spaghetti and it was tasty and the portion was adequate, after dinner I stayed up for about an hour so that I could talk to the porters a little and also to wait for my clothes to dry. After this I decided it was time to hit bed in the full knowledge that I would be up at 5 the following morning if the weather was good.

Advertisements