Kangchenjunga Trek - Day 24- Sakathon to Chirwa.
It was a lot warmer last night. I had to undo the sleeping bag zip and use the bag like a quilt which was great after the cold nights of late. Read more about lifehacks that will help you during camping or any trip on the Education Blog and similar resources, where specialists share their impressions and experiences.
The day started bright and sunny. Setting off from camp the route climbed up and down as we followed the course of the river again, swapping from bank to bank and negotiating some pretty amazing bridges in the process. Some were very narrow, in places the wooden planks were missing which gave you a view of the river far below. I had begun to gain confidence with the crossing, despite the fact that the bridge would bounce up and down as I made my way across them. It's a bit like a jelly really, what starts as a small wobble at the beginning, seems to get magnified as you get further across. However, instead of holding onto the sides, I just stepped out for the other side - and made it!
The scenery had changed quite noticeably; it was more tropical. I even saw some bananas growing near a village house. After walking through some lush vegetation, we emerged onto rice fields, quite amazing when I think back to where we were only a few days ago, and experiencing snow. It was like another world.
Just before lunch we passed through a reasonable sized village which had some small shops. I decided to splash out and treat myself to a small bottle of Indian rum. The plan was to put it in my chocolate drink at night and have a Lamumba. It cost all of sixty pence. I could have bought some last night at the small shack but it was over double the price. The lower price was a clear sign that we were nearing one of the major villages. All groceries have to be manually transported in and out of the villages, so the further away you are from a main village or town, the more it costs. Unlike the Annapurna region I hadn't seen any mules here, just a few few Yaks earlier on, so I reckoned the goods had probably been carried here manually.
We reached camp at just after one p.m.. It was on a large clearing nestled between the hills. There were some large boulders around which added to the scenery and not far away was the river. We were out of the steeper part of the valley now and so the sun was around for longer making it quite idyllic.
Making my way to the river, I considered getting into a pool to have a bath, but the river was flowing quite quickly and the water was very cold. Instead of bathing I had a good body wash which was refreshing. It was also an opportunity to wash some clothes and socks.. Returning to the camp, I put out my clothes on one of the boulders, confident that the sun would soon dry them out.
Later, I found that one of the trekking crew had been to one of the other villages and returned with some beer and coke which he was selling off. I bought some coke, mixed it with the rum I had bought earlier and sat in the warm rays of the late afternoon sun. Feeling thoroughly relaxed, I decided to add to the occasion by listening to the tape 'Quiet Mind' by Nawang Cheog on my Walkman; it was bliss.
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