Langtang Trek - Day 6 Bamboo to Woodlands
Had better nights sleep till about five thirty a.m., which after recent nights, I was happy with. I am getting used to the sleeping bag and am pleased that I have a merkalon liner, which is stretchy and therefore doesn't feel so confining. Getting ahead of the game I tried to pack before the trek crew arrived with bed tea but got bogged down trying to find the hat which I was looking for yesterday. Still no sign of it; aggravating!
The trail began to rise today and was fairly steep in places. One of the group was feeling tired so we had to make frequent stops to let her get her breath. Initially, walking through the forest had been cool but, as the sun got higher and penetrated the wood, it warmed up a good ten degrees or so making it much more pleasant. Another boost, was being able to see the mountains through gaps in the trees; they looked marvelous! The white snow capped peaks are really clear against the deep blue sky. The air must be so much clearer here, as the views don't have that haze that you sometimes get at home.
At one point along the trail, we passed the remains of a land slide where what appeared to be the most of a hill had collapsed, demolishing the path ahead. Tony said that it had happened when he was trekking here last year. It was at the same time that the rest of Nepal had experienced freak conditions and lots of people were tragically killed in the Khumbu region. Thankfully, the weather this year was much better and it looks relatively settled at the moment. I would imagine that it would be awful walking through here if it were constantly raining. Looking up the slope, I could see how fragile the hills actually are and prone to the weather conditions. Large boulders looked to be precariously balanced on the slope above. One, which was as tall as a house, was poised right above the route of the newly formed footpath; we walked quickly by.
We lunched in a clearing near the Lama Hotel, just one of a small collection of buildings resembling a small Wild West town. A large blue tarpaulin was stretched on the ground that I was told is the normal arrangement for lunch. There was a small stream nearby, so taking advantage of the sun, I washed my smalls and socks leaving them to dry whilst I ate lunch.
Afterwards, we continued through the wooded area for the most of the afternoon before reaching Woodlands. Here, I was rewarded with the best sight of the day just before reaching camp when I saw a beautiful snow capped peak framed by the wooded trees and a small path leading the eye into the scene, fabulous!
Looking around the camp-site area, I was amazed to find that there was somewhere where you could buy coke and beer. I had imagined, that once out on trail, it would be really isolated but I was to discover that you can buy bottled drinks almost everywhere. Tony tells told me that you can even buy coke (the drink!) at Everest Base Camp. Having some time before the evening meal, I decided to have another rummage around the kitbag. Eventually I decided to take the whole contents out, and there, underneath the plastic lining bags, was the hat I had been looking for all this time; a mystery resolved!
At the evening meal the crew had put flowers in holders on the table and to add to the ambience, had lit candles. It looked quite cozy. The only down side was that after the meal, there was insufficient light to write up the diary, so I had to go to the kitchen to find the only tilly lamp we had. Sitting outside to write was fine apart from the moths who were drawn to the light and kept dive bombing me as there wings got scorched by the lamp.
The others had gone to bed immediately after the meal at about seven thirty; far too early for me. I finished off the evening trying to get the trek crew to teach me a few phrases in Nepali. I am finding it quite difficult but the crew are persevering and we both had a good laugh at my pronunciations.
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