24 January 2013 Thursday

Breakfast of porridge and milk tea. At first we were walking in jeep tracks in the snow; they were quite icy. We walked by a stone wall on which were placed stones with inscriptions carved by lamas, a carving of the buddha. Two guys on ponies passed us at a trot. I said “ramro ghora”. Of course, the guys probably did not think the horses were especially nice. Saw a couple of zhous, cow/yak hybrids.

Lal told me his story of being swept up in an avalanche in India.

At Ekle Bhatti 2740 meters the trail switchbacks down to near the level of the Kali Gandaki. Took a lunch break at the Tibet Guest House. Out of the window I saw a moving motorbike, the first one in a while. After puffing cheeks with a little girl, she gave me some gahu, puffed wheat, which I sprinkled on my plate of macaroni with veg, tomato, mushroom. “Veg” in this case meant spinach and carrots.

After lunch we walked along the Kali Gandaki. For the next day or so, until after Jomsom, the trail is swept by winds that are funneled up the valley. Everyone who has trekked through the region and writes about it mentions the wind. The river spreads out into gravel bars a kilometer wide, and the wind kicks up great clouds of dust.

At the Hotel Tilicho near the Jomsom airport the hot shower in my deluxe room was a letdown, not very hot. After I had already taken a cold shower, they mentioned that the shower downstairs had hotter water. Another way the service wasn’t excellent was, after dinner they said they had to lock up the dining room at only 8:30. Lal and I were the only guests. However I would stay there again anyway, because the dal bhat dinner was superb, perhaps the best cooking of the entire trek. Also it was the only place during the trek where I had WIFI, so I was able to catch up on my email.