Published: October 17th 2011October 10th 2011
The third day of hiking began with waking up early again to get a view of the Himalayas before the clouds rolled in and the visibility was gone. We were able to see the whole Himalayan range which was quite impressive. Kangchenjunga, the sleeping Buddha (actually looks like a supine person in profile) was visible, as were Everest, the three sisters, and a whole lot of others. But it was bitterly cold on the top of the mountain, especially since I didn't have any gloves, and we began to descend the mountain towards breakfast.
Our descent in the morning was a 3-hour 10 km (1.4 km vertical) monster which left us all in a pretty sour mood since we left at 6 am and hadn't been given anything to eat at all before we began. As a result, the morale of our group was pretty low when we arrived at breakfast. Once we arrived at our breakfast location, we were given a load of crepes with honey and sugar, omelettes, as well as milk tea and we bought a bunch of cookies as well. Our mood improved a bit, but the rest of the day didn't really go much better.
Everest and friends
You can just make out Everest (third peak from the right)
Once we had breakfasted, we needed to hike another 12 km to the end of the hike where we would be picked up by a jeep for a ride back to Darjeeling. It is at this point that our guide's lack of English became a major problem. He was trying to communicate with us about some other jeep that was going to pick us up and transport us to another jeep that would take us back, but he was impossible to understand. As a result, at one point he left us to walk to another town, but we didn't know what had happened to him so we sat down to wait. Eventually he came back half an hour later, angry at us for not following him, though none of us had understood that is what we supposed to have done. Honestly, what kind of a guide never looks behind them? What if one of us had fallen off a cliff? Finally we did make it to Rimbik, but there was no jeep waiting for us, and it wasn't entirely clear why not. In any case, we had to catch another jeep, which was expensive, and our guide was freaking
out about the price, but at the time we didn't understand why. Eventually he got us a ride to Manebahnjyang, where we were able to get another jeep to take us back to Darjeeling. Once we arrived back in Darjeeling, we went back to the trekking office to pick up our bags, and they tried to shake us down for the price of the jeeps for the trip back which had definitely not been part of the deal originally. Eventually we just picked up our bags and walked out without paying. I didn't really feel bad about it, since they had never mentioned that possibility and claimed the price was all-inclusive. Needless to say, walking out was completely not in character for me at all. I saw the woman in the trekking shop the following day and she gave me an unpleasant look that I returned.
Overall the trek was pretty good. I am glad I did a three day hike rather than a longer one since three days was a good distance. The company wasn't brilliant, but it was pretty cheap, so I can't complain too much. And we made it back in one piece too, so it
was a success. Perhaps I will go trekking again in India, but we will have to see.
There are more photos below