Published: November 30th 2008October 30th 2008
Not sure how the other two slept but I was awake on and off all night. First of all - there was loud singing at the back of our tent from a few minutes after we decided to go to bed that lasted for about an hour (as part of the festival activities). So that put paid to going to sleep for awhile - not to mention villagers walking past every now and then!! After the music stopped it was definitely quiet enough to sleep but I was awake on and off for the whole night trying to get comfortable in my sleeping bag. Not to worry - we were up at around 5:30 or 6am to go look at the sunrise from the top of the hill. The view from the toilet was that of Machupuchuhhare and it was awesome and the view over the lake before we made the walk up the hill was amazing!!! So we had great expectations - pity about the cloud cover over the rest of the Himalayas!! Doh!
After coming back down from our morning view of the cloud obscured Himalayas we ate breakfast (not Dal Bhat but porridge and toast) and then
we were treated to another surprise! Today was the most important day of the festival when sisters give their brothers presents (but not, traditionally, the other way around!) and the whole family receive special tikkas. We were treated just like anyone else and duly received our tikkas (though we did pay 100 rupees each for them - equiv. of EUR1 or AUD$2). What a treat!! They looked fantastic!
We had about four or four and a half hours of trekking today but not as much up-hill as yesterday so I was really happy! We once again camped three in the tent. Jess and her guide were heading to the same place so we walked with them for a large part of the day but Jess stayed in a room in the house next to where we camped. It was also the camp where we had lunch and dinner. We were a bit late for lunch and the restaurant was really busy as a result of the festival so we had noodle soup for lunch. We didn't care at all - it was tasty and a nice change from Dalbhat!
We ended up entertaining ourselves watching two cats -
a mother and kitten. They chased each other around our tent and under the fly. Hilarious! We played card games a bit but spent a lot of time just sitting around trying to keep in the shade out of the heat. We returned to the staple diet of Dalbhat for our evening meal and then stood around looking up at the stars trying to see shooting stars. Jan, Jess and I had all seen shooting stars the night before. Natalie hadn't seen a single one and was really disappointed as she'd never seen a shooting star in all her life. After Jess and I had both seen shooting stars this evening, Natalie finally saw her very first one. She was really excited!! It was lovely to see. We'd all been hoping so much that she would see one and were almost as excited as she was when her wish came true!
Upon going to bed we were looking forward to a quieter night than the previous one. But, of course, that wasn't to be. Not only did we have the singers outside our tent again, we also had dogs barking a fighting not far from where we sere sleeping.
Were we ever going to get any sleep? Well, we did eventually get some!!
There are more photos below