I wake up happy (again).
Decision is made to take the low road along the valley floor from Pisang to Manang rather than the more challenging high road via Ghyaru. The Marsyangdi is with us for most of another day. It is pretty much flat terrain again, we spend the morning in the pine forests with just a few climbs. There are many mani walls to be admired, I really like the coloured inscriptions on the grey stone. We pass old and young men with heavy loads and not so heavy but really awkward loads. There is ice and a lot more snow on the trail. Mary is having trouble with her boots- they aren't gripping the ice, at one point a friendly Korean from Canada helps her out. The views this morning are incredible and the sky is a deep clear blue.
Our first stop for the morning is at Humde- amazing place to stop, not due to the fact that it has the 2nd highest airport in the world, but that is has fresh cinammon rolls and chocolate buns (NPR 100). I have never tasted such an awesome cinammon roll- not too sweet and really light. Perfect
with half a litre of black tea! There is a solar kettle set up just before the cinammon roll shop i.e. - The Airport Hotel Bakery and Lodge. Great concept- we could do with one at home. Humde is like a wild west town with strong winds and dust blowing through every few minutes. As we trek through the village we go past chortens, Buddhist flags and mani walls; the prayer wheels here are made from a kind of painted canvas stretched around a cylinders. We reach the airport tower and the muddy run way. There are a few helicopters buzzing overhead but no planes today (apparently they come in twice a week).
The scenery has changed, the pines are less dense with the towering peaks of Annapurna III and IV on the LHS, and stark barren cliffs to the right (I am a complete loser at North, South, East and West- it's front, back, LHS and RHS for me- sorry!). The walking conditions remain easy. We stop at Mungji for lunch (at the teahouse opposite to The Trekkers Bakery - Pie in the Sky featured in the LP), we watch a group of women with their sleeping babies
getting some sun. One of the old men with the very heavy loads stops here too, one of the other trekkers takes his photo and gives him a packet of cigarettes and some cash. Photos of the women are taken but they refuse the cash. Onwards.....
Another hour along a gently sloping track we go through Braka Village- ancient looking timber houses and a rather austere golden Buddha statue. Toward the end of the town we pass the blue gated entrance to a school where all the kids are outside playing. 20 more minutes and we are at the entrance to Manang (3520m). Manang's steets are wide! and busy! Tonight we are staying at the New Hotel Yeti- it looks like a proper hotel. We end up in Room 303, complete with ENSUITE! There is the promise of hot water - it doesn't eventuate. But, who cares? We clean up anyway then do some washing hanging it out in the now weak afternoon sun. Mr Korea and his wife are next door, The Bavarians are there with Kushang Sherpa and Stephane is there too!
Upstairs is a dining room, after the dining room is the jewel in the
crown- a sun room with a wood stove. OK... - we are not moving. The sun room gets cold, the curtains are drawn and it becomes the dinner room before becoming the Grand Yahtzee Room. We meet some other groups and couples from Canada, the US (they can hardly walk having trekked 7 hrs to the Ice Lake and back), Germany and Denmark. Our most populated night yet.
Later that night.... I am loving this ensuite concept- no getting more layers on to go to the loo.
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