Breakfast today was 07:30 but I couldn’t find my sunglasses and Krissy reminded me that I may have taken them off when trying on a polo shirt at the medical lecture yesterday. Sudarshan arranged for Ganesh to go over and check for me. I had already gone over but it wasn’t open and no-one was around. I think Ganesh rang them and luckily he was able to retrieve my sunglasses.
We set off around 08:30 but had to wait a few minutes at the AC Checkpoint. At each stop Sudarshan has to register our arrival and departure. This is how they keep track of people hiking the Annapurna Circuit. If someone doesn’t turn up when they are suppose to turn up, there is a search operation put in place. Just last month a guide and his client died when weather conditions deteriorated.
We didn’t really get out of Manang itself until about 09:10 and from there it was a fairly steep trail and at 9:40 saw a sign saying no motorbikes allowed past that point and saying to enjoy the yaks and wild animals we would encounter on our trek. The trail continued along the valley which we could
see the day before from the Chongkor Viewpoint and we passed a few locals enjoying morning tea in the fields and a couple of small stalls in the middle of nowhere selling nic nacs.We continued upwards until 11:15 where we had our scheduled morning tea break.
We left at 11:40 and the trail started to level out. We saw blue sheep which are really mountain goats and we looked for juniper berry bushes which grow in the wild everywhere. Juniper berries are used to make gin.
As we are getting higher, it was a good move that Krissy had decided to take Diamox as suggested by the doctor in Manang. Mitch had decided a couple of days earlier and was already much better and had quite a bit of energy now. Vicki had had experience before in Peru with altitude sickness so had also taken some diamox and Nick had been OK but decided to take half a tablet as a precautionary measure. This meant that I was the only one who hadn’t taken any Diamox, as I had not had any headaches at all at this stage and had been at over 5,000m in South America without
any problems. Interestingly, one of the factors mentioned by the doctor for getting altitude sickness was being under 50, which might explain why I was OK, being well over that age.
We crossed another long bridge before stopping for a break at 13:00. At this point Sudarshan said it was only another one hour to Yak Kharka, our destination for the night. As we were now getting above the tree line, the landscape was changing to one of small bushes and rocks, so getting much more sparse.
We arrived at 14:00 as predicted. Our rooms for the first time do not have an attached bathroom, which is what we were expecting now we are higher in the mountains at 4,018m. We also do not have electricity in our rooms and I had to pay 250 rupees for internet and 100 rupees per device to have them charged overnight. Dinner however was still OK, although the high altitude is affecting our appetite somewhat.
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