Okay, let’s get this outta the way - Poon Hill was a big disappointment. Cloudy. ‘Nuf said.
Back on the trail after Manthos ate my cooling breakfast to ensure I was presented with a warmer one after arriving a little late from my room (he’s like that), the cloud cleared and afforded a couple of Kodak moments before we plunged into Rhododendron Jungle, although here at the tail end of the bloom it was more acne than small pox spotted, but picturesque nonetheless. Trail ducked into some Washington state-like rainforested valleys with steamy clouds creeping through the canopy and the unrealized threat of alleged leaping leeches.
We’ve emerged at Tadapani, probably the least civilized stop, lacking light bulbs or showers, which at least excuses a day off from my exercises, but instead featured a menagerie of insects in my moth eaten room. I’ve doused myself in “buzz off” and am thankful Laura isn’t here to freak out at the colony of flying ants developing a new civilization to the right of my pillow. I think my bedding, and therefore soon myself, has fleas.
Just climbed to the little shrine overlooking the village and read about Buddha’s view of the self (little s). Meanwhile, a hot shower has been discovered which, alas, means “Gimme 50 Pvt. Osmotherly”!
Addendum: just spent a cracking evening chatting in the dining hall with 6 Nepalis, the 2 Germans, 6 Aussies, an Isreali and a Kiwi. Got a bunch of Tibetan reading recommendations (I’m heading back sans Furlongs), plus a Tokyo tour offer from 2 expat Aussies, Matt and Sharon - the very same I overtook on the steps. They forgave my feeble “we’ll have to burn something and put the ashes in a little pot to present to me” jibes to extend the offer, which I reciprocated given their intent to come to London in the none too distant future.
Just after my scrummy BBQed mushroom burger arrived, the clouds parted for a stunning view of Annapurna (Search for Spock edition) and “Fishtail” (real name Machapshra - a holy mountain which has never been scaled). Everyone pegged it for cameras, fired off a roll of film before the mists rose again and dinner and yak yak yak resumed.
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