Alarm at 4:50, breakfast at 5:30, starting trekking at 6:30.
The route was planned like this: 1h to reach High camp from Thorong Phedi, another hour to reach some tea shop, 2 more hours to reach Thorong La and 3-4 hours to get down to Muktinath. No killer pace, just normal trekking.
I must say I was a bit nervous before the trek today – don’t know why, I’ve been already higher than 5416m but still, you never know how your body will react at that altitude. And then suddenly after 30mins some guy from above us is shouting if we are able to contact the guest house we started from cuz his gf was sick. And when we reached them, for the first time in my life I saw what altitude sickness really looks like. And it’s bad. I wanted to cry when I saw that poor girl. They were alone – no guide, no porter – so my guide had to help them. He ran down to the guest house, arranged helicopter transport and then ran back up to catch up with us. And those are the situations when you really can’t be on your own. Anything can change within minutes and then you’re screwed. They were lucky that we started that late because there were no groups with guides climbing after us. Everybody else left at 5 or earlier.
And what a climb it was. Around 80% of the trail was covered in snow or ice and at the beginning I thought I won’t need my gaiters but then I saw the steep slope where if you fall you’re dead probably, and I didn’t think twice to put them on afterwards. And I felt much safer wearing them.
So the trail continued up and up and I reached the pass after 4 hours (3,5 of sole trekking). I can’t say it seemed it took forever to reach the top (as LP guide claims) – you know how long the trek is supposed to take so you can’t expect that the top will magically appear after 2h of trekking, right? Unless you are running up haha.
It didn’t even feel that tiring and exhausting this time for me, no idea why, I think the 8-week half marathon training helped a lot😉
So we ordered a cup of tea at the top (there was a tea shop up there!!!) and I ate my cinnamon roll with it. Cinnamon roll never tasted better😊
The weather was also amazing, no strong wind was blowing, clear skies without single cloud and we could chill there in the sun for a long time. Getting mentally ready for the long descent to Muktinath.
And it was loooooooooong. Yes, that long. I know that my knees can handle descending 1000-1200m at once, so at 1300m I started to feel them. And at 1700m I was just praying that I will be able to walk tomorrow.
We reached Muktinath at 16:30 so it took us 5 hours to come down (45min lunch break). It was steep, rocky, icy, snowy, windy, cold, warm.. Basically everything.
Muktinath reminded me of Shangri-La – kinda modern buildings in a Chinese communist style, and I didn’t like that. No more picturesque cozy mountain villages I guess. Also, apparently exactly on this day there is a Royal Enfield tour of Nepal stopping in this town. That was my reality check when going through the city – rumbling motors all around me. Funny though.. I never heard of Royal Enfield until one person started to talk about them, and since then I associate this brand with that person. And when I entered Muktinath and saw all those bikes there (for the first time in my life!), I was like wtf.. Sign from the universe? Common sense says nope, but I’m not a common sense person🙄 Anyway, so when I saw all those bikes, a very bittersweet feeling started to grow inside of me. Kinda fuzzy, comfy feeling because I still care about that person a lot but also kinda sad and aching because I know that person doesn’t care about me anymore.. And this is how life works, kids😜
And I got a massive headache from the beginning of our descent and it lasted until now – until 7pm. Until I took my super strong, last option pain killer that I once got for my lower back pain (remember when I pinched my byck last year before the trek?😜).
Shower helped a lot to recover from today – I have MY OWN SHOWER WITH HOT WATER. In my own room! And I could shower for as long as I wanted (which was long) and the hot water never stopped😊 Personal heaven.
Now we are waiting for dinner. There can be only light in the dining hall or light in the kitchen. So we are waiting in the dark. Hope the veggie burger will be worth it. They didn’t have apple pie in here☹️ So I guess gluttony will start in Pokhara😜
Burger looked like that, decide for yourself if it was wort it😄
And those Royal Enfields woke me up in the morning😠