21 Oct. We’ve begun the return journey. Some of it on different trails, but for sections we retrace our steps. however going the opposite direction changes the view so none of it feels old. Now the Himalaya range to our south seems to grow taller and bigger as we descend towards it. There is still an abnormally low snow line for this time of year. I’m not going to give you a daily report of our southern bound trek. I think I’ve said as much as needs saying about what this incredibly harsh but beautiful part of the world is like.
23 Oct. Just yesterday Tendi received a call from Binod with news that my neighbours Barry and Diane called him wondering if I was OK. At the same time we discovered that the storm of 14 Oct resulted in a much greater loss of human life throughout the region than we’d been aware of. Barry and Diane thanks for taking the time to track me down and check on my well being – that means a great deal to me.
Sorry for any worries any of you may have had. Once blogs start coming from me again you will read of my wet experiences during that storm. We were close to the disaster zone but happily not caught up in the blizzards. Tendi is a wise mountain man – he’d not have had us out in that kind of weather. It started at night so unless people were camping, we are puzzled as to why so many were trying to cross any of those passes in blizzard conditions. We witnessed some of the body recovery the following day and the Nepali news had coverage but we thought it was a local tragedy and had no idea the thing involved so much of the Annapurna region would make international news. You probably know more about what happened than we do.
24 Oct. We are now back in Kagbeni. The Upper Mustang portion of this trek is over. It was a tough one for sure but I’m very glad to have gone there to see and experience the place. After washing my filthy laundry – while showering – I took Tendi and my new porter, Furi, for a Cappuccino. Furi liked it but Tendi was hilarious! To say he likes Cappuccinos as much as I like Sherpa Yak Butter tea would not be an understatement! However he drank it and I’ve thus been challenged to drink Sherpa tea with him in his village when Karin and I go there later this month. The reason I have a new porter is because Tsheri has returned to school in Kathmandu, the festival holiday season now being over.
Tomorrow I should have internet so hopefully I’ll be able to send you all news that I’m well, happy and enjoying myself!