Pikey Peak II 4065 m

Well that last missive posted so here comes another.

Why am I not in Namche when the itinerary said I’d be?

Simple – Tendi had one of his ideas. Instead of doing a low altitude trek with Rupert, Wai Ling and the kids, we’d take them somewhere fun and exciting. Somewhere where they would see marvellous views of Everest. So off we set. Five of us plus two guides, Tendi and Dawa and three porters. A grand party of 10!

We did a couple of short days. First to Bhulbhule where we stayed in a rough mountain hut – five little beds in a row. We shared this stellar accommodation with a number of loud nocturnal rats. The overnight temperature dropped to -5. Chilly. It was a lovely spot. A water source was close by down in a meadow. Rupert went there to shave and got head butted by a cow who wanted to drink. Despite being sat on his rear by the butt he got no sympathy from anyone – we all just thought it was hilarious.

Our second day brought us to Dairy. So called because yak cheese is made there during the yak cheese making season – which isn’t now. There’s not a whole lot there. Basic shelter – us three “girls” shared a room, the “boys” another. Dairy is about 3700m and is on the flank of Pikey Peak II.  That is its attraction – from a Trekkers point of view.

On day three we climbed Pikey Peak II. It was a glorious walk. Short cropped meadow, rocky outcrops, views that went on and on, all the way across to the Lang Tang Range in the west to Everest and her entourage to our north. Incredible. Of course there were all the peak photo ops and at some point I’ll try to send you a picture or two. After our fun on the peak we had a really long downward walk into Junbesi. It seemed to take for ever. I was carrying too heavy a pack for going down so my knees suffered painfully.  It was a relief to pop out onto the familiar trail that Fly and I had trekked on our first time here in 2011. The lodge we stayed in for the next two nights was absolutely palatial in comparison to the past two nights. Heat in the dining room. Being able to eat dinner without our down jackets zipped up to our chins.

We spent the next day in Junbesi and  day walked up to Thupten Chholing Gompa. We listened to the monks chanting and were served tea while doing so. This is a big monastery supporting 200 monks. Here in Junbesi there is a lot of destruction from the earthquake. Several buildings collapsed completely and others are very badly damaged. Seeing the damage first hand is quite shocking. I’ve taken pictures – with mixed feelings – but I feel it’s important for us to realize that Nepal has a long way to go before the country is recovered. I hope my pictures will help in some small way to keep this in our minds.

The next day we got an unfortunately late start but the idea was for me to walk with Rupert, Wai Ling and kids for the first bit until we parted ways. They were headed south to Salleri – the end of their introduction to trekking in Nepal. I was headed north. I can say with certainty that Rupert, Wai Ling and young Emma (who is a very wise, mature 13 year old) loved the adventure. Ethan suffered. He had a couple of fierce headaches and found the lack of Internet and mysterious bits in his drinking water hard to deal with.

After saying good bye, Tendi, Puri (my porter) and I continued on to Nunthala. It was a really long hard day. I was pretty done in when we arrived. Got the same room as during my last visit. Met a couple of Canadian architects who are building a community centre in one of the near by villages. Makes me proud to be Canadian.  Hope to see them in a couple of weeks on our way back through. The main reason for such a tough day was the terrible condition of the trail. That and the fact that it is either steep up or steep down. Up is OK as a free range sort of scramble over random boulders of various sizes. Down is a different matter. I really don’t do well with downs and when there is not one flat surface and there are constant slippery mule dung rocks to clamber over – – hard work and slow slow progress.

On that note I’m going to send this – will try another post shortly but first need to charge.

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