To Forest Camp (2400 m)
The sun shines again. We’ve had perfect weather.
Today is our very steep and strenuous climb out of Landruk up to Forest Camp. We gain 760 metres in elevation. The route starts up stone steps but soon devolves into a rough narrow path. At times we hand over our trekking poles to our nimble porters and clamber, hands gripping rock and roots. Thankfully the sun remains behind the ridge so it’s not too hot. At times the trail snakes along, traversing the nearly vertical slope. I only barely manage to hold my vertigo in check!
At one point we need to cross a cliff face on a rough log bridge cantilevered out from the cliff. We do so one at a time. I wonder what is holding the affair to the cliff. Some things are best not known. We also negotiate a recent land slide. The route hairpins back and forth across it and none of us enjoy the experience very much because the ground feels unstable and the way is really steep.
We finally reach the top of the ridge then have an easy walk into Forest Camp.
Here we are met with disappointment. The tranquility that I enjoyed on my last visit here is long gone. The place is now popular and there is not enough infrastructure to handle the influx of trekkers. We get rooms in a dingy place. I’m used to staying in humble accommodation in Nepal, but there is always evidence of pride of place. Not so here. It is filthy and unkempt. We sit in the sun on the patio and drink beers during the afternoon until clouds billow up and obscure the sun. Cold is instant so we crowd into the horrid dining room. Our evening meal is edible but only barely and the portions are messily. The filth of the cutlery – well it is just plain disgusting.
The water in the toilets runs sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t. Tendi is sent by the owner to fix it. Like he doesn’t have enough to do.
We find out the next morning that the porters had to share beds and Tendi slept fitfully in the dining room.