Last night was cold. Really unpleasant. We both wiggled and shivered and woke many times, yet sleep came between bouts of squirming so we felt rested come morning.
Are you curious to know what happens to a frozen Asian toilet when people keep pooping in it all night long? The smell was the first indication that the situation was out of control. I’m not going to go into further descriptions because I’m sure you can envision the horror. What I find inconceivable is that use continued well past capacity. An ice rink of sorts had been created. When we left, the owner was digging his outhouse out of a two metre snow drift, having tried unsuccessfully to remedy the problem. Tendi, took Michel and I over to the next guesthouse and got permission for us to use their facilities. Humble but functional.
Back to the Exodus group for a moment. They started banging around at 4am. Enough racket to wake the dead. They were setting off by 6:30 just as we emerged for our breakfast. What they needed to do that made so much noise for two and a half hours is beyond me. We left an hour hour later and by 10:30 passed them by. We were a bit naughty and as soon as they were out of sight we sang “Oh Canada.” Tendi told us their guides had their hands full as some of the participants were very slow and unfit for the trek.
Now to the fun part of our day. It was bitterly cold and the wind frigid but we made good time to the top of the pass where the sun met us with its warmth. The entire ascent was on snow. The trail was an indistinct set of foot prints across a wind blown landscape. At the top, we hunkered down beside a rock for a rest before beginning a three hour descent to Pedi – 3730. For most of the distance we continued on the snow field. Side steps, or digging in our heels or sliding on our boots we made good time and had a lot of fun. Michel took a crazy face plant.Tendi a nose dive. Lakpa slid down between Michel’s legs and I almost sat in a patch of thorns by the track. Dawa was thus the winner of whatever weird competition we had going.
While many people haven’t made the crossing due to fear of the snow, we had a blast.
The last part of our descent brought us back into the shrub and now tree line and was knee grinding steep. We arrived in Pedi at 11:30, have had lunch, a warm water wash and are now huddled by the wood stove. It has been lit but it giving off a vague and minuscule amount of heat. The fog has rolled in as is its habit in the afternoon.
Later in the afternoon a charming young couple – Italian Camila and French Paulo arrived. They did so while I was reading Tendi a story from Pomegranates. I offered to stop reading but they said to continue. A young woman, Susa from Germany also joined us. We ended up enjoying an interesting afternoon of conversation by a toasty wood stove. We asked the owner of the guesthouse – Bir – if we could all be served our diner at the same time. How he managed this from his tiny kitchen I have no idea but we had a merry dinner together. One of,our nicest evenings on this trek despite the humble establishment. Michel and I have gone to bed, warm from the fire and camaraderie.
Good night from Pedi.