Kim reckons my latest blogs are not very witty. Not sure if that's a backhanded compliment or just, as she put it, she hasn't done anything daft. I'll try in future to make sure I include all hilarity forthwith.
We got lost. In the wilderness. On what was supposed to be a very short day. Plan was to leave Manang at 9am (we waited over an hour after breakfast to allow Kim's runny tummy to settle) and make the short 500m climb to Lekdar. While it should have taken 3hrs max, I got concerned when there was no town in sight....at 13.30!!!!!
A quick review of the map and the book and I was sure we were slap-bang in the middle of the next day. Or what we had planned to be the next day. To go on would mean a further 300m climb (on top of the 800 we had already done (rule of thumb at these levels is 500m per day is safe)!!!!), to go back would be a possible one hour walk to do it all again.
Thoughts turned to the fetching Doc and his theatrical hand gestures signalling heads exploding with pressure, loss of coordination causing disappearances down crevasses and coughing fits caused by pressure on arteries causing an internal explosion. "Lets go to the lecture" she says. "It'll be good to be informed" she says.
I was aware two guys had taken a higher route and was concerned as it was 'no longer in use' (landslide wiped most of it out). One guy (English) came down and after some discussion he relented and took the lower route and we agreed to push on. After all, we were feeling fine, weren't we? What's that pressure I feel in my head? Or at least I think I feel. I don't know, can't tell if its real or enigmatic Doc's informative chat!
English guy went on while we took on water. Then the next guy, American guy, came down for a con-flab. After more discussion he agreed to take the lower route and when he left, the Doc came back - watch out for the Jocks! "You will notice them..." he exclaimed,"as the young fit dudes, usually from my country, who say 'to hell with it, lets do the pass in a day'. They are usually the guys in the helicopter".
So, while I was feeling fine, and machoism was burning away, discretion was the better part of valour and I decided we should head down. After all, a second day of 'climbing high, sleeping low' would see us skip over the pass. NB - in case I haven't mentioned 'the pass' refers to the Thorung La pass, a mountain pass perched at over 5,400m up and the summit of our exploration. To put into perspective, you would need to put six Scottish Munros on top of each other to get close, Everest is 8,800m. But I digress.
Kimbo agreed, and within 40mims we had a lodge. The reason we missed the 'town' was because we came across it sooner than expected, were feeling quite fresh from our day off, oh, and there were only three buildings!!!
In the evening we were joined by a troupe of German students. While they were noisy, they didn't bother us while we read. And as there were no lights in the room we had little choice. That choice became less obvious when a wee mouse popped its head out of a hole in the ground to say'Hey' to Kim. She didn't say 'Hey' back. She did sit with her feet up the rest of the night, watching as her would-be pal ambled (he was quite indifferent to the humans) around the conservatory floor. Later, hundreds of years of women's lib was washed away when it became 'the mans job' to return our chairs to said conservatory.
But the wee mouse laughed last. To get to our room we had to go outside and up some stairs. And guess who met us to say goodnight!?! I'm pretty sure the screech woke the jocks further up.