5 April McVets Birthday in Manang
JB: Decided yesterday to have a rest day in Manang today to both celebrate Chris' birthday and also aid altitude acclimatisation.
Manang being the culinary capital of Annapurna saw us splurg on breakfast having poached eggs, baked beans, toast etc. Interesting, as despite the seductiveness of getting a western breakfast sort of missed the routine of Tibetan bread and either vege omelette or muesli and hot milk.The long blacks over breakfast were devine however!
We took a while to get organised ringing home, uploading the blog and generally getting the communication housekeeping in order before heading out for a walk around the village followed by a climb to the Stupa and Gompa that sit on the hill behind Manang.
The climb was in our estimate a little over one Hakirimata which again at altitude did take its toll on us. The view from the top was sublime looking across the top of Manang to Tilicho and Annapurna IV and III. The Gompa was closed so after a rest and talk to the German girls who are stalking us we returned to Manang.
As an aside we decided over lunch we will be submitting to Society Internationale, the arbiter of measurement units, the Hakirimata as the recognised unit for 300m in altitude.
Lunch on return was the usual momos, fried rice or spring roll depending on everyone's fancy.
HB: after lunch we went to the 3pm lecture on altitude sickness. This was given by an Kiwi and a American doctor on a 3 month volunteer assignment. There were approx 50 trekkers attending. It was very informative at the end we did a quick test on heart rate and blood count we all were above normal and John was joint top equal of the whole group and shared a bounty bar..we later did a weigh in as we all thought we had put on a bit of weight as we have been eating substantial about of food everyday after a good days hike but I was 2 kg lighter since leaving home and everyone else was similar.
CM: today was my birthday reached the ripe old age of 59. Definitely a birthday to remember. Supposedly a rest day except for the 400 m hill climb.
Started off well with a breakfast of poached eggs , rosti and Lavazza espresso coffee. Managed to get a phone call into Donna who was walking along Whangamata beach with Julia and Reece. Coincided with a freak wave washing Julia and the two dogs into the sea. luckily they all managed to get to shore without problems appart from getting wet. Finished off the day with the guys and porters organising a surprise birthday cake. I was really touched when Himal and Dipesh gave me a pashmina and hat with a very cute card with "Happy Birthday to you Crice"
All up a great birthday.
MI: To celebrate Chris's birthday we had a rude shirt day. John's ensemble was a purple number shot with iridescent blue. Chris was sporting his 1977 capping week teeshirt with the Latin wording "non circum coitus' (no f......g around). Harm had "ask your mother" on his and mine was a light blue striped collared shirt with a hibiscus flower on the pocket. Beautiful men!
Manang is really advanced compared to what we've experienced in the past 10 days. Like Dhal Bhat it has 24 hr power. The book says there are 154 lodges, 300 houses and around 1500 people. There are numerous churtons, prayer wheel walls and Mani walls (the ones with the engraved prayer tablets). There are even two movie theatres (rooms with projectors!).
Praken Gompa that we walked up to is built inside a cliff and is supposedly a meditation cave of the villagers. As John mentioned great views of the peaks, but also the impressive Gangapurna Glacier and Gangapurna Lake. Witnessed another avalanche just above the glacier. We were trying to work out how to describe the scale of the peaks compared to where we were standing and decided it was like standing in Vulcan Lane looking at the Sky Tower, only 20 times higher and 20 times the distance way ( you get the picture of the angle!).
Lunch was a bit later and we were all a little spacey from a lack of water and food. Soon rectified. Was good attending the lecture. They said we are at 64% oxygen here at Manang and will only be at 50% oxygen crossing ThrongLa (same as Everest Base Camp). Also they said that 50% of the people in the room would would get some form of Acute Mountain Sickness (not severe just inconvenient).
Chris lost some money today, but I helped him find it. Funny thing was it was right where he looked but behind his passport not in front of it. Does that sound like Chris Donna?Couldn't hassle him being his birthday so thought I would mention it here :)