Sinuwa to Deurali

    gordon
    Rockingthisworld - Nepal - Sinuwa
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    Having both some wet laundry, a wet backpack, and a solar panel adapter in need of charging, we were very happy that the weather gods were – once again – with us today! The sun was beating from clear skies until lunch. No rains all day. Perfect conditions for drying and charging!

    We started walking around 08:15, and went steeply up, steeply down and steeply up again. Starting at 2050m and ending up at 3200m. Quite tough for well used muscles. In between the climbs up and down, we had a wonderful stretch going through a jungle. We knew there were monkeys (Bandar in Nepalese) in this jungle, so we kept a sharp look-out while walking. All of a sudden, a long-tailed monkey, probably a Grey Langur, leaped across our path right over our heads. We stopped and caught sight of a couple of adults, and a mom with a baby. Great fun!

    I reached a personal milestone today by setting stepping into the Himalayas!! It’s quite humbling to be amongst the greatest mountains in the world! We also walked on snow for the first time on this trek today when we crossed a small glacier. Wisely, our guide Hari waited until we had all reached the other side to tell us that glaciers like the one we had just walked on were one of the big killers in these mountains. In a matter of seconds they can slide down the mountainside as avalanches. The 2014 snowstorm disaster, in which at least 43 people lost their lives when unusually severe snowstorms and avalanches surprised trekkers, guides, porters and locals on and around the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri (see Wikipedia for more information: http://tinyurl.com/o37q53q), happened only 6 months before our trek. And the tragedy with 16 guides losing their lives in the Mount Everest avalanche one year before our trek makes us realize the powerful forces at play in this relatively young mountain area. According to some, the increase in avalanches in the Himalayas is caused by global warming. Either way, we gather our hands and send a prayer and thought to the great mountains surrounding us and the destinies of the people who have visited them.

    We arrived safely Deurali (3230m) at 16:15, and were positively surprised at how well the trek had gone some far – despite relatively heavy backpacks and tired leg muscles. It is definitively colder up in this altitude, and the three girls figured that a hot shower would be nice (cost: 150 Rs per person). A lesson learned and bit of advice: even though it sounds tempting, I strongly recommend that you do not shower in these altitudes, especially in the evenings when it is cold outside. Even though the girls did not wash their hair (not possible due to low water pressure), they got very cold on their feet and had a hard time getting warm again after. They spent the evening wearing all their warmest clothes and trying to get the heat up in the common room. I had the same experience last night, but they managed to take a shower before I got to warn them properly.

    We were all hungry and tired, and order an early dinner (17:30), played a few rounds of the card game Uno with one of the porters, China, and went to bed by 20:00. The trek so far, expect the morning at Poon Hill, has not felt crowded at all. However, since people come together from many different routes to get to the Basecamp, the lodges are getting fuller and you need to book a room in advance if you want to avoid sleeping in the common room. The four of us shared a room for the first time this night. Didn’t make much difference since we were all exhausted and fell asleep right away.