Brrrr it is getting cold already! The teahouses don’t have much insulation so we sit in our rooms bundled up just as much as we would be if we were sitting outside. Right now I am in the dining room sitting as close to the wood stove as possible without melting. It feels amazing to be toasty and warm.
Dharque to Chame has brought us out of the jungle and into deciduous forests with the fall colors we hear about in California but rarely see. The jagged, snow covered peaks are in view now too, and it really feels like we are trekking in the Himalayas. Chame to Pisang has brought us now to evergreen forests that remind me of Tahoe.
We passed by goat herders on the path, and it astounded us that the goats really followed instructions. They would start to run down the mountain slope, but the goat herder would call them back and they would climb right back up!
Every village had a few Buddhist religious structures: prayer flags, prayer stones, and stupas.
We had the most amazing meal in Jagat. We sat on the floor in the kitchen and watched them make the food before serving it to us. We had hiked hard that day, so we ordered everything we wanted: tea, curry, soup, pakota, and apple pie.
As we journey along the path, we have played leapfrog with a few other parties and have gotten to chat with them and have lunches together. It is nice to see a newly familiar face when we are so far from home.
Lunch takes forever! It takes 80 minutes just to get the food, but we are at least able to pay the bill right away. I am not used to such long stops on a hike, but we feel quite refreshed when we start again.
I am a bit paranoid about altitude sickness. I have had it at a lowly 7,000 feet in the past, so I am not taking any chances here. I made us push hard for the first three days of hiking so that we could get high enough to start acclimating. The circuit starts at 820 meters, but we will eventually reach 5,600 meters. Now we will be slowing the pace so that we don’t gain further altitude too quickly. The usual advice is “climb high, sleep low” but that is a bit difficult to follow when you need several days to ascend a mountain. Tonight’s altitude is 3,300 meters.
Our teahouse tonight cost 200 rupees ($1.70) and has the best view I have ever had from a hotel room. This is the view of Annapurna 2. I can’t take my eyes off of it.