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Day 1 – Shelter From The Storm

Starting point of trek (from left - Mohan/guide, Gela, Nima/porter)

‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood…When blackness was a virtue and the road was full of mud…I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form. “Come in,” she said, “I'll give you shelter from the storm.” — Bob Dylan

Wednesday, April 2, 2008 9:43 am

We were dropped off at 1,220 meters and immediately climbed 320 meters in the first half hour.

It doesn't take long for a nice view

10:07 am – Dhampus – Elev. 1,700 meters

Sun is intense. Sweating all down back. Beautiful.

11:48 am – Pothana – Elev. 2,000 meters

We have stopped for lunch in Pothana – Hotel Fishtail and Restaurant. Sounds include children playing, birds crowing, our food cooking, and the trickle of water from a tap by the hotel shower. A few Nepalis are playing a dice game nearby. Prayers fly off flags in the light breeze.

The morning hike was a rude awakening. Endless stone steps brought us past terraced farmland. Locals greeted us with “namaste” often. Red flowers of rhododendrons appeared. It is very pretty.

Making friends with Austrian (pictured) and German trekkers

1:48 pm – Deurali – Elev. 2,150 meters

We have reached the high elevation of our trekking today. Large birds of prey circle the valley. A cool wind blows. A large prayer flag flutters. Rain and sun at the same time.

Rain and hail dampen Day 1

7 pm – Tolka – Elev. 1,785 meters

We sought shelter from rain at a Nepali home turned guest house. Sitting on the porch, damp and cool, rain turned to hail. Ox, chicken, dog, puppy, people, kids. All affected. On the next walk after a break in the weather, we got caught in another set of showers and hail, soaking my pants, socks, and sneakers. My rain jacket performed admirably, as did the North Fake short and long sleeve shirts, and my North Face fleece from China.

Nepali clothes dryer

At about 1,900 meters, I surpassed my highest elevation to-date. I turned my right ankle though there was no pain. As the day drew long, I also felt some pain in my left knee. I slowed down my pace and held the (walking) stick in my left hand. After we reached our guest house, Mohan applied some Tiger Balm and massaged my leg. I didn't have an appetite – plain rice and tomato soup for dinner. I feel unbelievably tired. I want to sleep forever.

Most all of our clothes dried within a few hours by the wood stove. It is dark and peaceful.

Estimated distance = 11 km

We probably ascended/descended 20,000 stone steps during the trek

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