The river flows…It flows to the sea…Wherever that river goes…That's where I want to be…Flow river flow…Let your waters wash down…Take me from this road…To some other town. — Roger McGuinn
Thursday, April 3, 2008
2:44 pm – Jhinu danda – Elev. 1, 745 meters
We awoke around 6 am to beautiful, clear views of Annapurna South (7,219 meters) and Hiun Chuli (6,441 meters). It was chilly. Gela said she was coughing during the night however I was fast asleep. I had porridge for breakfast with some hot water to drink. It was quite good. We left at 7:45 am.
From Tolka, we headed down to Landruk. We passed through Himalpani, arriving at Jhinu danda 30 minutes early at 11:30 am. We passed over a few small bridges and two larger ones. The mighty Modi Khola roared below. Despite starting and ending at about the same elevation, we went up and down quite a bit. I went slower than the first day, taking special care on the descents to take smaller steps. I was often at the tail end of our four person crew. They were never far from sight though. Despite walking along steep cliffs and up endless stone stairs, I found my rhythm. The final ascent was exasperating. Aiming for Tibetan prayer flags that signaled rest kept me going.
Rain, hail, thunder, lightning, a rainbow. I feel like we've had a lot of time today to relax and recover. I need as much as possible. Tomorrow is suppose to be a tough day. 6-7 hours of trekking some very steep mountain terrain. And it is all the more important to start early to reach shelter before the weather turns bad. The power just came back on!
After the rain, Gela and I headed to the restaurant room where there was a large tour group taking up most of the space. It reaffirmed for me that hiring a guide/porter was the right decision. For many reasons: less costly, more flexible, more control (or so we thought on the last two points).
We chatted, read, ate, and drank ginger tea. Gela retired first. When I left for the room, I looked up and saw the most amazing stars. Beautiful and clear like my first night in Tahiti. I craned my neck skywards and slowly turned to take it all in. The surrounding mountains were so high it was hard to tell where people's homes ended and the stars began.
After listening to some music, I knocked off as Gela did earlier.
Estimated distance = 7 km