Dhole 15 October (This blog is out of sequence - it refers to an
earlier part of the trip
As part of the easy group we are wending our way slowly up the Dudh
Koshi valley towards Gokyo. Our days are limited by the amount of
height we can safely gain each day (300-400m) so the walking times are
quite short. We share the trail with porters carrying up to 120kgs.
Today we were in a group carrying plywood and other building
materials. Four 20mm sheets or about 15 thin sheets was standard.
Others were carrying kerosine, beer and cheese. At 4000m we are now
above the height where crops can be grown and everything has to be
carried in. As well as porters there are yak trains. Lower down we
passed mule trains, then Zum (cow/yak cross) trains, but now we have
to get off the track for big shaggy yaks. A few days back on the
track a porter was found concussed down a bank after being pushed off
by a mule. With some big drops at the side of the track we stop on
the inside and let the animals pass at their own pace.
Hopefully there will be some pictures with this to show just how
magnificent it is. Even though we are at 4000m the nearby peaks tower
over us by another 3000m. Here in Dhole we are almost at the bush
line. We are still walking through Juniper and Rhododendron stands,
but other deciduous trees are common and these are in full autumn
Keith went off for a stroll yesterday afternoon and came across a deer
and a musk deer just on dusk. Choughs (crows) are common and of
course yaks abound. Its very different from the lower trails where
Colin surprised a snake and several of the group had leaches find
them. One dropped down Jean's front and she proudly displayed it to
all as a an unexpected birthday present.
In the mornings when the sun is out it's warm enough to tramp in
shorts and light top. But when the clouds arrive (currently by
midday) we end up in down jackets and hats inside the tea houses.
There is some heating in the lodges, but as fuel is scarce they
generally don't light the fire till dusk. There was a solid frost on
the roof last night but our sleeping bags are more than up to the task
Will sign off now as battery life is short. Not sure how or when this
will get sent.