We woke to the chorus of motorbike engines revving at 6am and I attempted a gentle breakfast of Tibetan bread and boiled eggs. Luckily the first part of our trek was downhill and pretty chilled with lovely views over meadows and farmed land so we had a perfect start to the day. We decided to check on Cammi who as our guide was still stoically plowing on ahead, it was only at this point that he explained he wasn’t Cammi, instead Pemba had left us with Neema who we think was just a random mate from his village – even less of a guide than we had expected…. We settled down for lunch after some knackering steep climbs and wolfed down omelettes and I even managed a bit of dads chowmein. Here we attempted to find out where we were using dads map me app but even that was a little guess so we hiked on behind Cammi/Neema who often stopped for directions himself! At one point we reached a buzzing village, music playing and kids practicing for the up coming Holi festival trying to pelt us with water balloons. Not far from here we managed to spot some fox like creatures – unfortunately not red pandas but as we later assumed they were mountain ferret badgers, nonetheless a discovery to keep our minds off some of the pain! The final stretch was where I really stared to struggle, with so much dry dust and the heat we were in, it was just so hard to breathe. Obviously Neema had powered on with the only water we had left and I really had to force myself to make it up this final hill! 8 and a half hours of walking later we arrived at our home for the evening. We were ushered into a tiny shed of a room up a small step ladder with the toilet a chilly walk away and creepy posters of babies titled “do you love me” taped to the walls. Regardless we were knackered so settled in and nibbled on Monacos (our classy sounding but regular old ritz biscuits) until the temperatures began to drop. The friendly owner ushered us into the living area of the lodge which was beautiful and just felt very real – I guess we were just chilling in her kitchen but it was kind of special being sat with hot cups of black tea on rugs around her stove as she began to prepare chowmein for dinner! We were offered some milk tea which I assumed would be like Indian chai – sweet and spicy! How wrong I was when I had a swig of hot salty buttery Nepalese tea! Not something I fancy trying again! Eventually we were presented with dinner – this was an absolute MOUNTAIN of noodles and, with my stomach the size of a pea, such a mission. Not wanting to be rude and to be fair it was delicious I forced as much as I could down but even dad was struggling! I went to bed feeling as if forcing it down had been a bit of an error.
Well readers come morning I was right in my theory so back to Monacos and boiled eggs… With very little fuel AGAIN I was faced with more tough climbing but powered on – I couldn’t really turn back at this point! Eventually we made it to a tiny wooden tea house where it started to snow! Maybe it was something about the fresh air or the magic of the snowflakes or possibly the Rennie I went for but I was starting to feel a load better! After a couple of breaks we had found our stride and trekked through snowy forests to a view of actual Himalayan mountains and it was bloody wonderful! We stopped again at a tea house to catch our breath and were put off from having lunch watching a random guy having his nits seen too over the kitchen table by his mate and a pair of tweezers! With more uphill to go and plenty of massive steps for my little legs we were exhausted as we reached above 3500m – the point of altitude sickness but I think this just spurred me on! I relied on podcasts to get me through the last stretch – perhaps it was dads conversation that was so nauseating… and we finally made it to our stop for the evening! Dad had a feast of Nepali Daal Bhat (apparently Nepal runs on daal bhat power 24 hour…) and I warmed up with a little noodle soup before settling into the most shed like of rooms yet wearing ALL my clothes gloves and all!