This morning, most of us woke up to Adam’s rather loud discovery of a leech on his arm that was (as last the story goes), “THIS BIG!” But by the end of the day, leeches were old news. I think everyone has found one of those sneaky slimy creatures somewhere at least some point. And other than hearing Adam and Max re-tell the story of this infamous leech to anyone who would listen, our morning routine was pretty standard—lots of delicious Sherpa tea, yummy breakfast (even French toast!) and packing up campo. Some of the group has succumbed to using the daily water basin to washing hair, but Audrey has convinced me tough to it out at least until we end the trek (sorry Mom).
The trek before lunch was pretty unbelievable. We spent first two hours climbing completely uphill and I can’t even explain how beautiful these views were. We were literally in the clouds. Sometimes it feel like we were hiking right through the jungle and all of a sudden we would reach a clearing and see rolling mountains so green and lush that you’d think it couldn’t possibly be real. We passed pastures, yaks, running rivers, and yes lots of leeches too. Probably the most exciting part of the trek was when Dylan got chance to try it out as a porter and carry a full load of gear on his head all the way to lunch. That was definitely a sight.
By the time we reached lunch, however, we could hear thunder rolling in the distance and we knew our day of clear skies may be ending. To make up for it though, we got pomegranate seeds at lunch, which really makes me believe the guides are listening to everything we say because I definitely said was craving fresh fruit this morning.
After lunch, we finally got a taste of what this whole monsoon season is about. Turns out it is no joke. We hiked two hours more uphill in absolute down pouring rain. Thankfully those of us with waterproof boots had dry feet to combat the storm. Regardless, none of this seemed to matter when we reached our campsite because we ate staying at the most magical monastery in the clouds. We spent the little time we had before dinner enjoying some hot chocolate in this adorable attic of the house of this elderly couple. Dinner surprised us all with yet another delicious way to prepare potatoes and even pasta with milk nak cheese! (no that’s not a typo, we learned recently that it’s not YAK cheese because it is the female nak that actually produces milk). Now we are all exhausted and ready for bed (I don’t even think it’s 8pm). We are also officially more than halfway done with our trek to Chyangba, which is nuts.
Mom—you can sleep well knowing I am warm, well fed and safe. And to everyone else who is hopefully readings this—Alex, Baker, friends on both coasts, I miss you all terribly and can’t wait to share all the stories still untold when I return. This will most definitely be a trip to remember.
Lots of Love,