Well, I don't "walk like a young person anymore"; that apparently ended at 10,000 feet. Today we took the high route through Ghyaru and Ngawal. The first climb came early with almost 500 meters of gain to 3730 meters and I was hurting. It didn't help that I'd sworn off coffee that morning. And to add insult to injury, I wouldn't be having a beer at the end of the day either. But we were high on the side of the valley with the most spectacular view of the north faces of the Annapurna range. At the risk of being cliche, there really were dazzling white peaks set against a cloudless, cobalt blue sky. Annapurna 2,3,4 and Gangapurna with the Manaslu range off in the distance. Of course my camera ran out of batteries immediately, but Sofie and Alex had adopted me for the day and promised to send me their pictures.
Buddhist shrines were everywhere as we contoured our way up the valley. It was the type of day that makes a trip worthwhile all on its own. Then it was a big drop back down to the river for the long slog into Manang. Thankfully the strong daily valley wind was at our backs. I'm almost 90 kms through the 140 km trek with the Thorung La Pass looming ahead.