At first light I’m a little disappointed that there might actually be a thin layer of high clouds over the peaks, but by the time we finish our breakfast the haze burns off and the peaks are clearly visible against the Nepali blue sky. The eternal blue sky at this time of year is why the trails are so crowded.
Like yesterday we descend steps to the river and climb up the other side, a perpetual daily theme.
At the bottom, the Chomrong river is a torrential powerhouse of glacial water.
We cross the bridge which in three days’ time will be blocked off as unsafe, with a detour 500 meters further down the river.
The trail is busy this morning. We are back on the main trail, the only route to and from Annapurna Base Camp (ABC). As such it is used by everyone – trekkers heading in both directions, donkeys and porters carrying goods, buffalo sunning themselves, and children on their way to school.
Tea break at an upper lodge in Sinuwa with more great views. Past here Donkeys are no longer permitted on the trail and all goods must be carried in by porters.
After another hour and a half of “Nepali flat”, we arrive at the Bamboo Guest House nestled in a valley of bamboo, as the name would suggest. Bamboo lacks the mountain views of other tea house stops. The guest house has the typical cell-like rooms. Sheets and pillow cases, however, are pilled and stained. Toilets are squat only. You can purchase a temperamental hot shower that uses an instant water heater for a minimal feel.
As elsewhere, trekkers soak up the last rays of sunshine on the pleasant courtyard.
The dining room is small but jovial, with the usual mix of international guests, guides and porters. Laxmi and the girls teach me a new card game called “pairs”, a simplified version of gin. I joke that they let me win a few hands so they could take my money tomorrow. The Nepalese do like to play for money as evidenced by the trail-side card games we’ve passed.
Tonight there is a large group of Russians in the dining room. The next morning Laxmi tells me that they stayed in the dining room long after dinner, even after being told that the dining room was where the guides and porters sleep. What’s more the guide for this inconsiderate group was unwilling to say anything to his patrons and instead stayed in the kitchen, downing a local brew and yacking it up with the staff.
In high season when foreign trekkers occupy all the rooms at the guest houses at the upper end of the trail, the dining room is turned into a dorm for the guides and porters. The lights are left on overnight when there are female guides and assistant guides present.
November 1, 2012
For links to all the posts related to the trek see the Annapurna Base Camp page.
For links to all the posts in this series see the Nepal page.