Sunday, December 20, 2015

.....and we're off! (Dec. 17 & 18)

Dec. 17:
We took a rest day today in the village of Bamboo. My cough continued to get worse and when I woke up this morning I felt pretty terrible. So I lied around all day and drank fresh ginger, lemon, and honey tea. Purna, the owner of the lodge, took special care of me making sure I always had hot water in my bottle to put on my chest and neck at no charge.  She also made the best milk tea which reminded me of a spiced chai tea. While I was napping John treated himself to a walk forward on the trail. He found some cool side canyons and watched some more "old man" monkeys!

Dec. 18:

Wow! What 11 hours of sleep can do for the body! Our goal for today was to leave Bamboo (2310m/7576') and walk to Deurali (3230m/10,594') which is within our vertical climbing limits for acclimatization. However we got to Derali around 1:00 for lunch and felt fresh to continue to Machhapuchchhre Basecamp (MBC) (3700m/12,136'). 
Machhapuchchhre from the side view. You cannot see the "fish tail" of the peak. 
Machhapuchchhre is a peak with the nickname "fishtail" because it looks like the tail fin of a fish sticking straight up in the air. Beautiful peak! So of course we decided to climb up to MBC making our total elevation gain for the day......4,559'! I know that breaks the acclimatization rules but we technically already did our acclimatization on our trek in the Everest region. 
Man made pools for making hydroelectric power. The pools create pressure and Guide the water to a tube which takes the water down hill to a hydroelectric generator. 

Along the way we got to see one more "old man" monkey (Langur Monkey) hanging out all by himself. He wasn't very interested in entertaining us because he took off as soon as I greeted him with my cheesy animal talk!  The change in vegetation was also interesting today because we started in a lush green forest and ended close to treeline with dead bush-like vegetation. 
This is one of the few green plants surviving up high! I decided to call them "hairy."

There isn't a lot of greenery around here at MBC and in fact we did get a dusting of snow today. We are hoping we don't get anymore snow until we are long gone because this area is known for avalanches.
Annapurna South peak (taken from our lodge at MBC)
 Tomorrow we have a decision to make. When we continue on to the far end of our trek at the Annapurna Basecamp (ABC) we can either go up there for a few hours or we can spend the night up there at a tea house. Ideally we would like to stay up there but it's also very cold both up there and here at MBC. I didn't mention that none of the tea houses in the Annapurna region have wood burning stoves or any heat source! They are not permitted to cut wood here and there aren't any yaks roaming around depositing dung for burning like there was in the Everest region. Brrrrr!

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