Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Day 09 (Churi Ledar to Thorung High Camp)
I woke up at 06:00 today, packed my bags, and had breakfast (fried eggs, fried potatoes, chapati bread, and coffee) in the freezing hotel restaurant (too bad they couldn’t turn the heater on for us guests). I then donned my backpack, and headed off in to the freezing cold – I mean, I was really cold. I had to stop eventually to put gloves on my hands since the sun was taking its sweet time to rise. I hiked along the Kone Khola ravine and eventually crossed over to the western bank and continued northward through a landslide zone (one portion of the trail had small rocks continuously tumbling down – I kept an eye out for anything large enough to be life-threatening, but did not see any). After passing through the rock slide area, I reached Thorung Phedi; I continued on, uphill, through a steep portion of the trail, passing by three American women on the way up. After an arduous climb, I finally reached my stop for the day (at 09:30) – Thorung High Camp. I got a room at the lodge, sorted my clothing out for tomorrow’s trek (I will wear all my winter clothes), and then grabbed my camera and walked up to a high point near the lodge that had several piles of rocks with prayer flags and great views of the surrounding area, the mountains, the ravine, and the trail up to Thorung La pass. I then returned to the lodge, had lunch (a cup of masala tea and macaroni with tomato sauce, mushrooms, vegetables, and yak cheese – actually most of the cheese on the Annapurna Circuit is yak cheese), relaxed, had a snack (a cup of coffee with fudge filled cookie sandwiches), filled up my camel-back with water, and then hung out in the lodge restaurant with the three American women and three Nepalese porters; I also met the two guys I had hiked to Ice Lake with the other day (the Englishman decided to continue on after all). Sometime later I had coconut cookies and a cup of lemon ginger tea . . . then I had Tibetan bread and a cup of lemon tea (there is not much else to do up here). I also talked with a group of four hikers from France and the Englishman from the Ice Lake trek while waiting for supper time. For dinner I had an onion pizza and masala tea. I then used the squat toilet one last time, careful not to slip on the ice surrounding it, before going to sleep.