Tuesday, 1 April 2008

A second day in Dingboche

Dingboche is above the tree line but the locals grow potatoes in small fields divided by dry stone walls. They're planting at the moment. All the field work is done by women as all the men appear to act as guides and porters for trekkers. As one woman hoes another woman drops the seed potatoes in the ground. We've been eating the potatoes at least one meal per day, and they're terrific.

Last evening, for the fourth consecutive evening, it snowed. On the previous occasions there was just a light dusting, but this morning there was a heavy blanket of snow covering the countryside, including the yaks in the field behind our lodge. As usual we were brought tea at 6:30am by assistant guides, and ate breakfast at 7:30am. As today is an acclimatisation day where we stay in the same lodge tonight, we headed off to climb Nagartsang Peak, the peak behind the lodge, and then return for lunch. The walk was only 5km, but we climbed 500m, to an altitude of over 5,000m. Five (including me) of the 12 in the group reached the summit as it was hard work at this altitude. Unfortunately the whole way up we were clouded in, but it cleared as we descended, for spectacular views of the nearby snow-covered mountains, and the valleys from where we've walked, and where we'll head tomorrow.

After lunch I indulged in a bucket shower in the open for 250R - it will be at least 4-5 days before the next opportunity.


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