High times at Himalaya: A walk on the beach
Another day at the Himalaya, another day to go and this means going. Once around a walk the hut, we can continue stumble on a narrow path to the top. It is still dark, we started so early, even the trousers are still wet from yesterdays walk. It takes about four hours to get to the Laurebina Pass at 4,610 meters, which the locals call Surya La. The ascent is arduous and views are hardly possible because of the humid air. Some hikers pant because of the altitude, others complain of headaches.
Our two Sherpas Guide Udaya and Sirdhar Kumar, however, hike as if they were going to the bakery. The opened umbrellas suggest this association. For the two small men this is rather a walk on the beach, they are used to the height, to the weather anyway, they know the landscape as well. Where others have heavy breath, they whistle a song.
With increasing height it gets windier and windier, without the fog was blown away. Only at the pass summit, which marks the border between Helambu and Langtang National Park, the sky opens up. If the weather was good we would now even see Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh and Langtang Himal, all these giants. But today it snows a few sparse flakes and on the highpass Syrya La, which is not located directly at the pass but a few meters next to it, the cheering is great. First summit! 4604 meters! For half an hour we enjoy the triumph of having climbed from underneath through all the valleys and over all the ridges to here.
In a lodge that looks half abandoned, half as if it is still being built, we have tea, like every time not real tea , but ginger root in hot water. This is considered by the locals as the best precaution against colds, altitude sickness and exhaustion. Afterwards, an endless descent follows up to the Gosainkund Lakes at 4.380 metres, where we arrive completely exhausted. Thanks, Ingwer.
During the full moon festival in July/August thousands of pilgrims are said to bathe in the holy water here and offer puja to Shiva, the god of destruction and renewal. "puja" is a kind of sacrifice, some paper money, lights, flowers, something else. It is like a prayer thats left at holy places. Today nobody is here, only the sun is slowly coming out. The landscape is breathtaking, a bit closer to the sky and a sight like paradise.
The path becomes flatter and wider behind Chalang Pati Danda, now we are also on a beach walk, luckily. We can even talk to each other again now. After almost eight hours we reach Laurebina Yak at 3,900 meters. Yesterday it was up, today it is down. The lodge is called again and as always something with "View", because views are always around everything. There is soup again tonight and Chiapati to go with it, those flat pita (not puja!) bread that always taste a bit like oven ash. Strange: According to the persistent taste, the cook apparently travels with us, but during the day we never see him.
The sequel of this story is here
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