Friday, December 2, 2022

Nov 22-Goodbye to Our Friends…

O2 Sats-88% (but I don’t feel like 88-I feel better)

…because a new plan has been set in motion. 

Yesterday, when I joined the group after getting cleaned up, Jeff asked me if I would be interested in taking a helicopter back to Kathmandu instead of hiking three days out to Syabrubesh where we would get the SUVs to take us back to Kathmandu. Of course I would have no objection to a helicopter ride through the Langtang Valley! It was a matter of cost. Supposedly, it would be $375/person, above what we’ve already paid. But a helicopter ride…I agreed to do it. 

This morning the arrangements were made. We will have two helicopters to carry all of us and our gear. There are 8 of us (including Bhola). Our porters would walk back to Syabrubesh (in one day…took us four days to get here), then get the bus to Kathmandu. We won’t be leaving here until Saturday morning. Today is Tuesday. 

Jeff gathered the appropriate amount of  rupees for the tip. It basically came out to $50 from each of us, divided amongst the four porters. I wanted to give BB extra for taking such good care of me yesterday. We each took a porter (some doubled up) and gave them their tips. I gave BB his from all of us, then an additional 3000 rupees from me. They were all very happy. In USD it was just $24 extra, but that’s a lot to them. 

We took a bunch of photos, and said our goodbyes. It was rather emotional. These four might have started out as our porters, but they became our friends. It was sad to see them go. 

Me with Bhola and the guys. 

After waving them off, we had to decide what we wanted to do today. The four of us women decided to hike up the valley. Sean decided to come with us, as well as Bhola. We set off sometime between 10:00 and 11:00. Of course, it was another sunny day here in Nepal!

As we were walking out of the village, we heard a helicopter coming (for some other people).

We will have to schlep our gear to the helipad ourselves on Saturday morning. I’m not worried as my bags are relatively small. 

We headed up the valley. Here’s some photos…

Not much elevation today. 

A number of cairns along the way. Some were necessary to mark where the trail was. 

Looking up to the high hike for tomorrow. 

Walking across this rock fall was like walking on the moon. 

Imagine the force of water that has brought all that rock down to the valley floor. 

Wind whipping the dust. 


Continuing up the valley. 

The way was mostly easy trail, but nothing is really easy at over 12,000 feet! Slowly walking… Bhola stayed with me as the rest are so much faster. I don’t care. I like to look around and take my time. After all, this is a rest day. 

As we continued along the valley floor, more mountains came into view. 

This was quite sandy. 

It’s sunny, but it is cold. Ice in a creek. 

Water, ice, and mountains. 

New mountain on the left. The one to the right is what we can see from the village. 

Interesting seed pods. 

Still the Langtang River. 

We reached a point where there was a big rock. We went up and around it to see if we could see further up the valley. 

Just another bend in the river, so we opted to call it there. 

We sat down for a snack before starting the walk back. 

On the way back, Bhola kept asking me if I wanted him to carry my pack. I told him I was okay. There was no way I was going to let him carry my, AND his own, pack!!! Besides, it wouldn’t make me any faster. 

The walk back seemed to go quicker. It was pretty windy though, and it kicked up the dust. Today I was more prepared. 

Soon we were coming into view of the village. When we got back, I managed to get a warm shower, then went for some food at the Dorje Bakery. Heather and I are working our way through all the bakery items. Today was carrot cake. It was delicious! I also had a sandwich. It was on bread they make. Also very delicious. 

Now I’m sitting in my quilt typing this in our cold room. The only time the room gets a little bit warmer is in the morning when the sun shines through the window. Can’t complain about the view though…

I think the plan tomorrow is to go up even higher to 16,000 feet. I don’t think I will make that one. It takes about 8 hours. I may start with them, but turn back when I’ve had enough. Heather might do the same. 

Today was good, but we all miss the boys. No smiling faces coming around the corner…no BB saying, “Mama!” 

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