Caught the airport shuttle from the hotel which actually turned out be my first trip in an electric car. Weird considering where I was. The flight to Doha, Qatar and then to London, Heathrow was boring and uneventful. My bug that I had a few days ago made a comeback though and by the time I arrived at the hotel at Heathrow T4 I was pretty much feeling it again.
Yesterday was spent visiting the local temple in Kathmandu called Swayambhu or Monkey temple in English. Today I decided to venture out further. A friend recommended I see this ancient city with some wonderful architecture. The place is called Bhaktapur and it is about 20-30 min out of Kathmandu. I ordered a proper taxi this time. Even with Kathmandu temperatures at about 25°C it was pretty chilly on the bike the previous day when it was warmer.
Had a rather chaotic return to Kathmandu as I had to find a taxi and as I came out the domestic terminal there was not much of accommodation for foreigners. I do advise to anyone else to get themselves a local SIM card with data install taxi apps and use them to order one as you will get much better prices and less of a hassle with haggling. Headed back to the original hotel we had our meeting at just to pick up some of my luggage I left there.
Old Pokhara airport To my relief I was starting to feel better in the morning. See my post from Trek: Day 11 of 11 on what happened the day before. Popping paracetamol down my throat every few hours did probably help as well. Got a cappuccino and a croissant from the local cafe called am:pm. After that went on a short walk but ever minding not to move far away from the hotel.
Machhapuchhare Hike start: Pothana (2,000 m) Hike end: Phedi (1,160 m) Length: 7.34 km Ascent: 10 m Descent: 810 m Started to feel much rougher during the night and by the morning I was feeling quite fluishy ill. Sore throat, feverish, sore joints. Felt rubbish. Now the plan was “only” for a three hour hike but that seemed an impossible task in the morning. I had to skip breakfast as I was not feeling ok to eat.
This happened to be my birthday for which I did intentionally plan this trip. Wanted to celebrate my 50th doing something unusual, thrilling and challenging. Spending with this lovely bunch of people was just such a big bonus. Sadly this was also a day three of our fellow hikers left the group as they had to get to Pokhara a bit sooner. There was a road nearby and a 4x4 was able to pick them up and drive them to Pokhara 2.5h away.
Uneventful hike. We all just wanted to get down as soon as possible. Stayed at a place called Jhinu Danda which is near an intersection of three valleys. The one thing we were looking forward to see was the Jhinu Danda hot springs.
The night was mostly uneventful except we had a new issue with the dogs. What’s with the dogs up there. There was one that insisted on sleeping on our doormat. He seemed quite comfortable but he was essentially blocking our room. See the full story on how we managed that situation out.
This one was the shortest hiking day by length and time. Only 3km but the altitude we would reach would be the highest, hence the careful and slow ascent. Most of us only had mild or no symptoms at all. The lead guide was already regularly checking and documenting symptoms or lack of them together with blood perfusion checks.
This part for most was the toughest day of them all. It was the biggest ascent we did the whole trip at 1,210 metres. It was also quite a long trek at nearly 9 kilometers. We started early as always and headed up the gorge. Crossed several streams and bridges. As the gorge is quite narrow we encountered much narrower paths and we crossed several landslides. This part of the trail also doesn’t allow for horses to be used so everything gets carried by humans. Even helicopters aren’t allowed to transport supplies. Only humans and their equipment.