Acclimatisation day in Pheriche
17.02.2009 - 17.02.2009 2 °C
Today is another rest and acclimatisation day in Paraquite so we had a nice lie in until 9am. Oscar took us for a stroll over several ridges which turned out to be exhausting (so much for a rest day huh!), but the views from the top were amazing. The inscribed rocks and colourful prayer flags add such character and colour to the landscape, and once we climbed higher above the villages we sat on a big rock to admire the serenity of the flags flapping in the wind. Barely a sound is heard on such a calm, cloudless day, just the water trickling down the valley and the breeze whistling. The surrounding backdrop of the mountains honestly looked fake and until we get up to some snow I am dubious they actually exist. Can't see a snow leopard from here either! Ohhh!
Back at camp we got to bask in the sunshine (no bikini's though, still fully clothed with puffer jacket), and after a swift defeat at chess Andy challenged Oscar to a game. Although it took a while of "umming" and "arring", and a quick pause to watch a giant, eagle-like bird soar past, Oscar wiped the floor with him, much to my delight after my failure! What a great day this is turning out to be!
As I was in such a generally warm and happy mood I decided to have my second shower of the trip - daring I know! One whiff of my socks and it was certain I needed some soap. So, once again I braved the cow-shed - tin shelter, stone-floored, trickling shower head - and tried to get the dirt out of my hair and nails. The worst part is when the warm water stops and you have to get dry, and I would kill for a fluffy white towel instead of the thin, skimpy travel one which barely dries my left arm. But once warm again it was nice to be in clean clothes and to smell sweet again.. almost!
While I was washing several other trekking joined our lodge which was a first. The only downfall of more pople is that you are all huddling for a place near the fire - which we found out when we were the last to go to dinner. There were two Canadians, who without a guide took a long detour and felt frazzelled, one inparticular had a nasty headache so spent the rest of the day covered in a blanket. There was also a strange-looking Dutch man, also guidelesss, who looked a bit wispy to me, and ate raw cabbage and carrot. We had a good chat with an Irish couple who were coming to the end of their round-the-world trip, it was good to share stories and get tips. Another French lady completed the residents and we all gathered around the yak-poo fire. The yaks seems to be very handy around here... or maybe they are just burning the poo to mask the smell of us?
It was nice to finally chat to others about their trip anyway and Bim and Oscar certainly relished having other porters and guides to play cards with. Despite the company we still all went to bed early with the prospect of a big climb tomorrow.