(No connectivity in last location so I’m a day late and a couple of Rupees short)
First, thank you for all the wonderful responses I’ve received from those who are following this adventure. I feel I have your company as I travel to places unknown.
We leave Chomrong, but not before getting this great photo of a sunrise over Annapurna South – simply awe-inspiring.
Let me officially introduce our crew, hopefully with pictures that heretofore I’ve not been able to upload. Dom our guide, I have come to find out, is not a Sherpa. Sherpa is an ethic group from high in the Himalayans. Dom is a Tamang, which is a group from the Himalayan foothill region; he speaks very good English and has been a guide in the Himalayan for 15 years, doing many treks around Everest, although he has not summited it yet. He is extremely accommodating and a really good guy. He is 35 years old, married with 2 children who live in Kathmandu. His parents live in eastern Nepal and in order to see them he must take a bus that takes all day to get relatively close and then he must walk for another full day to get to their home. So they don’t stop by for Sunday dinner that often. We have nicknamed him, ‘El Hefe’ – the boss.
Our porter, Kirin is 25, married with one child and they also live in Kathmandu. He is Magar, another ethnic group from the Himalayan foothills. Both Magar and Tamang are Tibetan influenced and Buddhist by religion. Kirin is about 5’3” and honestly does not weight more than 110 pounds, yet he is carrying a huge pack with most of our stuff in it weighing between 60-70 pounds with only a strap he places on his forehead. He is amazing; we have nicknamed him, ‘The Stud’.
Today was a short trek, as we went almost straight downhill from Chomrong to Jhinu, a distance of only a couple of miles, all on thousands of stone steps, not great for old football knees. I was thinking if Linda would have given me this trip for my 80th birthday she probably could have same money and bought that one-way ticket.
After lunch we headed to some hot springs that are adjacent to the Maudi Chola (river) about a half mile away. Large rock pools have been built to trap the natural hot water coming up from the ground. The warm water felt good on some tired muscles and sore knees. On our hike back to our ‘tea house’ (which is what they call the small hotels we stay in) it started to rain. Then it started to really rain – we experienced our first monsoon. We sat outside our room, had a Nepal Ice beer and watched the rain. In bed by 7:30 . . . again.