Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Day 8 - Khongma to Dobato

It was a nice clear day when we woke in Khongma.

We could see clearly along the ridge which would be the route for the day.

For breakfast we had fried rice with omelets.

I didn't note the price but do recall there was some confusion over prices.

We had paid our guides up front for their food and accommodation for the trip.

There were charges for their stay (1,000 NPR) on our bill and it took a bit of discussion to get resolved.

There was a reasonable climb from the teahouse to get on the top of the ridge.

Once we finished that first climb we got our first glimpses of Makalu and other nice pointy mountains.

Since this was our first good view of the larger mountains we hung around for some time taking pictures and enjoying being there.

Clouds came and went with occasional clear vistas.

There was a large monument of Mani stones and some well weathered prayer flags on the ridge.

We carried on along the ridge and met this herd of Yak on the trail.

It was the time of year when Yak are moved from higher Kharka (pastures) to the lower elevations for winter.

We carried on along the ridge with the weather closing in as the day went on.

This was very typical of weather we experienced in Nepal. The mornings would be clear but mist would increase as the day went on.

Climbing up towards Shipton La we passed a couple of nice scenic lakes.

We met a number of groups coming down the hill.

They were all camping groups accompanied by large groups of overburdened porters.

The final push up to Shipton La was pretty steep.

We met a group of Japanese trekkers coming down. I was happy to see (and inform them) that I was carrying a bigger camera.

This day was a good example of Nepali flat. We would start and end the day at roughly the same elevation but we probably gained and lost a couple of thousand feet.

It was nice to reach the Mani stones that marked the top of Shipton La.

From Shipton La we could see lakes down below and beyond the lake was the final col we would need to cross this day.

The lake below Shipton La is a local religious site.

There were coins in the water and paper money in a little alter.

One thing that surprised us was the locals would open chewing gum and dump the papers - even when standing in a place like this.

The notion of littering just didn't exist in their heads..

After crossing the last col of the day we reached the teahouse in Dobato.

It was 12.30 in the afternoon when we reached our destination.

It was a little frustrating having such short walking days but we were conscious not to push things while ascending.

We had a cup of tea and a bowl of noodles for lunch.

Noodles were a great option as they were cheap and tasty and didn't take long to prepare.

The owner of the teahouse was sick and spent most of the day in bed.

We gave him some of the medication we were carrying.

It turns out he was the wife/father of the mother and child running the teahouse in Khongma.

It wasn't really surprising he was sick as Dobato was just a cold and miserable place.

As the teahouse owner was sick in bed longman prepared the evening Dal Bhat.

I think he may have taken this job so he could sit by the fire..

It wasn't the nicest Dal Bhat we had on our journey.

The teahouse in Dobato was not very nice.

All the beds were grouped together and the wind was whistling through the stonework.

There was no toilet.

It was by far the worst teahouse on the entire trek.

Weather: It felt cold and miserable but as I was still wearing shorts I'll give it a two hat rating. I think the fact we arrived so early in the day and were sitting around so long made it feel colder.

Accommodation: This place only gets a one cup rating.  The dorm was rough, there was no toilet and food wasn't great.

If you arrived here and another group arrived the same night you would be in trouble. There was a government shelter - basically a stone wall with a tin roof.

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