And beyond me just one more mountain
where they say a deity lives
guarding a tiny turquoise lake.
And thereafter nothing but
 realm of melting snows
 where the souls of the gods live. 
     - Yuyutsu RD Sharma

Okay, I think Light was technically Day 1.  But on trek day 6 I arose and there was light.  And the light was good.

Watching the sunrise was absolutely incredible.  You can see the sun struggling to rise above Machhapuchhre in the east, and each ray is like a laser beam, drenching Annapurna South and Annapurna I in gold.  Like the sky bends down to the mountain peaks with a Midas Kiss!

Like a fool I kept trying to take pictures, but every time I looked up from the images on my camera screen, I realized the pictures would never do it justice.  An attempt at a movie was just as futile.

But alas we could not stay too long, because during the night Tim developed minor symptoms of altitude sickness (intense headache, upset stomach, etc.).  So we resolved to descend from Base Camp as soon and as far as possible.   I’m actually really surprised I didn’t have any symptoms myself.  We were sleeping at 4130 m – only a few hundred meters shorter than summits of Mt. Whitney and Mont Blanc.

Descending from the Sanctuary was no easier than going up.   Well, it’s easier cardio work but incredibly tiring on your quads and knees.  But in 5 hours we had traversed what originally took a day and a half, and settled down in Himalaya Hotel (the name of the village – there’s no “hotel”) at 2920m.

There I met a hilarious middle-aged woman from Hong Kong who was trekking the circuit on her own and had done the Everest Base Camp trek the year before.  She taught me my new favorite word, Kokojai, which is supposedly a polite way to say “hey you, guy” in Cantonese.  Come on – say it out loud with your best Chinese accent – it’s fun!

Hey! Kokojai!

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More pics from Kiersten and Tim below:

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