The Mist Rolled In

Sunday, 26 Jan, 2020

Kyanjin Gompa (3900m) - Ghoda Tabela (3000m)

It was nice to be able to sleep in though Simon and I were awake around 7am anyway. As we packed we watched some people climb up the track the Irish crew had made through the snow yesterday when returning from the lookout. It looked tough going.

The stove was barely burning and giving out minimal heat so I wrapped myself in a blanket to keep warm whilst we waited for breakfast. We got the kids up round 9am and they tried porridge which they said was a good change from omelettes.

Despite the leisurely start we were ready to go just before 10am as soon as we settled the bill. We only had to pay for drinks and extras (which was just a packet of biscuits) but the total came to almost $100 AUD - far more than we had paid anywhere else. Turned out that a medium pot of marsala tea cost 2000 NPRs or around $27 AUD and we had been charged for two. We had ordered a small pot on arrival but the owner said it wasn't possible as the small pot was broken so we settled for a medium pot of hot water. There were no pot prices listed in the menu. We had ordered a medium pot of marsala tea after our hike to the lookout so we were prepared to pay for one pot rather than two.

The owner repaid the 2000 NPR but then insisted that we had to pay an extra 600 NPR for hot water. Simon explained that we had already paid this but the owner was insistent. We called to Puncha for assistance and eventually sorted it out but it left a bad feeling of being overcharged, particularly when we saw that a medium pot of marsala tea was so much cheaper at Langtang.

Finally we were on our way, equipped with crampons and gaiters so ready for the snow. The return journey was so much easier and we made good time. We stopped at the stupa and Puncha explained that the second Budda had been reincarnated at this spot.

As we walked through the valley, we passed the little house where we had stopped for tea on the way up. Two ladies sitting outside waved madly to us. They had recognised us and invited us in for tea again. This time we sat outside in the sun and they told us that they kept 10 yaks that provided milk and were ready to have babies soon.

It was such a beautiful day for walking that it seemed a shame to stop for the day at Langtang which was less than an hour away so we suggested that we should go further after lunch. Puncha suggested Ghoda Tabela where we had stopped for morning coffee after our stay at Riverside. That seemed like a good plan.

We had lunch again at the Marigold guesthouse and as we were eating we could see the mist rolling up the valley. At one point we seemed to be in the midst of a whiteout but then the sun broke through so we committed to moving on.

Jonno arranged to meet us at our accommodation as the porters were heading there directly and only one place was open. Georgia took off as well, whilst Puncha walked with Simon and me. The mist settled and it was very atmospheric and a completely different walk to the one we had taken just a few days earlier. We passed quite a number of trekkers heading to Langtang.

We had a brief stop at Thangshyap for a toilet break and muesli bar before continuing on. Every so often there would be a little flurry of snow but it didn't settle and just added to the atmosphere. The fire was lit when we arrived at Hotel Tibetan but Jonno was loitering outside trying to get a better signal.

We adjourned to our rooms to set up for the night. Simon went in search of extra blankets and learnt that the young man running the hotel had leased it from the owner for the winter months. We clustered around the stove and ordered dinner and a pot of hot ginger, lemon and honey which I thought tasted weird. Hopefully not an omen for our dinner.