Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 9: Acclimatising in Manang

In a first for the trip, the day began with an epic sleep in (almost till 8:30AM) when the sun’s rays bearing down o us from down the valley proved too powerful for our room’s feeble curtains.

Breakfast was a similarly laid back affair, toast with peanut butter and jam, an omelette, Manang potatoes and lemon tea.

A typical guest house in Manang complete with flowering potatoes out front
A young man we befriended yesterday informed us that Manang is famed for the quality of its potatoes, which are carried by donkey to fetch a high price in Kathmandu. A fried potato concoction at lunch confirmed the pedigree of the spuds beyond doubt.

We set off on a leisurely trek to a nearby viewpoint that gave even more gawk to the already literally breathtaking vistas. Up a steep series of switchbacks we passed strings of prayer flags that had just begun to flutter in the morning breeze.

Prayer flags flutter above Manang
Rather judgementally these flags had seemed like a bastardised cultural icon embraced by alternative lifestylers looking to add some Tibetan chic to their decor. But in this mountainous setting, and with the sun illuminating their greens, blues, whites, yellows and reds, I began to grasp some of their deeper meaning.

Ollie in hiking mode admires the view
Topping out at a curious grove of papery barked trees we sat in reflection before beginning a sedate descent back to Manang. Originally we had hoped to explore some caves at nearby Bakra, but a closer inspection of the map revealed they were back up at 4000m!

Instead of this we opted for a nap, then unburdened our steeds for some riding on the steep loose switchback of this morning’s walk.

Armed with Michi’s Fujifilm and my Sony Cybershot dodglily converted to a helmet cam, I played riding model for the afternoon, pushing then riding sections multiple times to get the perfect shot of shredding the scenic gnar.

Ollie shredding the gnar down to Manang

Riding downhill back to Manang was a cruisy way to end the day before we returned to the Yeti Hotel to get gear and bikes sorted for our climb to Thorong Phedi (the foot of Thorong) tomorrow. We are both feeling well rested and ready for whatever the mountain can throw at us.

1 comment:

Dieter Schmitz said...

hi, why dont you drive this part without packing on freeloader?
greets
dieter from germany