Travels of a Kinnie travel blog

Looking up to the pass


Looking down from the pass

Home sweet home!

Time left 08.50

First pass 10.00

Sengila 15.15

Campsite 16.30

Song in my head - Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel

Rupees spent 200

Go to the loo and end up nearly falling in it. For reasons I'm not entirely sure of, some have two holes, but it being dark I didn't know this. So in I trot, when suddenly one of my legs is two feet below the other, and I'm struggling not to fall all the way in. Thankfully this one had no stalagshites and my flipflop stays on, so a quick clean up later and I'm all set, but it was close. I set off, traversing up the hill, picking my way through rocks of bright vermillion, green and blue. Over the river, the rock face, with a wide black strata zigzagging, rises sheer vertical like a fortress. From the first pass I can see in the distance the SenggeLa, with the path slowly ascending up the valley before breaking through the zebra pattern of snow to the pass. The first three or so hours is good, but then I cross three streams close together and suddenly just run out of energy, and the last leg to the pass, which at just over 5,000 metres is almost the highest of the trek, is tough, feeling constantly dehydrated and lethargic. After traversing some narrow snowbound slopes and a final push up a steep muddy slope, I get to the pass, and have no memory of the first 15 minutes as I just sat at the chorten there, completely spent of energy. Finally I reshoulder my backpack and make my way down to the campsite, which at 16.30 is already deep in shadow. I get to the hut I find that the one room with a roof has been used to shelter animals and that of the other two, one is full of rocks, one is full of dung and neither have a roof. I go for the rock option and clear enough room for the sleeping bag. Before turning in, I wash my hands in the nearby stream and it's like I just immersed them in a liquid freezer it's that cold, and decide that I won't risk washing the face in case it comes off. An advantage of having no roof is that I can lie back and watch the stars, punctuated by shooting stars and satelites, slowly emerging into the night like shy children at a school play, a few bright ones at first, and then gradually more and more, although the moon, so bright that it casts a shadow over the shelter, obliterates many of them. It's very cold, and even with my thermals, socks and hat on, I can feel ice in my bones, and I burrow into my sleeping back to try and escape the cold wind getting in through the hood, and I pass a cold and fitfull night.

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