by site editor Rick McCharles
This would be the longest day so far. And the most stunning yet.
Permit check first thing in the morning.
Local people and their landscape grows increasingly Tibetan as you ascend. Each village from here on up had it’s own monastery (Gompa).
It was well below freezing last night.
Still, when the sun comes out, hikers strip off their many layers quickly.
I was astonished at what can still grow at these altitudes.
We stopped at Lho 3180m for lunch. The pack animals tried to join us at the table.
Some stayed at Lho for acclimatization. Tempting.
Lho has the very best views of Manaslu!
It’s the cover photo for our hiking guidebook.
This is why you hike the Himalaya. 🙂
We all felt good here at 3180m, so we pushed on to Sama 3530m.
The afternoon was fantastic, too. Grasslands of the Tibetan plateau support grazing animals nearly all year round.
There are plenty of mountain ponies, too. Used for transport.
You can rent a pony to carry you up. Or down, if you are feeling altitude sickness.
A doctor on Annapurna told us of a young Japanese hiker who’s guide put him on a pony to carry him over a high Pass there. He died of HACE or HAPE en route. 😦
We unpacked for two nights in Sama. (Samagaon) 3530m This would be our acclimatization rest day.
Sama is a surprisingly big village of about 1000 residents. Big lodges. Well stocked stores. Good restaurants. We even checked email there, the internet having arrived only 3 months prior. (2013)
Speed of the internet was good. But the computers and notebooks available to rent were atrocious. Almost unusable.
Increased tourism is needed in this town, I feel. Check the Samagaun Development Foundation blog.
Rent a tent.
One downside of sleeping indoors rather than in a tent are rodents. In some guest houses you are kept awake by their scurrying. I even saw one in the dining room at 4470m.
see high resolution photos from this day on flickr