No but seriously it's so cold it hurts to breathe. They weren't kidding when they warned us to layer up for the night - teahouses typically have no heating. I'm in thermals, 2 layers of fleece, a down jacket, inside a thermal sleeping bag, underneath a comforter, and still I've woken up because of the cold. I burrow completely into my sleeping bag, leaving only the tip of my nose exposed so my roommate, Lynda, doesn't find a corpse next to her in the morning.
One thing this trek is forcing me to do is to unpack and repack my stuff everyday. It's such a chore when you're both OCD and lazy - I want everything to be organized with minimal effort hahaha such a brat.
As I prepare to leave the teahouse a familiar jingling and clopping sounds in the distance. It signals the approach of delivery donkeys, bells attached to their saddles. I keep to the side to let them pass, taking the opportunity to snap some final shots of the area. An evil cook and a thieving Santa are painted on the walls of the kitchen. Also that little girl has sass... and a bit of drool on her chin.
Yesterday was all about cliffs, and today we're heading through the woods. I've thrown a jacket on because it's chilly when the sun isn't shining on you. Actually, everyone else is in thermals. I just have a sweating problem - it's my tropical climate upbringing.
Had to get a picture with that waterfall. I'm trying very hard to look meditative.
It could be that I'm deprived of nature living in Singapore (still got nothing but love for you, motherland) or it could be a newfound appreciation for life that comes with age, but I seem to be wowed by all the sights that this trek affords. It's not that I'm easily impressed, is it? I'm only just beginning to realize how much beauty there is in the world. So it makes me a little sad that I'll never be able to see all of what the world has to offer.
We've arrived at Ghorepani, the village located nearest to the summit of Poon Hill. My happiness is premature as Mahesh explains that we'll be staying at the highest teahouse in the village so we have less to climb tomorrow. Dang it, here I was, thinking we were done for the day.
After I place my bags in the room (THERE'S AN EN-SUITE BATHROOM :,-) ) I'm sharing with Zoha, I head downstairs to the common area where everyone has gathered, waiting for our stretching session to commence. We chat for a while before I turn around to place my cup of tea on the table. It is then that I look out of the window for the first time.
"HOMYGAWD," I shout.
I hadn't looked behind me the entire time we were climbing the stairs in Ghorepani. This is what I'd missed out on seeing.
The dal bhat served here is EXCELLENT. So good, in fact, that I'm going to order it for dinner again tonight.
Post lunch I hold a cup of masala tea, trying to take a selfie with the mountains that comes across as effortless. These ones are the hardest to pull off okay - in the same way how the no-makeup look is actually one of the most difficult to create. After several failed attempts Zoha takes pity on me and helps me out, nailing the shot on her first attempt. "I've never seen anyone take so many pictures of themselves at one go," marvels Lynda. I puff up in pride hahaha.
WIFI. THIS PLACE HAS WIFI. Have to pay USD1 before the lady keys in the password on your phone but whatever, take my money, lady!
I sit by the crackling fire, scanning through the flurry of "ARE YOU ALIVE" messages that stream in. I refresh the page again and again, searching for what cannot be found. I really should learn to temper my expectations.