Himalaya trekking in Nepal 4/9: Langtang day three trekking
After a freezing night we woke up in our small room with noses frozen stiff and toes numb. The sun had not reached over the mountains that surrounded us yet and we could see the mist softening out the lines and contours of the mountains and waterfalls. It was all quiet. Almost nobody up but the father of the family trying to get warm water for the first people heading up the Langtang trail later. It had never been so tempting to just stay in bed and hope for better days. But we had plans on continuing to Langtang today. So no more warm beds for us today.
After a breakfast of Tibetan bread and omelet we started to get ready. Finally the sun started to make its appearance.
Durje, our guide, helped us fetch water. It is expensive to buy water and food here on the trail since everything has to be carried up by foot by Sherpas. So to be more efficient and to stay on budget we had bulked up with water pills. You simply put them in tap or spring water and let it sit for an hour before it is safe to drink. It had saved us many times.
Yesterday Durje told us that this day would be different. The terrain would be more rocky and less green and we would climb to much higher altitude so there would be risk of height sickness. We were all tired and feeling sick and I was still not well from the fall the first day, so we had to take our time in the morning not to become more doubtful. But curious as we were on the new terrain and what views awaited us we started the walk once more.
Durje was right. The landscape is much different after Goudabela. We had reached higher altitude and were now walking along the foot of the mountains. With the mountains straight over us and the valley an the big river far down under us. The landscape stretches far and you can see small villages lining up along the valley. It looks so peaceful.
Today was to be the shortest day and we were thankful for that. And as we could see the villages we headed towards we kept the pace so that the village could come closer and closer to us.
Only two hours walking today and not so much uphill. It felt so uplifting and we got new energy from it. Langtang would also be our first rest point where we could rest for one day without trekking before continuing to the highest peak. We were all so very thankful for that.
Before reaching our destination we stopped at a teashop and lodge just a half an hour walk from Langtang village. The owner, a woman in her thirties who had the appearance of a woman in her late fourties, brought out some famous Yak curd for us to try. It was sour, more sour than yoghurt. Almost like it was carbonated. We took our time to look at the view and expand our lunges with fresh mountain air.
But Langtang was visible in the horizon so we kept moving so that the time to relax would be much bigger when we finally got there.
Although today was the shortest and probably the easiest day, the last hill broke our stamina and we were completely exhausted as we reached Langtang. But so happy to have arrived.
Langtang is a beautiful place. It is set in the middle of the valley, right in the middle of the mountains with the view many would pay a lot of money for. It is very beautiful, but there is almost a sadness over it sa most houses are newly built overpriced guesthouses and there are almost no vegetation left. But the old parts feel really authentic.
Most locals that live here are Tibetans who have left their homes in troubled Tibet to stay in these parts of Nepal. And it really tells as you walk around the village. Old houses made out of stone, the local clothes and their food.
We settled in and prepared for a warming lunch and some time off. But Durje had other plans. We had reached over 3500 meters in altitude. That means that there is need for acclimatization. Durje told us we had to walk about 25-30 minutes more and reach a couple to three hundred meters more in altitude and come back so that our bodies would think that our current altitude is the lowest point. Tricking our heads more or less. He told us we would feel less sick later during the day if we did so.
Not really up for it we unwillingly put our trekking shoes back on and went for a walk. We stopped on the highest point in the village after walking through the stone houses and horses walking free in the area. The view is amazing and it was well worth postponing lunch for this. And we did feel better afterwards.
We had lunch, sat in front of the fire and watched the sunset over the valley we walked through the very same day. A perfect ending of a perfect day.
We all looked forward to the next day when we would be able to have some well deserved quality resting time for ourselves and explore the village. It felt amazing to have come this far despite everything.