No Rest on a Rest Day

Day 7:

Manang: Rest day 2

Distance Covered: 16km

So the idea with these Manang rest days was to acclimatise and rest our bodies. I managed to rest yesterday so I was ready for an acclimatisation challenge today. We set off for the ice lake, a full day hike from Manang. We had been fortunate as it was a beautiful clear day and all of the snow capped Himalayas in this area were now visible. It was awe inspiring. I could understand why Tibetan Buddhists believed that the endurance of a long journey could purify any wrongdoings they’d performed in this life or a past life, there was a sense of simplicity to trekking.

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The ice lake was a tough uphill struggle for 4 hours, thankfully at 4,200 metres there was a teahouse. The Nepalese take every opportunity to be enterprising. We stopped here for some seabuck thorn juice, a local fruit juice made from small orange berries and full of vitamins. The guy running the tea house made the trek up everyday with his horse and supplies to serve tourists drinks and snacks. There we met a few other hikers resting before the final 90 minute ascent.

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The sun was brightly reflecting off the fresh snow from the night before. It was blinding and even though my glasses were polarised the gaps around my glasses were allowing the white glare through making it very difficult to see. I had to pull my hat right down partially restricting my view but saving my eyes from snow blindness. Allan went ahead of me, I wanted to take my time and not rush, I couldn’t go any quicker, I could feel a headache coming on.

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At the ice lake we took a few photographs, admired the view and began the descent. The clouds were coming up the valley and soon there would be more snow. I pitied those still trundling up the hill.

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My headache had worsened by now, we had run out of water and felt like my face was burned. When we got back to Manang we treated ourselves to some veg fajitas at The Yeti hotel. They weren’t what we expected though. We had two chapatis, Mexican rice and the sizzling veg fajita was made up of cabbage, potatoes, mushrooms and onions, not a capsicum in sight. The sauce was nice though.

After some food, water and a couple of ibuprofen tablets I felt back to normal again. Tomorrow we climb a further 510m to stay in Yak Kharka.

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