Today we hiked about 8 hours from Nuntala to Bupsa.
After breakfast at our guest house in Nuntala we set off for another 2 hours downhill. I was feeling a teeny bit better first thing in the morning (as these things usually go) and while my knees and ankles still hurt I did alright.
We had to jockey with multiple donkey trains today going both uphill and downhill (aka the story of our lives for the next 3 weeks). It’s very difficult to pass them as they are usually many in number and take an irregular path just as we do to find the best footing. It was also quite lovely smelling and stepping in donkey shit for 8 hours.
We finally reached the end of downhill (for now), crossed a suspension bridge over the river, and began our first uphill of the day.
It thoroughly kicked my ass.
It was pretty rough going for about 2 hours. We stopped at the top of the hill for some food and a rest. I wasn’t all that hungry but a Sprite was calling my name. I also stole a few of Ben’s fried potatoes with cheese (side note: I’ve eaten a LOT of Yak cheese over the past 5 days – it’s freakin delicious).
Sitting down was a bad idea though as I started feeling sick yet again. It was rough getting going again and the afternoon was equally as difficult. There was a bit of downhill, crossing of another suspension bridge while fighting with more donkeys, and then another hour and a half steeply uphill (while still fighting with the donkeys). I was hardcore struggling.
At one of our breaks we came across a local woman who told us we had about an hour and 15 minutes to go after we’d been hiking uphill for over an hour already. I wanted to cry. Then the Hindu gods smiled on us (it was the first day of Diwali after all) and about 20 minutes later we came upon a guest house and a sign that said “Welcome to Bupsa”. I almost cried a second time but this time out of happiness.
We stopped at the first guest house we came to – Everest Guest House – and decided to stay with promises of a free room and good food. Our Polish friend we met in Sete was staying there as well! The food was indeed delicious and I had my first dal bhat of the trek.
If you’ve never heard of dal bhat, it is a delicious local Nepali dish that involves rice, lentils, and curried veggies/potatoes. Generally you pour the lentils on top of the rice to create a deliciously mixture. And the best part? Dal bhat always comes with refills. And huge portions. So if you’re ever really hungry dal bhat is the way to go. It’s pretty much all the guides and porters eat as it does give you some serious energy and staying power – there are even t-shirts that say “Dal Bhat – 24 hour power”.
Spoiler for next time: donkey farts and disappearing planes (click here)
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