Wednesday 20th December 2017.
Today was our acclimatisation day in Manang (3540m/11,610ft). It is very common for trekkers to acclimatise here so the village is set up to accommodate – it has a Check Point, medical centre, laundries, safe drinking water station, bakeries and numerous ‘picture houses’ (cinemas) – which interestingly show a lot of Hollywood films in relation to the country and/or adventure – Sherpa, Everest, Into the Wild, Touching the Void and Seven Years in Tibet (notice the theme here?). I pondered with Terry that it was probably these films the entice trekkers to the Nepalese mountains in the first place so they’ve probably seen them all already (I have!); still for a couple of rupees it would fill an evening and I thought was a great idea for those staying in the village to acclimatise.
Before we got to explore the area fully we had a short acclimation walk behind the village up to Praken Gompa (4500m/14,760ft) , home of the “100Rupees monk”; a female monk who lives at the Praken Gompa in solitude, only interrupted by a once-weekly climb down to Manang to buy supplies. Trekkers hike up to the Gompa to donate 100 rupees for a blessing from her. Unfortunately y, today was the day she wasn’t in! What luck! We joked that we’d have to come back on the circuit again to meet with her…
Look at that fantastic view. This photo does not do it justice at all.
Annapurna III, Annapurna and Tilicho Peak.
You can clearly see the glacier of Annapurna feeding in to the lake. This lake was iced over and we watched someone walk straight across it.
Terry and I explored the small streets around the village in the afternoon. As it was out of season not many shops, restaurants etc. were open but we didn’t mind. We’d chose n this time of year for a variety of reasons 1) fewer trekkers, 2) convenient time to take off from work and 3) the clearer skies and views and were thoroughly enjoying being the only group within the village.
On our exploration, we visited the stone-built houses of the old Manage village at the far end. Cows, goats, stray dogs wandered the streets happily going about their business without the worry of humans.
It was noted that whilst there were a lot of animals on the streets, the village was generally clean. The Nepalese government works hard to encourage villagers to keep themselves and their environment clean and it was evident along the circuit. Yes, we saw litter, more so in built up tourist areas, but it was never in abundance in the villages.
WE FOUND A CHRISTMAS TREE!
Christmas talk from the other trekkers began to enter our minds and we had a longing for the commercialism of Christmas so to find the tree was a delight.
The Nepalese recognise Christmas as an annual holiday and Nepalese Christians celebrate it just as westerners do (other faiths will follow the custom or recognise it for what it is)… it’s just that the Nepalese don’t go crazy with it like we do and we missed that a bit but we also spoke about the relief of not having the pressure around this time and just being able to relax; which was refreshing.
After our day of rest I felt a lot better within myself; my appetite returned and the stomach cramps subsided (even if they weren’t completely gone at this point). I was even awake enough to remember to take a photo of our room before we left it in the morning.