Fly to: Kathmandu, Nepal
Internal Transfer: 2 flights to Nepalgunj 1hr & Simikot 50mins
Visa required: Yes if British plus a remote access trek permit
Time Zone:+5hrs45mins GMT
Day 11, 20/06/10: Humla & Limi Valley
Up to cross another pass this morning which meant an initial post-breakfast climb of 1,000m. Now to do this in its own right is simple enough but that isn't really the nature of things out here, the trail went up 1,000m, down, up, down, up some more...
The scenery had dramatically changed and we were now looking across what can only be described as Marlboro Cowboy Country, deep gorges, with steep pinnacles of rock similar to that of the Grand Canyon. The views from the pass were expansive and far reaching, giving us the opportunity to look back upon our journey so far.
Hidden in the rock face, overlooking the gorge were tiny caverns containing Buddhist shrines & prayer flags, here the entire rock face had been hand carved with 'om mani padme hum' something usually seen on smaller mani stones.
The ancient route, showing signs of its age was at times treacherous, on a couple of occasions I had to stop, breathe and re-compose myself as my concentration was slipping and my legs were nervously starting to quiver. I've never experienced anything quite like it, the up & down nature of this route meant that at times I had to fight back my emotions. That disheartening feeling of rounding another edge only to be confronted by yet another ascent was at times soul destroying.
I was knackered, every part of my body ached, even parts I didn't know existed. It's so hot and I keep feeling the spray of glistening, cool waterfalls, seeing how crystal clear the river water is yet I can't indulge, instead I'm having to remind myself that all the water I consume out here has to be treated.
As we grew weary with fatigue a decision was taken to pitch camp, overlooking a sheer 4,000m edge literally on the trail itself. Apparently up ahead were a number of wild flowers which could prove fatal if the horse or any of the mules ate them. This seemed a good idea after all they did eat incessantly.
Due to the friction of multiple ascents & descents I had to use my nalgene water to soak my socks today, right now I'm feeling a lot of heat around the balls of my feet and toes - cue that zinc athletic tape!