Thursday 5th July
05/07/2012 - 05/07/2012
After big foot decided to stomp around the raised wooden walkway at 3am we got up and packed and were down for breakfast before Tanka - he was very shocked at finding us ready to leave at 7.30. Our walk took us down into the valley through more old forests and hanging vines. We passed a money wall which consisted of stone slabs with Tibetan writing carved into it. We decided to push on today as we were feeling fit so we missed Pheriche and headed to Dughla. We walked with 'The Rocks' an American couple - Matt and Emily who study geology and astro physics.
We left the closed forests and opened out into a flat landscape where there were no more trees.Yak territory came upon us and surrounded us with gorgeous little baby yaks. The clouds quickly enclosed the valley, the speed of the weather change is phenomenal, and we could feel the moist clouds around us as we were so high. We stopped for lunch in Pheriche in a posh hotel - Himalayan Hotel (4200m) and Matt and Emily wowed us with their knowledge and contraptions. We started our last part of the day on a flat path towards the treacherous mountains ahead. We walked through a old glacier basin which was replenishing its vegetation and was very green with high mountains, scree slopes and boulders on either side. At the end of the valley we turned back to see the green void left by the glacier and how neat the fields were segregated by rock enclosures. We saw a tiny mountain mouse which was more like the size of a chinchilla bounding in and out of the rocks and had a little rest before the last push - despite being flat the altitude was limiting our oxygen supplies. Ahead was rugged, desolate landscape of grey scree, boulders and uneven ground - the scenery was picturesque with low lying cloud, rocks and boulders. The slow incline to finish the climb was tough but Tommy showed his strength by powering up with Tanka and another guide. As we reached the top we found a powerful glacial river thundering through the valley following the glacial path, the colour struck me as everything was grey and pale there was no mud flowing or banks just grey rocks, stones and water. We crossed the rickerty bridge followed by some rotten logs and headed to Yak Lodge, Dughla (4620m) hoping it would be open, thankfully it was and the smoke from the fire wafted up our noses to spur us on. We met the German couple and enjoyed another night of tea and cards infront of the fire which was made from manure. We had a quick wash from a canister with a tap in the stinky hole in the ground toilet. My head had started to ache, the altitude was affecting me but it wasn't too bad so I took a tablet and slept through until morning.