20 Apr

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We all successfully acclimatized by climbing Nangar Tsang, that is, we were extremely happy to have climbed 5100m above sea level in 3 hours. For many members of the team, myself included, this was the first time to be at this altitude.

The day itself was perhaps the most difficult and straining of all. Having had porridge, which was a rice puree, something similar to Serbian rice pudding, we started our ascent of Nangar Tsang, involving some 700 meters of height difference, before 9 o’clock. Climbing at this altitude is entirely different from for example running around Ada Lake in Belgrade. Although it was just a light stride with the help of sticks, we all kept quiet walking one behind the other, at a snail’s pace, eager for a respite to have our refreshments and take a look at the surrounding mountains.

We stayed at the top for about 15 minutes to take a few photographs and rest a little. The peak itself is very beautiful: one side it is a series of sheets of rock and the other is just an abyss of some 300 meters. As usual, the top offers even a better view of the surrounding giants, including, for the first time, the view of Island Peak, the summit which the part of the team was to climb in 4 days’ time.

The days are alike here. As the day goes by, the wind steadily increases and the clouds begin to cover the sun and the surrounding peaks, so after arriving in the lodge, tired as expected, we just have lunch and spend time resting.

As from Namche Bazaar power supply is the problem here. The last village had a small hydropower plant, but Dingboche gets its electricity only from solar panels. It is the reason why electricity is a scarce commodity here: there is electricity up to about noon, and in the afternoon there is enough just for the very low voltage energy-saving light bulbs, insufficient even to see what you eat. For all these reasons, charging the battery for a camera, laptop or similar device costs RSD 500 per hour.

Living with dignity

No matter how all this seems to be a drag for us (e.g. you need to book a shower, in advance, otherwise there will not be enough electricity for lights to read in the evening), these people here accept it all without complaining and live with dignity.

I saw a girl aged perhaps 15 – 18, carrying some kind of load on her head over the rocky ground, wearing an earring in her nose. I suppose we all wish to look appealing, regardless of whether we live at the altitude of 4500m without electricity or any idea of holiday.

And later I saw the same girl carrying two cups of tea to some young men, a little older than her, perhaps not older than 23, who were plowing the garden, a part of their farm, with wooden plow pulled by oxen.

Life is not easy here.

Life is not easy here, but young people, who we generally meet, like to have good time. And nobody finds it surprising when in broad daylight several boys turn on some Nepali music on a mobile phone and start to dance. About three days ago, about ten of them danced in the field celebrating new 2069 year, so completely naturally and simply, without first dressing up for the occasion, getting canned or inviting the girls to the party. Just like that, music from mobile and groove.

Just a little longer

The team is in very good health. Headaches, caused by the winds and high altitude are a normal occurrence, so even as I am writing this, I feel a slight pressure and pain in my temples. Aspirin + vitamin C, a lot of fluid and sleep from ten in the evening are a common cure for these problems.

Tomorrow we are heading for Chukung. It is a three-hour light walk to the familiar altitude. The day after tomorrow we are leaving from there to climb Chukung Ri, for us trekkers, the highest point of this trip, 5550m. After this peak, the groups separate.

by Veroljub zmijanac-trčanje.com

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