Brain Fogged in Deurali’s Guesthouse: Family Nepal Trekking Day 7

It’s been almost a week since we started trekking from Hille. We were a bit concerned about how our 9-year-old son would cope with my 50th birthday present trekking (from my husband) as well as being middle-aged town dwellers ourselves. We discussed with the trekking company, Eastern Trek, to organize an easy and relaxed itinerary, which was for 14 days. Normally, this route could be completed in 7-10 days. However, we were almost halfway and heading towards our final destination, Annapurna Base Camp. Today, we were off to Deurali, ascending to higher altitudes.

In the morning, the rain from last night had stopped, but, of course, the laundry soaked by the rain was still not dry yet. Mr. Ram helped us tie the wet shirts and socks onto our luggage, which our porter boys were carrying, and we set out!

During our breakfast, Mr Ram explained our daily schedule, today, we would climb slowly, gaining 450m in altitude, but we would still proceed slowly, stopping for lunch in a village called Himalaya.

Going up 450m? I looked up at the sky, unable to even imagine its height…

“Well, that’s fine,” I thought, “just climb and walk! If you’ve come this far, there’s only a little more left!”

Let’s go!

As we started walking, the trek gradually became rocky, and I found myself walking with more effort and caution. Mr. Ram also supported my son, now always holding onto his arm. As mentioned in previous posts, my son struggled with balance while walking on the rocky terrain. He often stepped into the wrong footsteps and fell easily. Therefore, Mr Ram continuously held his arm, providing support and escorting him whenever necessary. While it used to happen once in a while, now that we had reached this point, Mr Ram held my son’s arms all the time.

We walked for a while and heard the sound of a waterfall. Soon, a wide waterfall came into view, though the flow of water was quite low due to the dry season. We took a short break here, exploring the area. I could sense the sacredness of the place; there was a shrine and a bell. Animism is my favourite religion, and I consider myself an animist.

My son went with Mr. Ram to gather a few fern branches and offered them at the shrine by the water.

However, due to it being the dry season, there was likely less water flowing compared to the wet season. Nevertheless, during the wet season, the waterfall would be more impressive with a greater volume of water cascading down.

After our brief break, we resumed our climb.

As we ascended the mountain, the scenery gradually transformed. With the increasing altitude, trees became sparse, and rocky terrain dominated the landscape.

Eventually, we were getting closer to a village called Himalaya, where we had lunch earlier in the day.

The photo below offers a glimpse of a Himalayan village. If you look closely, you can spot a few blue roofs nestled among the landscape, indicating the location of the village. Additionally, we frequently heard the sound of helicopters flying in the valley, it must have heliport up there.

Helicopters and Surprisingly Lively Himalayan Village

Now that we had arrived at this Himalayan village, it was time for lunch – YAY! In Nepali trekking, you’ll find a exactly same menu no matter where you go. Obviously, the Nepali tourism organisation has provided guidelines to ensure decent food quality. However, there’s still a slightly different variety depending on the preferences of the guesthouse owners. As a foodie, this adds a bit of excitement to the trekking experience. But, let me warn you upfront – don’t expect gourmet cuisine during your trekking adventure!

Surprisingly, there were quite a few people in this village. It seems to be a popular stop, being the halfway point between ABC and many trekkers’ resting place. I was already familiar with the kitchen here, so when we placed our lunch order, they arrived quickly. My husband opted for Dal Bhat, while others (me, our son and Rex) chose mixed vegetable fried noodles. Normally, lunch would take an hour after we placed our order, but in a place as bustling as this, they were accustomed to preparing meals quickly and promptly. Good one!!

And let me tell you, it was delicious! The dish was refreshing, packed with vegetables, and topped with a perfectly fried egg. It’s moments like these that remind me of the simple pleasures found in Nepali trekking cuisine.

We heard a helicopter approaching again. Those helicopters we saw in the valley before arriving here seemed to land here, serving as a reminder of the region’s accessibility and connectivity despite its remote setting.

At this moment, another helicopter was about to land, prompting everyone to rush over to watch it. Unfortunately, I was too late… (bugger). However, it made me think that if people arrived at such high altitudes all at once, they would likely experience altitude sickness.

I asked Mr Ram about my concern, and he reassured me, explaining that some people indeed become unwell suddenly and need to return immediately.

As we conversed, another helicopter’s sound filled the air. We hurried to the edge of the cliff to catch a glimpse, but despite the noise, we couldn’t spot the helicopter anywhere. Where could it be? Just then, it emerged from the valley below us.

It was my first time seeing a helicopter from above, and it felt like something out of a movie… Our porter and I laughed out loud, “Wow, this is the first time I’ve ever seen a helicopter flying below!” He was also gazing up at the sky, looking for the helicopter.

After enjoying a delicious lunch, we resumed our trek towards our accommodation village. I checked our previously wet clothes from time to time and found them now completely dry, perhaps due to the dry weather or the use of sports T-shirts made of super quick-dry material, or perhaps both. They were perfectly dry! I highly recommend bringing quick-dry materials for such treks. However, the trail became increasingly challenging to traverse, exacerbated by the higher altitude and reduced oxygen levels.

At one point, Mr. Ram halted the porter boys and engaged in conversation with them. Soon after, one of the porters offered to piggyback my son. We were so greatly appreciated my son had been piggybacked previously when we were heading to Dobato due to the difficult rocky terrain. A heartfelt thank you to all the porters for their kindness and assistance!

In my head, I couldn’t help but think, “WTF, is it really this tough?” Suddenly, a wave of anxiety washed over me.

However, I noticed that my legs and back had grown stronger over the past week. Surprisingly, I found myself quite content that the trek wasn’t as painful as I had anticipated.

As we continued to climb up, the number of tall trees gradually dwindled at higher altitudes, revealing more of the surrounding landscape. Along the way to Deurali, we got some spectacular mountain views.

And this is what greeted us when we arrived at our accommodation for the night.

However, for some reason, I ended up in the wrong room three times at this Deurali! Three times!! The door was unlocked, so I just went in, and the person inside had her back to me, so I just said, “Oh, excuse me!” then walked out. But the second time, she saw me walking and looked straight at me, so I apologised profusely. By the third time, we were both laughing out loud so much! The two girls were from Korea.

I wondered what it was; was it brain fog? Or is it a type of altitude sickness? Hahahaha.

To be continued… ABC!!

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