Day 15 Dharamsala to Bimthang:
Sleeping this high, 4,175 meters, is always difficult though thankfully I only had a slight headache. Though a few times waking, gasping for air. At 2:45AM observing the cloud of my breath the alarm with Puccini’s O Mio Babbino woke me. I had no appetite but struggled to eat a plain chapati for the energy.
Before leaving, I took a deep breath, and held it, proceeding into the latrine trying to no avail ignore the mound of crap sticking out of the hole.
Happy to get out of Dharamsala, donning headlights we began a long walk in the cold dark. The walk will take us up 700 meters. The moonlight glistened off the snow peaked Himalayas. Grateful after the several hour strenuous uphill, the sun started rising behind us enjoying spectacular views on either side of the valley. Had a bit of head and stomach ache as we approached the Pass but nothing to slow me down.
Krishna and I arrived at Larkya La Pass (5106 meters/16,751 feet) with the Austrian couple right behind us. We basked in the accomplishment with high fives all around. Enjoyed fantastic views and some photos but left when I noticed a group of 4 Swiss trekkers approaching. Getting a bit too crowded.
Arriving at high mountain passes it is a mistake to relax and think the worst is over. Our descent this morning is 1560 meters. It was a treacherous icy slippery downhill causing me to fall 6 times but fortunately no injuries as we were landing in the soft white snow. Then, breathing a sigh of relief we made it to the valley floor. Unfortunately walking on the flat terrain, and relaxing, I stepped onto a sheet of ice with both feet flying into the air ahead of me and slamming the back of my head on the hard ice.
Thankfully, my hard noggin withstood the impact but my right wrist was sprained after taking the brunt of the hit. There was no strength in it and some pain when trying to grab anything.
We trudged on to the village of Bimthang and Super View Hotel arriving at 10:45 enjoying a steep huge mountain background. The hotel had nice cabanas with beautiful beds with clean white sheets. The bed was so inviting I laid down and in moments dropped into a deep sleep not waking until 2 hours later.
After showering and realizing I was famished headed to the restaurant for some dal bhat. Talked with a girl from Denver, a guy from Florida, and a guy from Minneapolis there who were resting after coming over The Pass yesterday. Talking again with Todd of Minneapolis at dinner he had biked the 88 Buddhist Temple Pilgrimage in Japan. I keep hearing about that walk feeling its pull. Knowing it is in my future…