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Nepal XII: Samdo, another acclimatization

Published: 15.2.2012
The peak of our trek came on and we found ourselves at an altitude of nearly four kilometres altitude. Village Samdo therefore has become our habitat for the next two days, which we wanted to spend with acclimatizing.

We lived in a nice balcony of hotel Yak. When we woke in the morning, got out of warm sleeping bags and went out into the balcony, we could enjoy the beautiful views on snowy mountain range around us. These views were the day before shrouded in clouds.

As an acclimatization trip we chose for the next day ascent to the Tibetan border. I have to say that this was the best day of our journey. We met a lot of grazing yaks and dzopkes, we saw some local pheasant (or any bird like him) and chamois, which Hari called mountain sheep. He even gave the name of everything mountain - a mountain flower, the mountain mouse, mountain sheep, mountain bird, etc. We had great views of Manaslu, Manaslu North and other hills, towering around us. We went just over the height of miles away, but up to the border, we unfortunately did not occur. We did not have enough time and surpassed me in height and Milan started to hear a headache, which is no tragedy, but why it was not pointed. Therefore we turned back before the saddle at an altitude of 4904 m above sea level (by Milan GPS). It was our altitude record, which was to be a little broken in a few days.

As soon as we came back to the hotel, Milan felt the problems from overcome the consequences of height, which he began to feel a lesser extent, already at the top. He felt sick and his face looked despair.  He ordered for dinner a Chinese noodle soup, there are commercially available (medium is chewing on the road and dry and then throw packages into the countryside) and went to bed. When Hari brought food, found it badly and Milan went for him. He said that the soup is a good medicine for altitude sickness and that it certainly helps. He convinced Milan, who later came to eat soup to the dining room. It was really miraculous, because half an hour he was well again and was able to play cards.

The next day in Samdu we spent by resting. I caught a cold and I started a little sore throat, so I was glad, I could relax. We went out, of course, but we only walked a short distance and anchored for a long time in one nice place for the village. Me and Milan, we each chose a stone on which we rolled out and soaking up the sun Himalayan (duly coated with sunscreen factor 50 +) and Zuzka walked around.

When we took a sun enough, we got up and walked away through the valley, which leads another, longer route to the border of Nepal with Tibet. Even the way we did not happen much. We got to the bottom of the valley, where wetlands have been here again and spend some time. There blossomed the bitterly, and grown up the rose bushes and with thorns, which were mostly red and then yellow or green colour, but which we did not know their names, apparently mountain bush. It was beautiful weather. We lifted after an hour and a half and went back. On the way back we saw marmots, this time at a lesser distance, and so we watched quite a long time. They ran ahead into the holes, but came out again. When we lurked for them directly at the hole, he did not show up. The clouds began to form later that day than the day before. It is observed that it is a common trend this time of the year, because initially the clouds began to accumulate ever at nine o'clock, and now there were only about three in the afternoon. Since that was the end of the monsoon, it was logical.

When we returned to the village, we found that the number of tourists significantly increased. In fact, tourists could be seen almost everywhere. There grew up two tent´s towns - a town of red and yellow tent. Balconies were also busy. In our dining room tables were occupied by all, except one, which we then occupied by us. We noticed that most of the tourists were much older than we are. One lady came in an undershirt and in a moment Zuzka saw her lying out in the bikini and sunbathe. Could it be about fifty years old. She spoke Spanish. People were really a lot and we said we did well that week we went before the tourist season and could take up so far on the road privacy. Tourists caught up with us because we planned a trek to a total of twenty days instead of the normal two weeks.

After lunch we went for a short walk through the village. In the narrow lane we meet two runaway yaks. We had to jump back to, miss their corners. We have gone to the local Buddhist temple. It was closed, but as we stood around him, came to us one of the villager and we opened the door to the room in which the rotating mani we've met along the way twice. Of course we have the car turned, we were lucky. Then the guy closed the door again and started to invite us to himself. He said that the trader sells a variety of things. I was quite curious so we went. He lived nearby. He pulled out a bag of hats and gloves, but that we did not want to buy. Then he started putting out the beads and that's more interested in us. He said that all of yak bone. Hard to say if it were true, could also be dzopke bone, but it is quite one. Me, Milan and Zuzka liked the same beads. The trader had them three times, so we all wanted to buy, but we did not know if we have a bargain here. We got in the way of advice from a group of Czechs that Tibetans don’t haggle and this was an area where it was occurred Tibetan population. Finally Zuzka managed to knock the price from 1500 to 950 rupees.

That day we went to bed quite early. For the next day was our aim Dharamsala, the last station before climbing into the five thousand high saddle.

Text/photo: Kristýna Bartůňková

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