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Hot Days:

Num And Sedua

A) Chichilla To Num

I awoke early (4 30!) after a reasonable sleep. The sun came out at dawn today and we got our first view of a distant Mount Makalu hanging mistily high in the sky with Baruntse to its left.

Makalu behind a thick haze

Misty and far-off: Makalu is the right-hand peak

The spirit of the morning carried on with the appearance of the excellent apple and banana porridge for breakfast today, which has become our favourite.

The baking sun made it just a little less relaxing. I was sweating profusely and very glad of our rest stops. I had to don my waterproof jacket as my arms were beginning to burn despite repeated application of sunscreen.

Pat resting in foreground, cooking fire n background

Pat baking in the foreground, cooks busy in the background

Cokes, courtesy of Mike, were the order of the day, once we had arrived at Num at around 3 pm. Lots of little kids flocked around for the bottles and any remains. The lodge keeper, the friendly Lhari Sherpa, an ex-Gurkha, brought out extra stools for us to sit on, despite us not having bought the cokes from him. Here the inhabitants have not lost their innocent natural hospitality towards strangers. It's an honour to be here.

Our Sherpas then made us mint tea, from mint growing next to the lodge. Dendi caused much amusement when he attempted to substitute stinging nettles for the mint leaves.

Despite the heat, I enjoyed a second day's walking in the slippers. Tomorrow's itinerary looks though I can stay in them again (a steep descent 3000 feet down to the suspension bridge across the River Arun, then 3000 feet ascent back to Sedua, almost exactly the same height as Num).

B) Num to Sedua

I had a splendid sleep last night apart from a visit to the loo in the middle of the night. Dogs then started barking incessantly.

It reminded me of what Mike had said: he could understand the purpose of every animal, except the dogs. They were tolerated rather than owned, and more likely to be kicked than petted.

The lodge owner replied that they kept the jackals away. None of us have seen a jackal, which may mean that the dogs are doing a good job.

Rice pudding for breakfast set us up for our descent of 3000 feet to the suspension bridge over the Arun River. We managed it in about an hour and a half

The bridge was fairly pleasant, if a bit wobbly in the middle.

The tough part, because it was so hot, was the ascent.

Suspension bridge over the Arun river

The bridge over the River Arun

There were good stops in the first half of the climb, with water taps where we could either dowse our heads in the cool water or fill our water bottles. The last part was devilishly steep and I was exhausted at the end. Thankfully we were staying at Sedua, just beyond the top of the ridge.

My leg muscles were as tight as drums afterwards, and well into the evening.

This was my third day in slippers. I enjoyed being light on my feet, but occasionally there were sharp pointed stones.

Next Tashi Gaon Back Slippers Before The Snows