Tuesday, 27 October 2009
ROOF OF THE WORLD - HIMALAYAS
I've already been 15 days in the Himalaya range visiting villages, sacred lakes, stupas and countless monasteries...but because of a foggy rain that is following me since Nepal I was not able to see the "roof of the world" Mount Everest.
I was walking around Yuksom -one of many towns of Sikkim- and wandering if I would finally do some proper hiking when I meet Bernie again. At this point of the tour around Sikkim we are a bunch of people crossing each others ways almost every day.
Bernie is a Canadian guy and that has traveled a lot, and we met 3 towns ago. Along with Sandy - Germany- and Gary -England- decided to hike the Singalila Ridge until we reach the 4100 meters above see level, from there we could see 8.860-meters Mount Everest.
The expedition begins in Dajeeling where we take a jeep. Four hours later we are in the starting point at 1.800 meters in the Indian-Nepali border where we hired a guide.
It will be six days walking along the ridge that shapes the border between India and Nepal, a lot of ups and downs, until we hopefully get to a high peak to have a stunning view of the Himalayan range all coped with snow. On the way we should sleep and eat in cheap local´s home-stay.
Finally after days with no shower, very tired, at almost 4.100 meters and feeling like pushing our guide to the cliff we arrived to Phalut, the highest point of our hike...but it was cloudy and no view of the mountains. Weather is very changing on the mountains, but if in the morning is cloudy it is very unlikely that it will clear up later in the day.
Surprisingly, clouds opened like a window that perfectly framed Mt. Kangchenjunga. And after that the sky became all clear. We could see all the Himalayan range from Nepal to Bhutan peaks, including Mt. Everest. STUNNING, this show lasted one hour and then clouds came again just in time for our way back to lowlands. I felt like I had an eye wink from nature.
We all agreed it was the best hike we made, moreover with Diwali celebration that we had with a local familiy in the best place in the world: at high altitude in the Himalayas. We drank, laughed and had a lot of fun.
After that we came back to Darjeeling, had farewell diner and each of us took a different way. I am at Hong Kong now, still thinking in those amazing mountains while I see very different peaks: skyscrapers.
Don´t miss the video and I hope you enjoy the pics. I´m going to discover this jungle!
View CHUECO RTW in a larger map
Our itinerary on the nepal-india border until we get to 4.100 meters at phalut (4)
the team: sandy, garry, me and bernie
still in lowlands with friendly temperature.
20 minutes later we were already tired! ;)
left india, right nepal
bernie, talking about one of his many travels
foggy and then clear, and then foggy, and then clear...but always colder
gary and sandy
trying to see the mountains
of the villages we stayed in, they were celebrating diwali
they were drinking this homemade beer that is like a bomb for your stomach (remember gary?)
looks like nazi, but it is actually a Hindi symbol, nazi party "borrowed" it
having dinner for diwali
on nepali side, with a hindi militar base on the background (we are almost arrested for taking the picture)
there we go!
a very tired sandy
at phalut, celebrating we arrived at 4.100 meters safe and sound.
no microwave here
no LED lighting
rice milling to make...
...cheese fried momo!
a friendly young yak
smoked yak cheese
mt kangchenjunga framed by clouds
finally the window was progressively opening
stupa on the top og phalut
checking our way back
having fotos and fun
sandy in joy