by site editor Rick McCharles
On the Manaslu Circuit a tiny room costs about $1.50 / night. Two single beds about $3.
But there’s a shortage of rooms during high season. I had to argue at many guest houses to get my own room, even at double the price.
The previous night I’d not slept well. Coughing. Nose running. I did have my own room — the owners had given me one of theirs.
In my opinion, it would be better to sleep in a tent on this Circuit.
On the other hand, where else are you going to have a view from a $3 room like this?
We were in the high Himalaya. The highest mountains in the world.
We saw helicopters rushing up valley. Word was that the Pass had been closed due to a freak early winter snowstorm. That one porter had been caught out overnight high. And had suffered severe frostbite. He was evacuated by helicopters. All guides and porters should be insured by their trekking agency.
Late in the day we met (unhappy) hikers backtracking from Dharmsala. It was cold, windy and crowded up there. They decided to retreat rather than wait for the Pass to open.
For us it was a lovely sunny day. At higher altitudes we saw more signs of Tibetan Buddhism.
This is no Buddhist relic. It’s a hand-made, water-driven grinding stone.
This was the worst sign of deforestation I saw on the Circuit.
Live trees hacked down. Unnecessarily, I thought.
There are plenty of trees. And buildings are constructed mainly of stone.
We didn’t see much wildlife on the Circuit. These chubby lizards were a highlight.
I was surprised to see Nepali scarecrows.
There are crows everywhere in the Himalaya. And they are not all that easy to scare.
I was disappointed to see only two giant Himalayan vultures over my entire trip. I’d seen many in the past.
Here we go. Langur monkeys were raiding one farm, taunting the guard dogs. One poor dog fell hard in his excitement to chase monkey.
Ladies in the fields paid no attention.
The sun dropped early. The moon rose early.
We slept in Namrung 1660m. From here on and higher we spent most of our evening time keeping warm in multiple layers.
see high resolution photos from this day on flickr