Pangboche Travel Blog

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The valley I was walking back down.

I tramp the road down the steep valley towards the village of Pangboche, my target for the night. I have to take regular breaks, my energy reserves are steadily failing; the lack of food and sleep is catching up with me and I’m still in the thin air above 4,000 Metres.

I focus all my attention on the path, there aren’t many steep drop offs and it’s not difficult going. At home, walking in the Peak District, I’d plough through this kind of terrain no problem. I have to continually remind myself that I’m in the Himalayas and this is the seventh day of walking; I need to regulate my pace accordingly.

A local lad walks the steps around a stupa. According to Buddhist tradition you're always supposed to keep them on your right as you pass.

The headache and nausea retreat a little as the trail drops towards the 4,000 Metres mark but my legs feel heavier with every mile. By mid-afternoon I round a bend and glimpse Pangboche, perched on a mountainside, in the distance down the valley. It’s too far; I’m going to have to find somewhere closer.

I rest on a rock by the trail for five minutes, watching a small herd of yaks being driven past by two local women. Despite their bulk and the long horns that curve from their heads, the hairy creatures are very wary of walkers, easily spooked. These ones are loaded with supplies, headed up the trail towards Pheriche.

By the time I reach the next village I have only enough energy to enquire about a bed at the first lodge I find. I’m shown into a tiny wooden-walled room that contains two narrow single beds and nothing else. I can’t recall ever being so tired.

By the time I’ve unpacked my sleeping bag I’m utterly drained, have used everything that I had left. I collapse onto one of the beds, struggle into the sleeping bag without undressing, and throw myself into the arms of sleep.

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The valley I was walking back down.
The valley I was walking back down.
A local lad walks the steps around…
A local lad walks the steps aroun…
The path ahead, a small village be…
The path ahead, a small village b…
photo by: cja17