The start of the trek
Dhunche Travel Blog› entry 4 of 10 › view all entries
Dhunche - Syabru
We woke up at around 7am and one of the Sherpas came round the tents with a welcome cup of black tea. Dhumche was only at 1,200m above sea level so the morning air was only slightly cool and the sun was up already. The first nights sleep under canvas was mostly peaceful with the odd dog bark from the village.
We packed up our daysacs and headed down the the hut building for breakfast where we had our evening meal the night before. The Sherpa team would pack up our tents and set off whilst we ate. Slight air of apprehension over breakfast as only a couple of the group members had done a trek like this previously. I knew this was going to be the start of a two week endurance test on me stamina and fitness.
We set off at about 8.30am and headed straight down the side of the grass hill that fell away from the village. The path marked out zig-zagged through the stepped terraces which had been used by the local communities for planting produce. The decent down to the bottom of the valley took about 2 hours when we reached the river. Crossing the river was straight forward, and gave us the opportunity to have a short photo stop before pressing on up the opposite side of the valley. The climb up the other side of the valley took up through a forested area and round to the main valley system that we were going to spend the remainder of the trek.
We stopped for lunch in a wooded area which had benches. The Sherpas who were about 30mins ahead of us had already started cooking, so we did not have to wait long before getting some rice and lentils. Having come from a town the day before, we were still being served lots of fresh vegetables too and some meat. The challenge would always be how much food the Sherpas could carry and how fresh they could get it. Sitting down to lunch everyone already looked a little worn out, I know my leg muscles would be a bit sore by the end of the day from virtually no hill walking in the previous 12 months.
We continued after lunch through the forest and the trail headed flat then down hill slightly into the main Langtang valley. The trail took us through a bamboo forest area before reaching out stop for the night. The Sherpas were already setting up camp when we arrived. Our camping space was a small flat pitch on the edge of the hillside slightly set back from the neighbouring village. We had ended the first day at roughly the same altitude as we had set off at. The reason we could not start here was that the road was a further 2 hours drive round the valley.
That evening we had dinner in the canvas shelter the Sherpa team had provided us. We were in for a treat, popadoms and spicy pepper soup, and fried noddles with lentils. The soup was different and a slight novelty, however by the end of the trek, having it every day that soon changed. Another speciality form our cook was popcorn with every meal too. Never quite understood that one, but pretty cool anyway.