Khopra to Khayar Barahi Lake (4700m above sea level)
1100 metres up and back in the same day…and why not? A 6 am start for just three of us, (Akke Antje, Amman and me), on what proves to be the toughest day of the trek. The effects of altitude start to kick in pretty quickly, and breathing is already starting to become laboured. Its not too bad on the earlier stages whilst the pathway is relatively ‘flat’, but from about 4000 metres, as the climb begins to get much steeper, its an effort. The latter part of the journey to our destination is punctuated by frequent stops to breathe!
Heading up from Khopra the landscape is initially rough pasture but as the path begins to climb there are numerous boulder fields to pick our way through. We’re out of direct sunlight for a good deal of the climb. Frost, slippery grass and stones, and ice in between cracks makes for an ‘interesting’ and sometimes slightly precarious journey. There’s an incredible stillness and silence, punctuated only by the sound of streams, the occasional bird song and for the first part of the morning, the sound of small planes doing the “Everest Flight”.
We’re blessed with an almost perfect view of the Dhaulagiri Himal for much of our climb. (Not so for the last hour or the descent, as the mist begins to roll in and obscure pretty much everything). The lake is already shrouded in mist as Akke Antje and I arrive, Amman having already gone on ahead to observe his own puja at the lakeside.
Just another 4½ hours or so of descent left now which is marginally easier….and we arrive back at Khopra as the mist fails to lift and darkness begins to fall. (The previous post has a photograph here of Khopra as we arrived)
An evening meal of…you’ve guessed it….dal bhat, taken in front of a wood fire with the yak herders seems a fitting end to the day.
Its all downhill from now on!
Even if its still ‘further on up the road‘