Chris and I were up before sunrise on another crisp, clear morning. We walked up to a beautiful Buddha statue overlooking the town.
This site serves as the funeral pyre for the town (Nepalis, both Buddhist and Hindu, cremate their dead), and the hillside above the statue was completely covered with prayer flags. I hung one for a friend who’s facing a serious illness.
After getting sun-warmed, we headed back down to town for breakfast. We got the opportunity to play with some of the curious local kids; Chris had brought some noisemakers, gave them out and proceeded to conduct the miniature orchestra.
We also worked on starting the Pisang Unicycle Club.
Today’s riding was supposed to be easy, mostly smooth road and only 400 meters of elevation gain. Nepali flat. I felt better than yesterday, although my left knee was still complaining at times. But I’d gained some altitude acclimatization, so the climbs weren’t as daunting as yesterday; I rode almost all of them. I didn’t ride all of the mud pits, which were in really ugly shape because of jeep traffic. We saw two jeeps pretty badly stuck. Nicola tried to help this one out.
We went over a pass, and walked up the arrete to get a view into both valleys, and speculated on the nature of the glaciation that led to that huge granite wall.
After the pass, we had a fun downhill, and the terrain changed to a broad alpine valley, with meadows, farms, and streams everywhere. There were a number of chorten with prayer wheels, including some beautiful wooden painted ones reported to be 800 years old.
There was also a fun set of steps to get injured on.
Lunch came a bit early, as the spot we’d intended on further up the road was closed. This turned out to be a happy accident, because our lunch spot was directly across the road from a really good bakery. I bought a chocolate roll (a little like a croissant), which was great advertising for the shop. Pretty soon half of the group had pastries and apple pie as we chowed down and relaxed.
After lunch we had just about an hour to go, and we rolled through increasingly amazing terrain, including a valley where two or three of the Annapurna peaks could be seen almost in their entirety.
From there, a quick climb up to Manang, the largest town we’d been in yet, to a hotel that had solar showers which were actually hot, and supposedly has Italian espresso! We cleaned up after comparing injuries.
We’re now at 3500 meters. Tomorrow’s a rest and acclimatization day before we make the push to the pass at 5400 meters
[flickr_tags tags=”unipal, day3″ tags_mode=”all”]