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  • Writer's pictureVoita

Day 2.: nowhere to rush

It's almost sunny between 6:30 and 6:32. I can see yesterday's path and its continuation ahead of me today. Then swift clouds cover up the views, and I move on to have me a pancake. People here are nicer than under Everest, but the food is more expensive and there's less of it, at least for breakfast.

clouds rushing for the sun

The valley ahead is flat, and the ascent is gradual. Occasionally, the sun peeks through the clouds just enough to keep me from getting too cold. I jump in a scare few times when I hear intense rustling in the grass, but it's just flies swarming horse pies. Some of them migrate onto my legs, which I take as a sign that I'm becoming one with the surroundings.

valley below and ahead

A little before today's finish line I discover a sunlit flower meadow, like out of a fairy tale. In a trance, I sit down and let myself be surrounded by the yellow, warm mountainous beauty. For a fleeting moment, Yala, one of the local peaks, peeks out from the clouds in front of me. After fifteen minutes the magical window closes and I press on.

shifting clouds

Langtang village as well as Kyangjin Kharka, the settlement right below the glacier, are a collage of more or less impressive lodges. There's lively construction activity in them, as everyone is preparing for the main season starting in a few months. The trails and lodges are impressive and confirm the valley's claim as the third most popular trekking destination in Nepal. I pass by cafes, the privilege of the largest mountain settlements, even though these remain closed between seasons.

a spiritual moment

I made a mistake in my yesterday's estimation as well: I reach the finish line after half a day of easy hiking. I spend several hours sitting on the hills, but the view of the peaks doesn't open up again, and most of the time, I can't even see the village right below me. I excitedly devour Shantaram, randomly chosen from the pile of books in KTM. Six years ago, I got acquainted with Patrick Rothfuss and his brilliant fantasy The Name of the Wind in a similar way. I'm lucky with books here because even Roberts' massive work is meticulously perfected. I haven't read a more colourful, precise, and interesting description of any real place in years. It's even more inspiring as I know India, and yet every page carries a new revelation.

Langtang village

The shy beauty of the trek's valley adds to its attractiveness, as well as the fact that if one doesn't dawdle, it's well possible to be back in KTM within a week. An acclimatized tourist slightly more capable than me could probably cover those thirty kilometers from the bus in one day, saving even more time and money. Personally, I now have the two local peaks ahead of me - I'm but one-third into the journey.

Kyangjin Kharka

Day's tally:

0 landslides, the upper part of the valley is noticeably calmer

2 Israelis at the lodge: one is cooking his own food, and the other is slurping so heavily that he'd pass for a Japanese

exquisite company 😂

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