Nepal Trek Day 7: ABC – Dovan

Woke up at 0530hrs, left the room at 0600hrs and walked around ABC camp to appreciate the beauty of the soaring mountains around. The snow in the morning was firm to walk on, a pleasant change from the day before. We stood in the freezing wind for almost 45 min, shivering and wriggling our toes to keep warm while we waited for the sun to rise. The picture on the right shows the sun’s rays shooting up above the mountain with ABC (the blue-roofed area) seen from the viewing point.

Having completed one round around ABC, I returned to the comfort of the dining hall only to find that the S. Africans and the Shanghaiese were just about to set off at 0700hrs to take advantage of the snow. In the dining hall was a few ladies who had just done a dawn ascent from MBC. The discomfort of the cold was offset by the speed they achieved by walking on frozen snow.

In the dining hall, we took off our boots and had a good, hearty breakfast. Then it was time for our last photos around ABC before setting off on our long downhill trek. I really enjoy walking fast, and with the ability of the snow to withstand out weight I confess I rushed like crazy downhill. To MBC was easy with the firm snow allowing rapid descent. Afterwards, however, I waited for the rest to arrive and subsequently walked with them.

From MBC down though, it was a more difficult up and down route until we reached Deurali (3200m) @ 1135 hours, returning to Dream Lodge where we had stayed previously. It’s the lodge that has a picture of the Mona Lisa hanging on the wall and, according to my female friend, a really good-looking Nepali woman. But I digress.

Previously, we had taken our time upwards because evidently an upward climb is more strenuous and also to allow the bodies to acclimatise. There was no such issue for our descent. After lunch we took a quick walk down to Himalaya (2900m) where we stopped for 5min before rushing down on uneven ridges to Dovan walking from 1300-1405hrs (original plan was 2hrs). Fortunately for us, we arrived while it had just started drizzling and had barely settled in when the rain became heavier and turned into small hail.

At Dovan we spoke with some folks, including a lady from Hong Kong who was traveling alone. She was going up to ABC at a fantastic rate, wearing a pair of hiking shoes. Very impressive.

Tip Top Lodge where we stayed charged Rs100 per hot shower, but had another ‘shower’ which was basically a bucket and scoop under a tap. While the girls declined to shower (but washed their hair, which can’t be cleaned with a powder bath), K and I decided that cleanliness, being next to godliness, was worth the slight chill.

It felt strange that we were already halfway through the trek.

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