Reflecting on peace and knives in the Himalayas!

13 October 2018

Hello everyone from Kola Kharka, at 4,200m in the Himalayas. This is even less of a village than yesterday! We are in a beautiful location in the midst of mountains and it is incredibly remote.

We woke up to beautiful views through the clouds which raised our spirits after a cold night. 

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I had a reasonable nights sleep after starting to take the altitude tablets that I had been prescribed for the trip. It was, cold, however, with no heating and no proper windows. I kept every bit of me inside the sleeping bag and woke to a cold breeze through my room and seeing my breath very clearly in the air inside the room! 

We’ve had another good day and have gained a lot of altitude today. We hiked up from 3,500m to 4,500m before dropping down to our Tea House. It was hard work. The route up was like a never ending rock staircase. All of us found it tough going and my breathing was laboured. I took to my usual practice of counting steps to help me keep going! The weather was misty for much of the day and so views were limited but when the clouds did lift, we saw beautiful scenery.

We passed by a lake where there were prayer flags and what looked like a lot of pitch forks put into the ground. It was a sacred place used by both Buddhists and Hindus and the Hindu festival was in August when the new pitch forks were put in. It made me reflect on how special it was that two religions used the same sacred place in peace. 

I also got to hold a 100 year old Nepalese kukhuri, a knife, which belonged to our guide and his family. It was beautiful but not something I would want to be carrying around with me, given my clumsy nature! 

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When we arrived at the Tea House, it was even more basic than previous ones have been, due to its remote location. My favourite part was the fact that they used yak dung to get a fire going! The things I never thought I would experience! 

It is getting increasingly cold here and I am now sleeping in several layers in my heavy duty sleeping bag. Tomorrow we cross back onto the main Mera route and so we hope to have Wi-fi and, more importantly, hot water! The basics in life become so important here. 

It is a privilege to be here, even though I have moments of doubting myself. Thank you so much for all your continued support, it means the world to me.

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