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April 28th
Najingdingma-Puiya
Distance: 12mi/19km
Trip Total: ~215mi/346km
Guesthouse Elevation: 8,974ft/2735m

This entry will be pretty short. Today was not very eventful, and moved quite slowly for both of us. It started off with a rare morning rain. We were happy to be in a guesthouse where we could just pack up and go than in our tents where motivation to take down a tent in cold rain would be tough. We left with our rain gear on and umbrellas up as we did a slow steep descent in the woods for 2,300ft/701m.

Then it was a just as slow steep up for 3,900ft/1189m to go over the viewless Narkung La Pass. Just look at the elevation chart at the top of this post to visualize this day. It’s a well traveled route for many coming into villages from Lukla, porters bringing supplies, and some formally guided groups doing Mera Peak. We ran into one porter with a huge load carrying 110lbs/50kg. Notice how their hiking stick becomes a support for the load when he stops. He just stands up and it supports the weight to give him a break. The strap in his hand goes over his forehead to support the weight.

Morning break spot.

We took a few short breaks, but knew today would be about just putting one foot in front of the other, and slowly inching towards our final destination in the village of Puiya. After our morning down and back up, we knew we had another descent and long up.

Before the final long up, we stopped at a shop in a village and I splurged on two hard to find Snickers, $2.50 each, and a first time find of a can of tuna ($3) to put in my cold soaked ramen. As we sat there, a very sociable and rambunctious four yr old was sure to make his presence known. He must do this to people all day. It’s so funny to me how very young children just hang out without adult supervision out here. It really isn’t uncommon to see toddlers with very young siblings, or none at all, just hanging out on their own.

The rest of the day was spent slowly and gradually climbing over Kari La Pass. It was a bit different from most climbs because we basically traversed and curved slowly up the hillside to and uneventful pass before dropping down again. Good news is that it’s the first day since I can remember that we went over a pass in the afternoon, and it didn’t involve rain! These stone steps just kill me though.

Then we dropped down to the averagely sized village of Puiya, just 6mi from Lukla. There was a lot of traffic moving through the village, and we worried about noise and congestion, so our strategy was to try to pick a guesthouse on either end of the village hoping to have fewer guests and be away from the possible evening noise. We chose the first one we came to and it seems to be working. We are the only ones staying here, and yet again, got our fav dinner lately of fried potatoes. We also got some momos.

Shanti Lodge, our home for the night.

We will go through Lukla tomorrow and then be in Namche to meet Griggs the following day. Just tonight, we heard from Griggs and it seems he has a horrible case of giardia. WTF?! Poor Griggs can’t catch a break! He has antibiotics for it thankfully, and the hope is that he will rebound quick. I swear, if anyone is looking for a diet to lose weight quick, come out to hike the GHT!

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