If you look closely at the mountain across the way, you will see a road. Somewhere on that road is where we started walking.
One of our porters
The crew assembling
Riotala - you know that joke about "Don't blink or you'll miss it?" Don't blink.
In the trip description provided by Journeys, this day is mentioned as "probably the hardest hiking of the trip." Well, overall they rated our trek as "moderate" and athough I am no athlete, I am not exactly a hiking wimp. I walk our Flume Trail regularly and we live at 6900' elevation.
This trek begins at 3200' so naturally I'm thinking "piece of cake." Not. We hiked down a very hot, dusty, steep trail, crossed a bridge and then hiked up and up to Nimshong. I can't whine about this too much, though, because our porters carried all our gear up and down these trails in rubber sandals with baskets on their heads. We were pretty distressed when we realized people were going to be carrying the gear. We thought horses would be used. It was explained that the government was trying to boost rural economies by hiring people to carry gear for tourists. We had a "local" guide and a "local" cook, plus our guide, Chhimi who began the trip with us. We also had a head cook who had two assistants. It was definitely out of the ordinary for us who have backpacked with llamas but not a team of people!
I must say though that they were all wonderful to us, very kind and considerate. Having tea on the trail with hot noodles is such a treat! We had three meals cooked every day plus the afternoon tea no matter where we were. If were were trekking, they cooked in the morning and carried the meal in warmers so that it was still hot when we stopped to eat. The meals were delicious and satisfying. I got so spoiled that by the end of our trek I was ready to take them all home with me.