Part Four – from 30 years ago.
On the western side of Thorung La, the climate is much drier and in places the scenery is very much that of a desert landscape.
As you descend, though, you soon come across settled areas where meltwater from the snows and glaciers higher up enable vegetation to grow.
Mani stones plus a fine set of argali horns on top of a wall in Kagbeni. The argali are the wild sheep of the Himalaya.
In Tukuche, at 2590m – less than half the altitude of Thorung la, which we had crossed just two days before.
It was in places like this, that we really felt we could be in another century. Buildings of stone and beautifully carved wood, ponies for transport, no wheeled vehicles, and the two fellows to the right of the picture are busy crushing lengths of bamboo to a fibrous pulp, ready to make into paper.
It was in places like these, actually, that I felt I could just leave the world behind and spend the rest of my life. Yes, totally impractical, I know, but…
We came for the high peaks, but the mountains lower down have a breathtaking beauty of their own.
Sunrise on Poon Hill is a treat most trekkers ensure they don’t miss. Unrivalled mountain views, and in the spring the massed flowers of the rhododendron forests.
Ah, yes. Did I just mention the rhododendron forests?
Photos just don’t seem to do them justice.
And then a few days later it was over, and we were back in Kathmandu…
…and that is a different kind of wonderful…