April 4th, 2019
Mong (12,982 ft) to Dhole (13,485 ft) via Phortse Thanga
We woke up with a beautiful view of the sunrise overlooking the stupa and Thamserku Mountain. Today’s hike was supposed to be a short one, which allowed us to have relaxed morning chai on the outside patio of our lodge. The Facility at Snow Valley Lodge was very basic but the small town had its own calming vibe, and great views, which made up for it all!
We started walking around 8.30 am. The trail started dropping down to 600 meters all the way close to the river. We took a short break at the river. The next part was 800 meter uphill to reach Machermo. The trail was beautiful, all the way, we took many breaks to enjoy the views. Trees were getting smaller and fading away in some parts. There was a part with a lot of bees, they were honey bees according to our guide Babu. I suddenly remembered reading about famous Nepali mad honey, the honey which is known for its hallucinogenic effects.
Steep uphill took us to the beautiful stretch of trail with multiple waterfalls. Most of them were still partly frozen and looked way too cool, kids loved them all!
There was a gentle slope after that steep uphill hike, which lead us to the town of Dole. We reached there around 1pm. This was a larger town as compare to Mong, with many lodges, and a popular acclimatization stop. We went to Dole resort, which was nice clean facility with flushed toilets.
The hostess/owner of the place was super nice and friendly. I ordered Korean Noodle soup from the menu which was boxed noodle soup, tasted really good. The owners turned the wifi off and said it was broken, which we later found out that they were trying to preserve energy for the lights to work at night.
The evening started getting cooler, and `didi’ (means sister in Nepali, we called our friendly hostess didi) turned up fire place around 5 pm.
We met a group of hikers from China and shared stories and also a solo hiker from Ireland, who was backpacking carrying hardcover photo books representing his country’s tourism. It was fun to see his collection while learning about Ireland, which is the country still on my bucket list. Anuj and Jasmin along with Babu, Yuvraj and his team played cards while we chatted and sipped hot tea by the fireplace. The evening ended with Daal Bhaat dinner, soon after we all retired to our rooms.
Day 7 ->