To Manang, the call of the mountains

The challenges of the journey continued with Ali having diarrhoea in the night and again in the morning! This was a concern as from now on we were getting into seriously higher altitudes, where altitude sickness is a real risk. Ali was incredibly strong today, making it to Manang despite everything. I feel the sheer, almost indescribable, majesty of the mountains we were now among and the incredible power of nature we were feeling had a real strengthening effect on Ali. Despite all challenges of illness so far it was hard not to feel this power and energy around us. The biggest concern was when she started having nose bleeds just short of Manang. Number one priority when we got to Manang was to get on top of her diarrhoea, which we managed to do. Thank goodness tomorrow was a rest day! Time for Ali to recover and also for us to adjust more to the altitude.

En route to Manang, a day when Lena was inspired to write a poem
En route to Manang, a day when Lena was inspired to write a poem

While Ali and Lena rested I went down the road to the Manang District HQ of ACAP, where I met Bhim Prasad Upadhyay, conservation officer. We arranged to meet again with his manager next morning.

What a stunning place, with the Annapurna Himal spread out above us!
What a stunning place, with the Annapurna Himal spread out above us!

The mountains are calling

By Lena Kenny

The snowy mountains-

lonely, lofty heights;

they are calling.

Pine trees and their falling needles-

their smell is drawing me in.

To walk, and remember days gone past.

That whistling wind is so familiar.

See- the drifting wind catching

the snow up

to curl and twist in the air.

My feet are following a path

that has been trodden before-

by another set of feet,

on a different day.

Cliffs, mountains, trees.

I am smaller than them all.

So small…

Will they remember me walking past?

I am so small,

and yet…so big!

And the butterflies are still dancing,

and the wheat is still swaying,

the wind still whispers in my ear,

and my feet,

they are still tredding along that well

trodden path,

that leads to the mountains,

those mountains, they are calling…

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