Day 8 AC: Yak Kharka

We were feeling really good the next day in Manang.  The comfortable mattress and thick blanket made a whole lot of difference in getting a good night sleep.  We slept 10 hours straight!  We thought about staying another day in Manang for acclimatization but it looks like that short walk from Munchi to Manang gave our bodies enough time to recover.  We decided to climb farther up taking advantage of our recovered bodies.

We planned on staying in Ghusang which is only about an hour away from Manang but the altitude climbs up to about 410 m change.  We figured that under 500 m is still good and if we do stay in Ghusang our bodies will adjust better since we have a lot more time.  We left at 7:00am and got to Ghusang around 8:00am, still early.  We almost checked in to a lodge that offered a really rustic room and an outside dining room.  It will be cold!  We sat in the room and thought twice about what we are doing.  Yak Kharka is only another 100 m high and about a couple of hours to get to so we decided to go for it.

The trek to Yak Kharka is straightforward and we are starting to feel the altitude on the way to the lodge.  Yak Kharka is at 13,365 ft or 4050 m high.  There is another village above Yak Kharka called   Ledar at 4200 m high but that’s really pushing it, although we did thought about it.

We were feeling good and our pace is reasonable so it’s hard not to think about pushing farther up.

On the way up, Doug got some Yak cheese to snack on later once we get to our destination for the day.

We got to Yak Kharka’s main village but continued on farther to the lodge higher up the village.  We thought that was Ledar but it’s a lodge outside the edge of Yak Kharka.  We saw the porters we’ve been tagging along the trails since Chame once again!  We asked them how far is Ledar.  It’s about another hour and a half but they suggested we stay in Yak Kharka due to the altitude.

We started walked about 100 m away from the lodge then decided to heed the advice of the porters.  We decided that it would be less risky.  So, we turned back around and checked into a room.  The lodge is the only lodge on the hill above the main village of Yak Kharka.  We ordered lunch, ate the Yak cheese Doug bought earlier and then rested as much as we can.  The Yak cheese was so good and we wished we bought more so we ordered a big plate of sliced Yak (actually it’s Nyak for female  yaks) cheese and snacked in our room.  We craved for cheese!

It’s really a nice lodge ran by a couple.  The food was good and it was quite busy that day.  We always seem to get in the lodges pretty early so picking rooms wasn’t hard.  We got a room with attached bathrooms and there were 4 beds in the room.  We can’t argue as the owner have given us the key to get settled.  It seems like most of the rooms with attached bathrooms were that way in this particular lodge.

We sat at the lodge and had a few chats with a couple of guides.  Both of them had about 20+ years of guide experience.  One lives in Kathmandu and the other resides in Pokhara.  It’s always very interesting chatting with guides as they share valuable experiences and stories.

We went to bed early after a good meal then it was lights out.  The next day will be a bit challenging as we get higher up to Thorung Phedi at 4450 m or 14,685 ft.  There is a landslide section we need to cross where it’s know for rock falls.  It’s also know to injure people while trekking.  A woman have died from a rock fall injury in that same section.

It’s beginning to feel so real now as we struggle to breathe as we take each step higher.  We are also starting to go at a much slower pace.  One step at a time.  Luckily, we slept okay at Yak Kharka.

Two more days before our ascent to Thorung La.  We were very excited!

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