Day 7: Dobato
So, yep, it was cold last night. And it’s still cold this morning. Being in bed is actually fine, getting out of it however…Brrrrrrrr! I throw off the covers like I’m taking on a challenge, the challenge to get dressed as quickly as humanly possible, whilst I ruefully wish I’d kept my clothes in my sleeping bag with me so they wouldn’t be feeling like slivers of ice coating my skin right now.
I walk outside to another gorgeous view. We are so close to Annapurna South and it feels like I could reach out and touch it. The sky is clear and the sun is rising, shooting its warming rays across the sky. We were lucky, it was clear all night so there’s no more snow on the ground. There’s no less snow though either. What there is more of is ice. Snowmelt from yesterday hardened overnight, leaving patches of slick ice along the paths. Bel doesn’t think it is safe for us to continue towards Khopra Danda today as some of the way follows narrow paths with steep drops on one side. “We slip and fall, we die. Very dangerous.” Say no more, Bel. A rest day in Dobato it is. What with no running water and a toilet that is rapidly filling up I can’t say that this will be the most enjoyable place to chill out and do nothing for the day (and there is literally nothing to do here), but people with small children and no crampons for their boots can’t be choosers. The hope is that the sun today will melt all the snow away and tomorrow we can continue onwards and upwards. I’m feeling some holes in this plan, not the least of which is that although the dear sun is doing it’s best, the massing clouds which have started rolling in are hampering the much need warmth for the conversion of ice to water to occur.
I figure that maybe I can catch up on some writing, but the icy fingers of the night managed to pry out the remaining 50% of battery power from my laptop, leaving it empty when I try to turn it on. And I can’t charge it here. I pull out the kindle, sit myself on a bench by the wood stove and hardly move all day.
The kids play in the snow with Alex, they play indoors inventing games with their toys. They seem pretty happy. I read and watch as the three Nepalis who live up here spend the day collecting snow and melting it so they have some water for washing, cooking, drinking, etc. Over and over. It’s no easy life up here.
By afternoon we are totally misted in again, the sun completely blocked out. I fear for new snowfall. There is only so long I want to stay here. I especially liked when Alex shook out the duvet to tidy the room this morning and found a dead mouse in it. Nice to know they slept with it last night! We didn’t mention it to the kids. So yeah, it’s not my favourite place that I’ve stayed.
There’s a viewpoint on a hill above Dobato called Mulde Peak. At over 3,600m it gives a stunning panorama over the Annapurna and Dhaulaghiri ranges. Alex and Bel walk up to get a view of the path for tomorrow, to see if it is clear of snow or not. I’m sceptical that they’ll see anything through the mist and cloud, but up they go. When they get back Alex says they got half of one, with everything to the right of Annapurna South shrouded from view but everything to the left of it clear as day. The path we need to take is in the shade so Bel isn’t confident the snow will melt by tomorrow. It’s basically just a waiting game to see what tomorrow morning will bring.