May 5th Tadapani (2630m) to Sinuwa (2360m)
Summary – Crazy ups and downs. Killer steps. German bakery in Chomrong. Fresh apple pies. Death after Chomrong. Body brought to Sinuwa.
For those readers who don't want to hear one long monotonous groan you may skip this day altogether.
When we climbed down we lost the view of the mountains and instead it was valley views. This part is not really wild and most of the hill sides are prepared for cultivation. There was barley, corn and vegetables and potatoes being grown here.
After crossing Kimron Khola we had to climb again. We passed Ghurnung (2060m) and the walk was easier, almost flat along the hillside towards Taulung. But I found it very difficult to walk even on flat ground, my knees was giving me lot of trouble. My knee protection and pain relief gel was all in my backpack which Narayan had carried far ahead. I was walking very slowly and gingerly. We reached Chomrong (2170) by 11:30 and stopped at the first restaurant for lunch. It took us a very long time to get our food, but I was happy to get my knees attended to. I rubbed Volini gel on it and put my knee caps on. We also saw some Himalayn Griffons soaring up the valley riding the thermals. It was around 1 when we finished our lunch and thunder clouds had already taken over the sky. When we started to walk and it started to pour. We took shelter in a water purifying station in Chomrong. Beyond Chomrong ACAP does not allow plastic water bottles to be sold. After a heavy downpour the rain abated and we started to walk quickly. We reached Chomrong downtown which is an happening place. We found snooker clubs and bakeries in Chomrong. The smell of freshly baked apple pies wafted through the clean mountain air. But we were full and it was threatening to rain, so we had to move on. From Chomrong there is again a steep descent to Chomrong Khola. It was painful walking down the steps, may be 1000 or more. After crossing the stream we had to climb up to Sinuwa. We were now walking along Modi Khola which would take us all the way up to Machapuchare Base Camp. The exhaustion due to the steep climbs, up and down, and the constant threat of rain forced us to stop at lower Sinuwa. I had a hot shower and felt much better. We had got tired of eating inane food from the menu designed to appeal to the taste of western tourists. We decided to make kichadi and aalu fry for dinner. 2 German girls were the only other trekkers who had stopped in lower Sinuwa, the rest had plodded up to Sinuwa. The Germans were lucky to have a share of our kichadi, or so we thought. They politely said it tasted very good. They offered some rum in return which I gladly accepted. In that cold, rainy evening a thimble of rum in hot water made me feel good. I ignored Jayesh's frowns. He is completely against any alchohol on a trek and for good reason. I think for most Indians drinking alchohol is linked directly with getting drunk and that is a good generalization. Getting drunk on a trek is a nuisance and in high altitude it could be dangerous. It is difficult to distinguish the symptoms between Acute Mountain Sickness and a hangover. But I have never been drunk in my life, but Jayesh does not know that. In any case the rum did wonders to my aching bones and muscles and I slept well.