On to the beautiful but basic Gokyo
31.03.2012 - 31.03.2012 12 °C
Today was a relatively easy day, a quick three hour walk across the Ngozumba Galcier and on to the lakeside settlement of Gokyo. Gokyo sits on the third of a series of lakes sacred to Hindus. The Lake itself was still frozen after the winter but migrating ducks were already arriving for when the waters would start to thaw. Our lodge was probably the most basic we have had to date and the sanitation was not for the faint hearted.
Lodges do vary quite considerably, some are stone built others two skins of plywood with a bit of insulation in between. There is a main room which is used for dining, reading, playing cards etc. In the centre of the room is a stove which is usually lighted at dusk. Many porters heard around the stove to get as much of the heat as possible. The bedrooms are plywood boxes, most commonly with twin beds. You can hear virtually everything from the next room and from any corridor. This is especially annoying if you have an easy day i.e. a lie in and another group is getting up early to do one of the more arduous treks. Toilets can be inside, outside, western or squat and there is a bucket of water for flushing after use. The biggest challenge is getting in to bed or getting dressed in the morning in as little time as possible so you don’t freeze to death.
Gokyo lodge scored low on several factors, the sanitation as mentioned earlier, the rooms were probably the coldest of the whole trek, and the common room wasn’t particularly warm even in the middle of the day.
Some of us decided to go for a walk up to the fourth Gokyo lake to warm up a bit. It only took an hour or so but the landscape in that time changed quite dramatically. Clouds were moving in and snow was in the air making the jagged peaks look like something from Lord of the Rings. We wouldn’t have been surprised if a couple of Dwarfs or Goblins had walked past us in this fantasy landscape.
After returning it was a case of putting as many layers as possible on to prepare for a cold night. A quick supper, a quick game of cards and we were all tucked up in our sleeping bags by 9 pm.