Indian Himalayan Grand Traverse - Day 6 - Kyamar

Dilip is a really nice guy.  He knocks on the tent at about six with the morning tea and asks how we are and whether or not we got a good night's sleep.  He was genuinely concerned, it's like having your mum with you on the trip.  Although Christine was still pretty rough, I was already on the mend.
The man with the drugs - Dr Nick

In many ways today felt like the start of the trip.  The whole team is now in place.  25 ponies and mules are here to carry the gear (including a pony to carry anyone not up to walking) all controlled by just two "pony men".  In addition to Dilip - the leader - there is Sagar the guide; Shyam the cook and Pirtha his assistant; Panbhadur (strong man) and Nam Gyal, the lunch boys; and Pemtuk ominously described as the rescue man.  Five of the team are from Nepal and all of them seem very experienced and used to working with each other.  Compared to trips in Nepal, where porters carry the baggage, it feels like a small team reflecting the fact that here it's the ponies and mules who do the heavy lifting.

Today's walk was mercifully a short one particularly given the state of my stomach and the general lack of sleep.  The route took us up along the side of the road before heading east up a gently climbing valley before arriving, after about four hours at the camp site.  We stopped twice on the way, once for soup and once for our main lunch, but we still arrived minutes after the pony team who were busy putting together our tents.
Heading east from the road near Rumtse
The camp site was in a lovely location surrounded by hills but with a particularly stunning valley running away to the south.  After the chaos of last night we got our act together gear wise, both feeling a little bit better, started to relax.
Getting organised
Campsite at Kyamar
All my previous camping trips to the Himalayas were in spring or autumn and the benefit of summer trip soon became apparent - another hour's sunlight.  By five o'clock we were feeling confident enough to take advantage and Christine and I set off on our own for a short acclimatisation walk- a little trip up that beautiful valley to the south.  The views were amazing with gentle sun highlighting the landscape's colours; rusty reds, browns, soft washed out olives and a richer valley bottom green.
Looking down to the Campsite
Back at the campsite to my first mess tent dinner.  Have had enough Nepalese food not be too confused at the strange combinations of carbohydrates (noodles and chips tonight) but based on this meal we are definitely not going to go hungry.

Dilip briefed us on tomorrows walk - which includes two 5,000 plus metre passes - so it's a good job that we both now feel reasonably fit and well.

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