Day 3 Dhaulagiri Circuit - Sibang

It rained on and off all night and with yesterday's weather forecast I was anticipating a day in waterproofs. Although it was damp first thing it wasn't raining and the weather improved as the day went on. Three days of solid rain and it clears up on the first day's walking - definitely a reason to be cheerful.
Campsite in Darbang

Despite listening to the rain I did get some sleep and survived my first night under canvas.  It's sad but true..... apart from one night with a Belgian on Mera Peak, it was the first night I spent with anyone in a tent since I was a teenager (pop festival at Bardney in Lincolnshire - happy days) apart from my wife.  It was very hot and very crowded.

I had a good and reassuring chat with Pemchiring (Pem) the lead Sherpa also known as the Sirdr. He has done this walk six times before and got round every time. Although the climb up Damphus is a long one most of it is in good going and it's snow for only the last 100 metres.  No trudge across a glacier then and it doesn't sound as hard as Mera Peak.
Looking back down the valley towards Darbang

Today's walk was an easy one designed, I guess, to get everyone used to the new regime.  It was a nice walk nonetheless, through agricultural Nepal.  The Hindu holiday of Diwali continues (the main day was yesterday), the schools are closed and the villages are full of families relaxing with their children.  There seem to be a lot more women than men which might be my imagination or perhaps the men are working away (unlikely -ed).
Typical homestead approaching Sibang

It seems that we are not alone on the Circuit and that there is another group from Switzerland on the same schedule as us.  We have instantly constructed an international rivalry and somehow they have become the Norwegians heading to the south pole and we have become the ill-fated British party.  They do seem well organised and have incredibly smart tents all the same colour.

The villages are beautiful, a mix of stone and wattle and daub construction. Everything is on a toy town scale - perhaps a half the size of rural houses a typical English village. Surrounding the villages are terraces filled with tiny patches of rice and millet most of which look a few weeks away from being harvested.
Terraces of rice and millet
The early part of the walk was along an ugly new dirt road designed to let the buses through to the villages.  It wasn't until the dirt road fizzled out that we change to the original route, a lovely wall- lined path, that joined the villages together.
Curious children with Diwali hair decorations

The campsite in Sibang is in the flat space in the front of the school.  It's full of children of all ages playing and of course they find the arrival of a group of trekkers seriously interesting.

On arrival at Sibang, Nick the vet announced some momentous news.  He has brought with him his own one man tent. There are 8 of us sharing tents and 4 in single tents.  If you booked a single room you ended up with a single tent (although I for one hadn't appreciated that this was part of that option).  Nick had booked a single room so there was now a spare single tent. Urged on by Steve, who seemed as happy for me to leave as I was to go, and without checking whether anyone else wanted it, I moved in and I've now spread my possessions - which are in a right mess - across the floor of my own tent.  I feel just a bit guilty about not asking the others if they wanted a single tent (Dean and Charles in particular) but I'll try and get over it.  

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