The sun is rising from beyond the high mountains at the end of the valley, where we are going to climb today: Kyangjin Gompa (3740m). In the kitchen we observe the making of our chapati.
It's still cold when we start and the elevation is moderate so it takes longer to warm up. In add it's very windy. Pastures and the glacial moraine took the place of the forest, the path runs by Mani walls and chortens. Yaks are quitly grazing. In the distance, an ancient monastery, its door open so that I can see the prayers wheels inside. Smaller prayer wheels are built over the river and work like mills, incessantly moved by the strength of the stream. There is a cheese factory, but it's closed, as well as the most of the guesthouses in the high valley, interested by maintenance work and enlargement.
Kyangjin Gompa is a big village surrounded by high mountains covered in snow and steep hills. Here it's definitely cold but also sunny: the daylight is so fierce that for the first time I have to wear my sunglasses and put on a cream. The clothes hung to dry are frozen. We can't wait too long: we drop our backpack, we eat our dhal bhat - in the kitchen, in front of the fire - and we start climbing to Chorkari Ri (5050m).
This is probably the most demanding part of the trekking. The path is very steep and in few kms we gain a big elevation. I feel exhausted but I don't want to give up: "I can do it" I say, "You MUST do it!" Jaya replies. He never stops to encourage me and slowly slowly I go up. The last stretch is more climbing than hiking, finally I'm there, among the coloured prayer flags waving in the wind, in front of the majestic view of several peaks glittering in the sun: Langtang Lirung, Gyanghempo, Langshisha Ri, Yansha Tenji and Nayakang. "Congrats!" This is my summit and I'm proud of myself.
The sun is setting while we descend, cautiously, admiring the glacier from where the Langtang river springs and the remote beautiful places I will never reach...
In the guesthouse there are two new guests: son and father from Canada, suffering from the altitude, sadly decided to go down earlier than expected. The son is in Nepal for his studies and the father is visiting "...but he got sick of Kathandu, so we came hiking, but it feel bad here, we both have headache, nausea... and I feel a pain in my chest..." I almost feel guilty that I'm absolutely fine! "I think I suffer from Low Altutide Disease" I joke. Drying my socks close to the stove I look at Jaya who is playing cards with the Canadians' guide and porter, trying to understand the rules.
I'm tired tonight, my legs are sore for the long climbing and I feel cold. After dinner we all drink a cup of roksi, the local grappa... and we go to bed.
TO BE CONTINUED