Up at 5am this morning with the sudden urge to go to toilet; diarrhoea, nice. Once again I had a restless sleep, waking every hour or so, that combined with my dysentery made for the ideal preparation for today’s climb up to Thorung La.
We had honey porridge for breakfast and proceed with the 900m climb up to the pass. We got to high camp within an hour and broke out into the sunlight, which was followed by the delightful pleasures of fingers thawing. We then carried on for another hour and a half and were able ride small portions in between the pushes.
|Ollie riding over a bridge at over 5000m|
As the summit of the pass neared I began to get excited with anticipation of finally reaching out goal although I did not physically show this. My body was tired from the climb and bum cheeks were strained from being clamped together desperately trying to keep my stomach contents in my colon. Never the less it was a greatly feeling riding over the prayer flag covered pass on the bike after spending so many months thinking about it.
The views from the pass were not actually that great due to the two mountains of Yawwakang and Khafungkong both over 6000m blocking the potential views. But this was not really an issue as we were spoiled with amazing views of Annapurna III on the walk up. We made some phone calls to our folks on my dad’s satellite phone, took some photos and eagerly ate a cake of celebratory summit chocolate. Then it was off to test out our nerves on the 1700m descent.
The decent began with a comfortable gradient and then progressively got steeper, oh how I wished I didn’t have to carry my dry bag that greatly prevented me getting my weight back for improved control. We ended up playing a game of leap frog with the bikes, where one of us would ride a section whilst the other took photos and allowed their brakes to cool off.
|Look at that downhill|
We stopped at 4200m at a small village where again I needed the use of a bathroom. Some momos for lunch and antibiotics to settle my stomach and we were off to Muktinath. The trail began to increase with flowyness and made for some excitingly fast riding over the never ending gnarly rock sections, which the 29er wheels simple ate up. I was disappointed that I wasn’t feeling well today as this descent was one of the highlights to date.
We rode into Muktinath like desperados on our trustee steeds. We stayed at the North Pole hotel which boasted hot showers. After a short lie down we went out for a small walk around the sacred town of Muktinath and up to the monastery that had a 108 cleansing fountains.
|The 108 fountains of the Muktinath Monastery|
Back at the hotel we planned out the rest of our trip and made a new goal of a trek up to Annapurna base camp. We enjoyed our delicious dinner that also included half a pizza each before heading off to bed with food comas.
Big ride tomorrow, but with 2600m of pure sweet elevation to burn off this should be a delight.