Annapurna -Day 9
Today was yet another 'rest day' as I mentioned in the pervious blog. Today I got up and ordered yet another English Breakfast which had been delicious the day before. After chatting to some of the guys in the lounge, one of them said 'Oh you're Jade who out the ad online for a trekking partner' and he had also mentioned he had seen my name in the snow. It was so random. I also planned to buy some conditioner (the highlight of my day) because my endless knotty hair was driving me mad and as any girl knows, washing your hair with just shampoo just doesn't work. Instead of a rest day it was actually a pamper day for me. I headed down to the local shop (where I bought my chocolate the day before and spotted that they sold conditioner, which had been hard to come by) and bought some conditioner before heading back to ask for a bucket of hot water for a shower. Believe it or not, it's not as bad as it sounds and I felt great afterwards. I had been rotating my clothes and trying to keep them as clean as possible and even though I had a tiny backpack I seemed to have what I needed. I took the opportunity to sit by the warm stove to warm myself up and also dry my boots off one last time before the big trek.
Outside there was a party going on led by two middle aged Spanish men. Every half hour a beer was taken from the cabinet to be served to them all and it wasn't long before they joined the rest of us in the warm lounge to continue the party! We all sat around the hot stove and laughed as the Spanish guys got more and more drunk and when asking for a beer everytime would say 'one before the last one'. It was quite entertaining. We listened to Rick, a Belgian trekker's story about how he Hitchhiked from Belgium all the way to Everest and actually has a book about his journey. None of us could believe it. We laughed hysterically as one of the guides showed off his muscles and his double jointed abilities. It was quite an entertaining night. Dave, Rick and I all decided we would leave together the next day to go 4.5hrs to the next stop towards Thorong La. The weather was looking good for the next few days and we had heard that a few people had passed already. We were urged to get crampons for our boots (spikes to dig into the ice) for the descent from Thorong La, as we would be descending from 5416m to 3000 odd metres in one go and that the other side was rather icy. We joked that instead we would take frying pans or skiis and slide down but obviously that's not safe.
It wasn't long before we went to bed one by one on this Christmas Eve eve and we would wake up the next morning to a white Christmas Eve in the himalayas, the first for a lot of us. Our aim to pass Thorong La on Xmas Day wouldn't happen but we would still celebrate Xmas together the day before and would pass Thorong La hopefully on Boxing Day.