Day 130: An early farewell to Martin and Urda - thanks for sharing the adventure with us

Posted on 05 Jul 2017

We left the Kagmara Pass camp in the morning and followed the path down the valley which on occasions dipped into the river when it narrowed right down.

A little further on we crossed the river and the path became elevated from the valley bottom and the morning sun racked up the temperature and humidity. At the joining of another valley we descended through the woods to the river had a little of our packed lunch and climbed up through more woodland, passed an army checkpoint and continued down the valley into the village of Hurikot, where our arrival was celebrated with the odd beer (it had been a hot day!).

Losing altitude however seemed to increase the fly population exponentially and several killing sprees were undertaken in our tents.The following morning we left Hurikot on a riverside path which soon started to gain altitude and we passed through several small villages and arable fields with lunch prepared by our crew at a small house by the path. After lunch we continued to the high point of the path and then contoured round on a pleasant woodland track towards another village until it was apparent that the track had ceased to exist following a rockfall.

This was reccied by our Sherpas and it appeared a route existed (partly apparent from the approach of a couple of locals) but the exposure and friable rock meant that a detour was undertaken cutting down into the adjacent stream valley, over a small bridge and steeply up the other side towards the village (this took 1-2hrs in the heat and subsequent rain). The apparent risk presented by the scrambling route was made more apparent by a rockfall very shortly after some of the team had passed through.

Once passed the village it started to rain and continued to do so until everyone reached the campsite at Nauli Ghot, a small lodge building wth terraced pitches for tents that were sadly in need of a little gardening with the tallest dock weeds I have ever experienced being the predominant ground cover.

The rain persisted all night and we all retired to out tents a little earlier than usual in the fairly miserable conditions.In the morning it had ceased raining but there was still much low cloud and mist around and we had to ascend a steep slope from the rear of the camp to join a track which eventually led to a small encampment of Yak herders where Nak ( female Yak!) yoghurt was purchased along with some mutton and made a very nice addition to our lunch later in the morning.

We continued to follow the track down the valley through sunshine and showers towards a pleasant riverside campsite at Kudigaon.In the morning we continued to follow the (often quagmired) track towards Jumla through mixed woodland and Alpine pastures and eventually irrigated paddy fields. Lunch was hosted by a local house and we finished up eating on plastic chairs in the middle of the track with the occasion passing motorbike and bemused locals on foot. We arrived an hour or so later to our campsite in the grounds of a hotel adjacent to the local airport.

The following day was a rest day and goods use was made of local facilities including shops, barbers, wifi and hot showers.

It was at this stage unfortunately that Martin became aware of family issues he needed to maintain contact over and Urda had been struggling with an ankle problem meaning both made the decision to withdraw from Stage 7. Martin was one of the three of us who had joined for the full GHT and he will be missed after all this time with us. We hope everything will be ok back home and hope to catch up with him in person or email etc.Today has seen the reduced group leave Jumla, with some new boots for Lakpa Sherpa and some other equipment donated by the departing Martin and Urda. (Boots fit well, nice one Martin).

We followed a track out of Jumla and over a ridge to the north (3,500m) then descended a little way to a grassy Kharka at Khaligaon. The route however took us through near continuous rain and "leechland" with a constant surveillance operation for our footwear where the tenacious little beasts would climb aboard and endeavour to sample our blood supply if they weren't removed or annihilated first (apologies to the squeamish - but Ian's score was 2 leech bites to about 40 of them destroyed).

Ian Matt Bikash (TL)

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