Sunday 11 January 2015

Day 218: Gokyo - Cakes of many flavours

Cho Oyu: a big bump on the giant wall (winter is coming!)
that separates Tibet from Nepal 
Sick.  Two months in the Himalaya, encompassing two high passes in the last two weeks, may have been over-doing things.  So I spent the day reading one of my banned (in China) books and drinking large quantities of lemon tea.

The highlight of the day was the bakery, where mountains of cake (chocolate cheesecake, fruit brownie slice, chocolate gateaux, cream buns, croissants, cheese croissants, chocolate croissants, biscuits, carrot cake, more biscuits, the strange-looking pink cake of unidentified flavour, the nondescript brown-yellow cake, the cake that appears to have gone a bit wrong ...) looked succulent and tasted terrible.  If I'd bought one of these cakes in Hammersmith it would have gone straight in the bin.  Buying one in Gokyo, I demolished it in under five minutes with a big grin on my face.  The only mistake was not to have taken an ice axe to the bakery to cut up my brownie slice; my knife would almost certainly have bent before the brownie did.

It's 4 o'clock: Tea Time and time for the valley cloud to roll into Gokyo
Guy, Paul and Ian had a rather more active day but a no less cake-filled one.  After filling their packs with a squishy, sugary mess, Paul and Ian summited Gokyo Ri, 5,357m - the goal of many a trek in this region but no more than a couple of hours' saunter for Tesi Lapcha veterans.  Then Guy joined them to trek up to the fifth lake in pursuit of yet more Everest photos and to pay their respects to Cho Oyu.

In the evening, we of course converged on the glucose centre of town to gorge on more cake.  What could be more desirable than a second helping of chocolate gateau that has clearly never encountered the cocoa plant in the course of its (rather too enduring) existence?

We were joined by a German backpacker who is travelling, by his own admission, mostly to meet girls.  We feared he may have come to the wrong place.  Anyone who removes their clothes in an unheated building above 4,500m of altitude is a very strange being.  Surely this cannot be a good pulling ground?  It isn't even a good place for cake (although we're all eating it).  It's only good for lemon tea and mountain views - thousands of them.

Looking back down the Ngozumpa Glacier to Gokyo in the far distance
Everest (left) and Lhotse (right) to the east looking down the Gaunara Glacier 
Chola (6089m  - right) and Kangchung (6063m - left) peaks

No comments:

Post a Comment