Annapurna Circuit — Day 14

Day 14

“The first hour and a half will be very difficult. Steep. Steep. Steep. The easy. Flat. For 2 hours.” Min told me this last night as well as this morning.

I’ve climbed stone steps for an hour and a half. It’s pouring down rain. With each step I am super careful. The mud sloshes beneath my feet. I take a step and my boot slips. I’m sure there are fates worse than slipping in glucky mud and donkey dung, but right now I can’t think of what they would be.

I continue to climb stone steps. It’s been 2 ½ hours now and I’m looking forward to the flat bits Min has promised.

We arrive to the “See You” guest house. I’ve been climbing for four hours straight. There was no flat bit. I want to turn to Min and ask, “Where was the flat part?” but I know it won’t do any good. I retire to my room to hang my wet clothes to dry.

For dinner we decide to order something new and share. Sort of like dining roulette. Mark orders chili fries and a Snickers roll. I order tuna roasty cheese. Julie orders spring rolls, and Tobin orders mixed momos. We order a large pot of ginger tea and a large pot of milk tea.

We receive a large pot and a small pot of black tea. We try to explain we ordered ginger and milk, not black, tea. Four people come from the kitchen – we finally get them to take back the black tea after a lot of pantomiming and pointing at the menu. Mark’s Snickers roll arrives first, a Snickers bar wrapped in chapati and deep fried. Next comes a plate of plain French fries. We inquire about the chili. The causes a bit of confusion. Again, several people come from the kitchen. They say normally there is chili powder, but not today. They offer masala salt instead. Julie’s spring roll arrives, vegetables wrapped in chapati and baked. Several people come from the kitchen, very agitated with me. They say they don’t know what my order is, this tuna cheese roasty. I try not to get defensive, but I’m irritated. Why are they yelling at me? I didn’t make it up, I chose it off the menu they gave to me. I just start laughing. I point to the menu under “House Special.” They nod their heads and look at the menu, not convinced. I offer to order something different, something like rice that they will know how to cook. No, no, no. They insist they will make my order. Half an hour later, the tuna cheese roasty arrives, a heart attack on a place: hash browned potatoes (sort of), fried canned tuna atop that, melted yak cheese atop that. We’re finally brought our pot of ginger tea. We pour it and the milk tea immediately comes out. At this point we’re all laughing – it’s an episode of Nepali Fawlty Towers.

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