The next morning we left Ringmo in a hurry to try and get a peek at Everest over the nearby Trakshindu La pass before the clouds came in, but again the mountain hid from us. We had breakfast at the pass beneath a poster of Avril Lavigne; I wonder what she would think of that. On the descent from the pass we had to make frequent stops to let trains of donkeys pass, their drivers often busy with cell phones or ipods. Some of the donkeys were loaded down with propane tanks which we could smell quite strongly, and some of the drivers puffed on cigarettes right among them!
Upon arrival at Nunthala we were accompanied by a Nepali boy name Bimba (probably 3 or 4 years old) over lunch. I had a good time drawing him pictures of animals and getting him to mimic their noises, and both of us practiced a bit of our Nepali with him. As fun as he was he had a bad habit of drooling on everything and to Sean’s great dismay we couldn’t be rid of him until he was finally distracted by the arrival of some other trekkers. Then while brushing our teeth outside before bed, we found a big toad in the light of our headlamps!
The next day on the way to Bupsa Sean still carried a good portion of my weight on long downhill sections as my knees were still a problem. We crossed the longest suspension bridge yet, at 109 m across. I thought I would be afraid of these as I don’t like heights but they’re sturdily built. The ascent to Bupsa was extremely steep and seemingly endless, and it was the hottest day yet. Our complaints never left our lips though as below us locals turned up their fields guiding old-fashioned wooden ploughs pulled by cattle/yak hybrids. The lodge we stayed at in Bupsa offered wifi, and in the morning when Sean entered the dining room he found the lodge owner and her toddler asleep on a small mat on the floor behind the counter. Her iphone rested on a ledge beside them, another strange illustration of old meets new that I haven’t gotten used to yet. Bupsa is the last town on our trek before Lukla, where most people fly in to begin their hikes in the Everest region. The promise of a couple rest days had me very excited.