Thursday, November 11, 2010

Trekking Annapurna - - Days 10 - 11

Another spectacular Himalayan Day! We hike the cliff edge trail to Phu

Certain death if you fall off the edge

I dubbed Mary Ann, Compound Low. Every time the trail tilted up, she would shift down into ultra low gear.

Bushes in fall color

A massive rock marks the entrance into Phu, a magical ancient village. We climb the steep trail cutting up diagonally on the mountain side to the right.

At the top, you walk through a chorten gateway

Then it's all downhill to the village

The remnants of a fortress guards the entrance to Phu

Stone tablets are on a wall at the gateway chorten

Incredible 1,000 year old stone stupas

Symbols etched into stones

Dawa standing next to wall of stone tablets . . . I wonder what the writings on the stones mean?

Campground below Phu lies up ahead (see yellow tents)

Our campground with a view of the ancient stone village of Phu, home to about 500 villagers

At the end of each day's trek, we are served tasty juice

A thousand year old Buddhist Monastery is located on a mountain top across the canyon from Phu. I scattered Patti's ashes from this mountain top.

Mike spinning prayer wheels.

The following pics are of monastery

Big mountains soar above row of stupas

Group photo at mountain top

Kate recording video of panorama

The monastery in red building

Wonderful bright colors on building trim

Angela presents a scarf knitted by a member of her church to monastery care-taker

A blaze of color inside the monastery

Wall of prayer boxes where members place written prayers

A very colorful Buddha

Care-taker gives us a tour

A rock painted blue with a minature gold stupa. Note how shape of blue rock mimics real mountain.

Row of stupas

Across the canyon from the monastery, lies the village of Phu. Situated at over 13,000', it is one of the highest living communities in the world.

Views of the village of Phu

Life in Phu has not changed much in its 1,000 year existence

Cows roam the narrow streets

Really neat old window

A new Buddhist Temple adds a splash of color to the earth-tone village

Buddha eyes are common symbol on temples

Mick meets a monk who spoke English. He invited us to visit his home.

Encountering many villagers

Village high rises

More old stupas in the middle of village

With Mick's initiative, we got invited into a residence of a villager. We interacted with locals who told us all about village life. This was a very rare opportunity and privileged moment.

After spending a fabulous day in Phu, we head back to Kyang campground

Shama herding the donkies

Devi, trekking with the donkeys

Back at Kyang campground, the porters/sherpas played soccer . . .

. . . we laid around enjoying the sun

A wildlife sighting . . . a little pika

A centipede marching over the mountain

Three sherpas in front of three chortens

An new and old bridge crossing a deep gorge

Looking down into the gorge

The old stone and wood bridge was just restored. Note the buttress with the insertion of wood layers between the stone. Wonder why?

Click on pic for enlarged view

View of chorten gateway. The restored bridge is an amazing piece of engineering.

Another view of really cool bridge

Climbing a steep trail to our next campground

We crossed this vast gorge to get to our next campground. Click on pic to appreciate climb to monastery on other side.

Campground at new monastery under construction

A round of hot fruit juice at end of hike

Another beautiful camp site with a grand view

A friendly dog rests next to donkey muzzles

YIPPIE!! . . . we get a resupply of TP, the most important piece of equipment on a trek

Al fresco breakfast with an awesome view

A grueling day, climbing up a steep mountain from the monestary

A gateway chorten marks the end of the long steep section. Just a gradual grade from this point forward to Nar and next campground.

The donkeys come through chorten

Did I say "gradual climb?" - Ha!

A giant stone stupa marks the entrance to Nar, another ancient village

The village of Nar

Click on pic once/twice to see hay stacked on rooftops

It's harvest time and the villagers were plowing the field

Yaks pulling plow

Such a cool scene!

Men were thrashing some kind of grain. Note primitive equipment (Click on pic).
They probably been doing it this way for eons.

Women sifting grain

The Whacker!

It was really neat watching the entire process

A little helper

Another big mountain looms over the village

Leaving the village and a look back . . . what a remarkable view!

Above the tree line, 14,000+', and heading to our next campground below Kang La summit

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