Hiking day five: Triund to Mcleod Gange

After passing the night in a literally freezing, but otherwise comfortable room (no electricity, uninsulated wooden walls), having had some pretty wild dreams, I woke up before dawn and alternately watched it get progressively lighter and dozed. Around 7:45 John woke us up with tea and we slowly collected our things as the weather improved.

We took our time coming down off Triund, descending in four hours what easily could have been two, but it didn’t feel bad to take it slow. The cook and I started out by high tailing it until we reached the magic view chai shop, at which point I ordered tea and chatted briefly with two doctors from Calcutta, (Apurva and Ayan?)

We had passed everyone coming down the mountain, and it was early enough that no one had made it that far up, so for the better part of fourth minutes, we sat in relative silence. Then asshats with speakers, dub step, and litter showed up and started yelling. Eh.

Once Catherine and John caught up, we sat for a bit, then continued slowly down, letting the guides go on ahead of us. We hiked to Himachal Trekkers HQ, where we had a great lunch, then back to McLeod gang via tuk tuk to pay Malkeet the remaining balance.

We squared up, then both got rooms at Kunga guest house. I wandered for a bit, bought the cheapest cell phone I could find that had wifi for testing, then sat reading and drinking tea all afternoon. A man who turned out to be the owner struck up a conversation about phones, and after that conversation ran its course, I stood up to use the restroom in my room. As I walked out, one of the staff stopped me and asked if I was hungry, indicating to an extra plate of bruschetta the kitchen had made for a Swiss couple. I accepted the food, ate it, then dropped stuff in my room. I came back for another cup of tea and some reading. Even though I came by the food because of a mistake in the kitchen, I still benefited form it and felt compelled to pay for the Swiss couple’s meal (and I had a slice of cake). The couple came by and thanked me for their meal, and we chatted for a bit. Turns out they run a guest house in Einzeidel, Switzerland, just north of Zurich, a place called St. Joseph’s, and offered me a room if I ever came by. She also slipped me a Swiss Army knife, which was totally unexpected, but awesome.

After that, Catherine and I talked about the importance of genetics on relationships, then Amy and I talked for a couple hours before I passed out.