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It wasn’t crowded in the lodge, but last time I was here on my own and this time it was a United Nations convention with a couple from France, two people from Romania, a lady from China and a belligerent guy from Israel as well as yours truly. Funny thing that apart from the Israeli who was giving the lodge owners a hard time there wasn’t really anyone with functional English or Dutch so I ended up talking schoolboy French and using a lot of hand gestures to discuss the political situation in France and around the world. Today I have two passes to cross both around 2800 meters high but unfortunately with a rise and fall of 600 meters on either side of them. Having my work cut out for me I start the ascent of XXX and it goes remarkably well. I pass both Nepali and foreign trekkers on my way up and only realized I had crossed the pass when it occurred to me that I had been going down hill for a while. When I reach the village of Puyan I stop for a pot of tea and a snickers. Good thing too as the trail heads up again from here to the next pass and I don’t find a place to have lunch until I’m over the top at two in the afternoon. Then it’s downhill all the way to Bupsa the hamlet where I’ll be staying tonight. When I get to the Kwangde View Lodge I have tea with two Canadians who are in a hurry to get back to Kathmandu. Like me they started in Surkhe this morning unlike me they are planning to get to Nuntala tonight, at least another five hours walking. They are young and in good spirits and don’t seem perturbed by having to climb part of the trail at night.

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