Early to bed early to rise. I’m up and about before seven this morning, finish breakfast and am walking by eight. The trail briefly goes up to a small pass where a gompa occupies the high ground. The Pema Namding Gompa is a rather recent addition to the landscape and was built in 2008 by Buddhists from Sikkim belonging to the Nyingma sect, the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. I nod to the enlightened ones and start off down the steps that eventually lead to a suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi. This is the lowest point of the trek and from here I’ll have to climb 1500 meters to the Trakshindo La, a climb I will cut in two by staying at the village of Nuntala halfway up the hill. Nuntala seems to have escaped most of the 2015 earthquake and basically looks and feels the same as it did when I first came through here almost 30 years ago. It’s Main Street flanked by two and three story buildings painted either white and blue or white and green about six lodges a few shops, a tailor and a village idiot who is currently doing double duty as the village drunk as well. Needless to say, he had to come and talk to me in slurred Nepali but while it took a while he eventually figured out I wasn’t going to buy him any Rakshi so he wandered off again, in search for a drink no doubt.