After a days rest in Puyan I’m on my way again. Unfortunately my knee still plays up and I’m not quite sure what to do about it. Neither Voltaren nor Ibuprofen seemed to make any difference so I stopped popping those and a days rest doesn’t really seem to have made any difference either. I guess I’ll just have to ignore it for the time being and keep on trekking. Today’s walk rapidly turns into a battle with Darth Vader’s donkey legions from the dark side . The trail is steep, rocky and has been turned into a mudslide by hundreds of donkeys trampling through it. There is something in the way they walk and turn there hooves that brings up the moisture in the soil and makes everything slippery as hell. The fact that everything smells of donkey piss doesn’t help either. At one stage the straps that hold the load on one of the animals coming towards me breaks, two big jerrycans of fuel swivel from its sides and tangle between its legs like a bolo. The beast goes head over heels down the mud chute and comes to rest in front of me, apparently no worse for wear. The donkey man does what donkey man do and yells, grunts and whistles before trying to stop the throngs behind it trampling one of their own to death. Now we have a donkey jam and as the trail isn’t wide enough for an animal and a trekker at the same time I end up waiting for close to an hour before I can continue. I counted over five hundred animals passing me. In the meantime the weather is deteriorating as well, the clouds are grey and I suspect rain is in the offing. Finally I make it to the top of the pass a section of trail that should have taken an hour has taken me three. I’m not pleased.
The trail on the way down to Bupsa is in slightly better condition but now the weather overtakes me and what starts out as a drizzle soon turns to rain, the few trekkers I see nod in passing but no one is stopping for a chat anymore. When I get to Bupsa I call it a day and spend the rest of the day in bed reading a book. In the evening I’m yet again the only trekker in the lodge and obviously don’t warrant putting the fire on for. It’s freezing.