Text Box: Nicholas Rice
Extreme High Altitude Athlete
Text Box: Xpedition 8000

2009 Solo Manaslu Expedition

Dispatch Eleven: April 3rd, 2009

Day Eleven: Trek Day 8:Puja Ceremony in Sama Gaon

Today, after a leisurely breakfast, we charged up our tech equipment then headed down to the village for the ceremony at the Stupa. We were served Tibetan tea, a foul salty tea made with yak butter, which I discreetly dumped out when no one was looking (there was a dead fly in mine). We say around the temple as the lamas began to chant. Then we were all invited in. We watched and listened as they chanted, almost in a trance. Then they spooned rice wine into our palms, which we consumed and the puja ceremony was over. We walked back to camp and found out that the village had ANOTHER ceremony tomorrow up in the monastery and that we would have to wait till the 5th to head up to base camp,. We arrived back to camp and sat around reading all afternoon. Just before dinner, we were told that we were in fact going to base camp tomorrow (another expedition had arrived to Sama Gaon and suddenly the villagers were able to porter loads up to base camp despite the “festival” the following day). Half of our loads would come up to base camp with us and the rest would follow on the 5th. I hurried up to pack up my bags and decide which ones to leave as the weather deteriorated. After this was done, I tried to relax before dinner—I was worried not to be able to see for myself all of my bags loaded onto porters before departing. A staff member from our group will stay behind to ensure that all of our things are portered up the following day.

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