Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 109: Gosaikunda

The morning was clear when we left Lauribina Yak, and we got to enjoy some of the best views of the trek as we hiked to Gosaikunda, a sacred Hindu lake at 4380 m. The trail rolled a bit, climbing, then descending, with strong winds all the way. It was beautiful, but we were chilled to the bone by the time we arrived.

The lodge had a fire, but the rooms were not attached to the main building so they remained frigid for the afternoon and night. Most inconvenient was the shared squat toilet that had a broken window half-covered with a plastic tarp that shook in the wind making it sound like rats were scurrying around beside you. The breezy opening ensured that when it was -8 outside, it was -8 in the bathroom. Sadly this did not help with the smell much. This also meant that the water people poured into the toilet to 'flush' it would freeze when it inevitably spilled, leaving us grasping the wooden walls in an effort to not fall in. Other great features included a very low ceiling and the environmentally friendly lack of a light source. Making the hobbit-sized unlit sub-zero shared squat toilet with a floor of ice the worst bathroom of the trip, and possibly our lives.

Another afternoon/evening was spent huddled around the stove, racing or yelling at someone to shut the door when it would be left open or be blown open by the strong frigid wind. We slept in out sleeping bags under two more heavy blankets and wearing all of our warmest clothes and yet our toes remained frozen through the night. Craig managed to bear the cold a few times in an effort to capture the beautiful sunset we could see through the sticker-covered window looking out over the lake. We think his efforts were worth it!

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