Reflections and images from my travels

Bhutan Trek- Day 6

It was very cold the previous night. It probably got down to -20°C. There was frost inside some of the tents and some of the water froze even though it was inside the tents. However, in the morning the sun came out and life was good again. The views from our grassy shelf were outstanding. This was a glorious morning. We all had the chance to sit by ourselves and looked out over an amazing panorama before us. True meditation.

The only dark cloud was Gerry who had developed a fever, rapid breathing at rest and chest congestion with lying flat. He had a very challenging night. His energy levels were very low but the good news was he was surrounded by at least three physicians. He was diagnosed with pneumonia. He had been started on antibiotics the evening prior. We had a long day ahead of us and we still had to achieve our highest altitude on the trek. Gerry insisted on initially starting the steep climb from camp but it became evident that he would not be able to complete the hike that day. A mule to the rescue again! Amazing animals. This was provided by the staff and grudgingly Gerry agreed to ride most of the way on the mule to our next campsite. We also decided to not go as far this day as we originally were supposed to. This was because we also wanted to camp at a lower elevation to assist with Gerry’s respiratory recovery. This proved to be a wise decision. The rest of us continued on the steep ascent and achieved our highest altitude at 4465 m where we placed the remainder of our prayer flags. It was the perfect spot to do this. With the blowing wind and high altitude we were sure our prayers would blow through back to Canada. It was an inspiring moment.

We would travel approximately 13 km from Nub Tshona Patta to below the climb to Shingko Teng at 4170 m. Overall it was a very relaxing day and we were happy to make camp in a beautiful location back finally amongst some trees including some brilliant yellow larches. When we arrived we were happy to see that Gerry had already shown some recovery and was resting comfortably. He took his mule medicine and found it acceptable. He unfortunately missed out on the smoked salmon that Jill had brought for a snack that evening. We happily consumed his portion-hey, altruism has its limits. Earlier I forgot to mention that Jill provided snacks from a seemingly endless supply from her pack for the entire group for the entire trek. Thank you Jill. We were fast approaching the end of our trek. Hard to believe. It was an amazing experience. Memories that will last a lifetime.

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