I can’t remember where I saw the recommendation to read Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem. I still haven’t, but I did spot The Wandering Earth on my last flying visit to the Barbican Library, so I picked it up.
First published in 2000, The Wandering Earth is an anthology of short stories, some of which have won China’s Galaxy Award. A couple of common themes stood out for me – alien first encounters and humankind’s need to leave the solar system. A lot of humour too.
I’m afraid I abandoned this autobiography, and I’m rather ashamed to admit that.
I feel that I ought to have relished reading about the life and achievements of Gwen Moffat (still going strong at 93), who made a living from climbing and writing from the 1940s onwards, becoming the first female British mountain guide in 1953, and wrangling marriage and motherhood alongside it all.
Yr – Yr.no – has been my go to website for trek and trip weather for a while now. It describes itself as “a joint service by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation”.
I am absolutely amazed by Yr’s coverage – I’ve found dedicated forecasts for all these places on our November trek to Tsum and then on around the Manaslu Circuit:
It’s not just the geographical coverage that impresses, the graphics, features and functionality do too.
Now that I’ve added these locations as “My Places”, I can see a super summary forecast for the next 3 days, and click throughs to the hour by hour and long range forecasts, all on one page:
Val was back in the UK as usual over Christmas and the New Year, which provided a perfect opportunity to flesh out some of the detail of this year’s big trek.
The main development is that we’re going to spend a week in the Tsum Valley before backtracking a little to rejoin the Manaslu Circuit at Gampul. I’ve changed my working pattern this year, so I can squeeze in a four week trip, and the other people Val’s been talking to about coming on the trek are keen to combine the two.
From Chhiring’s updates, the road may now reach as far as Laububensi / Lapubesi (लापुबेसी), so hopefully there will be a fewer days of hot slog up the Buri Gandaki Khola (aka Budhi Gandaki Khola) at the start. There’s also flexibility to allow for high side trips and LED solar light distribution, and no doubt some medical assistance from Steffi.
Day 01: Arrive KTM
Day 02: Kathmandu (काठमाडौं) (1400 m) to Sotikhola (सोती खोला) (597 m) or Laupubensi / Lapubesi (लापुबेसी) (880 m)
Day 03: Trek Dobhan (दोभान) (1050 m)
Day 04: Trek Lokpa / Lhokpa (लोक्पा) (2240 m)/(1905 m) or might stay in Philim (1570 m) or Chisapani (1620 m)
Day 05: Trek to Chumling (चुम्लिंग) (2385 m)
Day 06: Trek above the valley Chumchet area (चुमचेत) (3200 m)
Day 07: Trek to Gumba Lungdung / Gompa Lungdang (3200 m)
Day 08: Trek to Chule (छुले) (3350 m)
Day 09: Trek to Mu Gompa (3700 m)
Day 10: Descend to Chule (छुले) (3350 m)
Day 11: Trek to Chumling (चुम्लिंग) (2385 m) or Chekampar / Chhekampar / Chhaikampar (छैकम्पार) / Chhokang Paro (3030 m), if possible via Ripchet (2470 m)
Day 12: Trek via Deng (2600 m)
Day 13: Trek to Prok (प्रोक) (2397 m)
Day 14: Trek to Lhi and deliver solar lights for Chak and extra replacements for Tsak
Day 15: Trek to Hinang
Day 16: Above Hinang
Day 17: Trek to Sama Gaon / Samagaun (सामागाउँ) (3500 m) via Lho (ल्हो) (3180 m)
Day 18: Above Sama Gaon / Samagaun (सामागाउँ) (3500 m) to visit the Phuyang / Pung Gyen Gompa (3870 m) below Ngadi Chuli (Peak 29) (7871 m), Himalchuli (7893 m) and Manaslu ( मनास्लु) (8163 m)
Day 19: Trek to Samdo and visit school (3860 m)
Day 20: Trek to Yak Kharka above Samdo
Day 21: Day trip above the Kharka
Day 21: Trek to Dharmasala (Larkya Phedi) (4460 m)
Day 22: Cross Larkya La pass (5135 m), descend to Bhimtang / Bimthang (3720 m)
Day 23: Trek to Tilje / Tiliche (2300 m)
Day 24: Trek to Chamje / Chyamche (1430 m)
Day 25: Drive to Pokhara (पोखरा) (830 m)
Day 26: Pokhara spare day
Day 27: Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 28: Depart KTM
A flurry of flight booking excitement after Val confirmed dates; Steffi and I now have tickets on Air India via Delhi. Charles is going to DIY.
Joy and loss for Tom Badgerlock – he finally finds the Fool after years apart, but an attack on Withywoods destroys his sanctuary and sees the kidnap of his small daughter Bee …
… and the Witted Bastard returns from the dead, as Tom / Fitz is finally, formally recognised as Prince FtizChivalry Farseer, cousin of the king and instrumental in the survival and success of the Six Duchies.