Kharpunath, July 31

Kharpunath, July 31


Today is my physically difficult day. According to the plan, today we should make a small radial to the Reiling Gompa monastery and after it continue along the Great Himalayan Trail.

On the map, the radial seemed like a simple idea. Just 8 km from the overnight stay. The reality turned out to be more complicated again. These 8 kilometers included 3 kilometers with a climb of more than 800 meters. It turned out to be another strength test.

Railing gompa is well worth the effort. This is the place where the great magician and yogi Milarepa meditated in a cave a thousand years ago. A monastery was built next to this cave, at an altitude of exactly 4000 meters above sea level. The monastery itself is quite common. But the whole place made a strong impression on me. Starting from the approaches to the monastery, where a stone-paved road with many flags and carved stones creates a feeling of the special importance of the place, and ending with the Milarepa cave itself.

After the monastery, we continued along the route. The planned overnight point today is Kharpunath, which is located on the banks of the Karnali River at an altitude of 2100 meters. It turns out that in a few hours we dropped the altitude from 4000 meters to 2100 meters, the height difference was 1900 meters. They say that in this case, you can catch euphoria from an excess of oxygen that is unexpected for the body. Some clever people call this state "Shiva's kiss."

I never got this kiss, despite the fact that there is a Shiva temple in Kharpunath and I walked to him in the evening. The place is peculiar: here another rather large river flows into Karnali and this temple was built at the confluence of the rivers. There are many places for bathing in the river near the temple. Apparently, the Hindus consider this place to be the very beginning of the sacred river Ganges. Now there is no one here - the water in the river has risen greatly due to the rains and it is rather dangerous to take a bath in it.

Because of the high water in Karnali, it was also impossible to get wet in the hot springs - they are located on the river bank and are now under water. There was only a slight smell of sulfur, hinting that they really are here.

An interesting sensation when you are at the very bottom of the valley, after descending for almost 2 kilometers. You look at the walls of the gorge and get even more imbued with the scale of this mountain system. But, nevertheless, I want to escape from here as soon as possible. In the absence of hot springs, there is definitely nothing to do in Kharpunath. In addition, there are even more flies here (apparently because it is warmer here), and after supper I found one of our porters crushing some insect that looked like a centipede. 

Fortunately, after 3 days we plan to start climbing again and we can stop worrying about local insects.

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