|Sound of music|
Today was a rest day. Which in Nepal meant walking down steep stone steps for an hour to a town lower in the valley, changing into swim trunks, and then walking another 30 minutes down more steep steps to the river. Kalu was left behind as this was a "downhill" day. If I decided to try my luck at ABC I had to return to Chhomrong anyway. My foot felt strangely improved. It still hurt, my tendon still felt like a refried sausage, but somehow, inexplicably, all those hours of walking downhill seemed to be helping it.
One of the achilles rehab exercises is performed by standing on a step, raising your heels, and then very slowly lowering them. Somehow it strengthens without hurting the tendon. I could only guess that I was avoiding stress by riding Kalu uphill, and then maybe I was doing something like the rehab exercise by walking down. But the result was bizarre by any standards--the idiotic idea of tramping up and down the cliffs of the Nepal foothills might possibly be helping my recovery.
Eventually the trail slope lessened, and the roar of a large river increased. Finally we rounded a bend and there it was. Below me was the Modi Khola, a torrent of grey glacial melt, thrashing and tumbling down the valley's knife-edged bottom. The Modi Khola was the reason that you could penetrate the core of the Annapurna massif. The mountain glaciers birthed rivers on all sides, but in the Annapurna sanctuary this runoff combined into a steep bowl, which poured out of a fissure on the south side. The ABC trail followed the Modi Khola back up to its source.
|Annapurna I from base camp|
|sight for sore legs|
Now, after a nice long nap, its decision time. And I still have no idea which way I am headed tomorrow. Back down to sanity and my safe hotel? Or onward to destiny (and a possible helicopter evac)?