Day 3: Jhola to Paiju

6am, and our group is showing no signs of moving, and we watch all the other groups stream by. According to our guidebook, today is a shorter walk than yesterday, so we’re in no rush, and leave camp at 7am. This was one of the toughest walks, as we went up, down, up and up, while jumping across big and small rocks, many of which shifted underneath, so we had to walk very carefully.

Asad slipping on a river crossing, falling in the river – it was a action scene from a movie as a nearby porter (from another group) dropped his pack, jumped into the river and rescued him. They were both drenched, and Asad managed to hit his knee on the fall. Couldn’t do much at the time, so gave him two trekking poles and kept going on. The shorter walk than yesterday turned out to be 9 hours long – reached Paiju at 4pm!

/> Once again, we ended up camping outside the main Paiju campsite, as all the best spots were taken. The other groups send some of their porters ahead with their tent to ‘book’ the best stops. Khiz managed to find us a camping spot smack in the middle of the campsite.

Tomorrow is a rest day, so we decided to see about Asad’s knee than – though he did it no good by dancing the night away at the party that night – Paiju is a traditional rest day on the hike, so whenever a couple of groups are camped here together there is a big song and dance.

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