A fairly relaxed start to the day for us on day 6. We met up for breakfast at 8am before packing light for our acclimatisation trek up the mountain to see the glacier and the remains of what was once a huge lake.
Global warming and deforestation has not been kind to this region. Most buildings here are made from wood that has been felled locally and most heating uses wood. Due to an increase in tourism over the past few decades, the demand for wood has increased by a large amount but there are no schemes to encourage plantation of new trees. Raj, our guide, said that it is expected that all the trees in the region will be gone by around 2030. This leads to a hugely increased risk of land slides, as well as the more obvious environmental damage.
The glacier can be quite easily seen to have receded. As with most glaciers on the planet, its days are clearly numbered as a result of climate change.
Listening to Raj tell us about the above I was aware that we are all a part of the problem. Luckily, our holiday company, Much Better Adventures, runs carbon offsetting schemes to reduce the impact of our excursion, but I am thinking that I will research more ways to offset our impact on the planet.
The area that we climbed up to was covered in prayer flags and had an amazing view of the valley. Two of the group wanted to climb a bit higher, to break the 4000m barrier so went with one of our porters, who we affectionately referred to as Action Man. By all accounts it was a choice they’d regret, with Action Man literally running up and down the mountain side with them valiantly trying to keep up while we all relaxed in the sunshine.
The walk down was somewhat more relaxed with us crossing the rivers and getting an escort from a couple of local kids.
In the afternoon we watched a local archery competition, held during a local festival.
Afterwards we visited a monastery. The monastery was one of the oldest in Menang, over 1000 years old. The walls of the monastery were covered in small boxes that contained prayers.