Thokla is like any dusty frontier outpost you would see in an old cowboy movie, with one rocky path winding between the one drafty outhouse and the heaps of wood and tin making up the structures. Being so far from the administrative control center of the country, even from anyone carrying any sort of official title, we felt like we were free to make our own destiny, but exposed to the dangers of lawlessness lurking in the shadows. Who would do such a thing as cause trouble in this community though? From what I saw the Sherpa people really didn’t get into much trouble, and the hikers were all amiable and considerate for others’ well-being. The yaks sure didn’t get out of hand, as long as there was some dried out grass stubble within reach of their sweeping tongues. The only time our yaks got a little bit stimulated was when our junior member Tashi hopped onto one of them and started kicking and yammering like a wildcat.
After a moment or two the yak slowly looked up over its shoulder and checked whether it was imagining that a boy had just jumped on its back and was fidgeting inexplicably. With a little more encouragement from Tashi the yak started lumbering along and we had a rodeo going. This is just before we packed up all of our equipment and were ready to hit the trail again. I mentioned before that Thokla was a main camping spot for the route leading up to Lobuche, and many groups were crammed into the limited flat, grassy grounds. We must have been late risers because by 8 am most of the the camping spaces were cleared out and we were in more of a ghost town than a bustling boom town.
Once Tashi slipped off of the sweaty, batted hunches of the yak, Pema’s crew got to work rolling up the tents and packing them in a bundle for the beast to carry. We noticed that our loads were getting much lighter as we went on since we had been donating little things along the way, and we had enjoyed snacking on a few of the big dried sausages we brought along. We anticipated that we would have cravings for nice, fat, spicy meat, so we packed about 8 or ten of these things. We also left a few items at Pema’s Phortse lodge that we knew we wouldn’t need and now our gear bags were loose and light. I for one left all my cotton clothing a just heavy stuff I didn’t need. I’m sure the Sherpas didn’t mention anything to Pema or they might get paid less.camping hiking lodge main trail yaks