The most important reason for rest days is acclimatisation which is why each group has an extra day built in at Lho, Sanmygon and Samdo before heading for basecamp.
Group 3 awoke at 5.30 on their rest day to watch the sun rise over Mount Manaslu, a beautiful sight from the dark valley as a curtain of gold fell over the double peak. Then back to bed for some extra sleep pre breakfast.
It was a beautifully sunny day so everyone got their hair washed, kneeling beside a large bowl while Furbar ( our Sirdar and the owner of the trekking company Sherpa brothers) poured the water, an honour comparable in esteem to being baptised by the Pope.
We then went for a stroll up the local monastery and in the afternoon headed to a tea house in town to meet Group 4. First contact with another group on the trek so far so we celebrated with beer and Mars Bar spring rolls. They were all very well, bar coughs and colds and living up to their name, The Young and the Restless, as they were super keen to press on to the top and attempt the peak.
Another reason for our enforced rest days is that it is important the groups arrive at base camp over a staggered number of days because much of the research has to be done on the first day of arrival in base camp.
Group 3's rest day in Lho ended in a flurry of snow meaning our walk next morning to Sanmygon was through a beautiful winter wonderland of melting snow on pine trees and hanging icicles.
We are now having a second rest day in Sanmygon and have been for an acclimatisation 'stroll' up a (small) shoulder of Mount Manaslu to view a glacial lake. Group 4 trekked to Sanmygon today and joined us for a game of frisbee with the porters by the river ( much care being taken to avoid the Yak droppings).
Group 1 and 2 are in Samdo acclimatising and awaiting good weather to attempt the next stage up to base camp. Group 5 arrive in Lho today so we are all gathered together for the final stretch.
Much of our research equipment is coming the opposite way over the pass to Larkya Base camp. So far 15 out of 40 barrels have arrived at base camp and the pass has been successfully crossed by 2 Sherpas.
Meanwhile we will continue to enjoy our rest days and the last few touches of civilisation before the life in the land of tents begins.