AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Annapurna Circuit: Day 13 – Kagbeni to Marpha

Altitude: 2,800m
Climb: Descent: 220m
Time: 6hr
Daily Cost: 3,600 rupees ($37/£22)

We left Kagbeni at our usual time of 8:15am. Then we took the path out of the village following the Kali Gandaki valley south towards Jomsom. The gorge is huge and the river at the centre is tiny. I guess in the wet season this river valley is filled and the river will be a mighty sight. After a while the path joined onto the road and we walked along the dusty road. A few Jeeps were travelling along, those going down were mainly filled with locals, those coming north were filled with tourists. The road skirted the edge of the valley all the way to Jomsom.

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We skipped through Jomsom quickly as there wasn’t anything worth seeing. Jomsom is a hub for the area. It has an airport, lots of Jeeps, buses and lodges. Surrounding Jomsom, like many other towns in the valley, are apple orchids. Planted by volunteers, these are organic apples and used for apple juice and cider.

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We climbed up and out of Jomsom towards the large village of Thini. There was nothing there and we continued to a lake, which was actually tiny and nothing special to look at.

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A little further uphill was a Gompa. Annemarie was tired so I climbed up to the Gompa alone. After paying the 100 rupees entrance fee went in for a look around. As I entered this totally silent building I was surprised to see a western guy sitting on the floor reading a book. I reached for the camera but was quickly told no photos were allowed. The paintings were very vivid colours on all three walls. The front wall was an altar with Buddha statues. Outside the keeper of the Gompa offered me a cup of tea. We sat in silence and drank the tea. After a while Annemarie came looking for me because I’d been gone slightly longer than expected.

After the Gompa Harry was starving and we were pretty hungry, so we decided to get to Marpha as quickly as possible. The path takes a long route, down past Marpha (which is on the other side of the Kali Gandaki river) up and over some hills, then after about 90 minutes comes to a bridge which crosses the river to the road to come back up to Marpha. Harry knew an alternative. We walked around the front of the hill, which the Gompa was perched on and crossed a small wooden bridge. We then walked for 20 minutes along the road. By now the wind was extremely strong and it was constantly whipping up huge clouds of dust. This was very unpleasant!

Marpha was another oasis of apple orchids. We found a lodge which we really liked, the Neeru guest house. The rooms were down through a garden. We had comfortable beds, en-suite with hot shower, carpet and power sockets in the room. Plus the WiFi was pretty good. We ate lunch then went for a walk around Marpha, but the clouds were making it feel very cold and the wind was very strong. So we went and ate chocolate cake from a bakery instead.

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We spent the rest of the day reading. After eating we were able to watch more Simpsons on the phone, then we slept.

Day 12PhotosDay 14

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