AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Altitude: 2,520m Climb: Descent: 1,330m Time: 6hr 30m + 1hr 30m breaks Daily Cost: 4,300 rupees ($44/£26) This was planned to be a long grind of a day. There was nothing of interest marked in the guide book. We knew that dropping in altitude the haze would be back and obscure the views and the temperature was going to rise to make this a hot day. We left the lodge at 8:30am and walked through Kalopani on the road. Just after the village we turned left into the woods. Walking through the woods was nice. It reminded us of home. After the woods the landscape opened out to grassy fields with dry stone walls. This was eerily similar to walking in the Yorkshire Dales (ignoring the 7,000m peaks in view). This was a nice start to the day and we excitedly told Harry that with the exception of the mountains this was pretty much what walking near our home was like. We joined the road and walked along it for probably about an hour. We reached the village of Ghasa and walked through. At the end of the village was a checkpoint for our permits. It was also a tourist information point. I’d read in the Lonely Planet about a side trip which have great views of the Dhaulagiri range and the Annapurna range, but it had no details out route. I asked about the Khopra Danda trek and the guy asked me where that was. Oh well, I’ll ask in Tatopani about it. Just after the village we reached a split in the path, down to a suspension bridge or straight along the road. We stopped to wait for Harry. After 5 minutes he didn’t arrive. We waited another 5 minutes, still nothing. I decided to walk back up the path to the lodges we’d past. He might have needed a drink, or the toilet, or just a rest. But he wasn’t there. I went back down to Annemarie. We decided there was nothing we could do but continue and hope we meet him in Tatopani. We walked down and crossed the bridge and walked along the path beside the river. Then we saw Harry. He was sat beside another suspension bridge about 200m away. He’d walked on the road and crossed this second bridge while we’d followed the markers to the old bridge. From here we walked along a good path beside the river. The river which had had a gorge half a mile wide was now squeezed into a gorge of 100m metres wide. It made a lot more noise now! Walking down here was hot...

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Altitude: 2,650m Climb: Descent: 130m Time: 6hr Daily Cost: 4,380 rupees ($45/£27) We left Marpha on the road, but after about 10 minutes we crossed a bridge onto the other side of the river. From here we skirted the edge of a pine forest. Sometimes the path would be down in the riverbed, then we’d go up the hillside a little into the forest, then back down by the river. The riverbed around here is probably half a mile wide and the loose stone riverbed is famous for ammonites. As we walked across the riverbed we hunted for ammonites but with little luck. Then, just as I was about to give up I found a decent sized ammonite. Yay! On the east bank of the river there were no lodges, so we’d have to cross the river to eat. There were only a few channels of water in the riverbed so it wasn’t difficult to cross, but it was quite painful. Walking across those stones was very damaging to our shoes and really hurting our feet. A bridge spanned the widest section of the river. It was the most rickety wooden bridge we’ve ever crossed, held up only by counter weights (rocks) on each side. It took us 20 minutes to cross the river valley! On the other side was a small village. Totally deserted! Just like the start of the trek. I guess this is for the same reason, many people start their trek in Chame and they finish their trek in Jomsom. We went into one of the lodges and ordered food. I had sweet and sour and Annemarie has egg fried rice. The food was OK but we could’ve done without the flies. After lunch we decided not to cross the river again. It was just slow and painful. So we decided to walk down the road to the next bridge over the river. After been on the road for about 20 minutes we reached a section where the road followed the riverbank into a huge detour as the river merged with another river valley. The path went straight across the valley. Typical. Just can’t stay out of the riverbed! We had to find the stepping stones (just large stones) for good crossing points over the streams. After crossing the valley we decided it was best to stay on the road as Kalopani was on this side of the river. Lete was on the other side but we’d read that Kalopani had the better lodges. It was another hour before we reached Kalopani. It looked like it was going to rain. This would be the first...

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