AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Altitude: 2,200m Climb: Descent: 1,400m Time: 3hr 30m + 1hr 30m breaks Daily Cost: 4,020 rupees ($41/£24) In the morning the sun was shining and it was warm. We set off, back through the school playground and onto the trail. The good news is that the trail is well marked with blue and white markers. This section was all in forest and the shade kept us cool allowing us to walk fast. We soon caught up with a group of Americans, they were the people who had been camping in front of the other lodge. I forgot to ask why they were camping when there were lodges on the route. Why not camp elsewhere, such as Dolpo, where there are no lodges and it’s camping only. They were going to Khopra Danda, although they were staying the night at Chistibang and getting there the next day. Then they were going over to Annapurna Base Camp. They knew the UK well and even knew Ilkley (about 10 miles from where we lived). We left them and continued up. We knew we had 1,400m to climb so we were prepared for plenty of uphill. The only bad bits were when the shade ran out and we had stretches of uphill in the sun. The forest was nice and the path was in pretty good condition. At about 10am we reached a lodge. It was hot, but we didn’t feel like having a drink. We sat in the shade and ate one of our trekker bars (basically a muesli bar) and drank our water. The lodge owner told us Chistibang was a little over an hour away and Khopra Danda was about 4 hours walk in total. That was good news. With that we left the lodge up a very steep path. We continued walking steeply uphill through the forest for about 60 minutes. It was hard work but enjoyable. The area seemed deserted. We knew the French couple we ahead of us and the American campers were behind us, but we felt totally alone. We emerged from the forest to a clearing on the slope with a couple of lodges dug into the hillside. We stopped at the first one, ordered some food and cooled off in the shade. This was Chistibang (labeled as Sistibang on our map for extra confusion). We were now at 3,000m above sea level again. Only 600m further to climb today! The lodge was basic but looked OK. The food took an age to arrive though! We had arrived at 11:15am and planned an early lunch. It was around 12:30pm by the time we left. The...

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Altitude: 1,190m Climb: 1,010m Time: 3hr 30m + 1hr 30m breaks Daily Cost: 3,300 rupees ($34/£20) We ate breakfast and left the lodge at our usual time of 8:15am. Out of the village we crossed a suspension bridge and saw a sign pointing up the hill for Paudwar. We knew that route led to Khopra Danda but everyone had said Paudwar had no lodges and to climb 2,500m in a day seemed to far for us. We continued on the main route towards Ghorepani. The road went up a steep hillside and the sun was already hot. This was going to be a tough day! We followed the to road, then cut off the road onto a path which lead directly up the hillside. There was partial shade now and again, but mostly we were in the hot sun. We climbed for a while until we reached a section where the hillside turned to rock. The rock was bright white and looked like marble. It reflected the heat making this, which was the steepest and hardest part into the hottest part too. Up the steep stone side we went until we reached the road again. We’d been little more than an hour and we’d already climbed 400m. We were dripping with sweat and boiling. Luckily there was a tea shop on the corner. We got into the shade and ordered some drinks. Whilst waiting we stuck our heads under the tap to cool off. From here we could see up the valley where we would be walking for the rest of the day. The valley had a road linking the many villages together. Harry pointed out the village of Shika, it was about the furthest village we could see. That was where we would have lunch. At just before 10am we set off into the heat again. The path up the valley towards Ghorepani wasn’t too bad. We didn’t struggle with it or feel tired. It was just hot. Luckily the amount of shade did increase, which helped us a lot. We passed through many villages at a good pace and made good time to Shika. We found a lodge on the edge of the ridge looking down over the valley we’d just walked up. The view was pretty good even though the haze obscured most of the valley. We asked the owner about a route to Khopra Danda and to our delight he told us the exact route to get there. He told us that after a short walk we should follow the road left, then up to Swanta. That was not much over an hour from Shika...

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