Thursday, December 16

Annapurna Circuit Trek - Part II

[ Click here for the first part!]
Day 2. Besi Sahar - Bahundanda

Not much to say about this day really. The first part of the day was spent going slightly uphill. We followed the Marsyadgi river closely until the village of Bahundanda.

We saw a lot of things we will be seeing for the entire trip. These are the terraced fields, growing buckwheat, potatoes, cabbage, spinach, etc. People would use either themselves or buffalos to flatten the wheat.

And goats that I was going to photograph for the rest of the trip.

At first the river is light green, but it changes color soon. I fell in love with that color, whatever its name might be!

We met the first tibetan prayer flags and crossed the first bridges.

And the first waterfall of the trip.

The lodges and guesthouses we met along the way had various names, some with approximate spellings. Hell, even the village name is spelled differently within itself.

We stopped to make coffee (I carried my stove and pot for this particular purpose) and immediately got surrounded by village kids begging for sweets or school pen (I want to thank the tourist that actually got them started on this). The porters also stopped to look at us - not many stoves make their appearance on this trek.

Speaking of porters, a lot of people carry [HEAVY] stuff you would never think were possible to carry. Like chickens (that rack must've had at least 30kg), grass, gas tanks, etc. I know that this is heavy because the old man carrying it slipped while crossing a small stream and the boys helped him up.

The hike continues with a steep and apparently never-ending portion that goes up to Bahundanda. Upon reaching it, we climbed up a few more (60) steps to get to the Superb View hotel. The view, indeed, was superb.

Day 3. Bahundanda - Chayme
The Superb View hotel had a tree in the garden so I used it in the morning to do pull-ups. Bogdan did push-ups, and like this started our daily routine throughout the trip, where we would do either push-ups (hated by me) or pull-ups (hated by him). Marian, if I do say so myself, hated both.

Of course, we took some more pics.

After a hearty breakfast of mostly potatoes, we started with a steep descent into this wonderful valley. Normally, I hate descents because they only mean that you have to go up again, but this time, this view was worth it.

Along the way we found orange orchards, and drank orange juice made on the spot.

Goats, as we know, will eat everything, including orange peel.

A stray dog - Nepali made (all of them look the same!) followed us for a while.

Today we passed through the first kani: an archway with three pyramids on top, found at the entrance and exit of every village.

Near the village of Jaggot, you suddenly take a turn and see this beautiful valley in front of you.

This is the color I fell in love with:

In Jaggot we got picked up by a man that said that his hotel (in Chayme) had the bestest view in the whole village. According to him, from his hotel the waterfall was "most big". We decided to follow him and see if he is right. We had to take a left from the main road and climb up a bit through lush vegetation, but he was right! His waterfall was indeed, the most big.

And if he was not there to show us, we would have followed the dirt road and missed it. I guess this is why he kept saying that he hates the road being built.

Day 4. Chayme - Baggarchap
Today, we start with a flat portion, on which we can enjoy the views and fool around.

The sky is a bit cloudy bu the world seems to agree that today is a great day.

However, soon we have to go on steep uphill, which will take us into Tal.

Tal means lake, and you can see why

In Tal we also find the first mani wall, which either have a collection of stones on which "Om Mani Padme Hum" is enscribed, or they have prayer wheels which one is supposed to turn clockwise. The mani wall must be passed on its left side.

Lunch was of our own doing, roasted lamb with vegetables and mashed potatoes! It looks like vomit but it was nice!

The whole day today we were passed by donkeys carrying loads. They were much better than us at climbing, descending, and crossing bridges.

We stopped by the maoist party headquarters, but it was closed. After that, we reached Baggarchap shortly.

In Baggarchap, we stayed at the Pisang guesthouse. We ate Dal Bhat for the first time on the trek. The meal was fantastic, mostly because the potato curry was extraordinary, and we got second servings. The cook came to the dinning hall frequently to check on us and see if we liked the food. You could see that she really took pride in her work.


san said...

i found it!

KANI - At the entrance to a village settlement or to a monastery, there is always a small gateway, or Kani, with its ceiling and walls usually painted with religious figures. These entrance gates and chortens stop the bad spirits that can follow a person from entering the village.

claudia said...

yes! great! shame on me though ... :(