Trekking in Nepal: A Diary - Part 4 of 6
Our intrepid trekker has the chance to make a break and do a solo trek lasting three days back to Pokhara. Any chance she’ll do it?
(To start this sorry tale at the beginning, click here)
DAY SEVEN: TATOPANI – GHASA
I woke up resolved to a lonely three days’ trek back to Pokhara. Pierre took a long time to join me at breakfast; I thought he was waiting for me to leave. We sorted the bill out and I was just about to go and fill my water bottle when he asked me to go on with him. I said I wasn’t sure – I had resigned myself totally by now – but of course in the end I agreed. (Editor’s note: how stupid can you get???!!!) I’d planned to trek for fourteen days and my goal was to reach Jomsom – anything less would feel like a failure.
The walking wasn’t much fun – Pierre had told me this was his least favourite day’s walk, so coming from him I knew it had to be bad. Even so, he strode on ahead, leaving me, as usual, to walk it alone. There was one particularly horrible part which involved climbing up and over some brown rocks – it felt like a bleak Dr. Who set. Then I got to a clearing where I could see the flat path ahead that went on for ages, followed by a suspension bridge. What if it broke just as I was in the middle of it, I kept thinking, feeling like a female Indiana Jones. By the time I reached it, however, I’d got into the swing of things, and went along happily singing to myself. There’s something liberating about singing at the top of your voice in the open countryside, knowing that no-one else can hear you. Not far to go.
When I arrived at Ghasa Pierre was pleasantly surprised – he hadn’t expected me for another hour. Maybe I’m getting into this trekking lark after all?
FOOD A BIT DUFF
LOO AND COLD SHOWER AT BOTTOM OF GARDEN
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DAY EIGHT: GHASA – KALOPANI
Had a bit of a lie-in this morning and didn’t set off until 8:30. Today was to be a short day – a mere three hours up a reasonably accessible slope. It took the first hour to get into it but again, after that time my feet sort of fell into step.
We got to Kalopani at 11:30 (together!), had lunch and cake and then sat by the log fire, before I went to my room for a snooze. By the time I went down for supper Sarah and Doug had arrived with another English couple – an impressive hike from Ghasa. So we sat around the Tibetan table, with its hot coals underneath, warming our feet, and chatted. I think they found it amusing that I was still around.
VAGUELY WARM SHOWER OUTSIDE
NICE WARM DINING ROOM
DAY NINE: KALOPANI – MARFA
Today’s was a really strange walk along a dried-up river bed. We should have had spectacular views of the mountains all around us but unfortunately it was all too cloudy. The mountains just peered through the clouds like ghosts. And so we trudged through this old river, me half-expecting a huge crevice to open up, biblical-style, and pour forth masses of frothing waves under which we’d surely perish.
Instead we got cut off and had to scale the side of a hill – real Famous Five adventure stuff – but with nothing to cling to, only my boots and my balance to save me. Next we had to cross the gushing brook, first over some rocks, which I managed, and second along a slippery log, which I didn’t. But what’s a water-logged boot to dampen the spirits?
Had a lovely break for tea and biscuits at Khobang – a really sweet medieval village with a little monastery. This old woman took us up there and Pierre told me she was a monk. That certainly explained the severe haircut.
Next we stopped at Tukuche for a fairly unspectacular lunch and wended our windy way to Marfa. Marfa itself was also unspectacular, but the biggest village I’ve seen so far on the trek – it even had a few souvenir shops. The lodge was quite nice, with a lovely warm sun room, but the solar-heated shower was a bit of a disappointment. I doubt I’ll feel human again until Pokhara.
SOLAR-POWERED SHOWER (COLD)
INDOOR LOO, OUTSIDE TAP
NICE SUN ROOM
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