The descent…and relax

**Pictures are coming, the iPad has decided not to read my camera data card as it’s now got too many pictures on it…***

From the Larke, the descent is immediate, inviting and at times treacherous on the scree slopes. Fortunately here were no others around to knock rocks down on us, although we did see a small rock tumble down in front of us.

Three glaciers are visible, pouring off the mountains to the right, all merging into one, the moraines clearly visible. I spent some time talking through the geography of the scene to the kids – better than any textbook could give.

Down and down we went and followed along the glacier. Legs were sore, knees sore and kids were tired. Though the one who struggled over the pass was now full of energy. Soon we saw trees again lining the valley walls, a sight remarked upon byHolly, and covered with he green hanging old mans beard moss, “just like in Patagonia and New Zealand” observed Xavier

Eventually the village of Bimtang came into view, a welcome sight in the distance on a surprisingly flat area of ground. Cloud was coming in, as is does almost every afternoon, and obscuring th peaks. In the distance a lone figure was coming towards us. It was Gelbu, our ever smiling, ever helpful iron strong porter, with a thermos of tea mugs. It lifted the spirits of the tired and exhausted. Sarah reckons it was the best tea she’s ever had.

Bimtang is an historic village, but hit hard by the quake as was everything here. Rebuilding has been swift and there are numerous small lodges in the village, in fact much more than are available and some of the other towns. Donkey teams assembled on the grass ready for another day’s work.

The cloud thickened into whiteout and the temperature dropped and the light snow started. A quick meal and into bed.

From Bimtang, more down but first with spectacular views of Manaslu. The thick forest was stunning, real Lord of he Rings feel, trees, moss, dark shadows, then bright towering peaks in the background.

The track was good and we soon, sadly, bade farewell to Manaslu the 8th highest mountain in the world that had determined our path for the last week or more as we walked around it.

Deeper into the forest, late in the day we reached Gho, legs and knees tired after another long day. Soon after Gho, the walking track becomes an unused untravelled vehicle track, bulldozed, but not maintained. Easy walking.

By late morning we reached Dharapani, on the Annapurna circuit. 4wd Jeeps and motorbikes assaulted our senses. The circuit is no longer the realm of just thousands of trekkers. It didn’t feel like the wilderness any more.

We spent the afternoon doing little, but decided to get a lift out to Pokhara he following morning and spend the balance of the time saved walking in to Lukla via Pikey Peak, which promises to be another more authentic Nepal experience before the hoards of Everest.

The Jeep to Soti Bhesi was rough, but with just us in it was fine. It had dropped some trekkers in further up the Annapurna circuit and was heading out empty. Soti bhesi was busy and Chhewang found us a hiace van to Pokhara that took another 4 hours. I didn’t think you could fit 24 people into a hiace van, but it’s possible, it only overheated the transmission once going up a pass but 15 minutes later all was good. Sarah said we’re not doing public busses again… and which for the price of five of us plus a guide and porter he difference to a chartered Jeep is not that much.

Pokhara is a beautiful town with great views of mountains that just hang impossibly in he sky. They don’t look real. Being Sarah’s birthday we stayed somewhere nice and the kids played in the pool and we all relaxed for the week before part two of our adventure.

2 responses to “The descent…and relax

  1. Great detail about X’s response… love it. Just goes to show that children take it all in and then process it. What an experience. I love your writing Dan


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