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Published: April 28th 2019
This morning we had breakfast at 07:00 and this enabled us to leave earlier than previous days, at 08:00. Besides Sudarshan, our guide, we have three porters, Ganesh, Sujan and Suman.
As soon as you leave Besisahar the road condition is considerably worse and very bumpy but still follows the Marsyangdi River . However the scenery just continued getting better and better as we drove further into the mountains gradually getting to higher altitudes. The first stop of the day was at a checkpoint for the Annapurna Conservation Area. Here we also saw a group of British cyclists who are cycling the Annapurna Circuit. As we drove up the first big unsealed road I couldn’t help but remember my own cycling trip in Yunnan under similar conditions. I was more than happy this time to be sitting in a jeep. The road condition varies considerably but most of the trip is on roads that are hugging the cliff or rising in switchbacks going higher and higher. Many times we were only inches away from the edge of the road with a shear drop to the river. It was quite an exciting and picturesque drive to experience and we got our
first glimpses of snow capped peaks.
We stopped a few times during the bumpiest ride ever, the first at 09:15, so the driver could take a leak. The second at 10:35 was comfort stop at a roadside restaurant. The third was just a couple of minutes down the road to view the Wayland Waterfall. The fourth was at a very pretty random spot because the driver got word of a traffic jam further up the mountain. Fortunately it was at quite a scenic spot and the weather at this point was nice and sunny. After that unscheduled stop we continue for about 30 minutes later and had our lunch break at 11:50 at the Kangaroo Guest House. It’s a testament to us traveling Aussies that we always see hostels or tourist hotels named with an Australian flavor all over the world.
We then continued our journey towards Chame and as we got closer we started passing quite a few trekkers who had trekked from Besisahar rather then taking the jeep. Sudarshan told us later that our 6 hour drive would take 3 days hiking. Because nearly all the trek is now a road shared with vehicles it has
become more popular to do what we did. We arrived Hotel Royal Garden in Chame at 14:30 which was earlier than we expected. Our driver today was excellent and we were very grateful for his skill and delivering us to Chame safely. Once again there were no triple rooms so Vicki got a single room again, but the problem being it did not have its own bathroom, but she insisted that Krissy and Nick take the double.
At 15:00 Sudarshan took us across the river on a suspension bridge to see the natural hot springs. Mitch wasn’t feeling the best today so he decided to rest in bed. We had ambitions to try out the springs but the water was so hot no-one could go in. They started putting cold water into the pool but it was going to take quite a while so we gave it a miss and walked to the temple which was on the same side. After that we then walked along the village road and some of us bought beanies and sandals to wear in the tea houses.
Whilst all this was going on the clouds started clearing away a bit and we
got some glimpses of snow capped peaks. Sudarshan took our dinner orders and we all had time to chill out before dinner at 18:30. Nick, Krissy and I shared vegetable curry and rice, vege momos and mushroom pizza. After dinner the youngsters went to their rooms and Vicki and I stayed a little longer to chat with Sudarshan until his meal was ready. In the teahouses, all the trekking clients are fed first and then the guides and porters are served dhal bhat. Sudarshan said that it is common for Nepalese to eat dhal bhat twice a day but he said if he doesn’t, and just eats momos for dinner, he ends up feeling hungry later at night. We also found out that the pizza we had was made with nak cheese (nak being the female yak, which we also learnt from Sudarshan and we also set up him into our Whatsapp group for communication purposes.
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