Route for the day: Banthathi- Nangethanthi- Ulleri-Overnight at Ghorephani
The next day, we began from Banthathi and trekked up to Nangethanthi (2500m) and had lunch there. Nepali menu is quite classic. Kinda like this.
The trekking route was through a dense forest and as we were reaching up, the forest trees gave way to high altitude trees, a few waterfalls and streams. The route goes up and down but it was easy on our legs as we were always shielded by the forest trees.
There were plenty of rest stops all along these routes with safe filtered drinking water refilling stations for a minimal fee so trekkers don’t have to buy their own mineral waters and pollute the environment.
By the time, I reached Ghorephani at 3.15pm, I was alone, separated by other group members. I dropped my bag at the Hungry Eye tea house and trekked up a little further to a view-point behind our tea house. And off beaten path.
Hiking up another 15 minutes or so made my jaw drop literally. The view was just astounding. Looking ahead, I could see the Daulghiri Mountain, to my right the Annapoorna South peak and a few other Himalayan ranges all spread out so majestically and the sun was slowly getting ready to set.
I just went silent and was in awe for a good 10 minutes and was only snapped back to reality when I heard some movements on my right. To my utmost surprise I saw a huge buffalo. I was shocked but I didn’t really react. Must be all the practicing of “centredness” in yoga I guess :S
My mind just went like ” A buffalo? Like here at this height. Seriously, since when buffaloes enjoy sunsets?”
“Amazing isn’t it? and he won’t harm you. Been there for the last hour or so. ” came a voice from behind.
There’s someone else here now?
As it turned out to be, there was an Australian trekker resting on a log somewhere nearby. Only I didn’t notice her.
Pilpa was a midwife who worked with Doctors without Borders in Yemen for 7 months and it was through her I learnt that you could trek alone. She did the entire Annapoorna Circuit Range (23 days) and the Everest Base Camp alone with no guide or porter. ALONE.
People like these never fail to amaze me and I really think the notion that Westerners are a wee bit crazy can be aptly applied to this woman. Or maybe delivering hundreds of babies in a myriad of conditions just made her an iron lady. But anyway, she took a nice picture of me. which was really important for me at that moment. Solo travelers hardly get good pictures of themselves, you know? She was in Nepal for 2 months. So she was able to do extensive trekking and completed the circuit and I caught myself thinking I really need to retire before 40 and come back here.
That night in Ghorephani was colder but the guest house had a metal like fireplace installed in it. It was a very cool technology that kept us warm all night long. They add in wood fire into the metal closure and sit around it. Some were chatting. Others were lost in their own thoughts hearing the fire crackling.
I did something awesome. I warmed my socks on the metal before I went to bed that night. The feeling of having to put on warm socks on that chilly mountain weather, ohhhh so heavenly
Travel Time & Weather: Nov 2013, Pleasant