Slightly improved weather in the morning, but similar wet weather in the afternoon, the scenery however has got even better.
|Deep valley on the way to Tal|
The valley, heading north, has got tighter and the trail is hemmed in by huge cliffs on either side. The steepness of the valley means there is no very little agriculture but the vegetation is still very lush. The trail generally takes along the east side of the valley, often quite high up with great views of the river below. There are numerous spectacular waterfalls and near one we saw a series of wide bee hives hanging beneath a ridge of rock. On the other side of the valley the new road is being carved out of the rock face often hundreds of feet above in what looks to be incredibly dangerous work.
|Expensive looking honey|
After about three hours walking the river splits into two with one tributary emerging from another deep valley to the west and another, the one we travelling along, cascading down rocks from the north. Half way up this cascade of rocks we stop at a shack for the mid-morning drink stop and enjoy brilliant views down the valley.
|Building the new road|
Another thirty minutes or so and we have finished what is the steepest the climb of the walk so far and we suddenly in a flat valley bottom, an old lake bed, where at the far end sits the village of Tal and lunch. It enjoys a wonderful location.
Lunch, which we share with a small French group, takes an age to get ready. Have my first Dal Bhat, really good but definitely couldn't cope with two a day. By the time we have finished it's started to rain. After yesterday's rain people know what to expect and waterproofs are produced in good time and no one gets seriously wet.
It's supposed to be a four hour walk in the afternoon but to escape the rain the Sherpas take us along the new road and we are drinking welcome tea at the next tea house in about two and a half.
First member of group to be hit by food poisoning today, an ever present risk on these trips. Helen was really ill and was cramping up all along walk. Really horrible but she managed the walk and by the end of the day seemed to be on the mend. It's a real food poisoning lottery here, although its the water rather than the food which us the real risk - can't see how I'm going to escape it given that I'm here for six weeks.
The tea house at Dharapani is on the western side of the valley and is in the shade by the time we arrive there. Everything is very dark inside as well. A lot of us choose the roast potato option and the portions are tiny as a consequence. Mental note - don't go with the herd!